Parliamentary Committee Submits Report on Mediation Bill, 2021 | Latest India News


The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice on Wednesday submitted its report on the Mediation Bill 2021 to Lok Sabha Chairman Om Birla and Rajya Sabha Chairman, Mr Venkaiah Naidu. The committee, led by BJP MP Sushil Modi, made several observations and made recommendations after holding lengthy deliberations on the bill.

“The committee has come to understand that the authorities under the LSA (Legal Services Authority Act) have been chosen as providers of mediation services because of their pan-Indian presence. The Committee therefore recommends that, apart from the authority constituted under the Legal Services Authority Act, the government should explore the possibility of designating other bodies such as the State Mediation Board to act in as providers of mediation services,” the report states.

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The bill was introduced in Rajya Sabha on December 20, 2021, with the aim of reducing the backlog of cases in court. The purpose of the bill is to settle any civil or commercial dispute through mediation before seeking the intervention of a court or tribunal. The President of Rajya Sabha returned the Mediation Bill for consideration and report on December 21, 2021. Naidu further granted a one-month extension from June 22, 2022.

The parties may designate any person as mediator after agreement. The results of the mediation will be dealt with in accordance with court decisions.

The committee held 10 rounds of meetings with the secretary, the legal affairs department and senior officials of the Union Ministry of Law and Justice. He also sought the opinions of citizens, lawyers, experts and ombuds institutions, the Supreme Court, high courts, councils of lawyers, judges, academics and representatives of industries. and Indian trade.

The report notes that clause 2(2) of the bill contains provisions to exclude the central government and state governments from non-commercial disputes with the government as one of the parties. The committee further recommended not excluding government-related disputes from the scope of the bill.

The Committee further observed that the definition of “international mediation” in the Bill and the provisions of the Singapore Convention are incorporated into the Bill. “The Committee observes that the purpose of the Singapore Convention is to facilitate international trade and commerce by enabling parties to the dispute to easily enforce and invoke cross-border settlement agreements. The Committee was informed by the Ministry that India has yet to ratify UNISA (United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreement),” the report said.

Sections 6, 7, 8, 9 and Schedule 1 of the bill are both interconnected and contradictory, the report notes. Article 6 mentions that pre-litigation mediation will also be implemented in cases pending before the courts. “The Committee does not understand how the case pending before a court will be treated as pre-litigation mediation,” the report said. He further recommended rearranging clauses 6, 7, 8 and 9 for clarity.

“Making pre-litigation mediation mandatory may in fact cause cases to be delayed and may prove to be an additional tool in the hands of litigants to delay the settlement of cases,” the committee said. It proposes to reconsider the mandatory provisions of pre-litigation mediation.

The report further observed that the 180 day period to complete the mediation process is too long and it recommended reducing the period to 90 days and further an extension period of 60 days instead of 180 days.

“The Committee appreciates the ministry for having put in place a framework for resolving disputes that may affect the peace, harmony and tranquility of society,” the report said.

The government will set up an Indian Mediation Council to register mediators and recognize ombuds institutions and mediation service providers.


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