Litigant public ended disputes by way of compromise at Lok Adalats conducted by KSLSA

The judiciary has created a record by settling 92,192 cases in just 90 days in the State.

The litigant public in these cases put an end to their disputes by way of compromise in the Lok Adalats conducted by the Karnataka State Legal Services Authority (KSLSA) as part of the three-month national-level Mega Lok Adalat, which culminated on November 23.

While 83,023 of these cases were pending for adjudication in various courts across the State, 9,169 cases were at pre-litigation stages before legal services committees in various districts.

Addressing presspersons here on Monday, Chief Justice of the High Court of Karnataka D.H. Waghela, who is the Patron-in-Chief of the KSLSA, said that disposal of such a large number of cases in a short duration is a “record of sort in the history of the judiciary”.

Pointing out that settlement of a large number of cases is not only a great relief to the litigant public but also to the system, he said that this process also showed people that now there was one more avenue other than the regular court proceedings to settle disputes.

The Lok Adalat mode of cost-effective alternative dispute resolution system becomes a success only when the demands of the litigant public are reasonable and the disputers settled amicably through the negotiation process, he said.

Pending cases

A press release said that 11,83,213 lakh cases were pending in sub-ordinate courts as on July 1, 2013 and 82,714 of these cases were referred to the Lok Adalat for settlement. Nearly 5,000 cases were referred to the Lok Adalat for settlement from among the 1,70,312 cases pending in the High Court.

Criminal cases

The large number of cases, which were disposed of during the Lok Adalat, is related to compoundable criminal offences and other criminal cases. As many as 47,181 such cases belong to this category. While 9,558 cases were civil disputes, 6,053 cases were filed under the Negotiable Instruments Act (mainly cheque dishonour cases), 4,580 cases were related to motor vehicle accident claims and 1,755 to disputes on payment of maintenance in divorce cases.

Three courts in Bangalore — Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Courts, Small Causes Courts and City Civil and Sessions Courts — settled 5,798, 7,592 and 1,500 cases, respectively, the highest among sub-ordinate courts.

This was followed by Hassan district (6,176 cases), Kolar (5,681), Belgaum (4,939) and Bellary (4,666). The number of cases settled is less than 1,000 in only three districts — Gadag (800), Yadgir (573) and Kodagu (547).

Compensation

As much as Rs. 48.53 crore has been paid as compensation to injured persons and relatives of victims of road accidents by various insurance companies in 4,580 cases related to motor vehicle accidents. A sum of Rs. 19.08 crore compensation amount was distributed in 836 motor vehicle claims cases in the Small Causes Court in Bangalore.

High Court

While the Lok Adalat sittings held at the High Court’s Principal Bench here settled 837 cases (all related to motor vehicle accident claims) in three months, 270 and 278 cases were settled at the High Court Benches in Dharwad and Gulbarga during this period.

While 343 cases were settled in a single day on November 23 at the Principal Bench, 182 and 62 cases respectively were settled at the other Benches on that day.