Courts should be last resort, says CJI as India set to get first arbitration and mediation centre
Speaking in Hyderabad, Chief Justice NV Ramana said the great Indian epic, the Mahabharata, provided an example of an early attempt at mediation as a conflict resolution tool
HYDERABAD: The country's first International Arbitration and Mediation Centre (IAMC) set up in Hyderabad will be inaugurated on December 18. The centre will be initially inaugurated in a temporary building having 25,000 sq ft space in Madhapur. The state government on Saturday allocated land in Puppalaguda in the city for constructing a permanent building.
The centre is being established with the best infrastructure and the empaneling of internationally acclaimed arbitrators and mediators from countries like Singapore, UK and others. It is expected to serve customers not only from the country but also from other Asian countries.
Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and Chief Justice of Supreme Court NV Ramana participated in the curtain raiser and stakeholders' conclave of the IAMC here on Saturday.
The Chief Minister said the land parcel identified by the government was approved by the CJI of Supreme Court. The Chief Minister said that Hyderabad was the best option to locate the IAMC, which could resolve the disputes between companies and business houses before going to the courts, Rao said. The Chief Minister said that Hyderabad has emerged as a global city. The presence of 500 fortune companies in the city was a testimony to this.
Chief Justice NV Ramana said the great Indian epic, the Mahabharata, provided an example of an early attempt at mediation as a conflict resolution tool, when Lord Krishna attempted to mediate the dispute between the Pandavas and Kauravas. The failure of the mediation led to disastrous consequences, Ramana said.
"The reasons for conflicts are many. Misunderstandings, ego issues, trust and greed can lead to conflicts. Ultimately, small differences of opinion can lead to a big conflict. And even big conflicts can be resolved with some effort in understanding one other," the CJI said.
"My advice, after participating 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. Arbitration and mediation are efforts at restoring a relationship," the CJI said.
"The reasons for opting for mediation or arbitration over traditional litigation are manifold: Fewer delays, lower expense, more involvement of the parties in the process, greater party choice, more comfortable and amicable environment for the parties," Ramana said.
"I am sure this centre will be a boon to the landscape of arbitration and mediation in the country," Ramana said. Later, speaking in Telugu, the CJI added that Telugu Bidda PV Narasimha Rao initiated reforms in the country as a Prime Minister and another Telugu man PC Rao was instrumental for the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, under which the present centre was being set up.
Ramana said people having respect and credibility in society could resolve disputes and give judgements. He said that spiritual speakers like Garikapati Narasimha Rao, Nagaphani Sarma and others could be empaneled in the IAMC.
Telangana High Court Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma, Supreme Court judge L Nageswara Rao, Law Minister A Indra Karan Reddy and others were present. Legal experts from London and Japan sent their messages.
It may be recalled here that in June this year, during his visit to Hyderabad, CJI Ramana proposed to set up the IAMC in Hyderabad. The state government promptly responded and provided the logistics. Within six months, the centre became a reality.