Saturday, 12 January 2019

What is appropriate stage for referring dispute to mediation in Family disputes?

Having regard to the provisions of Section 89 and Rule 1A of Order 10, the stage at which the court should explore whether the matter should be referred to ADR processes, is after the pleadings are complete, and before framing the issues, when the matter is taken up for preliminary hearing for examination of parties under Order 10 of the Code. However, if for any reason, the court had missed the opportunity to consider and refer the matter to ADR processes under Section 89 before framing issues, nothing prevents the court from resorting to Section 89 even after framing issues. But once evidence is commenced, the court will be reluctant to refer the matter to the ADR processes lest it becomes a tool for protracting the trial.

30. Though in civil suits, the appropriate stage for considering reference to ADR processes is after the completion of pleadings, in family disputes or matrimonial cases, the position can be slightly different. In those cases, the relationship becomes hostile on account of the various allegations in the petition against the spouse. The hostility will be further aggravated by the counter-allegations made by the respondent in his or her written statement or objections. Therefore, as far as Family Courts are concerned, the ideal stage for mediation will be immediately after service of respondent and before the respondent files objections/written statements. Be that as it may.

Civil Appeal No. 6000 of 2010 (Arising out of SLP (C) No. 760 of 2007)

Decided On: 26.07.2010

Afcons Infrastructure Ltd. Vs.  Cherian Varkey Construction Co. (P) Ltd. and Ors.

Hon'ble Judges/Coram:
R.V. Raveendran and J.M. Panchal, JJ.
Citation: ( 2010 ) 8 SCC 24.
Read full judgment here: Click here

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