Answer Writing Practice for UPSC IAS Mains Exam: Paper - III (General Studies – II) - 25 April 2019


Answer Writing Practice for UPSC IAS Mains Exam


UPSC Syllabus:

  • Paper-III: General Studies -II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)

Q. What is the online dispute resolution (ODR)? Will it be good to place a digital layer on top of existing dispute resolution mechanism in India? Justify your view with facts.

Model Answer:

  • Introduction
  • Present condition
  • Existing mechanisms
  • Need of ODR system
  • Positives of ODR system
  • Conclusion

Introduction:

Online dispute resolution (ODR) is a branch of dispute resolution which uses technology to facilitate the resolution of disputes between parties. It primarily involves negotiation, mediation or arbitration, or a combination of all three. In this respect it is often seen as being the online equivalent of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). However, ODR can also augment these traditional means of resolving disputes by applying innovative techniques and online technologies to the process.

Present condition:

  • Justice delayed is justice denied is the basic legal principle, which means if the justice has not been administrated timely it is equal to no justice at all.
  • This phrase is reflecting in Indian judicial system from times. Indian judicial system has been overburdened by huge pendency of cases, which has resulted delay in Justice.
  • Another drawback of Indian legal system is high costs of litigation.
  • These factors have resulted in loss of faith of people in the Indian judicial system. Therefore people avoid going to courts for their claims and disputes.

 Existing mechanisms:

  • With the enactment of Information Technology Act, 2000 in India, e-commerce and e-governance have been given a formal and legal recognition in India.
  • Even the traditional arbitration law of India has been reformulated and now India has Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 in place that is satisfying the harmonised standards of UNCITRAL Model.
  • Even the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 has been amended and section 89 has been introduced to provide methods of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in India.
  • There is another initiative called ODR ways, started by students of NUJS, which is working towards promoting mediation in India, by integrating it with technology.
  • They have developed an online mediation platform for small civil claim disputes.
  • They are also working towards building an online platform for mediators in India, which will make it easier for the general public to engage with mediators when they have disputes.

Need of ODR system:

  • Online dispute resolution in India is an important part of Legal Enablement of ICT Systems in India and Legal Framework for Information Society in India.
  • Online dispute resolution (ODR) in India is in its infancy stage and it is gaining prominence day by day.
  • With a rapid growth of e-commerce in India, the number of disputes related to online transactions is on the rise.
  • The existing dispute redressal mechanisms are falling short of the business growth and customer expectations.
  • Conventional redressal systems require presence of the parties, and are not in synch with modern online platforms.
  • The necessity of the same has arisen due to the growing use of alternative dispute resolving mechanism in India it will reduce the burdening of the already overburdened Courts in India.

Positives of ODR system:

  • This system is very efficient to solve the disputes which arises in cyber space specially domain name disputes because such disputes are unique to the electronic platform.
  • This system enhances trust and confidence in the e-commerce environment which will ultimately promote the e-commerce.
  • ODR system is very important for small-value disputes due to low cost of this mechanism. In small disputes parties do not prefer to go to the court or to resort traditional ADR system.
  • ODR is also helpful to solve cross-border international commercial disputes, due to jurisdictional and procedural obstacles in traditional ADR system.
  • ODR system overcomes the geographical barriers. Parties need not to travel anywhere for filling the case. Wherever internet is accessible ODR is possible.
  • Similar to the ADR system, ODR mechanism will also help to reduce the pendency in the higher courts as well as in lower courts.

Conclusion:

Today majority of the persons do not want to become involved in lawsuits due to delays, high costs, unwanted publicity. ADR’s provide best solution to these concerns. With the digital prowess in India, we can go a step ahead to come up with the Online Dispute Redressal Mechanism which will ensure timely justice to people.

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