Pune has come up as the number one district in the state for settling the highest number of cases through mediation between January and September 2012.
Of the 2,718 cases referred for mediation,1,108 were settled during this period. Principal Pune district and sessions judge Anant Badar,secretary of Pune District Legal Services Authority (PDLSA) R K Malabade and two trained mediator lawyers Milind Pawar and Atul Gunjal were presented with a rotating trophy for this feat by Bombay High Court Chief Justice Mohit Shah on Saturday at the state-level conference on mediation held at Alpabachat Bhawan.
Lawyers and judges attributed this success to the highest number of mediators (101) in Pune district who have been trained by the Bombay HC. There are 19 judges in the city,three judges in taluks,eight advocate mediators in the city,70 in taluks and one trained retired judge mediator for mediation panels.
Mediation in Pune was introduced in 2006. Between 2006 and 2011,there was a gradual progress in mediation and momentum picked up after a number of training sessions were held by HC judges and lawyers, said S P Tavade,one of the trained mediator judges from Pune.
The conference was inaugurated by Justice S S Nijjar,judge,Supreme Court and chairman,Mediation and Conciliation Project Committee,New Delhi. Nijjar said it was a myth that lawyers lose out on revenue by referring cases for mediation. All heads of the district courts are expected to educate judges,lawyers and litigants from the rural areas about mediation. Only then,this alternative disputes redressal system will succeed, he said.
Chief Justice of Bombay HC Mohit Shah said mediation should not be looked upon just as a means for reducing pendency in courts.