A first: HC constructs ‘kids zone’ for mothers fighting legal battles

For mothers who approach the Punjab and Haryana High Court looking for a solution to the unending legal battle,here is good news.

Written by RAGHAV OHRI | Chandigrah | Published: November 24, 2013 2:29:44 am

For mothers who approach the Punjab and Haryana High Court looking for a solution to the unending legal battle,here is good news. The High Court has constructed a unique “kids zone” to look after their children while they (mothers) focus on finding an amicable solution to their legal disputes.

It is for the first time in the region that such a “kids zone” has been constructed by a court. Realising the stress a mother has to shoulder especially when her child becomes restless while she is busy in sessions of mediation and conciliation,the High Court has taken this unique decision.

As of now,some toys,building blocks have been kept in the zone so that children remain “distracted” and busy playing. A corner,within the Mediation and Conciliation Centre,with translucent glass windows has been allocated for the children so that mothers and other relatives can also keep an eye on their children.

As per available information,there are plans to expand the “kids zone”,which will soon be formally inaugurated by the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Talking to Newsline,advocate Reeta Kohli,co-ordinator of the Mediation and Conciliation Centre,said,“It was noticed that over 90 per cent of cases which reach for mediation and conciliation are matrimonial disputes. And in half of the cases,it is the mothers who have to come to the centre with their children. With nobody to look after the kids,it becomes difficult for the mothers to focus on the sessions of mediation. In some cases,parties in litigation have to wait for mediators to arrive as they are busy in different courts.”

Kohli added that prompted by the plight of children and their mothers,it was decided to allocate separate space for the kids. Made to wait for long hours,she said,children get cranky which makes it difficult for mothers (and in some cases fathers) to concentrate on the mediation sessions.

Inaugurated in 2008,the Mediation and Conciliation Centre has 62 members,all lawyers. Cases pending for several years with no outcome in sight,and those wherein an amicable solution is possible are referred to this centre. Specially trained to mediate and conciliate warring parties,lawyers-cum-mediators attempt to find an amicable solution so that the litigation comes to an end. Unlike a court order which can be challenged before a superior court,a solution mutually reached upon by two parties in the Mediation and Conciliation Centre is final and cannot be challenged.

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