The Ministry of Corporate Affairs vide its Notification dated 9 September, 2016 has notified the Companies (Mediation and Conciliation) Rules, 2016 (“Rules”). Section 442 of the Companies Act, 2013 authorizes the Central Government to set up a panel of experts for mediation and conciliation between parties to the dispute. The objective is to reduce the burden on the National Company Law Tribunal and the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal by offering the parties, during the pendency of their dispute, an additional forum to settle their disputes.
By way of these Rules, the Regional Director appointed by the Central Government in the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, has been vested with the power to set up the panel in compliance with the said Rules. The Rules specify the procedure which is required to be followed by the mediator and the conciliator for disposal of matters. Further, the mediators and conciliators are required to complete the process of mediation and conciliation within a strict time frame of 3 (three) months from the date of appointment of expert/s from the Panel. Other relevant provisions under these Rules relate to formation of panel of mediators and conciliators, their qualification, appointment, scope of work etc., to describe a few.