Suggesting a change to the prevailing Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) System in India, sitting judge of Supreme Court of India Justice J Chelameswar has said that after the adjudication is over through ADR, it must not be allowed to be challenged on the current rules in the legal system.
Justice Chelameswar said this while addressing a conclave on ‘Alternative Dispute Resolution: Mapping the Challenges in India’ organised by Unitedworld School of Law of Karnavati University at Uvarsad village near here, on Sunday.
Speaking on the occasion, Justice Chelameswar said, “I have a dubious distinction on ADR. By virtue of my present post, being the senior most judge of the (Supreme) Court next to the Chief Justice, traditionally the slot to assume the National Executive Chairmanship of (National) Legal Services Authority (was offered to me) which I declined…not because I do not subscribe to the ADR, but believe that if ADR is to succeed, in my opinion, the mechanism for the implementation of ADR in legal services must be totally different from the existing legal system…”
In his address on the occasion, Justice Chelameswar explained why he believes in bringing about changes to the implementation of the ADR system in India. “The very fact that (we need) alternative or additional (dispute resolution system) implicates that there are some inadequacies in it (current system) that we need something more than this…,” Justice Chelameswar said.
He then exlplained that under the current judicial system in India, adjudication takes decades. And that is the reason why people would go for ADR.
Justice Chelameswar indicated that parties to a legal dispute whose case is weak many times act shrewdly and indulge in multiple litigation to keep the matter on since it is beneficial to them. He cited how litigation before an arbitrator keeps shuttling between high courts and the supreme court causing immense delay in final adjudication. And therefore, he advocated the need to have a major change in implementation of the ADR system in India.
“If party agrees upon some adjudication mechanism…after the adjudication is over, challenging the adjudication once again on the same rules…would not really help the ADR system…the adjudication on the same rules on which regular appeals are being treated, ADR can never succeed,” Justice Chelameswar said while adding that the law makers and judges in India should ponder over the issue.