Lok Adalats - Advantages and Disadvantages?
Lok Adalats – Advantages and Disadvantages?Introduction:
While addressing the conference on the occasion of Legal Services Day in New Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi talked about the special role that Lok Adalats have been playing over the years in bringing justice to those who hesitate in taking the matters to courts. There are more than 15 lakh Lok Adalats in our country and they have successfully delivered justice to 8.5 crore people, which is far higher than the count at courts.
PM stressed on the importance of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Nyay.” Law universities have been asked to contribute to this idea and have been assigned to make students research on Lok Adalats in our country. The reports and suggestions from the research would be considered to make improvements in the existing law system of Lok Adalats which brings us to think why Lok adalats, despite its popularity of delivering justice fast track, is not preferred by all.
Let’s consider the advantages and drawbacks of Lok Adalats.
1. Lok Adalats are meant for conciliated settlement of disputes outside court which is what most of our people like if the matter allows for this kind of settlement. There is a fear among a large number of people about taking disputes to court, not just about delay in getting justice but also for financial reasons. In fact, one of the reasons for the formation of Lok Adalat or people’s court is to provide fair and uncomplicated justice to the financially deprived section of our society. Though government provides legal aids to poor, there is a fear of monetary loss during the time period which is why most people prefer Lok Adalats.
2. Family disputes like property acquisition and matrimonial issues are far better and faster solved by these Lok Adalats in comparison to courts. Though there are family courts for these matters, people would always prefer settlement outside court and in a fair and just manner which is delivered well by Lok Adalats. It saves time and expenses and also is easier for parties to make their claims which is not the case when the matter is in court and witnesses are afraid of getting involved into legal matters.
3. The number of cases that require jurisdiction is increasing at an alarming rate and let’s face it – we have far inadequate number of courts and judges in our country than we require which leads to unnecessary delay even in smaller cases. If more and more people could understand the significance of Lok Adalats and resort to them for easy litigations, there would be lesser pending cases in the files gathering dust since years in courts.
4. Lok Adalats can be a decent supplement to the work of courts and could contribute to justice in a good way only if awareness is increased and people are encouraged to opt for them. For illiterates and poor there are even more advantages of taking matters to lok adalats. Proceedings are conducted faster and in simple arrangements and even in local languages. They are not strict about procedural laws or Evidence Act and are based more on merits which makes it “People’s Festival of Justice.”
5. There is no absolute need of advocates by the victim and the convict, who can either prefer to have their cases pleaded by the lawyer or simply talk to the judge about the matter directly. This is not a possibility in courts where a third person pleads the case and the people involved only get a say when their turn comes. To explain their stand directly is an advantage that makes people’s court very accessible and easy for people.
6. Even if the case is filed in court, the expenses are refunded to the party when the case is solved by Lok Adalat which is another reason why people should be made more aware of this litigation system where there is no fee involved. According to justice V V Rao, it will take another 320 years to clear the pending backlogs in India but if more and more people take their cases to Lok Adalats, there is a fair chance that this could be achieved earlier.
1. Justice delayed is justice denied but justice hurried is also justice buried. Faster justice comes with a price of settlement made at the cost of lesser compensation and the petitioner had no time to claim higher amount which he justly should have got as seen in many cases after which apex court ordered Lok Adalat to be careful about not impairing the right of any party involved in the issue. Faster and easier justice must not come with the price of injustice which is what falls as a disadvantage of Lok Adalat.
2. Not all cases are suitable for lok adalat jurisdiction. Lok adalat is all about settlement and compromise which is not what every case requires. Most cases in India require punishment and correctional methods which is not under the dealing of lok adalat. These cases would usually fail here and would then be recommended to courts. This would only create superfluous deferral in the legal proceedings, sometimes which could be required as early as possible.
Lok Adalats can be functional at larger levels only if people are willing and aware of its advantages and if the drawbacks are done away with. More provisions and amendments that could empower permanent lok adalats is needed if they are to be made supplementary form of litigation for people who cannot or should not resort to courts.
As PM has suggested involvement of law students and research on this system could go a long way in encouraging people to get justice the easier and faster way without having to spend any money. However, we must also keep the drawbacks in mind and people must be informed that when the situation calls for an appeal in court to get the culprit punished, people must not hesitate and settle for compensations.
- RE: Lok Adalats – Advantages and Disadvantages? -vivek (11/27/15)
- I think there is not any issue in Lok Adalat. if the members of that body are having knowledge of the constitution of our country. if they do not good knowledge of laws and rules then they may give wrong decisions which will create problems for the society. Due to insufficient court in our country, it is very necessary to have such type of court. by using such type of court. we can help those people who have minor property and matrimonial issues and these Lok Adalats are also beneficial for many local issues, like education, health, employment, business and many social issues.
- RE: Lok Adalats – Advantages and Disadvantages? -Deepa Kaushik (11/18/15)
- Lok Adalats are definitely beneficial, but they cannot replace the judicial and legal proceedings. The cases that could be dealt at these Adalats could have been tried at the courts, but the vice versa is not always applicable. The courts have their own importance and relevance which could not be over-lookedin lieu of these Lok Adalats.
Lok Adalats do encounter enumerous cases every day and they justify their proceedings to a good extent. Yet, they do not possess the authority to pass judgement dealing with the punishable crimes. All they do is settlement out of the court.
With the present form of law and order situation in our country and the way our judicial system is handling the cases, people definitely fear to reach the foot steps of the court. Forget about justice, the time period for the hearings and the fees payable for the same makes a living man wander like a dead soul from pillar-to-post.
For all those matters where people are unable to settle the matter within themselves and seek a middle man to hear and pass a neutral judgement, these Lok Adalats are helpful. And when they same is analysed from the monetary point of view, these Adalats are a boon to the poor section of the society.
Precisely, it would be better if these Lok Adalats get more focus and awareness is spread among common man who could make use of these Adalats for the cases that could be handled here. These Lok Adalats should also be standardised with specific guidelines which could help in providing a uniform judgement across the country, simultaneously lowering the burden of pending cases in the courts.
- RE: Lok Adalats – Advantages and Disadvantages? -jadhav (11/16/15)
- I think Lok Adalat would be beneficial to the poor and abandoned ladies due to henous dowry system. Because both are an abject truth of our soceity which is on rise on alarming rate. but they should function fairly and impartially so it can attract to the people.