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Thursday, Sep 19, 2019

Ayodhya case mediation explained

HT explains the meaning of mediation ordered by the Supreme Court for settlement of Ayodhya title dispute case.

india Updated: Mar 08, 2019 15:21 IST
Ashok Bagriya
Ashok Bagriya
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
A sadhu worships sitting next to a model of the proposed Hindu temple at Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas workshop in Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh.
A sadhu worships sitting next to a model of the proposed Hindu temple at Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas workshop in Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh. (AFP)
         

The Supreme Court on Friday ordered mediation in Ayodhya’s Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit and set up a three-member panel for resolution of the long-pending issue. The panel headed by retired Supreme Court judge, Justice FMI Kalifulla has four weeks to submit a report to the top court.

Other members of the Ayodhya case mediation panel are Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and lawyer Sriram Panchu. The court has barred reporting on mediation in the Ayodhya case.

The Supreme Court has viewed mediation in Ayodhya case as a possibility of “healing relationships”. HT explains what mediation, when ordered by a court, means.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is an out of the court and informal method of dispute resolution, where a neutral third party assists the parties in dispute to amicably resolve their dispute by using specialized communication and negotiation techniques. The mediator or mediators could be former judges, advocates and people trained in mediation.

In mediation, a third party (the mediator) assists the parties to negotiate their own settlement. In some cases, mediators may express a view on what might be a fair or reasonable settlement, generally where all the parties agree that the mediator may do so.

Confidential Process

Mediation is an informal process, which is not open to the public. Mediation is also confidential in nature, which means that statements made during mediation cannot be disclosed in any court proceedings or elsewhere without the written consent of all parties.

The decision to settle and decide the terms of settlement in mediation always rest with the parties. This right of self-determination is an essential element of the mediation process. The parties also have ultimate control over the outcome of mediation. Any party may withdraw from the mediation proceedings at any stage before its termination and without assigning any reason

Legal But Settlement Is Not A Verdict

Any settlement reached in a case referred for mediation during the course of litigation is required to be reduced to writing, signed by the concerned parties and filed in court for the passing of an appropriate order.

The concept of mediation received legislative recognition in India for the first time in the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947. The conciliators appointed under the Act are charged with the duty of mediating in and promoting the settlement of Industrial disputes.

In 1999, the Indian Parliament passed the Civil Procedure Code Amendment Act of 1999 inserting Section 89 in the Code of Civil Procedure 1908, providing for reference of cases pending in the Courts to mediation.

Mandatory mediation through courts has now a legal sanction.

Goal Of Mediation

Mediation India are divided into two categories which are commonly followed: Court referred Mediation and Private Mediation.

Mediation addresses both the factual and legal issues and the underlying causes of a dispute. And the goal of mediation is to find a mutually acceptable solution that satisfies the needs, desires and interests of the parties.

First Published: Mar 08, 2019 15:20 IST