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Generally, it is considered Lok Adalats were originated from British Rule. Even though it is an old form of dispute system however it has been rejuvenated a lot. Lok Adalat has a long history in ancient India. The principles of Lok Adalat's honesty, fair play, and moral character are embodied in Indian culture. These Lok Adalats are named as people’s court or popular court or panchayats. These courts played an important role in ancient to the medieval period. The importance of these texts is discussed in the writings of Yajnavalkya, Narad, Gautama, Kautilya, Manu, and Bhringu. These people’s court is of three kinds Punga, Sreni, and Kula. During Muslim rule, these people’s court name’s has been changed.

During Islamic rule, there was systematic control on the administration of the justices in the villages.
After Independence, the existing judicial system has not fulfilled the demands of the people. As decades are passing the changes in the judicial system are being made a lot. Now Lok Adalat has become very popular amongst the litigants. Studies show that it is one of the most efficient and important ADR mechanisms and most suited to the Indian environment, culture, and societal interests of the people. Lok Adalats were initially established in Gujarat in March 1982 but started in Chennai and now have been extended throughout the country.

The Lok Adalat originated in the Indian legal system to provide fast, effective, and affordable justice. The evolution of this movement was a part to relieve the heavy burden on the Courts with cases pending.
Lok Adalats are a blend of three forms of Alternate Dispute Resolution: arbitration, mediation, and conciliation. The use of conciliation with elements of arbitration give decisions are binding and are an illustration of legal decentralization as conflicts are returned to communities from when they originated for local settlement


In Telangana, Legal services Institutions along with NLASA conducts Lok Adalats. Lok Adalat is one of the alternative dispute mechanisms. It is a form of dispute mechanism where pending cases are settled in the court of law which is in the pre-litigation stage, is made to compromise in a friendly manner. Lok Adalats have been given status under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987. Under this Act, the decision made by the Lok Adalats is deemed to be a decree of a civil court and it is final and binding on all parties and no appeal against such a decision lies before any court of law.

The advantage in this Lok Adalat is there is no court fee when a case is filed in the court. If the case is pending in the court of law it is referred to in Lok Adalat and the case is settled subsequently, the court fee which is paid in the court on the complaints/petition is refunded back to the parties. The persons who decide the cases in Lok Adalat are called the Members of the Lok Adalats. They do not have any judicial role but act as conciliators. They can only make the parties by making a conclusion for the dispute, by solving the dispute outside the courts in Lo Adalat. The cases are solved by direct talks between the litigants. The main of Lok Adalat is to solve the cases as soon as possible and give justice to the people. Consent of the parties is only criteria for settlement of the cases. The decision passed by Lok Adalat in respect of the matters at the Pre Litigation stage shall be executable through the Court of District Judges of the District in which the Lok Adalat is held as per Rule 18 of AP State Legal Services Authority Rules, 1995.

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BY : Dhatri Shukla

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