Awards of Lok Adalats can be challenged - High Court

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Allahabad, Oct 15 (UNI) The Allahabad High Court has ruled that though the awards of the Lok Adalats are final, the remedy to recall the order or award passed by it is not barred under the law, if the same was obtained by fraud or misrepresentation.

The court ruled that awards made by Lok Adalats within the territorial limits of the High Court are subject to judicial review under article 226/227 of the Constitution of India. Otherwise the aggrieved person would be left remediless.

Passing the judgment, the court has held that power to recall its order, which was obtained by fraud or misrepresentation, is inherent in every court, tribunal or statutory functionary.

Similarly, the awards made by Lok Adalats established under the act cannot be held to be immune from judicial review, as this court under article 227 of the Constitution has ample power of superintendence over the decisions of all the courts or tribunal throughout its territories.

Justice Sabhajeet Yadav, passed this judgment allowing the writ petition filed by Dr Shashi Prateek. The petitioner had challenged the order passed by civil judge(senior division) Mjuzaffar Nagar, on September 3, 2008 whereby he had rejected the application of the petitioner recalling of award dated April 30, 2006, which was allegedly obtained by the respondent by playing fraud with the Court.

An objection was raised in the High Court about the maintainability of the writ petition on the ground that three judges bench of the Supreme Court, in the case of P T Thomas, had held that the order passed by Lok Adalats, cannot be called in question either in appeal or revision or even under article 226 of the Constitution of India.

The court allowed the writ petition on the said grounds and set aside the impugned order passed by Lok Adalats, Muzaffar Nagar on September 3, 2008, directing to decide the recall application afresh on merit, expeditiously within a period of two months. UNI VCP RKA SV PM1255

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