Adalat (people’s courts), established by the
government settles dispute through conciliation
and compromise. The First Lok Adalat was held in
Chennai in 1986. Lok Adalat accepts the cases
which could be settled by conciliation and
compromise, and pending in the regular courts
within their jurisdiction.
Lok Adalat is presided over by a sitting or
retired judicial officer as the chairman, with
two other members, usually a lawyer and a social
worker. There is no court fee. If the case is
already filed in the regular court, the fee paid
will be refunded if the dispute is settled at
the Lok Adalat. The procedural laws, and the
Evidence Act are not strictly followed while
assessing the merits of the claim by the Lok
Main condition of the Lok Adalat is that both
parties in dispute should agree for settlement.
The decision of the Lok Adalat is binding on the
parties to the dispute and its order is capable
of execution through legal process. No appeal
lies against the order of the Lok Adalat.
Lok Adalat is very effective in settlement of
money claims. Disputes like partition suits,
damages and matrimonial cases can also be easily
settled before Lok Adalat as the scope for
compromise through an approach of give and take
is high in these cases.
Lok Adalat is a boon to the litigant public,
where they can get their disputes settled fast
and free of cost.