Getting justice from the subordinate or high court is very complicated, so the concept of Lok Adalat was brought with the aim of making justice easier.

In this article, we will discuss Lok Adalat in a simple and easy way and try to understand its important aspects. So read this article till the end to understand it well.

Lok Adalat
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What is Lok Adalat?

You must know about the main courts of India that they are buried with thousands of pending cases. It is not known when 10-15 years pass from date on date and date on date. And as a result justice gets delayed very much.

To bypass this and to reduce the burden of the Chief Court and to provide speedy justice , a forum called Lok Adalat was formed.

These courts provide an excellent platform for getting informal, cheap and accessible justice. Here the cases are settled by specially trained and experienced legal practitioners by adopting negotiation, mediation, courtesy, common sense and humane approach towards the problems of the litigants.

Decisions are given in such a way that it is accepted by both the parties happily. That is why it is said that no one is victorious or defeated in the proceedings of the Lok Adalat.

Compoundable and Non-Compoundable OffencesHindiEnglish
Cognizable and Non- Cognizable OffencesHindiEnglish
Bailable and Non-Bailable OffencesHindiEnglish

Jurisdiction of Lok Adalat

Talking about its jurisdiction, it can hear marriage related disputes, criminal matters, land acquisition matters, labor disputes, employee compensation matters, bank recovery cases, pension matters, housing matters, finance matters, consumer complaints cases etc.

Here only two types of cases are heard

(1) such cases which are pending in the courts or
(2) such cases which have not yet reached the courts.

Lok Adalats cannot hear cases which fall under the jurisdiction of any court or on which a date of hearing is fixed. Secondly, the Lok Adalat cannot even hear cases which are not maintainable under any law. That is, such offenses which are dealt with by the Main Stream Court. This is called a non-compoundable offence.

[ Know Compoundable Offenses and Non Compoundable Offenses in detail.]

Statutory Features –

Lok_Adalat was started as an experiment in Gujarat in 1982 but it was so successful in settling disputes that it was soon adopted in other states also. In view of its increasing popularity, people demanded to give it a statutory status, as a result it was given statutory status in 1987 by the ” Statutory Services Authority Act “. Some of its statutory features are as follows-

1. State Legal Services Authority (SLSA) or District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) or Supreme Court Legal Services Authority (SCLSA) or High Court Legal Services Authority (HCLSA) can organize Lok Adalats where it deems fit.

The question must be coming in your mind that what is this Statutory Services Authority mentioned above ? This is a separate topic which is not only related to the judicial system but also related to the Directive Principle of State Policy. So to understand it – read National Legal Services Authority.

2. How many members will be there to hear the Lok_Adalat, it is decided by the organizers. Normally a Lok Adalat consists of a judicial officer as its president and a lawyer and social worker as its members.

3. A matter pending before a court may be brought to Lok Adalat for hearing if:

(1) if both the parties wish to settle the dispute in the Lok Adalat, or
(2) either of the parties shall refer the matter to the Lok Adalat. or
(3) if the Court is satisfied that the matter is fit to be brought to the notice of the Lok Adalat.

4. Talking about the powers of Lok Adalats , it enjoys the same powers as the Civil Courts under the Code of Civil Procedure (1908) . Thus proceedings in Lok Adalat shall be deemed to be a court proceeding within the meaning prescribed in the Indian Penal Code (IPC) 1860 and every Lok Adalat shall be deemed to be a civil court for the purposes of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) (1973) .

6. The decision of the Lok Adalat will be as valid as the order of the Civil Court or any order of any other court. The decision given by the Lok Adalat shall be final and binding on all the parties and there shall be no appeal in any court against the decision of the Lok Adalat.

Benefits of Lok_Adalat

1. No court fee is levied here and if the court fee has been paid by any party, the amount will be returned after disposal of the matter in Lok Adalat. Apart from this, it is also less time consuming and free from the technical complications of regular courts.

2. Here all the parties can communicate directly with the judge through their lawyers, which is not possible in regular courts, as well as here the parties concerned can discuss their differences openly, which proves helpful in resolving the dispute.

3. Here disputes are resolved quickly, freely and amicably and here no one is victorious or defeated.

What is Permanent Lok Adalat?

We have read above that Lok Adalats are organized by various judicial service authorities. That is, this method had become valid but was not permanent. That is why the ‘ Legal Services Authority Act 1987 ‘ was amended in 2012 to provide for permanent Lok Adalats for matters related to public utility services.

Features of Permanent Lok Adalat

Some of the major changes that were brought in the Permanent Lok Adalat in comparison to the Lok Adalat are as follows –

1. Permanent Lok Adalat shall be headed by a person who has been a District Judge or an Additional District Judge or who has been in judicial service of a higher rank than that of a District Judge. Along with this there will be two other persons who have sufficient experience in public services.

2. Under the jurisdiction of the Permanent Lok Adalat, there shall be more public utility services, such as, passenger or goods transport, telegraph or telephone services, supply of electricity, light or water to the public by an institution, services in hospitals, insurance services, etc.

3. Permanent Lok Adalat will have no jurisdiction in non-compoundable matters.

4. After the application is presented to the Permanent Lok Adalat, no party to that application shall go to any court for settlement in the same suit.

5. Whenever it appears to the Permanent Court that there are elements of a settlement in a suit which may be acceptable to the parties concerned. Then she can give a formula for a possible solution and place it before the parties so that they too can see and understand it. If thereafter the litigants reach a settlement, the Lok Adalat can pass a judgment to that effect. If the plaintiffs are not ready to compromise, then the Lok Adalat can award the award on the merits of the latter.

7. Every judicial decision delivered by the Permanent Lok Adalat shall be final and binding on the litigants and all parties. (The decision will be passed on the basis of majority of the persons involved in the constitution of Lok Adalat)

Lok Adalat’s drawback-

The biggest drawback of Lok Adalats is that its system is mainly based on settlement between the parties. If both the parties are unable to reach a settlement, then the matter is either sent back to the court from where it was referred or both the parties are advised to settle their dispute through court process. This causes unnecessary delay in getting justice.

Overall this is Lok_Adalat. To understand this article better, you must read the National Legal Services Authority i.e. NALSA once, the link is also below


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भारत की राजव्यवस्था↗️
Lok Adalat – National Legal Services Authority!
Lok Adalat – Wikipedia