High Court Current Affairs - 2020

India’s First State-Level ‘E-Lok Adalat’ conducted by Chhattisgarh High Court

Despite the cancellation of the 3rd National Lok Adalat of the year 2020 scheduled to be held on 11th July 2020, the first State Level ‘E-Lok Adalat’ of India was conducted successfully on 11th July 2020.

The Chief Justice of Chhattisgarh High Court P.R. Ramachandra Menon inaugurated the first State Level E-Lok Adalat of India from the Conference Hall of the Chhattisgarh State’s High Court in Bilaspur district.  The E-Lok Adalat was conducted through video conferencing.

The E-Lok Adalat was conducted in 195 benches across the state of Chhattisgarh. A total of 3133 cases were placed before the 195 benches out which 848 cases were attended by 24 benches from the capital city of Chhattisgarh Raipur.

Background

On 11th July 2020, the 3rd National Lok Adalat of the year 2020 was scheduled to take place across the country, the cancellation of which was announced by the National Legal Services Authority in the first week of June due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This was the second consecutive National Lok Adalat of 2020 that was canceled in 2020. Earlier the National Lok Adalat scheduled to be conducted on 11th April 2020 was also canceled due to COVID-19.

The 1st National Lok Adalat of the year 2020 was conducted successfully on 8th February 2020. The 4th and 5th National Lok Adalat of the year 2020 is scheduled to be conducted on 12th September 2020 and 12th December 2020 respectively.

Importance of National Lok Adalat

In the year 2019, 52.93 lakh cases were disposed of during the 4 National Lok Adalats that were conducted.

Out of these 52.93 lakh cases, the total number of pending cases that were disposed of is 26,16,790 and the remaining 26,76,483 cases were pre-litigation cases that were disposed of.

Supreme Court directs states to set up Gram Nyayalayas

On February 3, 2020, the Supreme Court of India directed the states to establish “Gram Nyayalayas” within four weeks’ time span. The apex court has directed the corresponding state high courts to expedite the process of consultation with the state governments.

Highlights

The Gram Nyayalayas act, 2008 was passed to provide establishment of Gram Nyayalayas at the grass root level. The main objective of the judicial body is to provide inexpensive justice in rural areas.

The current scenario of the states with respect to the Gram Nyayalayas were submitted by the SC Advocate Prashant Bhushan.

Current Scenario of the States

According to the report presented by the Advocate, Goa has issued two notification to establish the Gram Nyayalayas. However, none are functioning at the moment. Haryana had issued notification for 3 and Currently only two are functioning.

In Jharkhand, 6 were notified, but only one is functioning. The state of Uttar Pradesh notified 113 Gram Nyayalayas. However, only 14 are functioning. The state had to establish 822.

At present, only 208 Gram Nyayalayas are functioning as against 2,500 required to function according to the 12th five-year plan.