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Written by: Shreya (Intern)
Edited by: Anubhav Yadav (Content Head & Developer)

The Legal Services Authority under the auspices of the National Legal Authority (NALSA) organized the second national Lok Adalat in the year 2021 across the country on 10th July. Legal Services Authorities have converted the pandemic into an opportunity by successfully holding the National Lok Adalat. The second nationwide Lok Adalat was held under the supervision of Justice U.U. Lalit, the executive chairman of NALSA. It was organized in virtual as well as physical mode that is in hybrid format. In this Lok Adalat, Justice Lalit enquired about the types of cases that were taken up, the rates of disposition, and the subjects of the cases. His leadership emphasised the importance of National Lok Adalat in reducing the country’s massive backlog in the Justice system. At that time in the whole part of the country, there are 5,129 National Lok Adalat Benches. Total cases that were taken up are 35,53,717 out of which 22, 50,473 cases were related to pre-litigation and 13, 03,244 cases were pending before. On 10th July, nearly 11, 42,415 cases were willing to be settled. It indicates a huge achievement and success of Legal Services Authorities.

By such achievement and success, Legal Services Authorities may be able to achieve their aim in future. The announcement stated that Justice Lalit engaged with the presiding officers of Lok Adalat benches in several courts across the nation and oversaw the operation and functioning of Lok Adalat Benches in the High Courts of Andhra Pradesh (Amravati) and Rajasthan (Jodhpur). The maximum cases which were settled related to the matrimonial dispute, motor accidents claims, cheque bounce cases, labour disputes and other civil cases. The Executive Chairman of NALSA has fixed a rule which is related to conduct Pre-Lok Adalat sittings before the sitting of National Lok Adalat. It will be helpful for the parties to counter opposite party’s arguments. It will also help maximizing the number of settlement outcomes of the National Lok Adalat. For the expectations of the same results, NALSA organized a webinar, titled “challenges and way forward”. The main aim of this webinar was to sensitize all the chairpersons and secretaries of District Legal Services Authorities to ensure the smooth and proper functioning of the National Lok Adalat.

NALSA further directed the Legal Services Authority (LSAs) to observe COVID-19 protocol which would be powerful for the states /Union Territories as per the guidelines issued by the Government of India as well as State Governments. The National Lok Adalat in Kerala was postponed until July 9, and a total of 39,361 cases were heard, with 26,118 cases being resolved and a settlement sum of Rs. 86.81 crores being given, according to the announcement. In many states such as Maharashtra, Karnataka, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and West Bengal National Lok Adalat has been postponed. The next Lok Adalat of the year is scheduled to be held on 11th September 2021.

If these Adalats execute their job well, then the courts’ workload can be reduced by fairly resolving pending matters.

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