The following essay aims to investigate whether application of mediation in criminal cases, specifically in cases of sexual harassment, is appropriate and whether it should be encouraged. Mediation is a voluntary and flexible process where the mediator acts as a neutral third party and aims to resolve the dispute within the parties. It usually happens in a confidential setting by making the redressal process victim centric and based on mutual resolution of the grievance. This essay aims to explore whether mediation as an alternate dispute redressal mechanism, apart from the traditional litigation method, can address the loopholes in the present system, considering that mediation as an Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanism is not in vogue in India. Application of mediation in criminal cases is a precarious issue and this essay aims to critique the same.
The essay will look at the application of mediation and the scope of this method of ADR on the basis of substantive and procedural laws. Further, the essay will compare and contrast the present laws related to mediation and sexual harassment in India with other countries. This comparison will be executed with respect to current accepted practices in India and abroad. The essay will weigh the merits and demerits of mediation in criminal disputes involving sexual harassment. Finally, the researchers aim to reach a conclusion based on the different sides presented in order to determine if mediation in criminal disputes pertaining to sexual harassment are feasible or not.