National Lok Adalat
National lok adalat is an alternative dispute resolution
mechanism in india which reduces the burden of judiciary . Recently , over 15
lakh of more than 33 lakh pending and pre-litigation cases were settled, and a
whopping Rs 2,281 crore awarded in National Lok Adalats held in 33 states and
union territories by NALSA. This is really a significant achievement towards
easing pressure on the judicial system. The executive chairman of NALSA, U U
Lalit who is also
senior-most Supreme Court judge mentioned the significance of lok adalats by saying that , National Lok Adalats are imperative to reduce the huge pendency in the justice system of the country."
The Lok Adalats, which were conducted through virtual and hybrid mode, took up 33,12,389 cases, which were either pending in courts or belonged to pre-litigation stage. The adalats disposed of 15, 33,186 cases and compensation or award of Rs 22,81,30,62,951 has been given. Most of the cases, decided in Lok Adalats, pertained to the Motor Accident Claim Tribunal (MACT), matrimonial disputes, cheque bounce and labour matters.
About National Lok Adalat:
National Level Lok Adalats are held for at regular intervals where on a single day Lok Adalats are held throughout the country, in all the courts right from the Supreme Court till the Taluk Levels wherein cases are disposed off in huge numbers. From February 2015, National Lok Adalats are being held on a specific subject matter every month.
Other types of Lok adalats :
The other type of Lok Adalat is the Permanent Lok Adalat, organized under Section 22-B of The Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987. Permanent Lok Adalats have been set up as permanent bodies with a Chairman and two members for providing compulsory pre-litigative mechanism for conciliation and settlement of cases relating to Public Utility Services like transport, postal, telegraph etc. Here, even if the parties fail to reach to a settlement, the Permanent Lok Adalat gets jurisdiction to decide the dispute, provided, the dispute does not relate to any offence.
Further, the Award of the Permanent Lok Adalat is final and binding on all the parties. The jurisdiction of the Permanent Lok Adalats is upto Rs. Ten Lakhs. Here if the parties fail to reach to a settlement, the Permanent Lok Adalat has the jurisdiction to decide the case.
The award of the Permanent Lok Adalat is final and binding upon the parties. The Lok Adalat may conduct the proceedings in such a manner as it considers appropriate, taking into account the circumstances of the case, wishes of the parties like requests to hear oral statements, speedy settlement of dispute etc.
Mobile Lok Adalats are also organized in various parts of the country which travel from one location to another to resolve disputes in order to facilitate the resolution of disputes through this mechanism.
About Lok Adalats :
NALSA along with other Legal Services Institutions conducts Lok Adalats. Lok Adalat is one of the alternative dispute redressal mechanisms, it is a forum where disputes/cases pending in the court of law or at pre-litigation stage are settled/ compromised amicably. Lok Adalats have been given statutory status under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987. Under the said Act, the award (decision) made by the Lok Adalats is deemed to be a decree of a civil court and is final and binding on all parties and no appeal against such an award lies before any court of law. If the parties are not satisfied with the award of the Lok Adalat though there is no provision for an appeal against such an award, but they are free to initiate litigation by approaching the court of appropriate jurisdiction by filing a case by following the required procedure, in exercise of their right to litigate.