The word Lok Adalat means ‘Peoples Court’ and it has statutory status under the
Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 therefore it is one of the Alternative
dispute resolution mechanisms in India. It defined ‘as a forum where voluntary
effort aimed at bringing about settlement of disputes between the parties is
made through conciliatory and pervasive efforts‘. Resolving disputes through lok
adalat not only minimize litigation expenses because it also saves the time of
both the parties. It’s conducting days are fixed in a month in advance on a
saturdays or sundays only or holidays.
The lok adalats are generally organised in the premises of courts. It can work
good substitutes for settling cases which are pending in superior courts. It
can be said that lok adalats are People’s festivals of justice because
settlements are not always necessarily according to legal principles.
Following authorities may organised Lok Adalats (Section-19)
1) State Authority
2) District Authority
3) Supreme Court Legal Services Committee
4) High Court Legal Services Committee
5) Taluk Legal Services Committee
Award of Lok Adalat (Section-21)
The Award of the lok adalat is treated same as the decree of civil court.
Powers of Lok Adalat (Section-22) The powers of lok adalats are same as civil courts like:
1) Summoning witnesses
2) Examining witnesses on oath
3) Discovery and production of documents and,
4) Requisitioning of any public record or document etc.
Types of cases comes under Lok Adalats
# Mutation of land cases
# Compoundable criminal cases
# Encroachement on forests land
# Family disputes
# Land acquisition disputes
# Motor accidents claims
# Cases which are not sub-judice
Features of Lok Adalats
# No court fees is required to pay when a matter is filed in a Lok Adalat.
# It provides speedy trial for every dispute.
# It‘s Award is final and binding on both the parties.
# Both the parties can directly interact with the judge which is not
possible in regular courts.
# The proceedings are very easy and simple.
Nature of Cases to be Referred to Lok Adalat
1. Any case pending before any court.
2. Any dispute which has not been brought before any court and is likely to be
filed before the court.
Lok Adalats are not to have jurisdiction in regarding matters relating to an
offence which is not compoundable under any law. So It’s jurisdiction is equal
to civil courts and the aim of lok adalats is to determine and to arrive at a
compromise or settlement between the parties to a dispute.
Permanent Lok Adalat
The Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 was amended in 2002 which brings
Section 22-B for the establishment of permanent lok adalat. It is a permanent
body and headed by the chairman and two members for providing compulsory pre-litigative
mechanism for conciliation and settlement of cases relating to Public Utility
Difference between Lok Adalat and Permanent Lok Adalat
1.Permanent Lok-Adalat is permanent in nature. But Lok-Adalat is temporary in
2. Any Party to a dispute may make an application to the Permanent Lok-Adalat
for settlement of the dispute before the dispute is brought before any Court.
But in Lok-Adalat, there is no such Condition like Permanent Adalat.
# Permanent Lok Adalat proposed to work on all working day of courts. But Lok
Adalat held on saturdays and Sunday.
# Permanent Lok Adalat have jurisdiction over pre-litigation matters only But
Lok Adalat have jurisdiction over pending and pre-litigation matters.