What is Mediation?

Mediation is one of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Methods contemplated under Section 89 of the Code of Civil Procedure enacted by the Parliament. Mediation is a process in which a neutral third party assists the disputing parties to creatively resolve their disputes without going to trial. Mediation presents a unique opportunity for dispute resolution with the involvement and participation of all the parties and their advocates. A neutral third party called “mediator” uses special negotiation skills and communication techniques to help litigants bridge their differences and find a solution to their dispute. Mediation always leaves the decision making power with the parties. A Mediator does not decide what is fair or right or apportion blame. Rather, a mediator acts as a catalyst to bring the two disputing parties together by defining issues and eliminating obstacles for communication and settlement.

Mediation is widely used to resolve a variety of disputes- Divorce cases, money suits, injunction suits, suit for damages, partition suits, IPR related claims etc. Mediation has been used to resolve complex public policy problems and international conflicts. Mediation is often the answer to long running, deep-rooted conflicts. Mediation can be effective in any conflict/dispute where the parties wish to negotiate an agreement.

Mediation is one of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Methods contemplated under Section 89 of the Code of Civil Procedure enacted by the Parliament. Mediation is a process in which a neutral third party assists the disputing parties to creatively resolve their disputes without going to trial. Mediation presents a unique opportunity for dispute resolution with the involvement and participation of all the parties and their advocates. A neutral third party called “mediator” uses special negotiation skills and communication techniques to help litigants bridge their differences and find a solution to their dispute. Mediation always leaves the decision making power with the parties. A Mediator does not decide what is fair or right or apportion blame. Rather, a mediator acts as a catalyst to bring the two disputing parties together by defining issues and eliminating obstacles for communication and settlement.

Mediation is

  • Voluntary
  • Confidential : only you decide what information may be shared with the other party or the court.
  • Transparent : there are no surprises in mediation.
  • Time and cost efficient.
  • Informal : focusing on the parties interests rather than the rules of procedure and evidence.
  • Flexible : enabling the parties to resolve the dispute by themselves.

All civil cases, except those where there are serious allegations of fraud. eg., Rent cases, partition, matrimonial, labour, specific performance, money, damages, injunction, declaration, land-lord and tenant, intellectual property etc. Cheque Bounce Cases (Sec.138 of N.I.Act).

It is important that the settlement at mediation should be lawful.

Under Sec.89 of CPC, in case there is element of settlement in a matter, the Presiding Officer may refer it for Alternative Dispute Resolution. The parties/their counsels are at liberty to seek for mediation, if they so desire by filing a memo in Court. If found appropriate, the Presiding Officer will refer the matter for mediation to the Mediation Centre.

AFTER THE PLEADINGS ARE COMPLETE:

  • If it appears to the Court that there exists elements of settlement, the Judge would refer the cases of Mediation.
  • If both the parties desire, by filing a memo, they may seek reference to Mediation and if the Judge in his discretion may refer the case to Mediation.

A mediator meets both parties and their Advocates in a joint mediation sessions. The initial meeting provides for:

  • An introduction to the participants
  • Explanation of the mediation process
  • An opportunity to discuss issues affecting settlement or which are important for the mediator to know
  • An opportunity for parties to express their view of the dispute and their terms for settlement

If necessary, a mediator may meet each disputing party in private sessions. Private sessions offer opportunities to:

  • Help the mediator understand the needs of each participant and the obstacles to settlement
  • Explain to the party the strengths and weaknesses of his case
  • Assist parties to prioritize their interests in the dispute
  • Explore confidentially with each side the possibilities of various settlement options

The Mediator will spend as much time as necessary with the participants (jointly and privately) to explore all options of settlement. If the parties do reach a settlement, the terms will be written, signed and submitted to the court for approval and passing a decree. If not, the case will be returned to the referring judge for adjudication.

  • Produces more satisfying results than litigation
  • Helps settle all or part of the dispute before trial and during and after trial before judgment, which saves time and money
  • Allows the parties and not the Judge, to determine the outcome. The parties are fully informed by the mediator and they control the terms of settlement
  • Increases participant satisfaction, with a greater likelihood of a lasting resolution
  • Reduces hostility between parties offering an opportunity to restore and preserve business and personal relationships
  • Saves money – if settlement is reached in mediation, there will not be future litigation costs. Additionally, court fees are refunded to the parties.
  • Eases tension and restores peace of mind
  • Promotes Justice
  • Allows flexibility and party participation in the development of solutions
  • Uses procedures tailored to parties’ needs
  • Develops the interests of the parties
  • Narrows the issues in dispute
  • Identifies areas of agreement and disagreement
  • Fashions creative solutions to protect the interests of the parties
  • Protects confidentiality
  • Eliminates the risks of litigation
  • Allows clients to communicate their views, directly, informally, and confidentially without fear of retribution. Nothing said in a mediation can be used against a party if no settlement is reached.

Mediation Centres

There are 28 District Mediation Centres and 1 Bengaluru Mediation Centre in the State of Karnataka.
In the State of Karnataka, 28 District Mediation Centers and 1 Bengaluru Mediation Centre having trained Mediators and Master Trainers respectively and several matters are being referred and being settled in such Mediation Centers.

Bangalore Mediation Centre

An Initiative of High Court of Karnataka.