First national lok adalat will be held on Nov 23rd
Geetanjali Minhas | November 20, 2013
Under provisions of Sec 22(A) (B) of Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 Mumbai District Suburban Legal Services Authority (MDLSA) has announced establishment of Permanent lok adalat for Mumbai. The lok adalat will settle pending and pre-litigation civil disputes relating to public utility services and even criminal cases of compoundable offence including Domestic Violence Act operate from the MDLSA office in Bandra.
Disputes related to passenger, goods, air, road or water transport services, post and telegraph or telephone services, supply of water, electricity by an establishment, public conservancy or sanitation, hospital, dispensary services and insurance where the value of dispute is below Rs 25 lakh will be settled by way of conciliation. Any party to the dispute can file application before permanent lok adalat and pay the required court fees.
The lok adalat will initially try and resolve dispute through conciliation. If the parties fail to arrive at amicable settlement the permanent lok adalat will adjudicate the matter on merits. No party can invoke jurisdiction of any court in the same dispute after an application is made to the permanent lok adalat.
“‘Award of permanent lok adalat has to be regarded as final. It cannot be questioned in original suit as it is equivalent to the decree of a civil court. It is executable but not appealable. It can be executed through the courts and can only be challenged before the High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution only when totally arbitrary and unreasonable order is passed” said, Ajay V Gujarathi , Secretary, MDLSA.
The permanent lok adalat will be headed by retd. district judge SB Munde as chairman. Advocate Sujata Lad Kordey and Ganpat Bhikaji Mulam have been nominated as members.
"We are periodically holding lok adalats but now lok nyalaya will be permanent feature of whole system” said Lad Kordey.
“More than 3 crore cases are pending in different Indian courts. In early 2008, there were 4,25,000 cases pending in different Mumbai courts under Negotiable Instruments Act 1881. After these cases were brought in lok adalat’s, today the pendency has come down to 95000. Alternative dispute resolution is a good medium to settle cases. After the success of Maha lok adalat in Maharashtra, the concept was adopted on a national level by the National Legal Services Authority” added Gujarathi
On 23rd November 2013, the first National lok adalat will be held in all courts of the country. In Mumbai it will be held in city civil court, sessions court, small causes court, metropolitan courts consumer forums, family courts, labour and industrial courts, charity commissioner office etc. more than 55,000 cases have been placed in all courts of Mumbai.
Under article 39 A of constitution, the state has been given responsibility to provide free legal aid and awareness programmes for women, children, backward classes, underprivileged, poor and those affected by natural calamities. The Legal Services Authority act was passed by the government in 1987 on a national level under which state legal services authorities and district legal services authorities have been set up.
Since financial year 2000-2001, 33,037 lok adalats in all categories have been held across Maharashtra where 18,0,2072 cases have been settled till Sept 3013. 38,1268 Pre-litigation matters have been settled between financial year 2005-2006 and Sept 2013.
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