CJI calls for committed role between Bar, Court

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Bangalore, Jan 19 (UNI) Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan today said the Bar and the Court must work in tandem to make mediation a success method to settle cases pending in various courts in the country.

Inaugurating the first anniversary celebration of Bangalore Mediation Centre and South India Regional Conference on Mediation, he said in many foreign countries mediation was preferred for settling the cases.

''Unlike in foreign countries, where most of the cases are settled through mediation, the litigation fee is not costly in India, '' he said adding ''mediation will be a useful mechanism to reduce the large backlog of cases in the courts.'' He said despite having a vibrant democracy, the legal system in India had failed to reduce the number of cases pending in our courts.

Justice Balakrishnan said mediation reduced cost, time and stress compared to court-based litigation process.

''Lawyers and mediation are not diverging concepts, but two sides of a coin,'' he added.

Union Minister of Law and Justice H R Bhardwaj, in his key note address, said despite efforts to reduce the number of cases pending in various courts the number increased day by day.

Lok Adalat and Legal Aid Systems failed to reduce the number of cases.

Technical upgradation and more infrastructure might help in disposing of more number of cases, he said.

Dr Bhardwaj said though the country had a million lawyers, 90 per cent of them had become defunct.

He said the term of Chief Justices may be fixed for five years.

''In my personal opinion the term of Chief Justices should be for a minimum of five years,'' he added.

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