New Delhi [India], June 27 (ANI): Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu has granted a further extension of one month (from June 22) to the Department-related Parliamentary Standing committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice for examination and report on 'The Mediation Bill, 2021', a parliament bulletin said on Monday.
The Mediation Bill was referred to the standing committee for Parliamentary scrutiny in the last Winter Session of Parliament. Former Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar and BJP Rajya Sabha MP Sushil Kumar Modi is the chairman of this committee.
On the reason behind this extension, a source said, "The Bill has been thoroughly examined and we have consulted all possible stakeholders, therefore we need some more time to fine-tune the Bill before we can discuss it clause by clause and submit our report."
The source further added, "This is the first time the judiciary have been taken on board for thoroughly discussing the merit of the Bill. Amongst those chief justices, we have met the Chief Justice of the High Court of Karnataka, Bombay, and Madras amongst others. We have also spoken to the public at large, to litigants and also to the advocates to take their view on the Bill."
Several rounds of meeting to discuss the Bill have already taken place under the Chairmanship of Sushil Modi. The next round of the meeting is slated to take place on July 4.
In December 2021, the Central government introduced the 'Mediation Bill, 2021' in Rajya Sabha for its further consideration in the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law and Justice on the demand of the Opposition parties.
Earlier, on 5 November 2021, the Ministry of Law and Justice released a draft of this Mediation Bill, 2021 for public comments and consultation.
The Mediation Bill is "to promote and facilitate mediation, especially institutional mediation, for resolution of disputes, commercial or otherwise, enforce mediated settlement agreements, provide for a body for the registration of mediators, to encourage community mediation and to make online mediation as acceptable and cost-effective process and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto".
The Bill requires the persons to try to settle civil or commercial disputes through mediation before approaching any court or tribunal. A party may withdraw from mediation after two mediation sessions.
The mediation process must be completed within 180 days, which may be extended by another 180 days by the parties.
The Mediation Council of India will be set up. Its functions include registering mediators, and recognising mediation service providers and mediation institutes (which train and certify mediators)
The Bill also lists disputes that are not fit for the mediation (such as those involving criminal prosecution, or affecting the rights of the third parties). The central government may amend this list.
If the parties agree, they may appoint any person as a mediator. If not, they may apply to a mediation service provider to appoint a person from its panel of mediators.
Agreements resulting from mediation will be binding and enforceable in the same manner as court judgments. (ANI)