The tradition of imparting justice has been in our culture since ancient civilization. Way before courts were built by British official to do justice in far off land, noble heads of village used to resolve disputes of village dwellers. Village courts got recognition with the help of Mahatma Gandhi. Justice P.N.Bhagvati envisaged the idea of Lok Adalat and is the pioneer who made this idea a success.
In vernacular dialect Lok Adalat means People’s court. The sole aim of the institution is to impart justice to the weaker section of the society. It secures opportunity of the poor to seek justice on the basis of equal opportunity.
How did it come into existence?
The credit is given to Justice P.N. Bhagvati as Lok Adalat is his brain child. In the 38th year of Republic of India, this act was enacted under The Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987. This act extends to all of India except the state of Jammu and Kashmir. It has been amended in the year 1994.
What does it define?
It works in accordance with the law of the state. It defines case, central authority, district authority, legal services, state authority, Taluk legal services committee, Supreme court legal services committee, notifications, schemes, regulation, Lok Adalat, High Court legal services committee, prescribed, State Government.
Who all constitutes the Lok Adalat?
Lok Adalat constitutes a Central authority on the recommendation of Central Government. The central authority consists of
- The chief justice of India as Patron-in-chief.
- The serving or retired Judge of Supreme Court as Executive Chairman. The executive chairman is appointed by President of India in consultation with Chief Justice of India.
- Some other members are also nominated by the Central Government in consultation with Chief Justice of India. The nominated members should hold such experience and qualification to be the part of the Central authority.
Fuction of Lok Adalats
- It is responsible for framing the most effective and economic schemes under this Act, so that justice is denied to any sector of the society. The code of justice should be uniform and equal opportunity should reach to all economic society.
- They monitor and evaluate the implemention of schemes; utilization of Central and State Government assigned funds into the development work of justice.
- They promote legal education in village and slum areas. This done with the help of social workers in legal skills and in consultation with Bar Council of India.
- They encourage settlements by means of arbitration, negotiations and conciliation.
- They coordinate and monitor the functioning of State Authorities, District Authorities, Supreme Court Legal Services Committee, High Court Legal Services Committees, Taluk Legal Services Committees and voluntary social service institutions and other legal services organisations and given general directions for the proper implementation of the Legal Services programmes.