The first one will come up in The Nilgiris

Tamil Nadu will soon have 32 permanent Lok Adalats, said the acting Chief Justice of the Madras High Court, Satish K. Agnihotri, here on Saturday.

Presiding over a Legal Literacy and Awareness Camp, he said an officer in the rank of district judge would preside over the proceedings. The first one would come up in The Nilgiris.

Pointing out that all pre-litigation cases could be taken up in the Lok Adalats and resolved without much delay or botheration, he observed the future was very bright. The legal fraternity should commit themselves to the development of the society. All stakeholders like advocates and paralegal volunteers were obliged to help people live a decent, peaceful and social life.

Pointing out that the judicial system in India which had come into being a long time ago, was based on the British pattern, he said since all kinds of cases were being referred to the courts the backlog was rising and expenses were also increasing. Consequently justice was being delayed.

In order to tackle the problem, an alternative system in the form of Lok Adalats had been put in place. Judiciary, which was once bailiff oriented, refraining from mixing with anyone or giving advice had changed. In addition to the job done in courts, it reached out to the people through such camps.

Stating that there was a move to have Additional Dispute Resolution (ADR) buildings, he said the problems in this regard which The Nilgiris was facing would be resolved shortly. Before resorting to litigation people would be asked to go to the ADR buildings.

Referring to the system of settling disputes when there were no courts, Mr. Agnihotri said the best way still was mediation and conciliation.

Even in Lok Adalats, disputes could be settled on the basis of give and take. Arbitration was not serving the purpose as the awards could be taken up with the district courts, High Courts and the Supreme Court.

Earlier, Mr. Agnihotri visited the heritage district and sessions court here and interacted with the members of The Nilgiri Bar Association.

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