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Alternative Dispute Resolution refers to the means of settling disputes without going through
legal procedures. Through ADR settlement of disputes can be done in many formal and
informal ways but here ADR emphasis is mainly on the settlement of disputes by local
community initiatives. It is an age-old tradition of society through which disputes are resolved
amicably and which concerned parties accept. Normally authority does not challenge it. It is
not institutionalized, but both the community members and the disputants accept it. There are
different ways to resolve disputes. Some are resolved formally, others informally, and some
are resolved as by time passes.

Definition of ADR:
The term of ADR can refer to everything from facilitated settlement negotiations in which
disputants are encouraged to negotiate directly with each other prior to some other legal
process, to arbitration systems that look and feel very much like a courtroom process. Processes
designed to manage community tension or facilitate community development issues can also
be included within the rubric of ADR. According to the case referred to Hilmond Investments
v CIBC 1996 135 DLR 4th 471 (ONT Court of Appeal) 887574- 'ADR' is the method by which
legal conflicts and disputes are resolved privately and other than through litigation in the public
courts, usually through one of two forms: mediation or arbitration. So, from the above
discussion it can be said that Alternative Dispute Resolution refers to the means of settling
disputes without going through legal procedures. Through ADR settlement of disputes can be
done in many formal and informal ways but here ADR emphasis is mainly on the settlement
of disputes by local community initiatives.

ADR in Artha Rin Adalat, 2003:

Artha Rin Adalat or Money Loan Court was established under a law in 1990 to adjudicate the
cases relating to the recovery of loans of financial institutions. To strengthen the Artha Rin
Adalat (Money Loan Court), the law a new Artha Rin Adalat Ain was enacted in 2003. Under
the law specialized courts for the settlement of disputes between the borrowers and the lenders
were established in the premises of the District Judge's Court. The Courts of Joint District Judge
established under the new law have overriding powers on other laws of the land. This means,
in case of conflict with any other law in force, the provisions of the new law relating to money
loan shall prevail. Under the provisions of the Act, subordinate judges are appointed judges of
the money loan courts in consultation with the Supreme Court. The law requires filing of all
suits for realisation of the loan of the financial institutions, banks, Investment Corporation,
house building Finance Corporation, leasing companies and non-banking financial institutions,
constituted under the provisions of Financial Institutions Act 1993, with the money loan courts
for trial. A civil court, the money loan court has all the powers of the civil court.

Under sections 21 and 22 of the Artha Rin Adalat Ain 2003, two modes of the ADR, settlement
conference and arbitration, have been introduced in the commercial dispute. Section 21 defines
the Settlement Conference as a conference comprising the parties, their lawyers and their
representatives and presided over by the judge of the Artha Rin Adalat for disposing of the suit
in an informal, non-binding, confidential and non-adversarial manner on the basis of mutual
cooperation and understanding of all concerned.” Section 21 deals with the details procedure
of the Settlement Conference and section 22 provides for the arbitration of the commercial
dispute. After the filing of written statement the court may, keeping pending all subsequent
proceeding refer the suit to the lawyers of the parties or where no lawyers have been engaged,
to the parties themselves. But where the parties agree to try and settle the dispute through
arbitration, the court is bound to refer the dispute for arbitration. Inserting the ADR system in
commercial dispute certainly improves the investment in this field.

ADR in The Muslim Family Law Ordinance, 1961:

Muslim Family Laws Ordinance of 1961 provides some restricted facilities for women. The
husband must give notice of talaq to the wife through proper channel for breakdown of a
marriage. He must take permission of the wife before a second marriage. Polygamy is curtailed
by this Ordinance. This law is available to Muslims only, though polygamy is a concern for
other communities also. Any dispute under the Muslim Family Law ordinance, 1961 will be
solved by the arbitration council. According to section 6 of the Muslim Family Law Ordinance,
1961 no man, during the subsistence of an existing marriage, shall, except with the previous
permission in writing of the Arbitration Council, contract another marriage, nor shall any such
marriage contracted without such permission be registered under the Muslim Marriages and
Divorces (Registration) Act, 1974 (LII of 1974)].
To make the divorce effective the husband after pronouncement of talaq shall send a notice as
soon as possible to the chairman and a copy of it will also be sent to the wife. From the date of
receiving the notice of talaq within 30 days the chairman shall constitute an arbitration council
which shall take all necessary steps for reconciliation between the parties. A talaq will not be
effective until the expiration of ninety days from the day on which the notice was delivered to
the chairman or if the wife is pregnant after the pregnancy ends, whichever period is longer. In
what form either Ahsan or Hasan or Bidaat form, the talaq is pronounced it will be deemed as
a single talaq in ahsan form, so husband can revoke the talaq anytime either expressly or
impliedly I.e. to kiss her or consummate with her or touch her etc or after ninety days by
remarry if it is not for third time. The failure of husband to give notice to the chairman is
deemed to be revocation of talaq. In Abdul Aziz vs. Rezia Khatoon, it was held the non-
compliance with section 7(1) makes talaq legally ineffective. Where wife exercise the
delegated right that is talaq-e-tawfez, she must also follow the procedure of section 7. This
healthy provision on conciliation has been incorporated in the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance
1961 to prevent the separation between husband and wife which is the result of pronouncement
of talaq that usually occurs on sudden anger of husband. For taking additional wife or to get
adequate or equitable maintenance, the party must apply before the chairman who will
constitute the arbitration council which will decide these matters in informal and amicable way
without following the procedure of courts.
ADR in Village Court:
In 1972, the name of the Union Council was changed to Union Panchayat, which was again
changed to union parishad in 1973. Later the Village Court Act of 1976 for village areas and
conciliation of disputes (Municipal Areas) Ordinance, 1979 for urban areas were introduced
and authority was vested respectively on the Chairman of Union Parishad and the
Commissioner of the Paruashava to try petty local cases and small crimes committed in their
area and take consensual decisions. These were subsequently replaced by the Village Courts
Act, 2006 and Conciliation of Dispute (Municipal Areas) Act, 2004.

The village court consists of UP Chairman, members and representatives from concerned
parties. Under the Village Court Act, 2006, the village court can try disputes over properly
valued not exceeding TK. 25,000. The village court has also power to summon a person to
stand as a witness and can impose a fine of up to TK. 500 on contempt charges.

If any dispute either civil or criminal comes within the ambit of The Village Court Act 2006,
it shall be dealt with by the Village Court consisting of five members including the chairman
who will preside over the Village Court and each party shall select two members of which one
must be a member of Union parishad. The procedures enumerated in the Evidence Act, the
C.P.C and the Cr.P.C shall not be applicable in village court and no party has right to engage
any lawyer in proceeding of such court.
The key to success of A.D.R. in Bangladesh lies in the manner of its introduction. A.D.R. is no
longer an unheard of concept of dispute resolution among judges, litigants and lawyers of
Bangladesh. The Family Courts all over Bangladesh are actively engaged in A.D.R. The pilot
family courts are only exclusively engaged in mediation, but other Assistant Judges, who
received training in mediation, are also mediating apart from trying cases. The mediation output
of all the Assistant Judges, taken together, is something to be proud of. The Ministry of Law
only needs to collect maintain and update all relevant statistics in this regard.