Law Ministry Deliberates Ways To Reduce Government Litigation Accounting For 46% Of Pending Cases – …

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In a meeting held on Monday, the Law Ministry’s Department of Justice discussed ways by which pendency of cases can be reduced. The deliberations revealed that the Centre and the States were responsible for over 46% of the 3 crore plus cases pending before the Courts across the country. This was revealed through statistics provided by the Legal Information Management and Briefing System (LIMBS).

The participants further noted that while all States have formulated State Litigation Policies, a National Litigation Policy is still underway. This Policy will be aimed at providing mechanisms to ensure reduction in Government litigation, and will lay emphasis on exploring alternative means of dispute resolution.

The Department went on to suggest the following ways to reduce pendency-

  • Appointment of a nodal officer in every department at the Joint Secretary Level to coordinate effective resolution of the disputes.
  • Nodal Officer to regularly monitor the status of the cases.
  • Promotion of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms.
  • Encouragement of mediation as the preferred form of dispute resolution in service related matters.
  • Avoiding unnecessary filing of appeals.
  • Consideration of an intuitional ADR mechanism for resolution of cases between the government and private bodies.
  • Immediate withdrawal of vexatious litigation.

The Centre has also floated the idea of introducing online mediation on the lines of the Online Consumer Mediation Centre at NLSIU, Bangalore. The online platform, with the motto ‘Anytime Anywhere Dispute Resolution’ enables complainants to lodge the complaint online, after which it is forwarded to the company and both parties get 30 days to amicably negotiate and resolve the dispute. If the negotiation fails, the parties can opt for mediation. The platform then appoints a third party neutral arbitrator.

In Government related disputes, the complaint will be forwarded to the concerned department, after it is registered with the online platform. The nodal officer or panel of officers will then be responsible for initiating mediation, and the matter would be referred to arbitration, if no settlement is arrived within 30 days.

Read the Action plan here.

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