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NITI Aayog releases report on Online Dispute Resolution policy for Speedy Access to Justice

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NITI Aayog releases report on Online Dispute Resolution policy

On November 29, 2021, National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog released a report on Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) namely ‘Designing the Future of Dispute Resolution- the ODR Policy Plan for India’ which states a futuristic model for speedy  access to justice. Click here for Official Report

  • For the initiation of ODR, NITI Aayog constituted a committee in 2020 to formulate an action plan for ODR. It is headed by Justice (Retd) Arjan Kumar Sikri as its Chairman.
  • ODR is aimed at resolving disputes outside of the court system through arbitration, mediation, and negotiation. Mainly, it is the use of technology to resolve disputes.

What is in the report?

It proposed measures at three levels viz. Structural Challenges, Behavioral Challenges, and Operational Challenges, to address the challenges in adopting ODR.

  • It recommended increasing digital infrastructure, building capacity, regulatory framework, including permission for online notorization, and implementing it in a phased manner, etc.

Key Highlights of Report:

i.The report is a culmination of the action plan made by a committee headed by Arjan Kumar Sikri.

ii.ODR can help reduce the burden on the court by integrating them in court-annexed ADR (Adjudicatory Dispute-Resolution) centres, and introduced within Government departments for its internal disputes, as well as through e-Lok Adalat.s

  • Notably, as of September 23, 2020, the government had 5,80,132 cases pending in different courts across the country.

iii.Currently, physical copies of documents and physical presence for verification are essential. The report recommends mainstreaming of e-stamping, integration of eSign for electronic signature and electronic seal, maintaining secure electronic records, etc.

iv.At the structural level, the report recommends increasing access to digital infrastructure while at behavioural level, it recommends adopting ODR for government litigation.

Recent Related News:

On September 16, 2021, a report titled ‘Reforms in Urban Planning Capacity in India’ was released by NITI Aayog’s Vice Chairman Dr Rajiv Kumar, CEO (Chief Executive Officer) Amitabh Kant and Special Secretary Dr K. Rajeswara Rao.

About NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog:

Established– 2015
Chairperson– Prime Minister of India (Currently- Narendra Modi)
Headquarters– New Delhi