The Corporate Affairs Ministry has put in place a framework for ‘mediation and conciliation’ facility, which will facilitate faster resolution of disputes relating companies.
The mediator would help in facilitating discussion and eventual resolution of the dispute within three months.
Mediation, which is relatively faster and inexpensive as compared to litigation, would be non-binding on companies.
The matters involving prosecution for criminal and non-compoundable offenses, default, serious and specific allegation of frauds will not be refereed for mediation.
In a notification, the ministry said Regional Director would prepare a panel of experts willing and eligible to be appointed as mediators and conciliators in the respective region and such panel would be placed on its website.
The Regional Director would invite application for empanellment of mediators and conciliators every year during February and update the panel, which would be effective from April 1, of every year.
Listing out qualifications for empanellment, government said interested candidates should be a qualified legal practitioner having 10 years experience and professional chartered accountant with 15 years of continuous practice.
The person can also been a judge of a Supreme Court or High Court or district court.
The candidate would be disqualified if he is an undischarged insolvent or has been convicted for an offense, which is in the opinion of the government involves moral turpitude or has been punished in any disciplinary proceedings among others.
The mediators and conciliators would fix in consultation with parties, the date and time of each session, where all parties have to be present. They may conduct joint or separate meetings with the parties. Besides, each party would have to give a brief about the dispute, 10 days prior to a session.
The mediator wold not be bound by Indian Evidence Act or the code of civil procedure while disposing of the matter but would be guided by the “principles of fairness and natural justice.”
Under the rules, the process would be completed within a period of three months from date of appointment of experts.