HC approves online meditation sessions via video conferencing during COVID-19

New Delhi, Jun 26 () The Delhi High Court Friday approved holding mediation sessions at its Samadhan centre via video conferencing till the time its regular functioning, which has been disrupted due to COVID-19 pandemic, is resumed.

Chief Justice D N Patel has approved the project which is an attempt to provide online mediation services in both pending as well as fresh cases to be referred by the court or filed by the parties for pre-litigation mediation/ conciliation.

A notice issued by the high court's organising secretary Veena Ralli said it will help in resolving disputes between the parties without their physical presence at the Delhi High Court.

The 'On-Line Meditation Project' will be under the high court's Mediation and Conciliation Centre, Samadhan. Advertisement

As per the data maintained by the mediation centre, presently there are 846 cases pending before it out of which 670 are court referred mediation matters, 172 are pre litigation or conciliation matters and 4 are pre-institution mediation.

Mediation is a process for resolving disputes with the assistance of a neutral third party who is trained and skilled to help the parties resolve their disputes and arrive at a consensus.

During the process, mediators may meet the parties for a joint or caucus session to explore the underlying interests of the parties that have caused them to take hardened positions on the issues between them, the notice said.

It added that the core elements of mediation are self-determination, confidentiality and voluntary participation and Samadhan has successfully mediated various matters of different jurisdictions from 2006 till date and is recognized as a model court annexed mediation centre.

The notice said the world is changing fast and use of technology has become part of every facet of life and it is imperative that Samadhan adopts this new way of life. "On-Line mediation is a futuristic approach and is just as effective as traditional mediation where parties sit face to face and resolve their issues. It is time that mediation reaches each house without being restricted by distance or borders and becomes more acceptable to people sitting at their homes. Advertisement

"On-Line mediation would definitely be a step forward in making this world a better place for everyone till the situation changes and it is safe to sit across the table to hold negotiations for the purpose of resolution of disputes," it said.

The proposed stepwise method for online mediation is formed in accordance with the rules framed by the high court for mediation, according to which if the court is satisfied that there are elements of settlement between the parties in a matter, it may refer them to Samadhan for conducting online mediation sessions through video conferencing.

The notice said on receipt of the order from the court, a mediator shall be appointed and the order shall be emailed to him or her. Advertisement

It said the centre shall coordinate with the mediator, the parties and their lawyers for facilitating holding of mediation sessions in terms of the referral order through CISCO WEBEX facilities provided to it and a web link with the time and date shall be sent separately to them through email for every meeting. SKV HMP SA

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