Going to courts should be last resort; only after exploring arbitration, mediation, conciliation: CJI N V Ramana

  • | Saturday | 4th December, 2021

Hyderabad, Dec 4 (PTI) Chief Justice of India N V Ramana on Saturday said that the option of going to courts for dispute resolution should be used as the "last resort", only after exploring Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms like arbitration and mediation. "My advice, after practicing 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. Justice Ramana, who was speaking at the Curtain Raiser and Stakeholders" Conclave of International Arbitration and Mediation Centre (IAMC) here, recalled Lord Krishna"s attempt to mediate between the Pandavas and Kauravas in the epic Mahabharata. "It may be worthwhile to recall that the failure of mediation led to disastrous consequences," he said. The reasons for conflicts are many, including misunderstandings, ego issues, trust and greed. Ultimately, small differences of opinion can lead to a big conflict and even big conflicts can be resolved with some effort in understanding one another, he said. If conflicts arise in personal life, they can be resolved by avoiding the people we do not like or by sacrificing some money to get mental peace, among others, the CJI said. A prudent person tries to find ways to resolve conflicts amicably, he said. But in a business, money, honour or reputation cannot be lost and the interests of business or industry cannot be sacrificed. In such a situation also, an easy way of settling disputes without wasting much time or money or losing peace of mind can be thought of, he said. "Now to come back to the reality, in business you might have a difference of opinion and disagreements. One would usually start by initiating a dialogue to clarify issues. If it doesn"t happen, you may still look for people who can help you resolve such issues by negotiating. If this also doesn"t work, then the only option people consider is to go to courts," he said, advising that going to courts should be the last option. Observing that arbitration and mediation are efforts at restoring a relationship, he said the most important factor behind the resolution of any dispute is having the right attitude of leaving aside ego, emotions and embracing practicality. Once the conflicts enter a Court, much gets lost in the practice and procedure, he said. Dispute resolution mechanisms like arbitration and mediation are nowadays the preferred modes of dispute resolution and the reasons for opting for mediation or arbitration over traditional litigation include, fewer delays, more involvement of the parties in the process and more comfortable and amicable environment for the parties, the CJI said. Mediation also has the benefits of allowing for settlements and compromises between parties, possibility of a continued relationship between parties after the dispute resolution process, he said. Supreme Court judge L Nageswara Rao, Telangana High Court Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and several other legal luminaries, besides Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, were present on the occasion. PTI SJR APR APR

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