“ The LOK ADALATS is an old form of adjudicating system which prevailed in ancient India and its validity has not been taken away even in the modern days too. The word ' LOK ADALATS' means 'people court. This system is based on Gandhian principles. It is one of the components of ADR system. As the Indian courts are overburdened with the backlog of cases and the regular courts are to decide the Cases involve a lengthy, expensive and tedious procedure. The court takes years together to settle even petty cases. LOK ADALATS, therefore provides alternative resolution or devise for expeditious and inexpensive justice .
(1) WHAT IS MEDIATION – mediation is a voluntary, non-dinding process in which an impartial and neutral mediator assists the parties in reaching an agreement. A mediator does not impose a solution but creates conducive environment in which parties can resolve their entire disputes. Mediation is : • A structured, negotiation process. • A process where a neutral mediator uses specialized communication and negotiation techniques. • A process of assisting parties in resolving their disputes.
(2) WHY MEDIATION IS NECESSARY – The traditional justice system has become over burdened due to explosion of litigation. There are several reasons for this. Such as urbanization and waning of non-judicial traditional dispute resolutions. This has resulted in delays in disposal of cases and accumulation of huge arrears of cases. Mediation is a remedial supplementary process for amicable resolution of disputes between disputants within reasonable time with mo additional cost.
(3) WHAT HAPPENS IN A MEDIATION -Mediation is a structured process and Comprises of various stages, which are as under :- 1. Introduction :- Mediation introduces the parties, explains mediation process, establishes neutrality and eventually generates momentum towards settlement. 2. Joint Session :- Mediation gathers information about the factual background and interests of the parties. Establishes interaction between them and creates a conducive environment for an amicable settlement. 3. Individual (Separate) Session :- mediator allows parties to further explain their grievances, continues to gather information, persuades parties to share confidential information and helps them to create option for an amicable settlement. 4. Agreement :- Mediation confirms and clarifies the terms of settlement and reduces the settlement into a clear, complete, concise and concrete agreement.
(4) WHAT DOES A MEDIATION DO- • Mediation is impartial and neutral. • Manages interaction between the parties. • Facilitates communication between the parties. • Identifies barriers to an agreement. • Identifies interests of the parties. • Develops terms of agreement. (5) WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF MEDIATION - Mediation is : • prompt • Economical / No cost • Harmony • creates solutions / remedies • provides a win-win situation • Resolution of disputes • Parties control the outcome of a mediation • Convenient • informal • Private • Confidential • The plaintiff is entitled to refund of full court fees as per section 16 of the court fees Act. 1870 if the dispute is settled in mediation.