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DHCBA complains to Chief because a ‘few lawyers’ are hogging the Delhi Mediation Centre

The Delhi High Court Bar Association (DHCBA) on Monday wrote to Delhi high court chief justice G Rohini requesting new Delhi Mediation Centre guidelines, to stop the mediation centre allegedly being “run by few lawyers”.

DHCBA president Rajiv Khosla wrote a letter to the chief justice, accusing senior advocates AS Chandhiok and JP Sengh, along with unnamed others, of “taking over the affairs of the Mediation Centre” “on permanent basis” despite not being executive members of the DHCBA, and also of “running their private Mediation Centre in the name of AIM” and “misusing their position for their personal gain”.

The letter with the subject “request for formation of overseeing committee from amongst the elected members of the Bar in the Mediation Centre and framing of new guidelines for appointment of Mediators”, accused “certain mediators” of hoarding mediations for themselves and assigning the difficult ones to others, unfairly using their place in the organising committee of the centre.

Chandhiok is Khosla’s long-time DHCBA election rival and had also asked the court for sanction against Khosla last year. Chandhiok declined to comment when contacted by Legally India. Sengh was not reachable for comment.

A source close to Chandhiok and Sengh told Legally India that the senior advocates were appearing in Delhi Mediation Centre (DMC) mediations pro bono. The source added that around 250 mediators were on the rolls of the centre, and that 60-70 cases coming in every day were distributed according to areas of speciality and overall performance of the mediators. While the number of cases given to various mediators sometimes differed by 10 to 20 mediations, a report with records of these figures was regularly published at the DMC.

A Delhi HC lawyer who declined to be named claimed that the underlying issue was that mediators were paid for sitting in such proceedings, and sometimes injected themselves into disputes for a quick settlement in cash.

The complaint states:

The Delhi High Court Bar Association is aggrieved with the taking over the affairs of the Mediation Centre by Sh. Amarjit Sinh Chandhiok (Sr. Advocate), Sh. J.P. Sengh (Sr. Advocate) & Ors. on permanent basis whereas these members do not hold any post in the Delhi High Court Bar Association.

Moreover, these members are also running their private Mediation Centre in the name of AIM and are misusing their position for their personal gain, which is not only unethical but also gives a wrong signal to the society that the Mediation centre of the Delhi High Court is a private affair of certain members.

Moreover, it is surprising that certain mediators have made it a permanent place and a regular source of income for themselves by getting the maximum work in the Mediation Centre by projecting themselves to be the best mediators, while majority of the mediators wait for a single case for quite some time.

The working style of so called best mediators is such that they keep almost all those cases with themselves which are almost at the stage of being settled while these very mediators, taking advantage of being part of the Organising Committee assign difficult cases to other mediators to give a negative picture of others, therefore, these mediators who are taking benefit for themselves being in the Organising Committee, need to be replaced by up-right persons who should mark cases to all mediators on rotation basis without any favour being given to any specific mediators.

DHCBA Mediators: Full copy

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