Tuesday, April 18, 2017

(GS) - LoK Adalats - An Introduction

UPSC Online Study Materials 

Lok Adalats

About Lok Adalats

  • NALSA along with other Legal Services Institutions conducts Lok Adalats .Lok Adalat is one of the alternative dispute redressal mechanisms
  • It is a forum where disputes/cases pending in the court of law or at pre-litigation stage are settled/ compromised amicably
  • The Lok Adalat is presided over by a sitting or retired judicial officer as the chairman, with two other members, usually a lawyer and a social worker

Statutory: 

  • Lok Adalats have been given statutory status under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987

Final award: 

  • Under the said Act, the award (decision) made by the Lok Adalats is deemed to be a decree of a civil court and is final and binding on all parties and no appeal against such an award lies before any court of law

No appeal: 

  • If the parties are not satisfied with the award of the Lok Adalat though there is no provision for an appeal against such an award, but they are free to initiate litigation by approaching the court of appropriate jurisdiction by filing a case by following the required procedure, in exercise of their right to litigate

No fee: 

  • There is no court fee payable when a matter is filed in a Lok Adalat.If a matter pending in the court of law is referred to the Lok Adalat and is settled subsequently, the court fee originally paid in the court on the complaints/petition is also refunded back to the parties

Members: 

  • The persons deciding the cases in the Lok Adalats are called the Members of the Lok Adalats
  • They have the role of statutory conciliators only and do not have any judicial role

Persuasion: 

  • Therefore they can only persuade the parties to come to a conclusion for settling the dispute outside the court in the Lok Adalat and shall not pressurize or coerce any of the parties to compromise or settle cases or matters either directly or indirectly

Amicable Resolution: 

  • The Lok Adalat shall not decide the matter so referred at its own instance, instead the same would be decided on the basis of the compromise or settlement between the parties
  • The members shall assist the parties in an independent and impartial manner in their attempt to reach amicable settlement of their dispute

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