Supreme Court judges tell people to go to Lok-Adalats

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Kolkata, Mar 1 (UNI) Senior judges of the country today called upon the people to go to Lok-Adalats for speedy settlement of their disputes.

The Lok-Adalats are an effective alternative judicial forum for resolving longstanding disputes that have robbed peace of mind of nearly 30 million litigants across the country, they said.

''Lok-Adalat is an appropriate platform for participation, mediation, persuasion and negotiation of the cases dogging the solution for years,'' Supreme Court Judge Asok Bhan said.

Inaugurating a Lok-Adalat for motor accident appeal cases in the century-old Calcutta High Court today, Justice Bhan said nearly 2.5 crore cases were pending in different courts across the country and added that the Lok-Adalats could be an effective and useful forum for settling millions of disputes in a densely-populated country like India.

The Central government had allocated a fund of Rs 30 crore for development of infrastructure for opening Lok-Adalat during evenings in the courts across the country, he added.

''I feel the Judges should attend the Lok-Adalat on Saturdays and Sundays when most people may find time to come there for settlement of their cases.

''Judges and lawmakers have also the duty to make the people aware of their fundamental rights in the Constitution and take Lok-Adalat to the doors of those living in remote villages as well as city skyscrappers,'' he said.

The judges attending the Lok-Adalat would get an additonal 25 per cent payment on their basic pay, Justice Bhan said and added that law makers should spread the ''new judicial culture of Lok-Adalat'' all over the country.

''People should come forward to this forum for speedy settlement of their cases,'' Justice Bhan said.

Judges of Supreme Court Tarun Chaterjee , Altamas Kabir and Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court Surinder Singh Nijjar also stressed the need for Lok-Adalat in the lower courts where tens of thousands of cases were pending for decades.

A senior official of Calcutta High Court said over 100 insurance cases of motor accidents were heard at the Lok-Adalat held at the centenary building of the High Court.

Most disputes were sorted out and settled, he said.

UNI XC PC AKJ HT1740

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