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Karnataka HC: Parties consent not necessary to refer for mediation

2 min read

Shivangi Prakash-

Published on: September 5, 2021, at 09:59 IST

The Karnataka High Court has concluded that the Courts cannot shorten the time frame specified for the Mediation process and that the Courts do not need the consent of either the parties or their lawyers to submit matters to Mediation for an amicable resolution.

The Order was issued by Justice Suraj Govindaraj in response to a petition filed by Amalapooh Mary and others.

The petition challenged a Bengaluru City Civil Court’s decision to refuse to extend the time for Mediation and to give less than 60 days for initial Mediation, which was in violation of the Karnataka Civil Procedure (Mediation) Rules, 2005.

The High Court ruled “Any Court exercising power under Section 89 of the Code of Civil Procedure would have to invariably rather mandatorily refer all matters to mediation, except those excluded as per the Apex Court’s 2010 decision in the case of Afcons Infrastructure vs. Cherian Varkey Construction Co”

The High Court stated that if any of the parties fail to appear for Mediation as requested by the Court, the Courts may exercise their powers under Rule 13 of the Mediation Rules and impose such costs as it sees fit to compel the parties to appear before the Mediator appointed by the respective Mediation Centres.

The High Court stated that all Courts must fix the time frame for Mediation from the date of the parties’ initial appearance before the Mediator, creating a clear 60-day period for mediation.

The time spent on administrative tasks such as transferring files from the separate Courts to the Mediation Centre, hiring a Mediator, and disseminating information on the Mediator’s appointment, among other things, must be omitted from the 60-day term.

If the Court determines that the period for completing Mediation should be extended based on the Mediator’s report, the parties’ request, or the Court’s own opinion, the matter should be referred back to the Mediator for an additional 30 days.

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