Lok Adalats are para-judicial institutions and, as the name suggests it is people’s court which is meant for the general masses like middle class people and poor people. This institution is the product of modern judicial reforms and characterized as constituting people’s programme for speedy justice. In strict sense the Lok Adalats are not the Courts, since the technical court’s procedures are not followed in it. E.g.,
- No court-fee is being paid;
- There is no limitation period;
- Decision in Lok Adalats are final and binding and the parties have no right to appeal.
What these adalats seek to do is to reach decision through reconciliation and mutual settlement of disputes.
Normally, the Lok Adalats are organized by the social workers and the disputes are decided by the Lok Adaiat judges, who come from amongst retired judges, public spirited lawyers etc.
(a) Models of Lok Adalats
In India there are four models of Lok Adalats:
- Lok Adalats organized by legal Aid Board of the States;
- Lok Adaiat in Anand Niketan Ashram in Rampur District of Gujarat.
- Lok Adflats in Himachal Pradesh Courts
- Lok Adalats founded by Sampat lyengar in Bangalore.