STREAMLINE LOK ADALAT SYSTEM

While the National Lok Adalats are held regularly across J&K like the rest of the country, a National Lok Adalat is scheduled for coming Sunday i.e. 22nd of April, 2018 at the District Court Complex Jammu. For holding this Lok Adalat that provides a chance to the litigants for mutual settlement of cases the Pre-Lok Adalat sessions commenced on 9th of April, 2018 and will continue till 21st of April followed by the National Lok Adalat on next day. It is a fact that the litigants finally heave a sigh of relief after getting their cases settled in the Lok Adalat, but at the same time a lot more needs to be done to streamline the process of holding these Adalats so that there is easy access to the section of the society that is uneducated and unaware of the process despite wide publicity. Lok Adalats settle disputes through reconciliation and alternate dispute resolution and as such do not only provide the quick resolution to dispute but also ends the animosity having got generated during the regular litigation process. It also saves the litigants from expending money in the form of lawyers’ fee. While conducting a thorough analysis of the long journey of Lok Adalats in this state we find that the desired results could not be achieved in the direction of making the Lok Adalats much popular among the people of this state as a result of which many times the date of Lok Adalats had to be postponed due to very few litigants coming forward to seek justice in these Adalats. It is quite unfortunate that improving the pace of the justice delivery system which can be accessible and affordable for all and is the best guarantee to the welfare of people of this largest democracy, still seems to be out of sight due to the ground situation being such that only the affluent and influential do get justice while the commoners continue to be eluded be it due to their inability to afford the ace lawyers or unawareness about their rights and last but not the least the inaccessibility factor. Despite the constitutional provisions having elaborately vouched for a vibrant justice system there are multiple lacunae in the implementation part that have left a lot of scope for making the legal system quite effective for which a robust, effective and democratised legal system is necessary to ensure that every citizen gets an equal access to justice and until this objective is achieved the underprivileged will continue to be eluded by justice. In this direction the Lok Adalat system can be the best panacea. The aim of Lok Adalat is not only to deliver justice to the common masses but simultaneously more pending cases get disposed off for the benefit of the litigants thus the pendency issue also getting addressed simultaneously. Though the Lok Adalats have decided around nine crore pre-litigation and pending cases in over 15.14 sittings during the last two decades across the nation yet there is further scope to make it the best tool for further reducing pendency and providing affordable justice to the people. It is hoped that all the stakeholders will work relentlessly for streamlining the Lok Adalat System.