Justice Kabir opens ADR Centre at High Court
Dispute Resolution Centres Best Mechanism To Settle Cases: Justice Kalifullah
D A RASHID
Srinagar, June 4: Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Saturday advocated recourse to mediation and alternative dispute resolution options to help clear the large number of pending cases before the courts, and reduce the chances of appeals and revisions by the litigants.
Describing mediation and third party reference to settle the disputes an effective tool to decrease the pendency of cases, Omar Abdullah underlined the role of judges in the shift from traditional methods of resolving the disputes to modern inexpensive and fast track medium of mediation.
Addressing the inaugural session of the ‘Mediation Orientation Programme’ for judges of Supreme Court and J&K High Court at SKICC here, the Chief Minister said that justice now-a-days entails an immense sacrifice of time, money and talent besides emotionally draining the litigants. Chairman, National Legal Service Authority and Judge Supreme Court, Justice Altamas Kabir, Judge Supreme Court, Justice TS Thakur, Acting Chief Justice of J&K High Court, Justice F. M. Ibrahim Kalifullah, Judge J&K High Court, Justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir, Speaker J&K Legislative Assembly, Muhammad Akbar Lone, District Judges, Judicial Officers, Advocates and law students were present on the occasion.
The Chief Minister said the judicial system in India 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 courts of law’. He said, “I believe that the great strength of this institution is the trust and the faith people at large repose in it. The degree of respect and public confidence enjoyed by the judiciary is not matched by many other institutions.”
“Judges have done a great job but the process has to be given an impetus to enable the course to fulfil the constitutional mandate of promoting and securing justice to all. The total number of pending cases in the country in different courts has exceeded 20 million. The tasks ahead are quite daunting. Hence, it is inevitable to have recourse to alternative disputes resolution mechanism including mediation”, he emphasized.
Justice Altamas Kabir also underscored the need of mediation process for settlement of cases.
“Justice through mediation process will act as a safety valve for the courts which are in the face of high litigation pressure,” Justice Kabir said.
He said he had learnt a big portion of Kashmir population lives below poverty line and the justice through mediation would save them from losing money and time.
Citing an example of how mediation bridges the un-bridged gaps, Justice Kabir said, “Once I had a case of husband and wife, who had not been talking for 11 months, exchanging slip notes for communication. I told someone to take them to the mediation center, they entered at 10 am and came out of the center hand in hand with smiling faces at 2 pm.”
Addressing the function, acting Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court, Justice F M Ibrahim Kalifullah said in view if the growing population of the country, more people seek justice through courts and it is not possible to meet out justice to everyone. “In 1991, we had 84.6 cr population, which spiraled into 102 cr now, saddling the courts with the burden of litigations. India has 21 High Courts, where one lakh cases are pending besides a huge pendency of 63 lakh cases in subordinate courts”, said the Chief Justice.
He said in these circumstances, Alternate Dispute Resolution Centres provide for the best mechanism to settle the cases without sapping energy and finances of the parties disputing over a matter.
Stressing the need for setting up of Mediation Centres in the state, the Chief Justice said once mediation concept gains momentum here, its tangible results can be seen palpably.
“Our courts in the state are also burdened with more than 90% litigation service-oriented, we have to look for options seeking settlement of cases through mediation, which will relieve the courts of burden and save the litigants from reeling under a trail of trouble”, said Justice Ibrahim.
Justice T S Thakur in his special address said Kashmir has its own history in legal field with legal luminaries having embellished its past and present. While enumerating several prominent judges, lawyers and other personalities, he said Kashmir has its own judicial history to gloat over.
He said justice is not confined to a regular process now, “Filing a petition, spending energy and money to seek justice for by and large un-expecting results from courts is no more advisable than the mediation process,” said Justice Thakur.
Drawing parallels between Allahabad and Kashmir, he said pendency rate in Kashmir is more for lesser number of judges and if a proposal is mooted for increasing the number of High Court judges, there should be no reason to oppose it.
Justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir, in his inaugural speech, said that the sole purpose of mediation is sitting together to find an agreeable solution to the problems. He said it is the best way out for getting justice but the process requires boost and introduction among the people.
Earlier, Justice Altamas Kabir inaugurated Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) Centre at High Court here.
Lastupdate on : Sat, 4 Jun 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 4 Jun 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 5 Jun 2011 00:00:00 IST
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