The Courts in India have numerous cases pending due to which there is a delay in the delivery of justice and resolving of the conflicts. Some people even refrain from going to the courts due to the time-consuming process of the delivery of justice. Here, the methods of ADR come into play and arbitration and mediation are the best ways to resolve disputes without the interference of the court.

What is the meaning of the term “Mediation”?

  • Mediation is a private way for the resolution of the conflicts at a workplace because the facts of the case and the settlements remain within the organization which also provides the protection to the reputation of the individuals in an organization.
  • The term “mediation” is defined under section 3(h) of the Mediation Act, 2023 as, “’ mediation’ includes a process, whether referred to by the expression mediation, pre-litigation mediation, online mediation, community mediation, conciliation or an expression of similar import, whereby parties attempt to reach an amicable settlement of their dispute with the assistance of a third person referred to as mediator, who does not have the authority to impose a settlement upon the parties to the dispute;
  • “Mediator” is defined in Section 3(i) of the Mediation Act, 2023. “Mediator” means a person who is appointed to be a mediator, by the parties or by a mediation service provider, to undertake mediation, and includes a person registered as mediator with the Council.
  • Under Section 89 of the Civil Procedural Code, 1908, the courts have the power to refer the cases for resolution under ADR methods like arbitration, mediation and other methods described under this section.

How does Mediation help in the resolution of conflicts at the workplace?

  • There is a vital role that mediation plays in workplaces because it creates harmony in the workplace. Employees may engage in a dispute if there is a disagreement between the two parties. Here, an organization needs mediation mechanisms so there can be the reduction of disputes and work culture also improves in the organization. Mediation is applicable in cases where the formal disagreement results in disputes that can be resolved within the organization. When the parties in an organization reach mediation then cooperation also increases during the work assignments assigned in the organization.
  • There is a very important role that mediation plays and that’s the reduction of the consumption of time and all the employees who are working in an organization get a quick resolution for the disputes that are referred for mediation. Usually, the court may take time but if the parties agree then there can be quick resolution through mediation without directly approaching the court. Through mediation, resolution of conflicts is instant and more effective and saves the precious time of the organization and employees.
  • In the course of mediation, the parties involved get an opportunity to appoint their choice of a mediator who can pass an unbiased judgment in the interests of justice.
  • In civil cases, the character of the parties is not given consideration which may be possible if the disputes in the organization are referred to in the case of mediation. The parties also get a chance for the expression of their emotions which is not possible when the cases are being referred in the conventional courts as the court only believes in the facts and not the emotions of the parties.
  • There is also a choice that lies with the parties for the resolution of the disputes. The disputes resolved at workplaces save not only time but also the cost borne by both parties in appointing the advocates and paying the court fees which can be drastically high.

Limitations on the Decisions through Mediation at Workplaces

  • The criminal matters can’t get referred for mediation because parties can only get justice through the criminal courts and legal action would be required against the parties for the commission of the crimes and to bring them to justice.
  • The decision of mediation is not binding on the parties which can be enforced if a matter is referred for arbitration where arbitration awards can be enforceable on the parties.


Mediation is a benefit when it comes to the reduction of the burden of the courts. It is a less time-consuming process as parties get to choose the mediator, time and place but this method also comes with its own limitations. There are certain cases where there would still be a requirement for the interference of the courts so that suitable judgements can be passed in the interests of justice. Given this context, the Supreme Court of India was asked to rule on whether section 12A of the Commercial Courts Act, 2015 requires pre-litigation mediation. The Supreme Court provided an affirmative response in the case of Patil Automation Private Limited v. Raheja Engineers Private Limited (17 August 2022). In light of this, a claim cannot be brought before a Commercial Court before the parties have tried every avenue to resolve their differences through mediation.

Contributed by: Abhiraj Singh

Sushant University(2021-26)

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