Time Limit (Section 18)

According to the Act, the mediation proceeding must be completed within 120 days from the date of the mediator’s first appearance. This deadline can be extended by a maximum of 60 days if both parties agree. Additionally, the Commercial Courts Act 2015, which applies to pre-institution mediation, is also proposed to be amended. Currently, this Act requires the mediation process to be completed within three months from the date the plaintiff applies for it, with a possible extension of two months with the consent of the parties. Therefore, while party autonomy is respected, the Mediation Act aims to strike a balance by establishing clear timelines that prevent unnecessary delays and ensure that mediation remains a structured and productive process.

Registration and Enforcement of Mediation Agreement

Section 19 and 20 of the Act deals with the registration of the Agreement and Chapter VI deals with the enforcement of the Mediation Agreement.  Mediated settlement agreement arrived at between the parties, other than those arrived in a court or tribunal referred mediation or award of Lok Adalat or final award of the Permanent Lok Adalat under section 21 or section 22E of the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987, may, at the option of parties, be registered with an Authority constituted under the said Act, or any other body as may be notified by the Central Government, in such manner as may be specified and such Authority or body shall issue a unique registration number to such settlement agreements.

This can be done within 180 days (with a possible extension) of receiving the authenticated copy of the agreement. Registration is not mandatory, and the implications are provided under Explanation which says- For the removal of doubts, it is clarified that nothing contained in this sub-section shall affect the rights of parties to enforce the mediated settlement agreement under section 27 or challenge the same under section 28.


A mediated settlement agreement resulting from a mediation signed by the parties and authenticated by the mediator shall be final and binding on the parties and persons claiming under them respectively and enforceable as per the provisions of sub-section (2).

The mediated settlement agreement shall be enforced in accordance with the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, in the same manner as if it were a judgment or decree passed by a court, and may, accordingly, be relied on by any of the parties or persons claiming through them, by way of defense, set off or otherwise in any legal proceeding.

Grounds of Challenging Mediation Agreement (Section 28)

A mediated settlement agreement may be challenged only on all or any of the following grounds, namely:—

(i) fraud

 (ii) corruption

(iii) impersonation

(iv) where the mediation was conducted in disputes or matters not fit for mediation under section 6.

An application for challenging the mediated settlement agreement shall not be made after ninety days have elapsed from the date on which the party making that application has received the copy of the mediated settlement agreement.

Provided that if the court or tribunal, as the case may be, is satisfied that the applicant was prevented by sufficient cause from making the application within the said period of ninety days, it may entertain the application within a further period of ninety days.

Online Mediation (Section 30 )

Online mediation including pre-litigation mediation may be conducted at any stage of mediation under this Act, with the written consent of the parties including by the use of electronic form or computer networks but not limited to an encrypted electronic mail service, secure chat rooms or conferencing by video or audio mode or both. The process of online mediation shall be in such manner as may be specified. The conduct of online mediation shall be in the circumstances, which ensure that the essential elements of integrity of proceedings and confidentiality are maintained at all times and the mediator may take such appropriate steps in this regard as he deems fit.

Written by Adv Rohit Yadav D/8639/2019

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