Senior lawyer Zafar Iqbal Kalanuri, member of Lahore High Court (LHC) mediation committee, has said that the performance of the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) centres has been remarkable in disposal of cases across the Punjab province. However, it could be doubled as there is always room for improvement, he said while talking to media here on Sunday.
He said that the recent initiative of the LHC regarding establishment of court annexed ADR centres was producing desired results. These centres managed to settle the cases pending for several years in a short period of time, he added.
Kalanuri said that a total of 39 ADR centres are working in 36 districts of the province currently and they successfully mediated 7,439 cases, out of total 8,372 cases referred to them thus far, since their formation in June last. He said 87.4 per cent of the cases were successfully mediated, which is a good achievement.
The lawyer said that the ADR/ mediation had proved a ray of hope for the litigants seeking quick disposal of cases, and it is hoped now that a major chunk of the pending cases would be disposed of through it in the coming months.
“If half of the pending cases are disposed of through mediation, then the disposal of remaining half cases could be accelerated through the new rules, which an LHC committee has approved.
“However, these rules are pending approval by the full court,” he added. Kalanuri said that the LHC had constituted a committee comprising Justice Muhammad Anwaarul Haq, Justice Shahid Bilal Hassan and him, and it was tasked to supervise the ADR programme and make recommendations for enhancing its jurisdiction.
He said that the committee was considering recommending training/ accreditation of all district judges to enhance the output of the ADR programme. He believes that judges would be able to refer more cases to the ADR centres after receiving the appropriate training.
The committee is considering imparting mediation training at the bar level to encourage lawyers to become part of the mediation process, he added. The committee was considering recommending proposal of mediation between the parties before registration of the First Information Report (FIR) in criminal disputes, which were already compoundable in existing laws to check the trend of litigation, he added.