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  • 22 October, 2022

  • 7 Min Read

Lok Adalat Explained

Lok Adalat Explained

  • The Chhattisgarh government has established Lok Adalat in jails to expedite the resolution of cases for state prisoners.
  • Every working Saturday, these courts will provide relief to undertrials and, in some cases, convicted convicts by teaching their rights and legal options such as plea bargaining and settlement.

About Lok Adalats

  • The word 'Lok Adalat' ('People's Court') refers to a court built on Gandhian principles.
  • According to the Supreme Court, it is an ancient sort of adjudicating system that was widespread in ancient India, and its validity has not been questioned even in current times.
  • It is a component of the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) system that provides informal, low-cost, and quick justice to the general public.
  • The first Lok Adalat camp was established in Gujarat in 1982 as a voluntary and conciliatory organisation with no statutory authority to make judgements.
  • Because of its expanding popularity, it was granted statutory standing under the Legal Services Authorities Act of 1987. The Lok Adalats are organised and function according to the provisions of the Act.
  • Organization: The State/District Legal Services Authority or the Supreme Court/High Court/Taluk Legal Services Committee may organise Lok Adalats at such intervals and locations, and for such purposes and areas as it deems appropriate.
  • Every Lok Adalat created for an area shall consist of the number of serving or retired judicial officers and other local residents designated by the organising body.
  • A Lok Adalat is often chaired by a judicial official, with members including a lawyer (advocate) and a social worker.
  • Lok Adalats are held by the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) and other Legal Services Institutions.
  • NALSA was established under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987, which went into effect on November 9, 1995, to build a countrywide standard network for delivering free and competent legal services to the society's weaker members.
  • In 2002, the Legal Services Authorities Act was revised to permit for the establishment of Permanent Lok Adalats to deal with matters involving public utility services.


  • A Lok Adalat should have jurisdiction to determine and reach a compromise or settlement between the parties to a dispute concerning: any case pending before any court; or any matter falling within the jurisdiction of any court but not brought before such court.
  • Any case pending in court can be referred to the Lok Adalat for resolution if:
    • Parties agree to settle the disagreement in Lok Adalat, or one of the parties applies for referral of the case to Lok Adalat, or the court determines that the matter can be resolved in Lok Adalat.
    • A pre-litigation disagreement can be referred to the Lok Adalat upon receipt of an application from any of the parties to the dispute.
  • Lok Adalats hear matters including matrimonial/family problems, criminal (compoundable offences), land acquisition, labour disputes, workmen's compensation, bank recovery, and other issues.
  • However, the Lok Adalat has no jurisdiction over any case or subject involving an offence that is not compoundable under any statute.


  • The Lok Adalat shall have the same powers as a Civil Court under the Civil Procedure Code (1908).
  • Furthermore, a Lok Adalat will have the necessary authorities to determine its own method for resolving any dispute that comes before it.
  • All procedures before a Lok Adalat are assumed to be judicial proceedings under the Indian Penal Code (1860), and each Lok Adalat is deemed to be a Civil Court under the Code of Criminal Procedure (1973).
  • A Lok Adalat award is believed to be a Civil Court decree or an order of any other court.
  • Every award given by a Lok Adalat is final and binding on all parties involved in the dispute. No court may hear an appeal against the Lok Adalat's decision.


  • There is no court charge, and if one has already been paid, it will be repaid if the case is resolved at Lok Adalat.
  • There is procedural flexibility and conflict resolution is expedited. When evaluating Lok Adalat's claim, there is no stringent adherence of procedural laws.
  • The parties to the case can contact with the judge directly through their counsel, which is not available in traditional courts of law.
  • The Lok Adalat's award is binding on the parties, has the character of a civil court order, and is non-appealable, therefore it does not prolong the final resolution of problems.


  • Lok Adalats can work at a higher level if people are willing and aware of the benefits. Furthermore, greater laws and imaginative use are required to empower permanent Lok adalats and make them a secondary form of litigation for persons who cannot or should not resort to courts.

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Source: The Print

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