ADR and Consumer Protection: An Analysis

Consumer Protection

Equity in every one of its features – social, financial and political – is required to be rendered to the masses of this nation with no further loss of time – the need of great importance. The new strategy consists of dispute-resolution by conciliation, mediation and negotiation. The established guarantee of securing to all residents equity, social, monetary  and  political,  as  guaranteed  in  the  Preamble  of  the  Constitution,  can’t  be acknowledged  unless  the  three  organs  of  the  State,  i.e.,  the  lawmaking  body,  the administration and the courts join together to discover ways and implies for giving to the Indian poor equivalent access to the State’s equity framework.

The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 was sanctioned with a goal of giving better assurance of the interests of consumers and for the snappy and simple settlement of customers’ question. The Act gives compelling, economical, straightforward and rapid redressal of customers’ grievances, which the common courts are not ready to give. This Act is another case of ADR for the compelling meditation of consumers’ debate. The Act accommodates three-level fora, that is,  District  Forum,  State Commission and the National Commission for redressal of grievances of consumers. Extensive quantities of consumers are drawing nearer these fora to look for speedy redressal of their grievances. There has additionally been a spurt in social activity case for the benefit of consumers by Consumer  Activists,  Voluntary  Consumer Organizations and other  Social  Action Groups. India has attempted real changes in its discretion law in the late years as a feature of monetary changes at first in 1991. The Arbitration and Conciliation Act of 1996  was  subsequently  authorized  by  the  Parliament  getting  generous  changes  in mediation, with respect to the local and global question.

Role of ADR in Consumer Dispute Resolution

The  principal  strides  towards  taking  resort  to  alternative  dispute  resolution mechanism in India can be followed back as early as to the Bengal Regulation Act,1772 which gave that in all instances of questioned records, parties are to present the same to mediators  whose  choice  are  regarded  a  final  decision  and  should  be  last  and  left unquestioned. The Regulation Act,1781 further conceived that judges ought to prescribe the parties to submit a question to commonly concurred individual and no recompense of a mediator  could  be  put  aside  unless  there  were  two  witnesses  that  authority  had submitted gross blunder or was inclined toward a party. A suggestion surprisingly was made to the Second Law Commission by Sir Charleswood to accommodate a uniform law with respect to arbitration. The Code of Civil Procedure was then established as needs be in 1859. Indian Contract Act, 1872 additionally perceives discretion understanding as a special case to Section 28, which imagines that any agreement in restriction of remedy through  lawful  procedures  is  void.  Later,  the  Arbitration  Act,  1899  was  likewise sanctioned to apply to the Presidency towns to encourage settlement of questions out of court. The Arbitration Act, 1940 repealed and supplanted the previous Act of 1899. At the point when India turned into  a state signatory to the protocol on arbitration under the Geneva Convention and keeping in mind the end goal to offer impact to the same, the Arbitration (Protocol and Convention) Act was passed. Later, India likewise turned into  a  signatory  to  the  New  York  Convention  and  to  give  effect  Foreign  Awards (Recognition  and  Enforcement)  Act,  1961  was  passed.  After  liberalization  of  Indian economy  in  the  1990’s  Arbitration  and  Conciliation  Act,  1996  was  ordered  which superseded  the  previous  Act  of  1940  and  achieved  radical  changes  in  the  law  of arbitration   and   acquainted   ideas   like   Conciliation   with a guarantee   of the expedient settlement of issues/problems/disputes of mainly business.

A portion of the significant points of interest of ADR are:

1) It is less costly

2) It is less tedious

3) It is free from details as on account of directing cases in law Courts

4) Parties are allowed to talk about their disparities of sentiment with no apprehension of exposure of this in the witness of any law courts

5) Parties have the inclination that there is no losing or winning side between them yet in the meantime their grievance is reviewed and their relationship is restored.

The question, in this case, is  how  much  of  a  role  does  the  ADR play in the amicable settlement of consumer disputes? And also, how far has the ADR been effective till date in regard to the consumer dispute resolution in India? The study aims to find answers to these questions.

Law Commission (2009) has emphasised that speedy justice is the privilege of every contesting individual. There is no denying the statement delay frustrates justice. In the present set-up, it regularly takes 10 – 20 – 30 or significantly more years before a matter is at last decided. In the recent past, litigation has expanded tremendously. The population  growth,  improved  financial  conditions,  lack  of  tolerance  and  materialistic way of life maybe some of the causes. Be that as it may, the postponement in agreement of equity must be disposed of by making compelling strides generally the day is not far when the entire framework will crumble. As of late, one Hon’ble Judge of Delhi High Court ascertained that 464 years will be required to clear the overdue cases with the present quality of the judges in that High Court. The position may not be that desolate but rather is as yet disturbing.

It was additionally said by the Law Commission that legal change is the worry of the Judiciary, as well as it is the obligation of the Executive, of the Legislature, of the Bar and of the general population moreover. It is not a one-time cure, but rather an ongoing  procedure.  They  should  quit  pointing  the  finger  at  one  another,  for  the perniciousness.  They should unite,  to  forestall  and  control  the suit  plague.  With the approach of the ADR, there is another road for the general population to settle their disputes. ADR centers must be made for settling questions out-of-court which is being done in numerous different nations. ADR methods will truly accomplish the objective of rendering social  equity to  the  general population,  which  truly  is  the  objective  of  the effective legal framework.

It is important to comprehend the advantages of ADR to know how it helps and supplements  the  Courts.  The  essential  aim,  as  indicated  by  the  Working  Group  on Consumer Protection, of ADR development is the evasion of vexation, cost and defer and advancement of the perfect of “access of equity” for all. ADR can be extensively ordered into two classes; court-added alternatives (it incorporates mediation, conciliation) and community-based dispute resolution instrument (Lok-Adalat).

Meenu Agrawal (2006) has brought out the fact that the process of development coupled with increasing liberalisation and globalisation across the country has enabled consumers to realise their increasingly important role in society and governance. The consumer movement in India  is  as  old  as  trade  and  commerce.  The book provides  a detailed and comprehensive study of the recent developments in the Indian consumer protection law, besides examining the provisions of various other statutes dealing with consumer protection. It also provides further insight into consumer behaviour to help marketers develop an appropriate marketing strategy.

There are many difficulties arising out of laws itself. One would be the inclusion of compulsory arbitration in the contract which can be termed as the unfair term. The Law commission  to  spread  both  “procedural”  and  “substantive”  viewpoints  in  a  solitary definition have  proposed  to  characterize  ‘contract’,  as  covering  both  ‘contracts’,  (i.e. agreements   which   are   enforceable)   and   agreements   simpliciter   which   are   void. Whenever “procedural” perspectives are managed, the word will signify “contract”  and “substantive” viewpoints is managed, the word will signify ‘agreement’. So far as the different consumer fora under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 are concerned, they are  of  the  perspective  that  the  said  fora  must  have  the  advantage  of  the  provisions identifying with ‘general  procedural unfairness’  in Sec.  5 of  the Indian  Contract  Act, 1872. It is to be noticed that however, the 103rd Report of the Law Commission (1984) managed the idea of ‘unfair terms’, did not allude to the dichotomy of “procedural” and “substantive” unfairness. Sometimes compulsory arbitration can be termed as both kinds of unfairness.

A substantive revival of Section 89 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, was carried out by the Law Commission. The section was proposed to be amended as under: “89: Settlement of disputes outside the court –

(1)  Where  it appears to the court,  having regard  to the nature  of the dispute involved in the suit or other proceeding that the dispute is fit to be settled by one of the non adjudicatory   alternative   dispute   resolution   processes,   namely,   conciliation, judicial settlement,  settlement  through  Lok  Adalat  or  mediation  the  court  shall, preferably before framing the issues, record its opinion and direct the parties to attempt the resolution of dispute through one of the said processes which the parties prefer or the court determines.

(2) Where the parties prefer conciliation, they shall furnish to the court the name or names of the conciliators and on obtaining his or their consent, the court may specify a time limit for the completion of conciliation. Thereupon, the provisions of sections 65 to 81 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, as far as may be, shall apply and to this  effect,  the  court  shall  inform  the  parties.  A copy  of  the  settlement  agreement reached between the parties shall be sent to the court concerned. In the absence of a settlement, the conciliator shall send a brief report on the process of conciliation and the outcome thereof.

(3) Where the dispute has been referred:- a) for judicial-settlement, the Judicial Officer shall endeavour to effect a compromise between the parties and shall follow such procedure as may be prescribed; b) to Lok Adalat, the provisions of sub-sections (3) to (7) of section 20, sections 21 and 22 of the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 shall apply in respect of the dispute so referred and the Lok Adalat shall send a copy of the award to the  25  court  concerned  and  in  case  no  award  is  passed,  send  a  brief  report  on  the proceedings held and the outcome thereof;  c) for mediation,  the court  shall  refer the same to a suitable institution or person or persons with appropriate directions such as time-limit for completion of mediation and reporting to the court.

(4) On receipt of a copy of the settlement agreement or the award of Lok Adalat, the  court,  if  it  finds  any  inadvertent  mistakes  or  obvious  errors,  it  shall  draw  the attention of the conciliator or the Lok Adalat who shall take necessary steps to rectify the agreement or award suitably with the consent of parties.

(5) Without prejudice to section 8 and other allied provisions of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, the court may also refer the parties to arbitration if both parties  enter  into  an  arbitration  agreement  or  file  applications  seeking  reference  to arbitration during the pendency of a suit or other civil proceeding and in such an event, the arbitration shall be governed, as far as may be, by the provisions of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996. The suit or another proceeding shall be deemed to have been disposed of accordingly”.

Moreover, the Law Commission also emphasized the direction of the court to opt for any one mode of alternative dispute resolution- “At the stage of framing issues or the first hearing of the suit, the court shall direct the parties to opt either mode of the settlement  outside the court  as specified in sub-section (1) of section 89 and for this purpose may require the parties to be personally present and in case of nonattendance without  substantial  cause,  follow  the  procedure  for  compelling  the  attendance  of witness. The court shall fix the ate of appearance before such forum or authority or persons as may be opted by the parties or chosen by the court.

Appearance before the court consequent upon the failure of efforts of conciliation- Where a suit is referred under rule 1A and the presiding officer of conciliation forum or authority or the person to whom the matter has been referred is satisfied that it would not be proper in the interest of justice to proceed with the matter further, in view of the stand taken by the respective parties, it shall refer the case back to the court who shall direct the parties to appear before it on the date fixed and proceed with the suit.”

In  the  judgment  of  the  Supreme  Court  of  India  in  Salem  Bar  Association  vs. Union  of  India,  the  Supreme  Court  had  requested  to  prepare  draft  model  rules  for Alternative Disputes Resolution (ADR) and also draft rules for mediation under section

89(2)(d) of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908. Pursuant to the said judgment, the Law Commission prepared a set of draft rules.  They  are  in  two  parts  –  the  first  part consisting of the procedure to be followed by the parties and the Court in the matter of choosing  the  particular  method  of  ADR.  The second part consists  of  draft  rules  of mediation under section 89(2)(d) of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.

There are immense contrasts in the terms mediation and conciliation. Justice M. Jagannadha Rao has perceived that under the law and the UNCITRAL model, the part of the mediator i.e. mediator is not dynamic and is to some degree not exactly the part of a ‘conciliator’. Under Part III of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, the ‘Conciliator’s powers  are  bigger  than  those  of  a  “mediator”  as  he  can  recommend  proposition  for settlement. Thus the above importance of the part of “mediator” in India is very clear and  can  be  acknowledged,  in  connection  to  sec.  89 of  the  Code  of  Civil  Procedure moreover. The distinction lies in the way that the “conciliator” can make a proposition for settlement, “formulate” or “reformulate” the terms of a conceivable settlement while a “mediator” would not do as such but rather would just encourage a settlement between the parties.

Justice  M.  Jagannadha  Rao  has  pointed  out  that,  in  addition, our judges  and lawyers require to be trained. Workshops, seminars, conferences must, therefore, be held regularly in the Districts as well as in the Courts every month, for quite some time, Bar Councils should seriously think of ADRs as a compulsory subject. There can likewise be a  different examination on ADRs and a pass in that can be a condition for the award of a permit  to  practice  to  highlight  the  significance  of  the  ADR  forms.  If  there  are  any changes  to  be  made  and  realized,  it  is  impossible  by  minor  enactment,  it  must  be finished by rousing one’s self and in addition inspiring others. Yet, an expression of alert – all settlements at mediation and conciliation must be deliberate, the method must be reasonable  and  none  of  the  parties  must  face  with  an  inclination  that  the  terms  of the settlement were the consequence of some impulse. Settlements must be the aftereffect of sensible influence.

A  study  was  conducted  by  the  Indian  Institute  of  Public  Administration.  The sample size consisted  of  10 districts  from  5 states  (two from  each state).  From  each district, 200 people from different sections of the society and 25 complainants from the respective  DCDRF  were  selected  (total  sample  size  of  2000  consumers  and  175 complainants). Apart from these 10 District Forums, 5 State Commissions and National Commission have  also  been  taken  up  for  the  study.  For  the  purpose  of  study  we proposed  to  interview  30  members  from  10  District  Forums,  15  members  from  5 SCDRCs and 10 members of NCDRC, but to have a broader perspective, Questionnaire was administered to  all  the District  Forums of the five selected states inviting their views and suggestions on the working of the quasi-judicial machinery. Out of total 162

District Forums in the five states we received responses from 112 presidents and 193 members  of  the  District  Forums,  which  covers  70  percent  of  the  study  area.  Their opinions have been incorporated into this report. Apart from this the CCS research team also organised Search Conferences at the district level. One Validation Seminar was also organised after the presentation of the report to the Department to get suggestions and to validate the findings. The study was completed in six months. The study revealed that the Act although has been in operation for the last 25 years, but there are deficiencies and shortcoming in respect to its effective implementation and operation. The purpose of the three-tier quasi-judicial structure was to give quick and inexpensive justice to the consumers; however, the machinery is riddled with many problems making it difficult for  the  complainant  to  get  justice  in  the  prescribed  time.  The  problem  is  further aggravated by the low level of awareness among the consumers. Even after 25 years of the consumer movement, concerns are being raised regarding the level of awareness of the consumers in spite of many steps taken at the central and state government level to generate awareness among the masses.

On the topic of the suitability of ADR in India, the Report of the Working Group on Consumer  Protection  gives  an  amazing  answer.  Out of  the  methods  of  ADR, mediation is the most suited system for a nation such as India, on the grounds that all around individuals in India at any rate in the provincial ranges might want to settle their question agreeably. The degree of Judicial Interference under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act crushed the reason for fast equity, in spite of the fact that it was a move in  the  right  course.  Arbitration  had  a  few  diseases:  (I)  conventional  ill-disposed framework is kept running in an arbitration procedure; (II) procedures are postponed as both sides take lot of time introducing their entries and submissions; (III) the expense of arbitration is a great deal more than the common ADR process, consequently, it doesn’t draw in the poor disputants; (IV) participatory part of the parties are disregarded as the entries  and  submissions  are  made  by  the  lawyers.  Mediation  to  succeed  making  of mindfulness and advancing this technique is to be made.

If the Consumer Protection Act was framed for speedy disposal of cases then why the need to focus on ADR in consumer dispute resolution? The answer lies in the report of the  CUTS  International.  There  are  various  issues  with  the  consumer  courts.  The customer  courts  are  getting  to  be  similar  to  common  courts,  with  presidents  (legal individuals) requesting a more formal methodology. Hardware and offices are likewise an issue much of the time. Some of the time these forums have even requested that complainants connect with legal advisors, notwithstanding when it is not by any means required. There have been occurrences when the National Commission has taken over five years to choose cases. As of late, the National Commission was alluding cases for arbitration  and  the  Supreme  Court  needed  to  meditate  to  control  this  illegitimate practice.  Every  one  of  these  elements has brought  about  dissatisfaction  among consumers.  The appointments  of  individuals  is  another  issue.  Previously,  individuals were  delegated  on  the  premise  of  their  associations  instead  of  merit.  Presently,  the framework  has  improved  significantly  because  of  a  change  in  the  law  requiring  a selecting committee to appoint them. Commercials are additionally being discharged for a better  choice.  In  any  case,  because  of  extremely  poor  pay,  great  individuals  are  not pulled in to these positions. On account of resigned judges or common workers wishing to be designated, it is not such an issue in light of the fact that the remittances that they get are notwithstanding their benefits. Then again, much of the time the arrangements of the State Commission Presidents don’t keep going for over two years on a normal when  they  are  really  required  to  be  in  office  for  five  years  or  up  to  the  age  of  65, whichever is prior. There is a lazy methodology in selecting such individuals.

Report of the Working Group of Consumer Policy (Report No. 14 of 2006) study was directed in Maharashtra to know the mindfulness among consumers with respect to Consumer  Protection  Act  and  viability  of  component  put  set  up  under  CPA  by  the Central and State government to advance and secure the interests of customers. 500 respondents were incorporated into this study. Discoveries of the report were as per the following  (1)  66%  of  the  Consumers  didn’t  know  about  the  rights  and  82%  of  them discovered ignorant about CPA. (2) Nearly 49% of the mindful consumers had come to think about the Act in most recent four years however the law has been in presence in for a long time. (3) Overall, just 13% of the consumers discovered mindful about Dispute Redressal Mechanism under CPA. (4) A larger part of complainants came to think about Consumer  Forum  through  electronic  and  print  media,  NGOs  were  not the mainstream wellspring of mindfulness as just 4.9% of the complainants credited their attention to the work of NGOs. (5) It was likewise uncovered by a study that 78% of respondents were conveying a negative sentiment of the tries made by the administration or had not any thought regarding  the  same.  Toward  the  end, the report  recommended  that  Ministry  of Consumers   Affairs   ought   to   facilitate   with   the   States   Governments  including NGOs/VCOs   in   advancing   attention   to   the   consumer   security  measures   among consumers by setting up particular plans of money related and another backing.

Noting the inquiry:  Should organizations be required to  illuminate consumers when they are a piece of an ADR plan? Provided that this is true, what might be the most proficient ways? The International Mediation Institute (IMI) has addressed that it is required for consumers to consent to sponsored or free mediation by means of lawful guide plans would be important since numerous won’t have encountered mediation and might  some  way  or  another  reject  the  thought  through the absence  of  experience  or understanding. Some type of kitemark or logo function admirably ought to be set to show mandatory assertion or different methods of ADR.

In any case, it is to be noticed that ADR too is not flawless and Arbitration in India has neglected to accomplish its targets as it is spooky by the issues of problems of conventional litigation,  similar  to the postponement,  over-accentuation of  procedural law and regular suspensions. It is additionally influenced by colossal expense charged by arbitrators, the absence  of  their  responsibility  and  duty,  nonappearance  of  guidelines  of behaviour   and   measures   of   expert   morals.   These   elements   have   welcomed   the consideration of partners in building up a solid institutional arbitration advancing their interests. As has been demonstrated in the present study, without an all-around sorted out institutional setup, the act of assertion i.e. arbitration would not realize the wanted results. As inspected in different sections, different methods of ADR viz. intervention and Lok Adalats and so forth have been, as it were, effective in determining debate in view of their institutional setup.

There  are  other  emerging  areas  of  ADR  as  well  such  as  Online  Dispute Resolution  (ODR).  Julio  César  Betancourt  and  Elina  Zlatanska have given  a  broad meaning for the merging concept of Online Dispute Resolution in India. Online Dispute Resolution  (ODR)  means  the  utilization  of  Alternative  Dispute  Resolution  (ADR) systems  over  the  web.  ODR  methods  can  be  utilized  to  manage  both  logged  off  and online-related  question.  ODR  components  are  normal,  in  addition  to  other  things,  to “encourage access to equity”, and ought to in this manner have the capacity to handle a percentage of the issues concerning the utilization of disconnected from the net question determination  instruments.  Additionally  e-arbitration,  re-mediation  and  e-negotiation are  dealt  in  length.  Hon.  Arthur  M.  Monty  Ahalt  has  opined  that  ODR  gives  the capacity  to  two  (or  more)  different  parties  to  settle  their  question/problems/issues utilizing the Internet. Here and there this includes legal advisors and middle people and some of the time it doesn’t. It relies on upon the vehicle/supplier that the parties consent to  use  to  determine  their  case.  But  the  question  is the feasibility  of  such  methods  in developing country like India?

Namrata  Shah  and  Niyati  Gandhi  have  brought  out  the  need  to  create institutional arbitration to exist together with ad-hoc arbitration and scale it down to be accessible for dispute resolution in developing nations utilizing India as an explanation. Certain proposals to make institutional arbitration, which is thought to be proper for global  business  dispute  resolution,  suitable  for  domestic  issues  in  using  arbitration especially in developing nations have been highlighted.

Sugandha  Kamal  suggests  that  it  is  required  to  be  perceived  that  obligatory mediation provisions in consumer contracts are characteristically unjustifiable, and are unmistakable from understandings made by parties of equivalent bartering power with a through and through freedom to seek after substitute method of remedy. Pre-dispute mediation provisos  in consumer  contracts should be set  under  a different legitimate class and ought not to be given the same reverence as different understandings to parley. The main area of the paper takes a gander at the position in the United States and the grounds that exist to challenge pre-dispute provisos. The resulting segment talks about how the issue of compulsory mediation is managed in the European Union.

Jamshed  Ansari  has  aimed  to  examine  critically  the  parties’  autonomy  in Arbitration. Further, to see that whether the Arbitration law gives absolute autonomy to the parties or gives some restrictions on that. To what extent the party autonomy principle is acceptable. The party autonomy principle given in the Arbitration law is not absolute and which is controlled by the important mandatory provisions. However, the party autonomy principle  is somewhere violating the principle  of  natural justice  and public policy as well which are the fundamentals of the law of the land. The author has formulated the following questions and has tried to find out the answer- Whether the parties may agree on everything for Arbitration. What is the autonomy available to the parties during  Arbitration  proceedings?  Whether there  is  any  restriction  on  such autonomy or it is absolute. Whether the principle of natural justice applies to the Arbitration proceeding. Whether giving party autonomy is against the public policy of the country.

Shivaraj S. Huchhanavar has opined that today equity administering framework in  India  is  on the contorted  street  at  the  one  end  disappointment  of  formal  law  Courts bringing  about the accumulation  of  cases,  and  on  the  flip  side, ADRs  neglects  to  get tremendously require open backing, under this situation it is vital to reconsider on the new routes out for the coming era. As needs are it is crucial in this connection to think about different types of ADRs, their advancement, and method of working of ADRs in order to survey it masters, cons and materialness to the pluralistic Society of Indian.

Aparjita  Roy  and  Pooja  Khethrapal  have  analyzed  the  part  of  various  option question  determination  framework  winning  in  India  for  equity.  The Constitution  of India insurances expedient equity and lawful guide as a centre right. In spite of the fact that  it  is  not  simple  for  a  crowded  nation  such  as  India,  still, it  is  making  a decent attempt in such a manner. They have additionally made a genuine endeavour to inspect the need of an options framework in India, its capacities and viability.

Akhileshwar Pathak frustrated with the new Consumer Protection Bill, 2015 has remarked that the Bill is weak and needs many modifications and it does not fit many needs of the society such as a retailing sector. The Consumer Protection Bill, 2015 is  not  securing  the  rights  of  the  consumers  not  protecting  the  consumers  from exploitation in any manner in its establishment and needs an update. His paper surveys the privileges of the consumer and makes proposals for amendment in the Bill.


It can be said that there doesn’t exist much information on the impact that the ADR  has  made on the  consumer  dispute  resolution.  ADR  no  doubt  has  made a great impact on the quick disposal of the cases which the judiciary has been finding hard to do. There are no more doubts or arguments that courts are performing better than the ADR.  The  ADR  modes  Protection Act, 1986, is also ineffective in the consumer dispute resolution. The ADR has also impeccably gained momentum even in the case of the  consumer  disputes  although  the  consumer  fora exist under  the  Consumer Protection Act, 1986. The ADR has quite successfully entered into the field of consumer dispute resolution  as  well.  So,  the  real  question  is  what  is  the  exact  role  and involvement of ADR in the consumer dispute resolution. And also, whether the ADR has been  effective  in  the  resolution  of  consumer  disputes  is  another  question  which  the answer  seems  to  be  incomplete  and  bleak.    With  the  evolution  of  Online  Dispute Resolution, it is quite pertinent to take technology as an advantage by both ADR modes and also traditional Courts.


Therefore, ADR, as the name itself suggests is alternative to the traditional approaches made by the courts. The courts have been accused of slow disposal of cases and have been the cause of dissatisfaction among the general public.   ADR has presently gained  importance  in  the  present  era  especially  where  the  failure  of  the  courts  is blatantly seen. It has, of late, become a fact that ADR is more effective indefinite terms  of  time,  cost  and  satisfaction.  Moreover,  the  context  of  the  use  of  ADR  in consumer  dispute  itself  is  limited.  That  is  to say,  all the modes  of  the  ADR are  not adequately explored and tested in the role, involvement and effectiveness in consumer dispute resolution. Much literature focuses on the consumer fora and its success itself. But how far have the consumer fora been capable of handling and disposing of the cases are  another  matter  of  inquiry.  Many  reports  as  explored  above  suggest  that  the Consumer  Protection  Act  has  failed  in  implementation.  Much  more  revealing  is  the limiting of the modes of ADR and also the impact, the modes of ADR have made on the resolution of the consumer dispute resolution. In regard to this, therefore, a study is necessary to understand and critically analyse the role and evaluate the effectiveness of Alternate Dispute Resolution mechanism including not only arbitration and conciliation but also mediation, negotiation, Lok Adalat, regulatory authorities, ombudsman, online dispute resolution mechanism etc. in the consumer dispute resolution.

 Edited by – Sakshi Agarwal

Quality Check – Ankita Jha

Approved & Published by –  Sakshi Raje


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[20]  César  Betancourt  Julio  and  Elina  Zlatanska,  Online  Dispute  Resolution  (ODR): What     Is     It,     and     Is     It     the     Way     Forward?     Available     at:

[21] M. Monty Ahalt Arthur, What You Should Know about Online Dispute Resolution, available at should-know-about-online-dispute-resolution.cfm.

[22] Rishabh Sinha Man, Sarabjeet Singh, Taking Alternative Dispute Resolution to the Common, available at ve%20Dispute%20Resolution%20To%20The%20Common%20Man.pdf.

[23]  Shah,  Namrata  and  Niyati  Gandhi,  Arbitration:  One  Size  Does  Not  Fit  All: Necessity  of  Developing  Institutional  Arbitration  in  Developing  Countries, available   at

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[25]  Garg  O.P.,  The  Consumer  Protection  Act,  1986,  (Vinod  Publishing  House,  New Delhi, 1992).

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[34] Hussian Bhat Iftikhar, Access To Justice: A Critical Analysis Of Alternate Dispute

Resolution Mechanisms In India, available at:


[35] Singh Partap and Joginder Grewal, Consumer Protection in India: Some Issues & Trends,   available   at:

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I am Madonna Jephi from Tamil Nadu National Law University pursuing B.Com LLB. (Hons.). Legal research and writing has always been my good companion. Intellectual property law, labour laws, Legal drafting are my fondest. I have always believed in “no matter how good you are you can always be replaced” and this has made me conscious to be the best of myself in what I do. I actively participate in conferences and other elocutions that invite presentations on any contemporary legal issues. I am a good listener as well a good leader capable to be a part of any team. I take part in various legal aid and self awareness camps and have also involved in conducting a few of them.