ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION
The system of dispensing justice in India has come under great stress for several reasons mainly because of the huge pendency of cases in courts. In India, the number of cases filed in the courts has shown a tremendous increase in recent years resulting in pendency and delays underlining the need for alternative dispute resolution methods. It is in this context that a Resolution was adopted by the Chief Ministers and the Chief Justices of States in a conference held in New Delhi on 4th December 1993 under the chairmanship of the then Prime Minister and presided over by the Chief Justice of India.
It said: "The Chief Ministers and Chief Justices were of the opinion that Courts were not in a position to bear the entire burden of justice system and that a number of disputes lent themselves to resolution by alternative modes such as arbitration, mediation and negotiation. They emphasized the desirability of disputants taking advantage of alternative dispute resolution which provided procedural flexibility, saved valuable time and money and avoided the stress of a conventional trial".
In a developing country like India with major economic reforms under way within the framework of the rule of law, strategies for swifter resolution of disputes for lessening the burden on the courts and to provide means for expeditious resolution of disputes, there is no better option but to strive to develop alternative modes of dispute resolution (ADR) by establishing facilities for providing settlement of disputes through arbitration, conciliation, mediation and negotiation.
The Arbitration Act, 1940 was not meeting the requirements of either the international or domestic standards of resolving disputes. Enormous delays and court intervention frustrated the very purpose of arbitration as a means for expeditious resolution of disputes. The Supreme Court in several cases repeatedly pointed out the need to change the law. The Public Accounts...