Alternate Dispute Resolution System in India
New methods of dispute resolution such as ADR facilitate parties to deal with the underlying issues in dispute in a more cost-effective manner and with increased efficacy. In addition, these processes have the advantage of providing parties with the opportunity to reduce hostility, regain a sense of control, gain acceptance of the outcome, resolve conflict in a peaceful manner, and achieve a greater sense of justice in each individual case. The resolution of disputes takes place usually in private and is more viable, economic, and efficient. ADR is generally classified into at least four types: negotiation, mediation, collaborative law, and arbitration. (Sometimes a fifth type, conciliation, is included as well, but for present purposes it can be regarded as a form of mediation
Impact/resulting acts of ADR:
The technique of ADR is an effort to design a workable and fair alternative to our traditional judicial system. It is a fast track system of dispensing justice. There are various ADR techniques viz. arbitration, mediation, conciliation, mediation-arbitration, mini-trial, private judging, final offer arbitration, court-annexed ADR and summary jury trial.
These techniques have been developed on scientific lines in USA, UK, France, Canada, China, Japan, South Africa, Australia and Singapore. ADR has emerged as a significant movement in these countries and has not only helped reduce cost and time taken for resolution of disputes, but also in providing a congenial atmosphere and a less formal and less complicated forum for various types of disputes.
The Arbitration Act, 1940 was not meeting the requirements of either the international or domestic standards of resolving disputes. Enormous delays and court intervention frustrated the very purpose of arbitration as a means for expeditious resolution of disputes. The Supreme Court in several cases repeatedly pointed out the need to change the law. The Public Accounts Committee too deprecated the Arbitration Act of 1940. In the conferences of Chief Justices, Chief Ministers and Law Ministers of all the States, it was decided that since the entire burden of justice system cannot be borne by the courts alone, an Alternative Dispute Resolution system should be adopted. Trade and industry also demanded drastic changes in the 1940 Act. The Government of India thought it necessary to provide a new forum and procedure for resolving international and domestic disputes quickly.
Thus "The Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996"came into being. The law relating to Arbitration and Conciliation is almost the same as in the advanced countries. Conciliation has been given statutory recognition as a means for settlement of the disputes in terms of this Act. In addition to this, the new Act also guarantees independence and impartiality of the arbitrators irrespective of their nationality. The new Act of 1996 brought in several changes to expedite the process of arbitration. This legislation has developed confidence among foreign parties interested to invest in India or to go for joint ventures, foreign investment, transfer of technology and foreign collaborations.
The advantage of ADR is that it is more flexible and avoids seeking recourse to the courts. In conciliation/mediation, parties are free to withdraw at any stage of time. It has been seen that resolution of disputes is quicker and cheaper through ADR. The parties involved in ADR do not develop strained relations; rather they maintain the continued