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Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul pitches for mediation over litigation

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Says mediation best way to tackle pending cases

SRINAGAR, OCTOBER 05: Supreme Court Judge, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul Saturday delivered Key Note address on the first day of the 3-day State-level intensive Mediation Workshop organized by the Mediation and Conciliation Committee of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court and supported by Jammu and Kashmir Government at SKICC here today.

Underlining the importance of mediation system, Justice Kaul and urged upon the lawyers and the judges to prefer mediation over litigation to deliver justice. He said mediation is the best way to tackle pending cases.

Justice Kaul said the adversarial system could only decide who wins or loses a case, whereas mediation could get to the bottom of the dispute, resolve its genesis and bring about a holistic change of mind among the warring groups.

He recalled how a successful mediation between a leading brand of denim clothing and a local business establishment accused of infringing the trademark had led to the latter becoming a supplier for the international brand. Judges must be trained to identify cases that could be settled through mediation, he said.

The Supreme Court Judge said the process of mediation was much superior to adjudicatory process and it required more professionalization. He said the training workshop will help the lawyers and the judges to imbibe the skills to be a good mediator. He said in the dispute, mediation prompts the parties to come up with a solution unlike in litigation where the solution is imposed on them

Justice Kaul said that many litigating lawyers in developed countries had completely switched over to mediation. He envisaged a similar change in India too, given the ever-increasing number of cases filed in courts of law.

Stressing on the need to encourage mediation at local level, Justice said the mediation process at the district level was very elementary stage and urged the judges to actively participate in the process of encouraging mediation and ensure that it permeates every nook and corner.

Speaking on the occasion, Advisor to Governor BB Vyas said it is endure of state government to take all necessary measures to assist the judicial system in delivery of cost and time effective justice to the people at their doorsteps.

He said Government is committed to improvement of judicial infrastructure, filling up of vacant posts of judicial officers and enhancing budgetary provisions for training to stakeholders.  He said additional courts have been created to widen and deepen judicial outreach in the state and that the state Legal Services Authority has taken a number of initiatives to provide access to justice to needy. He said ADR centres have also been established across the state for ensuring justice to the people.

Vyas said the government has recently taken a significant decision to amend the JK Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1997 which enhances the scope of mediation and reconciliation to widen the scope of mediation in the disposal of cases for speedy justice. He said state Govt has also created two commercial courts by enacting JK Commercial Courts Act 2018 for speedy disposal of commercial disputes in the state.

The advisor said that the government is endures to improve the judicial system and hoped that deliberations in the workshop will be fruitful and lead to clear cut roadmap to move forward on new framework. “We shall eagerly await the summary of recommendations to enable us to fully come upto the expectations in realizing the noble cause of justice”.

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