Nagpur News: The Maha Lok Adalats conducted on April 12 have not only brought relief to lakhs of litigants but have also helped reduce pendency by as many as 1.92 lakh cases across 32 districts of Maharashtra. As the very concept of Maha Lok Adalat in Maharashtra, a large number of cases are being mutually settled through Alternate Dispute Redressal (ADR) Mechanism. In Nagpur, it has helped settle nearly 26,504 cases that were clogging the legal system including one 47-year-old dispute.
The Lok Adalat is a system of alternative dispute resolution developed in India. It roughly means “People’s court”. India has had a long history of resolving disputes through the mediation of village elders. The system of Lok Adalats is based on the principles of the Panch Parmeshwar of Gram Panchayats which were also proposed by Mahatma Gandhi. The idea of Lok Adalat was mainly advocated by former Chief Justice of India Justice P.N. Bhagwati. Lok Adalat is a non-adversarial system, whereby mock courts (called Lok Adalats) are held by the State Authority, District Authority, Supreme Court Legal Services Committee, High Court Legal Services Committee, or Taluka Legal Services Committee.
They are held periodically for exercising such jurisdiction as they determine. These are usually presided over by retired judges, social activists, or other members of the legal profession. The Lok Adalats can deal with all Civil Cases, Matrimonial Disputes, Land Disputes, Partition/Property Disputes, Labour Disputes etc., and compoundable criminal Cases. The first Lok Adalat was held in 1985 in Delhi where more than 150 cases were solved within a day.
Nearly 1, 73,183 cases were settled in the Maha Lok Adalats, which were pending since 1995-96. In the five previous Lok Adalats, as many as 2, 95,818 cases were kept for disposal and 1, 73,183 were actually settled, official sources said. In the recent Maha Lok Adalat organised here on Saturday last, 28,839 cases were settled, thereby taking up the tally to 2, 02,022 cases so far, they said. These include 1, 35,401 pre-litigation cases kept for disposal and 74,102 actually settled cases.
The National Lok Adalat, held only once so far last year, was also a success where 73,841 cases were kept and 57,041 of them were settled, sources said.
The District Legal Services Authority (DLSA), which organizes and co-ordinates the holding of Lok Adalat, said that the settlement and success was to the tune of 89 percent. A significant amount which is running to the tune of Rs 10, 32, 25,968 was also settled. The court collected a fine of Rs 34, 61,700 in a day long Maha Lok Adalat which was held on April 12, 2014.
Justice Z A Haq of the Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court stressed on the need for Lok Adalats which helps to reduce the pendency in the judicial system. According to him, ADRs serve a good purpose since the litigants are the best judges to understand their disputes and they know the factual position better.
We should extend help to them being mediator or conciliator, he said. The first Lok Adalat was held in 1995-96 in the premises of Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court.