The Concept of Mediation is ancient and deep rooted in our country. In olden days disputes used to be resolved in a Panchayat at the community level. Panches used to be called Panch Parmeshwar.

                Now we have grown into a country of 125 crore people and with liberalization and globalization, there is tremendous economic growth. All this has led to explosion of litigation in our country. Though our judicial system is one of the best in the world and is highly respected, but there is lot of criticism on account of long delays in the resolution of disputes in a court of law. Now an honest litigant is wary of approaching the court for a decision of his dispute. Hence, we have turned to Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanisms.

                The Supreme Court of India has started the process of reforms in the Indian Judicial System. Hon'ble Mr. Justice A.H. Ahmedi, the then Chief Justice of India in the year 1966 invited the Institute for the Study and Development of Legal Systems (ISDLS), USA to participate in a national assessment of the backlog in the civil courts. Studies were made in respect of the causes of delay in the civil jurisdiction in our country.

               The legislature by the Code of Civil Procedure (Amendment) Act, 1999, amended section 89 of the CPC with effect from 1.7.2002 whereby mediation was envisaged as one of the modes of settlement of disputes. The amendment in Section 89 was made on the recommendation of the Law Commission of India and the Justice Malimath Committee. It was recommended by the Law Commission that the court may require attendance of parties to the suit or proceeding to appear in person with a view to arrive at an amicable settlement of the dispute between them and make an attempt to settle the dispute amicably. Justice Malimath Committee recommended making it obligatory for the Court to refer the dispute, after issues are framed, for settlement either by way of Arbitration, Conciliation, Mediation or Judicial Settlement through Lok Adalat. It is only when the parties fail to get their disputes settled through any of the Alternative Dispute Resolution methods that the Suit could proceed further. Thus Section 89 has been introduced to promote alternative methods of dispute resolution.

                Hon'ble Mr. Justice R.C. Lahoti, the then Chief Justice, Supreme Court of India constituted a Mediation and Conciliation Project Committee (then chaired by Hon'ble Mr. Justice N. Santosh Hegde). A Pilot Project on Mediation was initiated in Delhi in the month of August, 2005. The first batch of Senior Additional District Judges were imparted Mediation Training of 40 hours duration. The trained mediators started judicial mediation from their chambers in the end of August, 2005. Thereafter, 24 more Additional District Judges have been trained as mediators during the month of September and November, 2005.
               A permanent Mediation Centre with all modern facilities was established at Tis Hazari court complex (Central Hall, 3rd Floor, Room No. 325) in October, 2005 and Mediation Centre at Tis Hazari was inaugurated by Hon'ble Mr. Justice Y.K. Sabharwal, Judge, Supreme Court of India/Chairman, NALSA on 24th October, 2005. 
              Judicial mediation was started at Karkardooma Court Complex in the month of December, 2005 and a litigant friendly and modern Mediation Centre was established in May, 2006. Eleven more Additional District Judges have been trained as mediators during the month of June, 2006.  A Mediation Centre at Karkardooma Court was inaugurated by Hon'ble Mr. Justice S.B. Sinha, Judge, Supreme Court of India on 5th May, 2006. New Complex of Delhi Mediation Centre, Karkardooma was also inaugurated by Hon’ble Mr. Justice Madan B. Lokur, Judge, Supreme Court of India/Member, Mediation & Conciliation Project Committee on 14th December, 2015.   
             Subsequently four more Mediation Centers were established at Rohini, Dwarka, Saket and Patiala House Courts Complex.  A  Mediation Centre at Rohini Court was inaugurated by Hon'ble Mr. Justice R.V.  Raveendran, Judge, Supreme Court of India on 12th October, 2009.  A Mediation Centre at Dwarka Court was inaugurated by Hon'ble Mr. Justice A.P. Shah, the Chief Justice, High Court of Delhi on 9th February, 2010. A Mediation Centre at Saket Court was inaugurated by Hon'ble Mr. Justice D. Murgesen,  the Chief Justice, High Court of Delhi on 30th April, 2013.  A Mediation Centre at Patiala House Court was inaugurated by Hon'ble Mr. Justice J.S. Khehar, Judge, Supreme Court of India and Chairman, Mediation and Conciliation Project Committee, on 22nd May, 2015.

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