Alternative Dispute Redrassal (ADR) , as its name suggests, is an alternate way of resloving disputes, primarily out of the grips of courts in an independent but formal maner. It was the urge to help the courts get rid of the huge backlog of the pending cases that led to the evolution of a mechanism that could resolve the disputes in a quick and independent manner. The basic concept of alternative dispute redrassal is to appoint a neutral adjudicator who would help the parties to reach a mutually beneficial settlement through negotiations, bargaining, cooperation and coordination between them to ensure a reasonable, fair and acceptable settlement. These mechanisms are quite inexpensive and faster as compared to court proceedings and allows more autonomy for the parties. Though relaively new in the Indian judicial system, it is becoming popular among the masses because of these advantages of it. Alternative dispute redrassal mechanisms can be classified into :
MEDIATION : an impartial and impartial adjudicator, the meaditaor acts as the negotiator between the parties. However, unlike the other two mechanisms of Alternative Disoute Redrassal, in mediation, the mediator does not play an active role in the procedure and the parties can take the charge of the process and drive it the way they want to. Though mediation doesnot have any governing laws but certain procedurs are to be maintained while conducting the session with the parties.
CONCILIATION : an independent and impartial adjudicator, the conciliator is appointed to resolve the disputes between the parties by providing them with assisstance. Howewver unlike the mediatior, the conciliator takes an active role in the process and is pro-active through it. He/she takes the charge of the entire process. The decision is delivered by the conciliator, though the parties are free or reject the proposal as per their discretion. The decision may/may notbe final and binding on the parties depending on whether the parties accept the settlement decision.
ARBITRATION : the decision is rendered by an arbitral tribuanl consisting of one, two or three adjudicators. The decision rendered is known as the arbitral award that is binding on the parties and generally the parties donot have a right of appeal against the award. It is the most formal of all the alternative dispute redrassal mechanisms and the rules of evidences are not strictly applied in arbitration as in the case ofa normal court trial. There is little scope of judicial intervention in the process of arbitration.