ADR and Section 89 of CPC
Section 89 of the Code of Civil procedure was introduced with the purpose of amicable, peaceful and mutual settlement between parties without the court's intervention. In all the countries globally, especially the developed few, most of the cases are settled out of court. The cases or disputes between parties shall attend trial only if there is a failure to reach resolutions outside the court. Section 89 of the Code of Civil Procedure states that:
Where it appears to the court that there exist elements of a settlement that can be acceptable to the parties, the court shall formulate the terms of settlement and provide them to the parties for their observations. After receiving the parties' observation, the court may reformulate the terms of a possible settlement and refer to an equivalent. The choices for outside the court settlement are between:
(c) Judicial settlement including settlement through Lok Adalat; or
One of the prime inadequacies present in our system is a delay. It is claimed to have been overcome by Alternative dispute resolution (ADR). ADR was formulated to reduce the burden of the burdened system and render expeditious and timely justice. Section 89 was introduced to empower different forums and was more practically applicable than the other option of reducing judicial lag, like an increasing the number of pending cases or infrastructure.
The language of the Section clearly states that there are four alternate resolution forums, including arbitration and every one of the four forums is treated identically and intrinsically. There is no distinction mentioned within the Section. In arbitration, the choice binding on parties is taking by a personal judge (Arbitrator), while within the other three mediums, party autonomy in final judgment remains maintained. Amongst the four specified alternate forums (arbitration, conciliation, judicial settlement, Lok Adalatas and mediation), the foremost wanted is arbitration, while all four are at an equivalent footing within the eyes of the law. The arbitration may be a process only available at the consent of the parties.
To proceed towards alternate means of resolution, the court must identify that there exists scope of resolution/ settlement, and therefore, the same should also be acceptable to parties involved. The court is given the powers to surpass the choice of litigants under Section 89, but an equivalent must be invoked only in those cases where there's scope for settlement. Therefore, the parties to the dispute are open to the thought of settlement. The incorporation of the word as may be acceptable to parties within the Section is to require all essentials/stakeholders into consideration and ensure that all agree for it.
Section 89 is a crucial part of the Code of Civil Procedure and is an efficient method to resolve disputes between parties outside the court where there's scope for an equivalent. The section is true in its spirit because the objective has been to scale back the burden of the court and ensure a compromise is received between parties, and move towards a speedier and effective method of administrating justice. Alternate Dispute Resolution may be a means of accelerating access to justice without decreasing the standard of justice.
This Article Does Not Intend To Hurt The Sentiments Of Any Individual Community, Sect, or Religion, Etcetera. This Article Is Based Purely On The Authors Personal Views And Opinions In The Exercise Of The Fundamental Right Guaranteed Under Article 19(1)(A) And Other Related Laws Being Force In India, For The Time Being. Further, despite all efforts made to ensure the accuracy and correctness of the information published, White Code VIA Mediation and Arbitration Centre Foundation shall not be responsible for any errors caused due to human error or otherwise.