Use arbitration for inter-dept issues: Law Ministry

RSTV Bureau

The law ministry has advised all departments and ministries to resolve their differences through arbitration, and not move courts, with the government making efforts to take off the tag of “biggest litigant” with a share of 46 per cent of pending three crore cases.

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad

It has asked various ministries and central government departments to go for online mediation, conciliation or arbitration, instead of approaching regular courts to settle inter-department or inter-ministerial disputes.

The Department of Justice in the law ministry has also listed out various organisations dealing with out-of-court settlements.

“There are more than three crore cases pending in various courts of the country and 46 per cent of these involve government departments or government bodies. Hence, the Department of Justice is keen to explore options for government departments and organisations…for settlement of their disputes through alternate methods…so that the government litigation is reduced and government departments are encouraged not to go to court for their disputes.

“This step may help courts to concentrate on access to justice to people in a better manner,” the Department of Justice has said.

In October last, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had termed the government as the “biggest litigant”, saying there was a need to lessen the load on the judiciary which spent its maximum time in tackling cases where the government was a party.

Addressing the golden jubilee celebrations of the Delhi High Court, the prime minister said the load on the judiciary could be reduced if cases were filed after taking a considered view.

He said if a teacher approached a court over a service matter and won, then the judgement should be used as a yardstick to extend the benefit to thousands of others to reduce litigation at a later stage.