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21st June 2024 (11 Topics)

Lok Adalat

Context

The Supreme Court of India has announced a special Lok Adalat scheduled for the upcoming months, marking the 75th year of its establishment.

Reason behind SC’s Decision

  • The Supreme Court is committed to enhancing accessible and efficient justice delivery for all segments of society. The special Lok Adalat is part of efforts to expedite the resolution of pending cases.
  • This initiative aims to resolve pending cases through amicable settlements.
  • At the end of 2023, the Supreme Court was saddled with 80,439pending cases. The government is a litigant in more than 70% of all admitted matters before the Supreme Court. 

About Lok Adalat and Its Role

  • Lok-Adalat is a system of alternative dispute resolution developed in India. It is an integral part of India’s judicial system, focusing on alternative dispute resolution outside formal court proceedings.
  • Aim: to facilitate quick settlements while saving time, costs, and energy for both litigants and judges. The process emphasizes negotiation and compromise in an informal setting.
  • Lok Adalats derive their authority from Article 39A of the Constitution of India, which mandates the state to ensure that the legal system promotes justice on the basis of equal opportunity.
  • These adalats operate under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987, providing a statutory status.
  • National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) and other legal service institutions conduct Lok Adalat.
  • Lok Adalat can make awards/decisions, which are deemed to be a decree of a civil court and is final and binding on all the parties concerned.
  • All Lok Adalats function under the aegis of NALSA, which is headed by its executive chairman, the second senior-most judge of the Supreme Court. The chief justice of India is a Patron-in-Chief of the NALSA.

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