'Courts should be last resort': CJI bats for mediation

Going to courts should be last resort, says CJI stressing on arbitration, mediation for dispute resolution

The CJI was speaking at the curtain raiser and Stakeholders’ Conclave of International Arbitration and Mediation Centre, Hyderabad

Chief Justice of India N V Ramana. Credit: Special arrangement

Chief Justice of India N V Ramana on Saturday emphasised the alternate dispute resolution mechanism like mediation and arbitration, saying going to courts should only be the last resort by the parties.

"My advice, after participating in the legal profession for over 40 years in different capacities, is that you must keep the option of going to courts as a last resort. Use this last resort only after exploring the option of ADR — arbitration, mediation and conciliation," he said.

The CJI was speaking at the curtain raiser and Stakeholders’ Conclave of International Arbitration and Mediation Centre, Hyderabad.

Maintaining that arbitration and mediation are efforts at restoring a relationship, Justice Ramana said, "I think that the most important factor behind the resolution of any dispute is having the right attitude. By right attitude, I mean we should leave aside our ego, emotions, impatience and embrace practicality. But, once these conflicts enter a court, much gets lost in the practice and procedure."

Observing that no one can imagine a world without conflicts, he said arbitration and mediation are the preferred modes of dispute resolution now. He said these methods mean fewer delays, less expense, more involvement of the parties in the process, greater party choice, more control, more comfort and an amicable environment for both parties.

He said despite local arbitration centers, Indian parties that enter into an international arbitration agreement often opt for foreign players from Paris, Singapore, Hong Kong, London, New York, and Stockholm, incurring huge expenses. The setting up of this International Arbitration and Mediation Centre in Hyderabad will change this trend in India, he hoped.

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