Humans are social animals and their active interaction within society leads to various types of conflicts and disputes. From budding cultures and societies to already developed ones, these conflicts and disputes are inevitable. The history of humankind has witnessed the rise of disputes with the evolution of the human species along with the evolution of nature and kinds of disputes have also evolved. Amicable settlement of disputes in various forms has always been an integral part of any civilized society and our Indian society being one of the oldest civilizations in the world has also witnessed this over a while; be it formal or informal. With the evolution of various laws and professionalization of the judicial setup, these modes of dispute settlement have been attributed with different names e.g. mediation, negotiation, conciliation, etc.
Moreover, an increase in general awareness amongst individuals about their rights has also led to a massive rise in judicial pendency of cases in the Indian Courts. At present, in India, 3.9 crore cases are pending in the district and subordinate courts, 58.5 lakh cases in the various high courts, and more than 69,000 cases in the Supreme Court and this has become a major concern for the Indian legal system.
It is often said that justice delayed is justice denied and to avoid such a situation, we need to adopt various alternative modes and mediation comes out to be one of the most favoured choices, due to its efficiency, accountability and convenience. However, when it comes to its acceptance in the Indian legal setup, it has a long way to go. We do have laws that talk about mediation, yet all these provisions are scattered across various rules and statutes and this makes the ongoing system less accountable. Thus, the need for separate mediation laws in India is the need of the hour.
Therefore, this paper will deal with the need and urgency of mediation laws in India.