‘It takes only a few weeks or months to settle cases’

A.N. Solapurkar, Chairman of the Permanent Lok Adalat (PLA), has stressed the need for spreading awareness on the importance of the PLA, which was established by the Karnataka State Legal Services Authority (KLSA) with the objective of delivering speedy justice free of cost.

Addressing presspersons here on Tuesday, he said though the PLA was established in 2007, not many were aware of it.

The PLA was not handicapped by the Code of Civil Procedure or the Evidence Act unlike regular courts and the verdict, once delivered, was final, he said.

An appeal was possible only by filing a writ petition under Section 226 of the Constitution before the High Court. However, the litigant opting to seek justice from the PLA could not approach any other court, Mr. Solapurkar said.

He said several cases regarding settlement or recovery of money in cases related to banks or disputes by account holders were decided within a day.

In other matters where defendants contest the case, the PLA would take only a few weeks or months to dispose of the matter.

But the public at large was still not aware the convenience and facility available through the PLA, whose pecuniary jurisdiction had been raised from Rs.10 lakh to Rs. 25 lakh, he said.

A litigant need not hire an advocate and could directly approach the adalat and submit the application. The service was free of cost, Mr. Solapurkar said.

PLA members Vasant Kumar Hittangi and Chetna Biradar said the adalat’s services were also available at district centres. It exercised its jurisdiction in respect of public utility services as defined under Section 22 (A) of the Legal Services Act, 1987.

Poor awareness

Mr. Solapurkar said there was poor awareness among people about seeking relief from the municipal bodies in Belgaum and Bagalkot districts, although they had complaints against the negligence or failure of these civic bodies towards cleanliness and other services.

In Belgaum district, since the PLA was established, 1,678 cases were filed of which 967 had been disposed of by settlement and 286 on the basis of merit (where there was no settlement by the parties concerned).

  • The adalat is not handicapped by the Code of Civil Procedure or the Evidence Act: Chairman

  • ‘Litigants opting to seek justice from the PLA cannot approach any other court’