Lok Adalats set world record

At a time when 16,000-odd trial courts, 21 high courts and the Supreme Court are battling pendency of over three crore cases, a nationwide simultaneous holding of Lok Adalats created a world record by disposing of 35.1 lakh cases within eight hours. The Lok Adalats were opened on Saturday by Chief Justice P Sathasivam
“What is important is these cases will be settled and reach a finality without litigants going back home with a sense of rancour that drives them to file appeal in higher courts. Settlement of cases leaves both parties happy both in heart as well as in the pocket,” said Justice G S Singhvi, executive chairman of National Legal Services Authority.
The simultaneous functioning of Lok Adalats was televised live through web casting, a facility provided by the apex court’s e-committee headed by Justice Madan B Lokur. A whopping 39 lakh cases were put up for settlement in a friendly atmosphere of Lok Adalat without the overbearing presence of court staff or the incomprehensible legalese.
The litigants discussed among themselves and when they agreed for a settlement, in 35.1 lakh cases, it was recorded by a judicial officer bringing an end to disputes. Appeals are not against settlements recorded under Lok Adalats. How are Lok Adalats different from the courts? Answering the self-posed question, Justice A K Patnaik, who also heads the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee, said an accident victim after moving at a snail’s pace through a clogged pathway in three-tier justice delivery system gets compensation years later.
But the Lok Adalats would provide immediate relief, which is more useful to a victim than the money he receives years later and realizes that inflation has significantly devalued the quantum of compensation, he said. CJI Sathasivam said the Lok Adalats, like courts, would strictly adhere to principles of natural justice. Justice Singhvi said, the record settlement will give a fillip to Lok Adalats as a people-driven concept. This should be popularized to make justice affordable.

No comments: