'Indian legal system lagging behind in spite of being best'

The Indian legal system is lagging behind in spite of being the best in the world, Karnataka High Court Judge Justice N Kumar said.

Delivering the keynote address on ‘Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)- Arbitration, Conciliation and Mediation’ at Vaikunta Baliga Law College, the judge said that in India the pendency rate was high owing to a huge population, inadequate courts and judges and time-consuming legal process.

He added that the Indian legal system follows Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence. The similar system existed in US some 70 years ago. However, they have now come out with a new ADR system, which ensures speedy disposal of pending cases.

Asserting that the ADR was the most abused concept in India, the judge said that the concept was confusing as everyone interprets the idea with their own philosophies.

He added that the older generation resists the concept of the ADR while the middle generation is totally confused. However, the new generation should open up for the concept of the ADR system. He said that the ADR was not practised with the intensity it was expected off.

Kumar called upon the legal fraternity not to ignore the new concept but instead try to understand and practice it in the day-to-day life. It will help the system, litigants and most importantly the public.

Pointing out that the word alternative is a confusing term, the judge asked “Why the concept of alternative remains confusing? Is it because of the failure of the existing system or lapse on the part of the system? Whether it could be better and an alternative to the existing system?”.

The judge said the fact that whether we have to give up the existing system bothers the older generation. However, the existing dispute adjudication is time consuming. It is one mode of adjudication for both the criminal and civil cases. Same techniques are followed. He added that the concept of mediation is the product of American Jurisprudence.

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