AGARTALA, Nov 28 - Tripura could become a litigation-free State within next couple of years if potential of mediation programme is exploited fully, said Supreme Court Judge Madan B Lokur.
Pendency of cases is low in Tripura with around 20,000 cases pending decision, while other Northeastern States � Mizoram, Meghalaya and Manipur also have less number of litigations, he said while speaking at a regional conference on mediation at the High Court of Tripura�s auditorium here on Saturday.
�In the North East, settlement culture of disputes locally is already in place where both parties are happy. We have to encash and encourage this kind of practice. Yes, some cases do come to the court for settlement but pendency of cases is still low here�, he observed. Pointing out the benefits of mediation programme, Justice Lokur said a win-win situation is ensured for both parties as it is based on consensus whereas at the court one party is bound to suffer defeat.
Clearing doubts on the mediation process, Justice Lokur further said mediation programme has been doing well in some States without any complaint. Noting that the mediation programme would not jeopardise the justice delivery system in the country, he said, �We have to look at the programme with a different perspective and different mindset.�
He further opined family disputes, which are on the rise in the State, could be settled amicably through the mediation programme. Besides, motor accident and negotiable maintenance cases could also be tried through mediation process. In his address, Supreme Court Judge Justice Amitava Roy pointed out the number of litigations in the country has been swelling every passing day. �It shows people are keeping faith on the judiciary�, he said.
Calling up all stakeholders to make mediation as part of living process, Justice Roy said judges, lawyers, judicial officers must come in a big way to make people aware about the utility of mediation process.
�In Northeast India, mediation is well known phenomenon among various ethnic tribes. It means root of mediation is already exist in the region and we have to just take the process forward�, he said.
Chief Justice of High Court of Tripura Deepak Gupta, who is also Patron in Chief of Tripura State Legal Services Authority (TSLSA), said the North East is lagging behind in promoting mediation programme.
�The NE has its own system to settle disputes but still we have to go a long way�, he said adding that mediators must ensure communication between two parties. Justice Subhasish Talapatra, Justice UB Saha and Justice SC Das were present in the inaugural function of the two-day conference organised by Tripura State Legal Service Authority.