NEW DELHI: Out-of-court settlements of disputes through Lok Adalats is not just inexpensive and expeditious, it's a win-win situation for the contesting parties as there are no winners or losers, Justice Anil. R. Dave of the Supreme Court said Saturday.
He was inaugurating the second national Lok Adalat that commenced simultaneously across the country starting from the Supreme Court, 24 high courts, districts courts and courts at the taluka level.
Justice Dave said that for the success of Lok Adalats, the contesting parties should not only be large hearted to accommodate each other but must also keep in check their egos.
Justice Dave is chairman of Supreme Court Legal Service Society.
He said the amicable settlement of disputes between the contesting parties helps the society at large as after the settlement the parties nurture no grouse against each other and are ready to work together again.
Justice Dave wondered about the role of third party in the settlement of dispute between husband and wife. All that is needed is a catalyst like Lok Adalat to make them sit across the table and settle their differences in the spirit of accommodation, he said.
He said that in the court he has seen husband and wife who are in dispute do not even look at each other and their disapproval of each other is written on their faces.
Similarly, disputes involving business partners, when resolved mutually through Lok Adalats leaves a scope that such people can once again come together for a new venture and all this helps the society, he said.
Justice Dave, who was witness to the first ever Lok Adalat held in the country in March 14, 1982 in Una city of Junagarh district of Gujarat, said that Lok Adalats are the magnified version of Gram Panchayats that India traditionally had for the settlement of disputes by village elders.
He said that the Lok Adalat in its present form are tribute to Justice V. R. Krishna Iyer, and Justice P.N. Bhawati and Justice Thakkar who were present at the first Lok Adalat.
He said that the Una Lok Adalat saw the settlement of 95 percent of more than 600 cases taken by it then.
He said that a judge can't pronounce a please all verdict, as there will be a winner and a loser in a court verdict. He said that litigations are time consuming, expensive and retaliatory.
Justice Dave said that settlement of large number of cases by Lok Adalats reduces the burden of cases and judges get more time to deal with other cases.
Asha Menon, secretary, NALSA, said that compared to the first national Lok Adalat held early this year, the ambit of second Lok Adalat has been enlarged to include revenue cases and hoped that a large number of them listed Saturday would be resolved.
Menon sought to clarify that Lok Adalats were not a substitute for regular court but a forum for settling cases that can be settled amicably and need not remain pending.
The second national Lok Adalat is expected to settle 50 lakh cases.