HYDERABAD: Chief Justice of India Justice N. V. Ramana on Saturday said that approaching the court for justice should be the last resort. He suggested that one should explore alternatives like arbitration, mediation and conciliation before approaching courts.
Justice Ramana was addressing the curtain raiser and stakeholders’ conclave of the International Arbitration and Mediation Centre (IAMC) in the city. He announced that IAMC will be inaugurated on December 18 at a temporary accommodation in Nanakramguda and thanked Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao for coming forward to allot land in Puppalaguda to construct a permanent building for the centre. He added that Hyderabad was the right place for establishment of the IAMC.
"My advice, after working in the legal profession for over 40 years in different capacities, is that you must keep the option of going to courts as a last resort. Use this last resort only after exploring the option of ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution)," he said.
Justice Ramana said solutions could be found in less time through mediation. He said the distribution of assets should be made amicably by the family members and thus avoid wasting time running around the courts for years.
Referring to the ‘Mahabharata’, Justice Ramana said it provided the example of an early attempt at mediation as a conflict-resolution tool, where Lord Krishna attempted to mediate the dispute between the Pandavas and the Kauravas. "It may be worthwhile to recall that the failure of mediation led to disastrous consequences," he noted.
Justice Ramana said, "The most important factor behind the resolution of any dispute is having the right attitude. By right attitude, I mean we should leave aside our ego, emotions, impatience and embrace practicality. But, once these conflicts enter a court, much gets lost in the practice and procedure."
He pointed out that despite the presence of some arbitration centres in the country, Indian parties that enter into an international arbitration agreement often opt for an arbitration centre outside India, thereby incurring huge expenses. He expressed confidence that
the Hyderabad centre would change this trend.
The centre had the best infrastructure and internationally acclaimed arbitrators and mediators were on its panel, Ramana said, adding that the best practices from across the world were being taken into consideration to ensure efficient functioning of the centre and for drafting the rules. The Hyderabad centre would soon be comparable to arbitral institutions like the reputed Singapore International Arbitration Centre, he said.
"When I expressed my thoughts for the first time in Hyderabad in June this year, the Chief Minister reacted in a positive manner and has provided all support without any delay. Our thoughts became a reality only with the help of the Chief Minister," Justice Ramana said.