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Mediation Act, 2023 receives assent of President of India

Team SoOLEGAL 18 Sep 2023 6:11pm

Mediation Act, 2023 receives assent of President of India

New Delhi: The Mediation Act, 2023 received the President's assent and was published in the Gazette of India on September 15.

The Mediation Bill came into force on December 20, 2021, and was referred to a Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice headed by Sushil Kumar Modi.

On July 13, 2022, the committee submitted its report to the Rajya Sabha chairperson.

The Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha approved it on August 1 and 7, respectively.

Individuals are urged by the Act to make an effort to resolve civil or commercial disputes via mediation before resorting to any court or tribunal.

After two mediation sessions, a party may withdraw from the process. The mediation process itself should be completed within a period of 180 days, with the possibility of an additional 180-day extension if the parties agree.

The Mediation Council of India will be developed to oversee the mediation process. Its duties include registering mediators and recognizing mediation service providers and mediation institutes that train and certify mediators.

Certain disputes, like those involving criminal prosecution or affecting the rights of third parties, are deemed inappropriate for mediation. If needed, the Central Government may amend this list.

If the parties agree, they can appoint any individual as a mediator. If they are unable to reach an agreement on the mediator, they can seek the guidance of a mediation service provider, who will appoint a mediator from its panel of qualified mediators.

Successful mediation agreements will be legally binding and enforceable in the same way as court judgments.

The Act has been criticized for making participation in pre-litigation mediation mandatory, which goes against mediation's traditional voluntary nature.

 

Another significant issue is that the Mediation Council, which is in charge of regulating the profession of mediators, lacks adequate representation of experienced practitioners, in contrast to other professional regulators such as the Bar Council of India (BCI).

Furthermore, the Council necessitates prior approval from the Central Government for its regulations, raising concerns about the government's potential participation in mediations as a party.

Furthermore, the Act does not provide for the enforcement of settlement agreements reached through international mediations held outside of India.



Tagged: Mediation Act  
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