The Judiciary appears somewhat divided on adopting ‘Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms. Comment.
Indian judicial system, for all intents and purposes, is highly tedious, tardy and tiring. Not only is the judicial process extremely expensive for an ordinary person but also takes years and years to deliver justice. In order to overcome the much criticised delay in justice delivery, the adoption of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms like Lok Adalats, arbitration, mediation and conciliation was thought of and subsequently practised with commendable success. Although the alternative mechanisms have delivered speedy justice to the people, yet the exercise has raised some pertinent questions by some legal luminaries.
Though some good has come out of the ADR mechanism, it is also a fact that Lok Adalats have put pressure on judicial officers, affecting their routine work. If the ADR mechanism is to succeed in letter and spirit, the vacancies of judicial officers should be filled in a judicious and transparent manner. This way the judiciary could share some of its officers exclusively for ADR purposes. In order to see that the regular work of the courts does not suffer, the proposal to have Evening and Rural Courts could be given practical shape by setting up such courts presided over by competent and qualified judicial officers. Unless we can do something about the problem of delay and huge arrears, the whole system would get crushed under its weight. We must guard against the system getting discredited and people losing faith in it and taking recourse to extra legal remedies.