Throw some light on the importance of alternate dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms and its types available in India. Suggest measures to further improve it.

Alternate dispute definition is defined as the process of mediation and resolution of disputes without judicial involvement.

Benefits:

  • Cheap resolution
  • Less time consuming
  • Reducing burden of courts
  • More suited for minor disputes where personalized touch is appreciated.
  • Beneficial for marginalized sections without access to proper judicial remedies.

ADR mechanism available in India:

  • Lok Adalat – involves resolution of minor civil and compoundable criminal cases, reduces burden of courts.
  • Permanent Lok Adalats – prevalent in areas with specialized nature of disputes like Pension Adalat, complaints relating to telephone and electricity bills and tariffs.
  • Integrated grievance redressal mechanism for consumers (INGRAM) – initiative of Ministry of consumer affairs, allows speedy resolution of consumer disputes between consumers and companies.
  • Various Tribunals which encourage alternative dispute resolution.

Measures to further improve ADR framework:

  • Encouragement of international arbitration, especially of commercial matters.
  • Declaring New Delhi Centre for international arbitration, an institute of national importance.
  • Emphasis on ADR by lower courts, mandating the district legal services authority to explore the possibility of ADR in civil cases.
  • Encouragement by judicial officers for parties to opt for ADR.

ADR plays a vital role in reducing judicial pendency and improving delivery of justice. The process should be encouraged.

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