Role of Courts in Promoting and Supporting Mediation in India

 At Meliora Legal Center, we understand the significance of effective communication and the role it plays in resolving disputes. In this article, we will explore the important role that courts in India play in promoting and supporting mediation as an alternative dispute resolution mechanism. With a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter, we aim to provide you with valuable insights for mediation-related information.

What is Mediation

Mediation is a voluntary and confidential process in which parties involved in a dispute work collaboratively with a neutral third party, known as a mediator, to reach a mutually agreeable resolution. Unlike litigation, which involves adversarial proceedings in court, mediation offers a more flexible and cooperative approach to resolving conflicts. The mediator facilitates communication between the parties, helping them explore their interests, identify common ground, and generate creative solutions.

The Emergence of Mediation in India

Over the years, India has recognized the significance of mediation as an effective means of dispute resolution. The judiciary, with its vast reach and authority, has played a pivotal role in promoting and supporting mediation. Recognizing the need for an efficient and accessible justice system, Indian courts have actively encouraged parties to opt for mediation before resorting to litigation.

Court-Annexed Mediation

To facilitate the integration of mediation into the Indian legal framework, many courts across the country have introduced court-annexed mediation programs. These programs aim to reduce the burden on the judicial system and promote timely resolution of disputes. Under court-annexed mediation, parties have the opportunity to engage in mediation sessions conducted by trained and accredited mediators, appointed by the court.

As part of this scheme, in case of husband-wife disputes, when family court receives one party divorce petition under section 13 of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, the court recommends and/or sends both the party for mediation first.

What is the Meaning of Court-Annexed Mediation

Court-Annexed Mediation refers to a process where mediation services are provided within the premises of a court or under the supervision of the court. It is a mechanism in which courts actively encourage parties involved in a dispute to engage in mediation as an alternative method of resolving their conflicts. The court facilitates and supports the mediation process by appointing trained and accredited mediators and providing suitable facilities for the mediation sessions to take place.

In court-annexed mediation, the court refers cases to mediation either at the request of the parties or on its own initiative. The parties have the opportunity to participate voluntarily in mediation sessions, where a neutral and impartial mediator assists them in exploring their issues, interests, and potential solutions. The mediator does not impose a decision but helps the parties communicate effectively, understand each other's perspectives, and work towards a mutually acceptable resolution.

Court-annexed mediation offers several advantages, including a faster resolution of disputes, cost-effectiveness, preservation of relationships, and confidentiality. It aims to reduce the burden on the court system by diverting cases that are suitable for mediation away from lengthy and adversarial litigation processes. By promoting open dialogue and cooperation, court-annexed mediation encourages parties to actively participate in finding creative solutions tailored to their specific needs.

Likewise, court-annexed mediation serves as an efficient and accessible alternative to traditional litigation, providing parties with a structured process that can lead to mutually satisfactory outcomes while maintaining the court's oversight and support.


Advantages of Court-Annexed Mediation

Following are the major advantages of court-annexed mediation:

1. Speedy Resolution: Court-annexed mediation expedites the resolution process by providing parties with an alternative route to resolve their disputes. It helps alleviate the backlog of cases in the courts, allowing for quicker resolution of disputes.

2. Cost-Effectiveness: Mediation is often more cost-effective compared to litigation. By opting for mediation, parties can save on legal fees, court expenses, and the potential loss of productivity caused by prolonged litigation.

3. Preservation of Relationships: Mediation promotes a cooperative environment, allowing parties to preserve their relationships even after the dispute is resolved. Unlike adversarial litigation, which can strain relationships, mediation focuses on mutual understanding and finding common ground.

4. Confidentiality: Mediation proceedings are confidential, ensuring that sensitive information shared during the process remains private. This confidentiality fosters open and honest communication between the parties, leading to more effective resolution outcomes.

Judicial Support for Mediation

Indian courts have demonstrated strong support for mediation as a means of dispute resolution. The Supreme Court of India and various High Courts have issued guidelines and judgments emphasizing the importance of mediation and encouraging parties to consider it as an alternative.

Role of Judges in Promoting Mediation

Judges in India have actively promoted mediation by referring cases to mediation centers and encouraging parties to explore mediation as a viable option. They have recognized that mediation not only facilitates timely resolution but also empowers parties to actively participate in shaping the outcome of their disputes. Judges play a crucial role in creating awareness about mediation and its benefits, thereby promoting its wider adoption.

Mediation as a Legal Right

The Indian legal system has recognized the right of parties to choose mediation as a means of resolving their disputes. The Civil Procedure Code of India includes provisions that empower courts to refer cases to mediation. Additionally, the judiciary has emphasized the need for lawyers to inform their clients about the option of mediation and encourage its use.


The role of courts in promoting and supporting mediation in India is instrumental in establishing it as a viable and effective alternative to traditional litigation. The introduction of court-annexed mediation programs and the active involvement of judges have contributed to the growth of mediation in the country. By embracing mediation, parties can benefit from its numerous advantages, including speedier resolutions, cost-effectiveness, preservation of relationships, and confidentiality. As a leading authority in dispute resolution, Meliora Legal System is committed to providing valuable information and guidance to help you understand the role of courts in promoting and supporting mediation in India.

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