NEW DELHI: In its 75th year of establishment, the Supreme Court will hold an unprecedented six-day long special Lok Adalat from June 29 aiming to amicably settle ten thousand cases free of cost that would help reduce the pendency that has plateaued at 65,000 for the past few years despite a healthy annual disposal rate.
Lok Adalats have been held in SC as a part of the national endeavour in the past with moderate response from the litigants, but this is the first time the SC is holding a six-day long one exclusively for the apex court.Assigning a key role to lawyers in the amicable settlement of cases before Lok Adalats, CJI D Y Chandrachud said, “The concept of Special Lok Adalat promotes social justice by providing legal aid to all the sections of the society for alternative dispute resolution.”
“The Special Lok Adalat delivers fast and inexpensive justice through the spirit of harmony and understanding, hence the parties feel satisfied. It reduces the workload of courts thereby helping them to focus on more serious matters and reducing delay in dispensation of justice,” he said.
Unlike court proceedings where only judges decide cases on the judicial side, the Lok Adalats in SC will endeavour for an amicable settlement through consensus among “with the aid of the Bench presided by one of the SC Judges and a member or two who can be an expert from various fields appointed by the CJI,” the SC registry told TOI.
The SC at present has nearly 83,000 cases pending of which over 28,000 are less than a year old. The CJI, Judges and Registry worked in tandem for the last three months to identify more than 10,000 cases relating to disputes in labour law, rent, service and employment, compensation, petty criminal matters, family disputes, ordinary civil cases and consumer protection matters for settlement before Lok Adalats.
The CJI conferred with chief justices of HCs to ensure that every litigant, even those residing in the remote parts of the country, is provided with a video conferencing facility to participate in the amicable settlement of his/her case before the special Lok Adalat so that he/she does not have to travel to the Supreme Court.
“All the High Courts were asked to provide Video-Conferencing facilities to the litigants at the nearest places to their residence to facilitate active participation in the said special Lok Adalat,” the SC registry said.
It said, “Parties to the dispute can directly interact with the Members of the Bench in arriving at a compromise or settlement in a friendly and cordial atmosphere. The settlement arrived at is binding and executable. There is no scope for further litigation and relationships between parties remain healthy for the future. It is an easy process for quick and cost-effective resolution of disputes.”