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Gandhinagar, Saturday: Emphasizing on speedy judicial process, President of India Shri Ram Nath
Kovind said that all parties should have a positive attitude towards mediation for the desired outcome in
justice. Over the past two decades, alternative dispute resolution methods have proved effective in the
judiciary. This can be a pleasant solution, especially in civil cases.

The two-day National Conference on Mediation and Information Technology at Ektanagar was launched
by President Shri Ram Nath Kovind in the presence of Governor Shri Acharya Devvrat, Chief Justice of
India Shri N.V. Ramana, Union Law Minister Shri Kiren Rijiju, Gujarat Chief Shri Bhupendra Patel And
judges of the Supreme Court and various High Courts.

President Shri Ram Nath Kovind

Speaking on the occasion, the President recalled his days as a legal practitioner and said that during
those years, the issue of ‘access to justice’ was one of the issues that remained on his mind. The word
“justice” contains a lot and is rightly emphasized in the preamble of our constitution. He emphasized the

need to focus on improving access to justice for all. He said that he had chosen the topics for the
conference very carefully. The Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanism and Information and
Communication Technology (ICT) are important in the judiciary for many reasons. But it is important to
them because it will help make the system more efficient and more capable of delivering justice, the
President said. The President said that over the last two decades, all parties have considered and
promoted mediation as an effective tool for resolving disputes. Many legal scholars have also observed
that in the case of civil rights, most of the cases pending in the courts between individuals are such that
they do not need a decision. In such cases the parties can resolve their dispute through structural
intervention of the mediators. The President said that the purpose of mediation was not to resolve the
dispute by any order or authority but instead, it was to encourage the parties to reach a settlement by
holding regular mediation meetings through mediation.

The law also provides an incentive. If any
pending case is settled through mediation, the entire court fee deposited by the applicant party is
refunded. Thus, in fact, each party is the winner in mediation. The President said that the concept of
moderation has not yet gained wide acceptance across the country. He noted that in some places there
are not enough trained intermediaries available. Infrastructure facilities need to be upgraded at many
intermediate centres. He said that in order for the wider population to benefit from this effective tool,
these obstacles need to be overcome as soon as possible. Moreover, if we want to achieve the desired
results, all parties must show a positive attitude towards moderation. In this regard, training can make a
big difference. Training can be provided at various levels, from introductory courses at the induction
stage to refresher courses for mid-career professionals. He also lauded the Supreme Court’s Mediation
and Reconciliation Project Committee for its excellent work in organizing training programs in the states.
Talking about another topic of the conference, namely information technology, the President said that
we have all gone through a very difficult crisis. Among the crises never seen before during the last two
years, if there was one hope it was with information and communication technology. ICT proved to be
the most helpful for essential activities and to keep the wheels of the economy moving. Like Remote
Working, Remote Learning helps to avoid disruption in learning. In a way, this crisis has proved to be an
opportunity for the digital revolution. People are rapidly adopting ICT to make public service delivery
more efficient. At a time when real gatherings had to be avoided, it was also possible to administer
justice through virtual hearings. The President also said that even before the pandemic the justice
delivery system had benefited from ICT to improve the quantity and quality of services provided to
lawyers and all stakeholders. He said that under the leadership of the e-Committee constituted in the
Supreme Court and with the active assistance and resource assistance of the Department of Justice,
Government of India, two phases of e-Court project have been completed as per policy and action plan
has been approved and adopted for the respective phases. As a result, statistics published on e-court
portals are easily accessible. The President said that, like other public bodies, the judiciary may have
faced many challenges in moving to the digital world, widely known as change management, and that is
part of the transformation. He said that there would be a full working session on “Future of Technology
in the Judiciary” during the conference. Among the many objectives of ICT adoption, improving access to
justice is paramount. This is not just a change for the sake of change, but a change for a better world. He
expressed confidence that this National Council would consider not only the vast potential of both
arbitration and ICT in the courts, but also how to best respond to the challenges that lie ahead.

Governor Shri Acharya Devvrat

Governor of Gujarat Shri Acharya Devvrat said that Parliament, Government and Judiciary are the pillars
of democracy. Describing the judiciary as a center of faith for all development, faith and belief, he added
that the nation can reach new heights of development if the government and the judiciary work in
harmony and integrity. He added that under the able leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi,
the country is moving towards becoming Atmanirbhar.

Even during COVID-19, the judiciary has played its role in guiding the government from time to time in
times of crisis. Expressing confidence that a beautiful society will be created if the citizens get
transparent and speedy justice, the Governor further said that, if we work with a positive and dedicated
spirit so that the criminals cannot escape and Dharmatma does not suffer then the faith of citizens in
justice system will increase. But it will grow, he added. The Governor expressed confidence that the
conference would be successful and inspiring for speedy delivery of justice to the citizens.

Chief Minister Shri Bhupendra Patel

Chief Minister Shri Bhupendra Patel by welcoming all to the land of Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar
Vallabhbhai Patel, Morarji Desai and renowned leader Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi of Gujarat,
On the occasion of the two-day National Judicial Conference being held at Kevadia said that, this
conference will prove to be important for strengthening the judiciary in the country. The Chief Minister
further added that, the conference being held on the occasion of Amrit Mahotsav of Independence
would be an essence of life for the judiciary in the country for the citizens to get justice quickly and
easily using information technology in the courts. Chief Minister added that Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, a
symbol of India’s unity and integrity and one of the inspiration for the whole of India, was a leading
example of mediation in the merger of 562 princely states, large and small, before independence. Even
in our Sanatan culture, the tradition of such mediation has existed for centuries. This tradition is
becoming relevant in the current justice system. He expressed confidence that today’s conference
would prove to be important for the parties to know their differences through different mediations and
to seek justice by adopting a compromise that is acceptable to them through mediation. The Chief
Minister added that mediators are helpful in resolving disputes expeditiously by the parties. Due to
which the court case comes to an end by resolving the dispute between the parties and the burden on
the court is downsized. He added that while maintaining the family spirit of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’,
the concept of ‘Family First’ persuasion has been adopted for the settlement of family disputes with the
intervention of social, religious and eminent persons outside the court-office. For this, committees have
also been formed at district and taluka level. This experiment has become a successful medium in
realizing the social principles of harmony, harmony and brotherhood which are the basic principles of
the constitution. The Chief Minister said that Gujarat, the country’s role model in the field of
information technology, is very much keen in fulfilling the Prime Minister’s vision of Digital by making
public services more transparent by using online process in public service projects and public works.

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