Experts lay stress on need for impartiality during mediation

Role of mediator is critical: Justice Bindal

SRINAGAR: The “three-day basic induction training programme on mediation,” for judges and lawyers held at the J&K State Judicial Academy, Mominabad, Srinagar concluded Saturday. On the concluding day of the programme, experts from the legal fraternity while throwing light on the process of mediation stressed on the need for impartiality during the mediation process.
Presentations made during the training programme focused on settlement writing, non-settlement writing, a non-starter, role of lawyers, impasses and mediation role played by participants.
Justice Rajesh Bindal, who chaired one of the sessions, deliberated upon the role of mediators and said that their role becomes critical during the process of mediation. He said that a mediator should develop the acumen to know how he can bring disputing parties to a settlement.
He also impressed upon the judges and lawyers to work independently and leave their prejudices and biases aside while acting as mediators.
Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur and Justice Sindhu Sharma co-chaired the session.
Justice Rashid Ali Dar dwelt on the historical aspects of mediation in the state of Jammu and Kashmir and said that there were many forums for the processes of mediation like Panchayats.
He threw light on the process of mediation and how a settlement is arrived at between two disputing parties.
Principal District and Sessions Judge Srinagar Abdul Rashid Malik thanked all the participants and expressed his satisfaction over the training sessions being conducted over the three days.
Emphasising the need for inheriting the process of mediation, Malik said that the era of mediation has begun and should be treated as a way of life. He said that informal institutions of mediation that were prevalent in the past are not effective and thus the judiciary has taken up the burden of mediation to ensure timely justice for all.
He also said that they need to reach out to the Bar Association regarding the process of mediation and the Bar, in turn, needs to cooperate with them.
During the training sessions, the resource persons acquainted the participating judges and lawyers with various situations and questions they might encounter during the process of mediation. It was impressed upon them that the mediators cannot keep matters pending with them for a longer time and should refer mediation back to the courts if they feel they have exhausted all their options.
Judges and lawyers were also given first-hand experience of the process of mediation by giving them cases to solve between two disputing parties.
Senior Advocates JP Singh and Veena Ralli and Advocate Anuj Agarwal, who are renowned in the field of mediation, were conducting the training sessions on the concluding day.