Section 89 of The Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 India, is a significant provision that promotes the settlement of disputes through alternative methods such as mediation, conciliation, or arbitration. This provision aims to facilitate faster and more amicable resolution of civil cases, reducing the burden on the courts and providing parties with more control over the outcome of their disputes.
Under Section 89, when a court is satisfied that there exists an element of settlement in a dispute, it shall formulate the terms of settlement and give them to the parties for their observations. The court may also refer the parties to alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods such as mediation, conciliation, or arbitration. If the parties reach a settlement through these methods, they shall submit the terms of settlement to the court for recording and passing a decree in accordance with it.
One of the key advantages of Section 89 is that it allows parties to resolve their disputes outside of the traditional court system. This not only saves time and costs but also promotes a more cooperative and less adversarial approach to resolving conflicts. Additionally, ADR methods often provide more flexible and creative solutions that may not be available through litigation.
Let us now explore some relevant sections of law and case laws that highlight the importance and application of Section 89:
1. Section 89(1): This section emphasizes that courts should encourage parties to settle their disputes by alternative means rather than going through lengthy litigation processes.
2. Section 89(2): This section provides a list of ADR methods that can be used for settlement, including mediation, conciliation, judicial settlement, or arbitration.
3. Section 89(2)(d): This section specifically mentions arbitration as an alternative method for dispute resolution. It highlights the importance of arbitration in providing a binding decision by a neutral third party.
4. Section 89(2)(e): This section mentions Lok Adalats as another form of ADR that can be used for settlement. Lok Adalats are informal forums where disputes are resolved through conciliation and compromise.
Now, let us discuss some case laws that illustrate the application of Section 89:
1. Afcons Infrastructure Ltd. v. Cherian Varkey Construction Co. Pvt. Ltd. (2010): In this case, the Supreme Court emphasized the importance of ADR methods in resolving disputes and held that courts should actively promote settlement through mediation or conciliation.
2. Salem Advocate Bar Association, Tamil Nadu v. Union of India (2005): The Supreme Court held that Section 89 is mandatory and courts should refer cases to ADR methods unless there are exceptional circumstances.
3. Damodar S. Prabhu v. Sayed Babalal H. (2010): In this case, the Bombay High Court highlighted the effectiveness of mediation in resolving disputes and encouraged parties to opt for mediation before approaching the court.
4. State of Punjab v. Jalour Singh (2008): The Supreme Court held that even in criminal cases, where permissible by law, parties should be encouraged to settle their disputes through ADR methods.
Now, let us consider the relevance of Section 89 to Non Resident Indians (NRI). NRIs often face unique challenges when it comes to resolving disputes in India. They may find it difficult to physically appear in court or navigate the complexities of the legal system from abroad. Section 89 provides NRIs with an alternative avenue for resolving their disputes without the need for extensive court involvement.
NRIs can utilize ADR methods such as mediation or arbitration to resolve their civil cases more efficiently and effectively. These methods allow them to actively participate in the resolution process, even from a distance, and have more control over the outcome of their disputes.
In conclusion, Section 89 of The Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 India, plays a crucial role in promoting the settlement of disputes through alternative methods like mediation, conciliation, or arbitration. This provision not only facilitates faster and more amicable resolution of civil cases but also provides parties, including NRIs, with greater control and flexibility in resolving their disputes. It is imperative for courts to actively encourage parties to explore ADR methods and ensure the effective implementation of Section 89 for a more efficient and accessible justice system.