Disputes are an inevitable reality in business. There is no business without disputes and hence one of the major business Governance issue is how to effectively manage a dispute resolution mechanism in a corporate environment.
Major disputes in a corporate environment are between the management and the employees and between the Company and the Consumers.
With growing E Business concepts, consumers buy and sell online and hence when disputes arise, the first option for them is to seek the dispute resolution also online. Normally the dispute resolutions extend to a chain of e-mails extending over a period. Often the call centers which are better equipped to handle service issues are clogged with the complaints from irate customers.
Even in the employer-employee scenario, often employees who have left the organization and have a dispute to settle with their previous employers find it difficult to resolve differences over e-mails when they have moved out to a different location on a new assignment.
When disputes go out of hand they land up in Courts and everyone including the Courts themselves know that the legal process is very painful and better avoided. Hence ADR (Alternate Dispute Resolution Concepts) are gaining ground . Mediation and Arbitration are therefore becoming the preferred methods of dispute resolution which even the Civil Procedure Code is recommending in every civil dispute.
Having accepted the concept of ADR, there is still a need for ensuring that the cost of dispute resolution in terms of the time, effort and money spent by the disputing parties to be brought down.
Travelling from place to place to attend an arbitration meeting in a hotel, cost of hosting the meeting in a hotel, cost of stay of the participants and the arbitrators in comfortable accommodation are all issues that add cost to the ADR process beyond the professional fees payable to the Arbitrators and the advocates who represent the disputing parties.
To ease the pain of this physical ADR process, there is an urgent need for development of the ODR process namely the Online Dispute Resolution Process.
Now there is a solution on hand for the ODR process in the form of the Arbitration.in re-launched by Naavi with some modifications from the earlier model.
The website www.arbitration.in provides the details of the service. In its simple explanation, Arbitration.in provides an online meeting place to conduct online Arbitration or Mediation, for a fee which is cheaper than renting a hotel conference room. Participants need not travel but connect through internet and conduct the transactions.
Additionally, Arbitration.in is supported by ceac.in which provides a soft copy of the proceedings recorded as a video under the presence of an observer who is the Registrar of the session and duly certified as required under Section 65B of Indian Evidence Act .
Thus the ODR sessions of Arbitration.in are not only convenient and cost effective but also legally sound.
Kindly note that Arbitration.in is not intended to a competing Arbitration Council to the existing systems. It is only a platform for individual Arbitrations and Mediations and can be used by the Arbitration Councils for the benefit of its members.
I invite Arbitration Councils to make use of this service for the general good of the community.
I request visitors to check out www.arbitration.in and give their feedback as to how it can be made more useful.
The service is just now launched in its new form and yet to be marketed. Any suggestions for marketing the service in India and outside are welcome.