Lok Adalats are conducting d by NALSA along with other legal services. Lok Adalat is an alternative dispute resolution forum where disputes/cases at the pre-litigation stage or pending in the court of law are settled/ compromised amicably. Legal Services Authorities Act,1987 has given Lok Adalats statutory status. Under the Act, the award decision made by the Lok Adalats is final and binding on all parties and no appeal against such an award lies before any court of law. It is deemed to be a decree of a civil court. There is no provision for an appeal against an award in case the parties are not satisfied with the same. However, the parties can freely initiate litigation by approaching the court by filing a case by following the required procedure, exercising their right to litigate. The court fee originally paid in the court on the complaints/petition is refunded back to the parties when a matter pending in a court of law is referred to the Lok Adalat and is settled there. The Members of the Lok Adalats are the persons deciding the case in Lok Adalats. They have the role of statutory conciliators and not a judicial role. They can only persuade the parties to reach a conclusion for settling the dispute outside the Court. They cannot coerce or pressurize any of the parties to compromise or settle cases or matters either directly or indirectly. The Lok Adalat shall not decide the matter so referred at its own instance. Instead, it would be decided on the basis of the settlement or compromise between the parties. The members would assist the parties in an impartial and independent manner in their attempt to reach an amicable settlement of their dispute. Nature of Cases to be referred to Lok Adalat: 1. Any case pending before any court. 2. Any dispute which has not been brought before any court and is likely to be filed before the court. Which Lok Adalat to be Approached As per section 18(1) of the Act, a Lok Adalat shall have jurisdiction to determine and to arrive at a compromise or settlement between the parties to a dispute in respect of - (1) Any case pending before; or (2) Any matter which is falling within the jurisdiction of, and is not brought before, any court for which the Lok Adalat is organized. Provided that the Lok Adalat shall have no jurisdiction in respect of matters relating to divorce or matters relating to an offense not compoundable under any law.
This article does not intend to hurt the sentiments of any individual, community, sect, or religion, etcetera. This article is based purely on the author’s personal opinion and views in the exercise of the Fundamental Rights guaranteed under Article 19(1)(A) and other related laws being enforced in India for the time being.