Karnataka Mediation Centre is an initiative of the High Court of Karnataka. It has been conceived as a project for giving effect to Section 89 of the Code of Civil Procedure which provides for Mediation as an Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanism. The project is implemented with the support of the Advocates Association, Bangalore. It facilitates court-annexed mediation by trained advocate-mediators.
Karnataka Mediation Centre receive cases for Mediation not only from the Trial Courts of Bengaluru.
City, but also from the Hon'ble High Court of Karnataka and Hon'ble Apex Court.
To create awareness about the process of mediation, KMC has brought out pamphlets regarding settlement of disputes through mediation, and same has been sent through Court
Summons to both the parties. It has also placed Brochures in regard to Mediation , its benefits and placed at prominent places of KMC. KMC has also appeared in documentaries to popularize mediation.
WHAT IS MEDIATION ?
Mediation is one of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Methods contemplated under Section 89 of the Code of Civil Procedure enacted by the Parliament. Mediation is a process in which a neutral third party assists the disputing parties to creatively resolve their disputes without going to trial. Mediation presents a unique opportunity for dispute resolution with the involvement and participation of all the parties and their advocates. A neutral third party called "mediator" uses special negotiation skills and communication techniques to help litigants bridge their differences and find a solution to their dispute. Mediation always leaves the decision making power with the parties. A Mediator does not decide what is fair or right, or apportion blame or predict the outcome in Court. Rather, a mediator acts as a catalyst to bring the two disputing parties together by defining issues and eliminating obstacles for communication and settlement.
MEDIATION IS :
- Confidential - only you decide what information may be shared with the other party or the court.
- Transparent - there are no surprises in mediation.
- Time efficient.
- Informal - focusing on the parties' interests rather than the rules of procedure and evidence.
- Flexible - enabling the parties to resolve the dispute by themselves.
- Either party is entitled to terminate the process at any time and withdraw from mediation without assigning any reason.
- It offers and excellent opportunity for early resolution of disputes whereby substantial legal costs, expenses, trauma and tensions for both parties is avoided.
- The process is non-adjudicatory. It is negotiation based and no judgment is passed.
- The focus is on finding a permanent solution rather than determination of 'rights'.
- The process is not constricted by the rigidity of the law or the legal system.
- Prominence is accorded to parties.
- Counsel's assistance is required and used for ascertaining the applicable law and its effect upon the issues in dispute.
- The Decree / Order would be final and no Appeal would be permissible.
- The process results in a WIN-WIN situation for both parties as it would resolve the dispute in a manner beneficial to both
parties and without apportioning blame.
Under Section 89 of the C.P.C., the Presiding Officer (Judge) may refer it to Mediation. The Parties/Counsel can also seek for Mediation by filing a Memo in the Court.
All cases of civil nature (Whether pending in civil courts or other special Tribunals/Forums/State Commission) can be resolved through Mediation viz:
a) Disputes arising out of contracts (including money suits, Developers/Builders and Customers, Bankers and Customers etc.)
b) Disputes between landlords and tenants/licensor and licensees;
c) Disputes relating to matrimonial causes, maintenance, custody of children;
d) Disputes relating to partition/division among family members/coparceners/co-owners; and - disputes relating to partnership among partners.
e) Disputes between neighbours (relating to easementary rights, encroachments, nuisance, etc.
f) Disputes between employers and employees.
g) Disputes among members of societies/associations/apartment owners' association;
h) All consumer disputes.
Parties / Authorized Representative / Power of Attorney should attend the Mediation along with their Counsels. Even parties can attend mediation without counsels and can settle their matters.
Many cases are resolved in Two to Three sessions. However , in complex cases the process could continue for a maximum period of Sixty (60) days. If the Parties fail to appear, their absence would be noted and the file would be returned to the Court.
Mediation is an Alternative Dispute Resolution process and an alternative to trail. Reference of a case to mediation does not put and end to court proceedings or extend litigation deadlines. If a case is not settled in mediation, it will be returned to the court with no time lost.
A Case may be referred any number of times for Mediation.
The benefits of Mediation are abundant as it:
i. Puts an end to Litigation. Produces more satisfying results than litigation.
ii. Saves Time and Money. If settlement is reached in Mediation, there will be no litigation and consequently no litigation costs.
In addition, Court Fees are refunded to the parties.
iii. Helps Parties settle all or part of the dispute before trial and during and after trial before judgment, putting an end to Litigation.
iv. Allows the parties and not the Presiding Officer/Judge, to determine the outcome. The parties are fully informed by the Mediator
and they determine the outcome.
v. Reduces hostility between parties offering an opportunity to restore and preserve business and personal relationships.
Eases tension and restores peace of mind. Eliminates the risks of litigation.
vi. Promotes justice.
vii. Allows flexibility and party participation in the development of solutions.
viii. Uses procedures tailored to parties needs. Develops the interests of the parties.
ix. Protects Confidentiality.
x. Allows parties to communicate their views, directly informally, and confidentially without fear of retribution, as any discussion/proposal
in Mediation cannot be used against a Party if no settlement is reached. The Mediator cannot be called as Witness by
the Parties in the Courts.
No loss of time in Mediation
No financial investment is required in Mediation.
Mediation reserves ongoing business or personal relationships.
Mediation allows flexibility, control and participation of the disputing parties.
Mediation is far more satisfactory way of resolving disputes as compared to litigation.
Advocates appearing for the disputing parties Co-operate for the resolution of disputes by bringing all relevant information to facilitate meaningful discussion and early settlement.
It is very beneficial to the Advocates too as they will be to serve the true interest and need of their Clients, which will result in increased Client satisfaction. The Clients in turn would engage their services and also refer other Litigants to the Advocate.
If the Parties settle their disputes by Mediation, the Society would be better place to live, as litigation is put to an end at the first instance thereby bringing peace and happiness to one and all, than litigation
ending in frustration, severance of relationship and misery.