Amravati: Bombay High Court Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog on Saturday said the graph of dispute resolution through mediation was falling and efforts must be made to ensure it rises.
He was making the inaugural address at a one-day conference on 'Capacity Building and Evaluation of Mediation Activities' in Amravati in Maharashtra.
"The graph of dispute resolution through mediation is going down. This graph needs to be taken up. If you look at claims and counter claims being made at the mediation table, you will find scope for giving something to both the parties.
Mediators do not look into what is lying searchless in the kitty of the parties for distribution," he told the gathering.
The mediator makes both parties enter a state of heteronomy in order to come out with a solution where both parties gain something, he added.
He also asked judges to sport a smile on their faces while mediating, as "a grim face sends a chill down the spines of the parties".
The chief justice said courts, statutory tribunals, private tribunals (arbitrators), conciliation and mediation were the five horses that pull the chariot of justice.
However, he said, mediation was not pulling well and there was "need to reflect and find causes as to what is going wrong".
He said the traditional panchayat system in the post- World War II period catered to dispute resolution, but "we lost it all" due to the disintegration of communities.
The mediator should be like the "lady of the house" who handles every situation with empathy, he said, adding that one must "empathise and sympathise with the cause, not with the parties".
Justices SC Dharmadhikari, RK Deshpande, ZA Haq and SB Shukre were on the dais.
The conference is being attended by some 550 judges and lawyers from 11 districts of the state's Vidarbha region.
It has been organised by the Maharashtra State Legal Services Authority, Maharashtra Legal Services Control Committee of Bombay High Court and Amravati District Legal Services Authority.