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Supreme Court on Thursday has issued notice to the Centre government and sought its reply over a plea seeking formulation of the standard operating procedure (SOP) for mandating pre-litigation mediation throughout the country in order to reduce the pending cases.

Besides the Centre government, the top court bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde, Justice A S Bopanna, and Justice V Ramasubramanian has also issued notice to the Ministry of Law and Justice and also to the various High Courts on the plea.

“Issue notice returnable in four weeks,” said the court.

The bench was hearing a plea filed by Youth Bar Association of India and advocate Sanpreet Singh Ajmani who had suggested that alternate and pre-litigation processes must be made mandatory to manage and reduce the pending cases.

“Use of alternate dispute resolution mechanisms will help to control frivolous matters coming up for hearing by giving an opportunity to parties to settle their disputes amicably before any litigation can start,” said the petition.

The plea also argued, “Pre-litigation mediation is an attempt to resolve the dispute among the parties amicably with the help of neutral third party called Mediator before going to the court or even before filing litigation or sending a notice.”

The plea mentioned that this way parties are going to end the dispute in a win-win position. It was also stated that the process is inexpensive when compared to the expenditure incurred on every stage of litigation.

“To reduce the number of pending cases, the Government should work on a mechanism to introduce a pre-litigation mediation process, so that avoidable cases can be prevented from reaching the courts and settle the issue effectively,” said the petition.


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