Strengthen Lok Adalats: Minister


Panchkula (Haryana): The government Saturday said that alternate dispute redressal mechanisms like Lok Adalats should be strengthened to prevent the piling up of cases in courts.

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“Strengthening our judicial system not only ensures fair, swift and affordable justice but it is also the catalyst for development. Serious efforts should be initiated to reinforce our Lok Adalats that come under alternate dispute redressal system,” said Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal.

He was speaking on the first day of a two-day international conference of jurists on judicial reforms, jointly organised by the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana and the International Council of Jurists.

The minister said that country needs a five-fold increase in judges.

This was seconded by Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court Mukul Mudgal, who said: “Yes, we need increased number of judges and improved infrastructure of courts but the problem is that all these are long-term measures. These need financial sanctions and a lot of formalities.”

“Like we cannot appoint a judge casually, it is a long process. So till we achieve the desired target we have to rely more on alternate disputes redressal mechanisms like lok adalats, mediation centres to lower the burden of other courts,” he said.

Mudgal said that to ensure speedy justice, lawyers should not demand unnecessary adjournments and even the judges should not be generous in granting them.

Justice R.V. Raveendran of the Supreme Court said: “If we want to revive the confidence of people in the judiciary then it is the responsibility of not only the judges but also of the bar members. We need an equal cooperation from the lawyers. We also need to strengthen the alternate dispute redressal mechanism.”

Others at the conference included Chief Justice of Maldives Abdulla Saeed and senior judges from the Supreme Court of Nepal.