"I realise that some of my criticisms may be mistaken; but to refuse to criticize judgements for fear of being mistaken is to abandon criticism altogether... If any of my criticisms are found to be correct, the cause is served; and if any are found to be incorrect the very process of finding out my mistakes must lead to the discovery of the right reasons, or better reasons than I have been able to give, and the cause is served just as well." -Mr. HM Seervai, Preface to the 1st ed., Constitutional Law of India.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

It is Raining Mediation!

Mediation is so much in the news in the recent past that we have here an exclusive post on the latest news pertaining to mediation.

We all know that the Indian Premier League (IPL) is a cash cow. When the stakes are high, the cash cow walks into the lawyers’ den. The Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) has been on a legal war with World Sports Group (WSG) over the telecast rights of the IPL matches. The dispute concerns termination of media rights granted via an agreement dated 25.03.2009 to WSG in respect of broadcasts outside India of the IPL matches. BCCI and the WSG fought an intense battle in the Bombay High Court for interim measures under Section 9 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996. The Division Bench of the Bombay High Court had granted an interim stay of sorts restraining BCCI from awarding the contract for those rights to anyone else till the issue of interim measures is heard and decided by the arbitral tribunal.

An SLP was filed by the BCCI challenging the said order. The Supreme Court has passed orders for an interim arrangement. Media reports state that the Supreme Court Bench hearing matter had purportedly stated during the hearing that the matter would go for mediation. Access the news reports from here and here. Access the court’s interim order from here.

[BY THE WAY, it is well known that BCCI has its main office in Mumbai. But it is not common knowledge that the BCCI is a society registered under the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act.]

The longest strike in twenty years in Gujarat has General Motors’ plant in Halol. The strike has been going on since March 16, 2011. The strike is against poor working conditions. The labour officers of the government tried mediating the dispute but have failed. News reports from here and here.

One of the top mediators in India, senior advocate Mr. Sriram Panchu, has been appointed to mediate disputes between the members of the Parsi community over performance of certain religious rites. The issue was relating to a decision by the Parsi Panchayat restraining two Parsi priests from performing religious ceremonies in the Tower of Silence and two fire temples, which are the properties of the Panchayat. The Division Bench of the Bombay High Court had earlier held that the Panchayat had no such power. The Panchayat filed an appeal before the Supreme Court challenging the decision of the Bombay High Court.

The Supreme Court suggested the parties to amicably settle the dispute through mediation. The Supreme Court appointed Mr. Panchu and allowed him to appoint a co-mediator to assist him. Check out the order of the Supreme Court from here.

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