Statutory Status of Lok Adalat


The People’s Courts, commonly referred to as Lok Adalat, are a crucial component of India’s ADR system. These organizations are crucial in ensuring that Indian residents receive prompt and affordable justice. The statutory status of Lok Adalat is established by a number of laws and legal requirements that have been implemented to strengthen and control their operation.

The legal system

The Legal assistance Authorities Act, 1987 (LSAA), which was passed with the intention of providing free legal assistance to the marginalized and underprivileged parts of society and ensuring justice for everyone, serves as the primary legal framework for Lok Adalat in India.

Legal Services Authorities’ Establishment

The LSAA creates the District Legal Services Authorities (DLSAs), the State Legal Services Authorities (SLSAs), and the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) at the district, state, and national levels, respectively. These authorities are in charge of planning and managing Lok Adalat within their respective spheres of influence.

The makeup of Lok Adalat

Members of Lok Adalat are selected by the relevant Legal Services Authorities from among active or retired judges, social activists, and attorneys. Together, they work to swiftly and amicably resolve conflicts.

Authority and Functions

The authority of Lok Adalat extends to a variety of civil, criminal, and compoundable cases. Their jurisdiction encompasses situations that are pending in ordinary courts as well as cases that are in the pre-litigation phase. Among the abilities of Lok Adalat are:

  • Settlement: Lok Adalat can assist in the negotiation, mediation, and conciliation of disputes.
  • Award: They have the power to issue awards or judgments, which are enforceable as decisions of a civil court and have legal force.

Participation at Will

The fact that all parties concerned participate voluntarily is one of Lok Adalat main tenets. They can decide to use Lok Adalat to settle their problems, and the procedure is carried out in a non-adversarial and non-confrontational way.

Decisions’ Legal Bindingness

The judgments or awards made by Lok Adalat are regarded as final and enforceable against all parties. These awards are not subject to further appeal in civil courts.

Function in Cutting Backlog

Lok Adalat significantly contribute to clearing the backlog of cases in conventional courts. They improve the overall effectiveness of the justice system by rapidly and successfully resolving conflicts.

Greater Justice Access

Access to justice for all, particularly for those who are disenfranchised and economically disadvantaged, is one of Lok Adalat main goals. They make sure that justice is both affordable and easily accessible.

Adherence to Natural Justice Principles

Lok Adalat uphold the ideals of natural justice while also delivering swift judgment. They make that the procedure is fair and equitable and that both parties have an opportunity to be heard.

Recognition as Decrees

The fact that Lok Adalat rulings are regarded as civil court decrees is an important aspect of these tribunals. As a result, it is easier to enforce these awards without starting new legal actions.

Regulations governing legal services authorities

The Legal Services Authorities Act of 1987 gives the Central and State Governments the authority to establish guidelines for the effective operation of Lok Adalat and Legal Services Authorities. These rules offer additional explanation and direction regarding how Lok Adalat operate.

Guidelines from the Supreme Court and the High Court

To ensure Lok Adalat work effectively and to address specific issues relating to their jurisdiction and processes, the Supreme Court of India and several High Courts have issued guidelines and directives.

Conciliation and Mediation

Lok Adalat frequently use conciliation and mediation processes to settle conflicts amicably. This fits up with the overarching trend of encouraging ADR processes in India.

Incorporation Into the Legal System

In India, Lok Adalat are included into the formal court system. Courts have the right to refer matters to Lok Adalat, and when a settlement cannot be achieved, Lok Adalat also have the right to refer cases back to courts.


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