THE LOK ADALAT

Going by the spirit behind this most significant dis- pute resolution programme i.e. the Lok Adalat system, though the results on ground revealed that the desired targets could not be achieved yet the Lok Adalats turned out to be one of the most favourite options especially for the litigants belonging to the unprivileged class be it on the basis of economic factor or otherwise. While during the Corona pandemic Lok Adalats were held even virtually adopting digital mode, physical holding of Lok Adalats post-pandemic contin- ues to provide a big respite to the litigants aspiring to end their disputes amicably. It is pertinent to mention here that only the other day, moving forward towards achieving the goal of ‘Access to Justice’ for all and to help the poor litigants tide over their financial problems and untold mental stress, the J&K Legal Services Authority organized a General Lok Adalat throughout the U.T of J&K, the other day under the patronage of Justice Tashi Rabstan, Chief Justice (Acting), High Court of J&K and Ladakh & Patron-in-Chief and Executive Chairman J&K Legal Services Authority. Out of a total number of 34,240 cases taken up by112 Benches in the day long Lok Adalat at various courts across the UT of J&K, 30,925 cases were disposed off and an amount of Rs. 13,67,83,490 was awarded as compensation/ settlement amount. Such litigant friend- ly programmes are organized keeping in view the hard- ships faced by the litigants. In fact the Lok Adalat is undoubtedly going to provide great relief to the litigants including the claimants in Motor Accident Claim cases, Cheque Bounce cases, matrimonial disputes and mul- tiple other matters. It would not be out of context to mention here that the concept of Lok Adalats was intro- duced with the purpose of achieving multiple objec- tives. These serve very crucial functions in a country that is faced with huge pendency of over 3 crore cases in Courts, illiteracy, besides non affordability of common masses on account of economical considerations, etc.
In fact it was a historic necessity in a country like India where illiteracy dominates almost every aspect of gov- ernance. On the whole Lok Adalats play a very impor- tant role to advance and strengthen “equal access to justice”, which is akin heart of the Constitution and ulti- mately make it a reality. Since this programme being the most important part of ADR jurisprudence aimed at benefitting the common people at large especially those litigants who stand disturbed by the prolonged lit- igations both psychologically and economically. Prior to the pandemic it was felt that there is a need to evolve a strategy so that people feel encouraged to take full advantage of Lok Adalat System so that the Gandhian Principle of Gram Swaraj and “access to justice for all” could be achieved.