Deepanjan Chakraborty


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In the recent time with the increase in the number of litigation the Indian Judiciary is pressurized with double work to provide justice to the people. The alternate dispute resolution comes as relief to the judiciary system to resolve cases related to petty issues. It is seen that with rapid development there has been a drastic increase in the cases making the courts overburdened and leading to slow adjudication. As a result, alternative dispute resolution mechanisms have become more crucial for businesses operating in India as well as those doing businesses with Indian firms. The alternate dispute resolution system refers to the mechanism where the dispute between the parties are resolved without actually visiting the courts. A detailed analysis of the ADR system in relation to Indian legislation is provided further. 


  • The term arbitration refers to the procedure in which a dispute is being submitted to the arbitral tribunal who further gives an award on the dispute which is binding on both the parties.
  • It is a non -judicial procedure and following are the requirements of an arbitration
  1. Arbitration agreement
  2. A dispute between the two parties
  3. Reference of the dispute to the third party.
  4. An award by the third party
  • The procedure is less formal and the rules of evidence is applicable
  • The parties do not have the right to appeal an arbitrator decision.
  • There are different types of arbitration
  1. Ad Hoc Arbitration
  2. Institutional Arbitration
  3. Statutory Arbitration
  4. Fast track arbitration


  • It’s a non- binding where the impartial third party ( conciliator) shall assist the disputed party to mutually resolve the issue and have a satisfactory agreed settlement.
  • Here the parties have the option either to accept the award or to reject it because conciliation is less formal than arbitration.
  • Section 61 of the 1996 Act provides for conciliation of disputes arising out of legal relationship, whether contractual or not and to all proceedings relating thereto. After its enactment, there can be no objection, for not permitting the parties to enter into a conciliation agreement regarding the settlement of even future disputes.
  • In this process a neutral person is appointed by the disputed party who may resolve the matter in relatively unstructured way, where the third party makes an attempt to communicate between the dispute party and settle the difference.



  • Mediation is a process in which the mediator, who is an external person, neutral to the dispute, works with the parties to find a solution which is agreeable to all of them.
  • The basic motive of mediation is to provide the parties with an opportunity to negotiate, converse and explore options aided by a neutral third party, to exhaustively determine if a settlement is possible
  • The mediator never decides the dispute but communicates with the parties to settle the issue.
  • Mediation leaves control of the outcome with the parties to decide and settle the same.
  • A good example of mediation are the village panchayat .


  • It is a non- binding procedure where the dispute is resolved between the parties with the interference of the third party with the object being negotiating settlement dispute.
  • This occurs in , non-profit organizations, government branches, legal proceedings, among nations and in personal situations such as marriage, divorce, parenting, and everyday life.
  • In India, Negotiation doesn’t have any statutory recognition. Negotiation is self counseling between the parties to resolve their dispute. Negotiation is a process that has no fixed rules.
  • The essentials of negotiation are as follows:
  1. It resolves conflicts;
  2. It is a voluntary exercise;
  3. It is a non-binding process;
  4. Parties retain control over outcome and procedure


  • An interesting feature of the Indian legal system is the existence of voluntary agencies called Lok Adalats (Peoples' Courts).
  • The Legal Services Authorities Act was passed in 1987 to encourage out-of-court settlements, and
  • the new Arbitration and Conciliation Act was enacted in 1996.
  • Lok Adalat or "People's Court" comprises an informal setting which facilitates negotiations in the presence of a judicial officer wherein cases are dispensed without undue emphasis on legal technicalities.
  • The order of the Lok-Adalat is final and shall be deemed to be a decree of a civil court and shall be binding on the parties to the dispute.
  • The order of the Lok-Adalat is not appealable in a court of law



The following points can be summarised to understand the advantages of having an alternate dispute resolution in India :

  1. It helps in dealing with the huge pendency of cases as it plays a significant role by application of diverse technique in the courts of India
  2. It provides for various modes of dispute settlement like mediation, negotiation, arbitration etc which helps the parties in dispute to resolve the matter with ease .
  3. ADR is well-known for providing with scientific technique to the Indian judicaiary which ultimately benefits the courts to reduce its burden.
  4. There has been a clear success record of ADR for clearing the backlogs of cases and it was seen that more than 50 lakh cases were disposed off alone by the Lok Adalat within a term of 3 years.
  5. ADR strict follows the policy of equal just and consider article 39 A of Directive Principle of State Policy (DPSP) as its preamble.
  6. This well-know system is based on fundamental rights of equality and right to life and personal liberty.
  7. Apart from having such great advantage the only thing lacking is the lack of awareness about the facilities of these mechanism and correct procedure of availing it.
  8. ADR is cost effective and is efficient to solving disputes in less time and cost.
  9. Since the procedures under this system are not very technical people find it easier to apply this mechanism and also be free from fear of court of law.
  10. This system helps in managing the relationship between the parties in an efficient manner so that everything is well preserved in the best interest of the parties.



The important provisions which provide alternate dispute resolution system are as follows:

  1. Section 89 of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908 provides for opportunity to people, if it appears to court there exist elements of settlement outside the court then court formulate the terms of the possible settlement and refer the same for: Arbitration, Conciliation, Mediation or Lok Adalat.
  2. Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 primarily aimed at cost effective and quick mechanism of the commercial dispute settlement and covered domestic and international arbitration dispute. It made its mark by finding an alternative solution as against the adversarial litigation system in India
  3. The Legal Services Authority Act, 1987 had its main objective to provide for free and competent legal service to the poor and it was this act that brought in the concept of Lok Adalat . Section 19, 20 ,21 and 22 of the Act deals with the establishment of Lok Adalat in this Act.
  4. The Geneva Protocol on Arbitration Clauses 1923
  5. Indian Arbitration Act 1899, defined the expression submission that is a written agreement to submit present and future difference to arbitration.
  6. The Arbitration (Protocol and Convention) Act, 1937.
  7. The Arbitration Act, 1940.


With the advent of the alternate dispute resolution, there is new avenue for the people to settle their disputes. The settlement of disputes in Lok Adalat quickly has acquired good popularity among the public and this has really given rise to a new force to ADR and this will no doubt reduce the pendency in law Courts. There is an urgent need for justice dispensation through ADR mechanisms. The ADR movement needs to be carried forward with greater speed. This will considerably reduce the load on the courts apart from providing instant justice at the door-step, without substantial cost being involved. If they are successfully given effect then it will really achieve the goal of rendering social justice to the parties to the dispute.


By Deepanjan Chakraborty
BBA LLB 7th semester

Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies

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