One of the most common arguments that are put forth against the parties going for mediation is that a settlement arrived through mediation is ultimately unenforceable therefore, the entire exercise of mediation is at the most a formality that is futile. This has been the long-standing notion that needed an immediate fix in the fast- and ever-growing world, and this notion is now changing.
The Supreme Court has, therefore, thought it would be best if the Parliament could consider enacting legislation to give mediation the status of a decree. Having such a provision in place would help invoke important provisions under various laws, which provide for mediation as an effective mode of dispute settlement.
Introduction of mediation as a form of dispute resolution is important because it ultimately improves the ease of doing business because contracts can be respected in a better and quicker fashion. The importance of alternative and quicker forms of dispute resolution in a country to promote its ease of doing business has been mentioned time and again in both the 2018 and 2019 Ease of Doing Reports of the World Bank.
On January 12th, 2020, a committee headed by mediator Niranjan Bhat, met in Hyderabad to consider a legislation put forth by mediators from all over India. Emphasis was made on confidentiality, voluntary nature of the process, neutrality etc. This would ultimately promote pre-litigation mediation. The Chief Justice of India, SA Bobde, in an interview with Economic Times also stated that "All (Commercial matters) could be made to first go through pre-litigation mediation." This would ultimately promote private mediation as opposed to court annexed mediation that would ultimately help in redressing disputes quicker and faster.
EVOLUTION OF MEDIATION IN INDIA:
THE 2 KINDS OF MEDIATION IN INDIA:
Ever since 2005, mediation was mainly court-annexed. The subject matters that were most prone for mediation were matrimonial and family law disputes – namely divorce, partition, restitution of conjugal rights, dowry prohibition etc.
The other kind of mediation, the one that needs a great push is private mediation. Very few institutions have been set up that carry out private mediation. Such mediation exercises often lack enforcement and they have to either enter into a fresh contract or file the settlement in a court for a decree.
THE NEED OF THE HOUR:
These are a few things that a model law should address in all certainty.
With all these factors coming together, India could strive to close the gap that it has with respect to dispute settlement and further incentivize better international and national transactions. Mediation will go a long way in rendering speedy dispute settlement and most importantly, it gives the control back to the parties so that they may protect their respective interests best.
Michael Saldanha is a Partner at Atharva Legal LLP, Bangalore and Mr. Sumedh Yasaswi is Principal Associate at Atharva Legal LLP, Hyderabad. Views are personal.
 Chapter V of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, Section 442 - Mediation and Conciliation Panel, Companies Act, 2013, Section 12A, Commercial Courts Act, 2018.
 "Supreme Court forms committee to draft mediation law, will send to Government.", Ajmeer Singh, Economic Times, available at https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/supreme-court-forms-committee-to-draft-mediation-law-will-send-to-government/articleshow/73394043.cms , last updated on 19.01.2020 at 11:40 P.M.
 (2003) 1 SCC 49: 2002 Supp (3) SCR 353.
 (2005) 6 SCC 344.
 For example, Mediation's definition could be – A structured and confidential process in which an impartial third person, known as a mediator, assists the parties by facilitating the communication between them for the purpose of resolving issues in dispute. – As written by The European Handbook for Mediation Lawmaking, adopted at the 32th Plenary meeting of the CEPEJ, Strasbourg on 13th and 14th June, 2019.
 A Mediator may be held accountable for damages to the party that arise out of him not following or adhering to the code of conduct and ethics.