MANDATORY PRE-LITIGATION MEDIATION :A RAY OF HOPE

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SUBHADEEP SANTRA :It is not without reason that retired justice G.S.Singhvi had spoken in favour of pre-litigation machinery seven years ago in a ceremony convened by the International centre for Alternative Dispute redressal.

Huge pendency in courts had become a pain in the neck.

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Various platforms to deal with specific issues were created since the 1980’s. Nonetheless, making pre-litigation redressal mandatory in a commercial disputes is a new initiative.

Economists tend do believe that the Commercial Courts,Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts(Amendment)Bill,2018 is a measure to maintain and  upgrade India ‘s grade in the “Ease of Doing Business”   index of World Bank.

The newly released World Bank annual   ‘Ease of Doing Business’ report for the year 2019 depicts India to be at 77th ranked amongst 190 countries.

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To increase convenience in business the bill provides for separate commercial courts to deal with pre-litigation commercial disputes and it is now compulsory to exhaust pre-litigation remedies. An exception may be made when urgent interim relief is needed.

Any settlement meted out under mediation shall enjoy the have the status of an arbitral award and be enforceable like a decree of a court, thanks to The arbitration and conciliation Act , 1996.

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