A few litigants in the last six years in the state preferred to get their cases settled through mediation — a unique out- of- court settlement and alternate dispute resolution process.
Currently the cases pending in the high court and district courts are referred for mediation after getting consent from the both sides.
Usually the nature of cases referred for mediation by the courts include trade and commerce, contractual, banking, insurance, matrimonial, custody of children and family property disputes.
In last six years ( 2007 to June 2013), 1,586 cases were referred for mediation by the courts including both the high court and district courts.
Out of which 390 cases were disposed of while 958 cases were sent back to the courts after no settlement could be reached between the parties underwent mediation process.
There are 636 trained mediators in the state, mostly advocates, and 541 judges from the district courts trained in mediation process.
Three mediation centres are functioning in the high court, one each at Jabalpur, Indore and Gwalior benches.
While 15 mediation centres are established in the district courts, one each at Jabalpur, Bhopal, Indore, Sagar, Gwalior, Rewa, Guna, Chhindwara and Shahdol, Satna, Mandsaur, Morena, Betul, Videsha and at family court Jabalpur.
Mediation is one of the alternate dispute resolution mechanism, and to promote it the MP State Legal Services Authority has planned to bring up permanent infrastructure for mediation centres in 46 districts out of 50.
Work on them has started within two years.
A case of child custody pleaded by Advocate Arvind Shrivastava was referred for mediation by the high court recently that is now disposed of.
Shrivastava said the case of child custody was a difficult case to be settled in short time but through mediation it settled in four sittings with the mediator within a span of eight months.
There are plans to refer the disputes for mediation in the pre-litigation stage to lessen burden on the traditional courts facing pendency for long period, Anurag Shrivastava of MP State Legal Services Authority told this newspaper.
Initiatives are being taken to train more advocates and judges on mediation so that more cases might be settled through mediation, he added.