Lok adlalats are a tool of alternative dispute resolution mechanism. They are mentioned in the section 89 of the CPC. They are the peoples court outside the regular court. It was set up in 1987 under National legal service authority act, 1987. Hence, they have statutory status.
They work differently as compared to normal courts in following manners:
- They don’t meet throughout the years. It only meets in 1-2 months a year.
- It does not apply the provision of civil procedure courts and Indian evidence act strictly.
- The 2 parties are not represented by the lawyers.
Structure: It is headed by a serving or retired judicial officer who is assisted by Publicly spirited lawyer and social worker. They meet at district level. Lok adalats are organised by the legal service authorities of state and district.
Function of lok adalats:
- It takes up the dispute for resolution onluy if the 2 parties agree for settlement among themselves.
- It assist the parties to arrive at amicable settlement between themselves.
- Award is binding and no further appeal lies against the decision.
- It takes up only civil disputes. Normally it takes cases like mortgage, insurances, compensation under motor vehicles claim cases.
- No court fee is to be paid by the parties for resolution of a dispute in Lok Adalat.