Rajasthan and Maharashtra became the first states to use end-to-end digital platforms during the third National Lok Adalat of the year on Saturday that saw 74 lakh cases settled across the country including 16.45 lakh pending and 58.33 lakh pre-litigation cases.
Hailing the alternative dispute redressal mechanism, the Chief Justice of India-designate and National Legal Services Authority’s executive chairman, Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, said that Lok Adalats have bridged the gap between the litigants and the institution.
Lok Adalat not only provides an efficient substitute to seek redressal but significantly helps in reducing the burden of the courts pertaining to backlog and pendency of cases.
“Lok Adalats have acted as a great catalyst for change not just in the legal system but also in the society over the past few years, he said.
A press release issued by the NALSA said that the total value of the settlement amount during the third National Lok Adalat is over Rs 5,000 crore.
It also witnessed a transition from the conventional method as two states – Maharashtra and Rajasthan- used technological platforms to conduct the Lok Adalat, the NALSA said.
With this major initiative, Digital Lok Adalat has become a reality and another objective of NALSA to implement a cost-effective and time-saving mechanism of dispute resolution for the affected parties is successfully achieved, it added.
The Rajasthan State Legal Services Authority held the first ever full-fledged digital Lok Adalat with 568 benches registering a total of 5,62,295 cases out of which 2,28,863 were cases at the pre-litigation stage and 3,33,432 were pending cases before various courts of the state.
With the first-ever full digital Lok Adalat held in Rajasthan, the country’s justice system etched a history, said Dinesh Gupta, Member Secretary of RSLSA.
While Maharashtra also observed its first-ever digital Lok Adalat, the cases are restricted to traffic challans, he said in Jaipur.
The State Legal Services Authorities of Rajasthan and Maharashtra in a technology partnership with Jupitice Justice Technologies launched the Digital Lok Adalat in the respective states as part of the third National Lok Adalat of 2022, he said.
In Maharashtra, a total of 63, 99,983 lakh traffic challan cases were registered with the Digital Lok Adalat, he said.
The Digital Lok Adalat was launched by Justice UU Lalit on 17th July 2022 during the ’18th All India Legal Services Authorities Meet’. This was the first time ever that the Lok Adalats were made end-to-end digital.
Digital Lok Adalat means all the events or tasks from the filing of the case at the litigant level to award generation held online. The litigant gets the choice to refer the case for Lok Adalat online and the acts that physically consume time have been done away with.
“Even the awards are generated online and are digitally signed. It’s a new era of digital courts that has made all this possible, explained Gupta.
The Digital Lok Adalat is also packed with advanced data analytics tools which help gain deeper insights, perspectives, and trends on a real-time basis for better policy formulation and data-driven decisions, he added.
Justice Lalit said that the ‘Lok Adalats’ have truly made access to justice easy for everyone irrespective of their financial status.
Seeking justice is no longer a luxury, it is one’s right and this change has been brought by increasing the vibrancy of Lok Adalat, in conformity with the vision of NALSA, he said.
He highlighted that the world has faced a huge crisis during the pandemic and consequently there has been a huge backlog and pendency of cases in the courts.
To reduce this pendency, ice-breaking sessions were conducted in the State Legal Services Authorities to conduct Lok Adalat across the nation.
The third National Lok Adalat of the year for Delhi will be organised on August 21.
Earlier on March 12, over 77 lakh cases were disposed of in the first national Lok Adalat of 2022.
Justice Lalit will assume charge as CJI on August 27 after incumbent N V Ramana demits office the day before.
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