Role of Lok Adalat in Reducing the Pendency of Criminal Cases in India

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List of Abbreviations used

Art. | Article | CILAS | Committee for Implementing Legal Aid Scheme | CPC | Civil Procedure Code | DSLA | Delhi State Legal Authority | LA | Lok Adalat | NALSA | National Legal Services Authority | OSLSA | Odisha State Legal Services Authority | S. | Section | UNDP | United Nations Development Project |

1. Introduction

Providing justice and creating a sense of equality was the main motive when the first charter of liberties of Henry II was signed where the classic statement was inscribed in the Magna Carta.
“To no man will we deny, to no man will we sell, or delay, justice or right.” The Preamble of the Indian Constitution clearly mentions about providing justice to its billions of people. This is a cardinal principle which is also reflected in the ancient Indian ethos of justice- Dharma.

India is a country with immense diversity and is home to billions of people. The population of rural areas subdues the population in the urban areas and so does the amount of disputes arising out of it. From the ancient times there existed Nyaya Panchayats which was headed by the eldest members of the village or the village chieftain. Customary practices were followed and there was no uniform legal system and therefore Nyaya Panchayats were considered to be the regular form for deciding differences within matters relating to property, family, criminal and other matters.
These Nyaya Panchyats had a major role in the post independence period which influenced the Governments to set up LA or “People’s Court” in every state for the speedy disposal of cases. This was a new form of experiment in the area of Alternative Disputes Redressal Mechanism. Art. 14 and 21 of the Indian Constitution and Art. 7, 8, 9 and 10 of the Universal declaration of Human Rights clearly discusses about providing legal aid to the needy. After independence it was the Indian National Congress which was the politically dominant party. Indian



Bibliography: 3. Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 4 5. UNDP Report, Need Assessment Study of the Legal Services Authorities in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan and Chattisgarh, 2012 * * Books * Blake Susan &Julie Brown (eds.) A practical approach to Alternative Dispute Resolution (1st Edn), Oxford University Press, New York, 2011 * Criminal Justice India Series, Vol. 8, Allied Publishers, 2002 * Balser P * Merry Engle Sally, “Legal Pluralism”, Law and Society Review, Vol. 22, No. 5 (1988) * Kirtidashora, Significance of Lok Adalats in Present Scenario, March 2011 Moog Robert, “Conflict and Compromise: The Politics of Lok Adalats in Varanasi District”, Law & Society Review (1991) Verma K Carrie Menkel-Meadow, The Trouble with the Adversary System in a Postmodern, Multicultural World, 38 W.M. & Mary Law Review 5 (1996) * Working Paper [ 1 ]. M. Govindarajan, “L.A.: An Alternate Dispute Resolution”, available at http://www.taxmanagementindia.com/wnew/print_Art..asp?ID=505 (visited on 29 August, 2013) [ 2 ] [ 5 ]. Robert Moog, “Conflict and Compromise: The Politics of Lok Adalats in Varanasi District”, Law & Society Review 545-570 (1991) p 78 [ 6 ] [ 7 ]. Report by UNDP “Need Assessment Study of the Legal Services Authorities in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan and Chattisgarh”, 2012, p 88 [ 8 ] [ 19 ]. Lok Adalat for speedy justice, The Hindu, December 18, 2001 available at http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/op/2001/12/18/stories/2001121800060100.htm (accessed on 29 August 2013) [ 20 ] [ 21 ]. Jitendra N. Bhatt, “A Round Table Justice through Lok Adalat (People’s Court): A Vibrant ADR in India”, 1 Supreme Court Cases (Journal) 11(2002) [ 28 ]. Report by UNDP “Need Assessment Study of the Legal Services Authorities in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan and Chattisgarh”, 2012, p 88 [ 29 ]

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