LIMITATION PERIOD IN PRE LITIGATION CONCILIATION
The objective of pre litigation conciliation is to make an endeavor for harmonious decree of the dispute between the disputant parties at the pre litigation stage itself. In case the conciliation measures fructify into a settlement agreement the same would be executable as a decree of the court. In case the subject matter is not established the parties are always at autonomy to move toward the courts for judicial fortitude of their disputes or take alternative to arbitration.
Nevertheless, without a doubt the procedure of conciliation from the stage when one party enters an application for conciliation to the stage of final extinction of procedures is likely to take some time. The time duration may extend even to a few months also, which might result in extinguishment of the limitation period to take alternative to litigation or arbitration in the intervening time. This would result in unwarranted adversity for a party in such a case.
The UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Conciliation, 2002 enunciates a model clause for states, which yearning to implement a provision on deferment of limitation period during conciliation proceedings. This provision is considerably missing in the Indian Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996. It is for the legislature to march in and fill up this lacuna by making the suitable change in the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996. Till such time that an amendment is effected on the lines of the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Conciliation, 2002 the pre litigation conciliation can be conceded out successfully by devising a severe and concise program so that the time depleted on conciliation proceedings does not, by and hefty, outcome in extinguishment of the limitation period. Additional even though the Act bars arbitral or judicial proceedings during the pendency of conciliation proceedings yet the ban is not complete and a party may initiate arbitral or judicial proceedings during the pendency of conciliation where, in his opinion, such proceedings are obligatory for preserving his rights.