Comments made during mediation or settlement proceedings not to be taken on record, as it will be contrary to principle of confidentiality, rules SC

The Supreme Court in the case of Arjab Kumar Jena v/s Utsa Jena ruled that the Comments made during mediation or settlement proceedings not to be taken on record, as it will be contrary to principle of confidentiality.

While granting leave, the division bench of Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice Bela M. Trivedi disapproved the observations made in the impugned order which refer to the comments made during the course of the mediation or settlement proceedings.

The court said that the High Court should not have taken the comments on record, as the same would impede conciliation and is contrary to and impinges on the principle of confidentiality. Accordingly, the paragraphs 11 and 12 of the impugned order would be erased from record.

The bench asked the Family Court to decide the application for joint custody, visitation rights etc. in accordance with the law within a period of four months.

The court directed that the appellant would be permitted to interact with the child in the presence of the counselor attached to the Family Court, Bhubneshwar, Orissa. The counselor would fix the date and time of subsequent meetings as per her/his discretion, keeping in view the request made by the parties.

“The counselor would be at liberty to submit his/her report before the Family Court in sealed cover. It would be open to the Family Court to decide whether the report, if submitted, should be made available to parties. It will be open to the Family Court to pass interim order/direction as are considered necessary and appropriate,” the court said.

Click Here To Read Original Order / Judgement

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