Emergence of Lok Adalat as the most efficacious tool of Alternative Dispute Resolution

 

Context:

  • A total number of 1,27,87,329 cases were disposed off in 2021. Due to technological advancement like E-Lok Adalats, Lok Adalats have reached doorsteps of parties
  • National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) is committed to deliver prompt and inexpensive justice to the citizens. Recently, it has decided to lay more emphasis on contribution of National Lok Adalat in effectively reducing the number of pending cases through Alternative Dispute Mechanisms.
  • To achieve this goal, the Legal Services Authorities shifted to dynamic preparation strategies for organization of the Lok Adalats. As a preparatory measure, NALSA started organization of prior consultative and review meetings with all the State Legal Services Authorities to guide them towards the maximum disposal during such Lok Adalats.
  • Before the organization of each National Lok Adalat, multiple interactions were organised with the Executive Chairpersons of all the State Legal Services Authorities, wherein one-to-one interactions were made to take a stock of the preparations as well as to boost the morale of the stakeholders tasked to organize the Lok Adalats

 

About Lok Adalat

 

  • The term ‘Lok Adalat’ means‘People’s Court’ and is based on Gandhian principles.
  • As per the Supreme Court, it is an old form of adjudicating systemprevailed in ancient India and its validity has not been taken away even in the modern days too.
  • It isone of the components of the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) system and delivers informal, cheap and expeditious justice to the common people.
  • Thefirst Lok Adalat camp was organised in Gujarat in 1982 as a voluntary and conciliatory agency without any statutory backing for its decisions.
  • In view of its growing popularity over time, it was given statutory statusunder the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987. The Act makes the provisions relating to the organisation and functioning of the Lok Adalats.

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  • The State/District Legal Services Authorityor the Supreme Court/High Court/Taluk Legal Services Committee may organise Lok Adalats at such intervals and places and for exercising such jurisdiction and for such areas as it thinks fit.
  • Every Lok Adalat organised for an area shall consist of such number of serving or retired judicial officers and other persons of the area as may be specifiedby the agency organising.
    • Generally, a Lok Adalat consists of ajudicial officer as the chairman and a lawyer (advocate) and a social worker as members.
  • National Legal Services Authority(NALSA) along with other Legal Services Institutions conducts Lok Adalats.

Source: THE HINDU.

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