Tuesday, August 09, 2022

Chandigarh

Chandigarh Lok Adalats prove a boon for the poor

YS RANA | January 27, 2022 02:21 PM

CHANDIGARH: From a measly 97 in 1999 to masterly 5.60 lakh cases disposed off since setting up of Lok Adalat Chandigarh in 1998. The ranks of beneficiaries of the State Legal Services Authority (SLSA), Chandigarh continue to swell by the day. Playing the role of a quasi-judicial adjudicator-cum-mediator, the authority has been proved a boon in setting disputes between parties amicably and expeditiously at pre-litigation state, resulting in reducing the workload of courts.

The authority modus operandi remains Lok Adalat, an innovative mechanism evolved for resolving disputes in a spirit of conciliation outside courts and without delay and recrimination. The ever increasing number of beneficiaries bears testimony to effectiveness of this tool. The authority has been constituted in 1998 under the State Service Authority Act, 1987, with the objective of providing legal aid to the poor, downtrodden and weaker sections of society who could not afford the costly legal process to secure their legal rights.

During the past 25 years, 15, 851 were provided free legal help. Those who are unable to engage an advocate, the authority provides an adovcate from its panel to present the case of a beneficiary.

To cope with the pendency of the motor challan cases the authority also holds mega lok adalats to dispose them off. In the lok adalats summary cases pertaining to Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act and traffic challans were disposed of and recovered fine amount. On one hand people save themselves from the hassel of court process but also get justice at the earliest. The fine/compensation imposed in the lok adalats were given immediately. Decisions of the lok adalats were final and no one can appeal against the decision.

Those who have annual income less than Rs 3 lakh, they can avail the services of an advocate of the authority. In case of women, children, schedule caste/schedule tribe, OBC, disabled and prisoners are being provided legal access free of cost.
From 2017 to 2021, the Chandigarh lok adalat has disposed over 40, 000 cases. It has disposed of 19, 630 cases in 2017; 7294 in 2018; 7127 in 2019; 2436 in 2019 and 9502 in 2921.

From time to time, the authority also organized ‘Samadhan’ where cases pertaining to execution, the Hindu Marriage Act, civil suits, rent cases, criminal appeals, revision success, MACT, labour cases, cases under Section 138 of Negotiable Instruments Act, Section 125 Cr PC were taken up. Besides, the authority also arranged special lok adalats to settle cases of bank recovery, financial institutions, matrimonial disputes.

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