Treat all claims and applications of people pending before the government departments as pre-litigation and legal service matter and the judiciary must persuade the departments to settle all the matters in Mega Lok Adalats, said Justice P. Sathasivam, Judge of the Supreme Court here on Saturday.

Speaking after inaugurating the second floor of ‘Satta Udhavi Maiyam’ on the Tamil Nadu State Legal Services Authority building in the High Court campus, Justice Mr Sathasivam said it was common complaint that the poor people were unable to get job cards under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, ration cards, voter identity cards, order for correction of land records in reasonable time.

For conducting Mega Lok Adalats, officers of the Legal Services Authority have to interact with the police, revenue, forest, labour, cooperative, electricity, municipal authorities and higher-level officers in insurance companies and members of the Bar. In order to encourage people to get benefits of the mega lok adalats, the judiciary must insist that the electricity, bank, local bodies and other government departments give relief to people by reducing and relaxing the amounts of tax, surcharge, interest and penalty if they settle the disputes in the adalat, he added.

Justice Elipe Dharma Rao, acting Chief Justice of the Madras High Court, in his address said the ideal judicial system was inspired by the twin objectives of securing inexpensive justice in the real and substantial sense as well as speedy justice.

The State Legal Services Authority is pioneering in conducting various legal literacy programmes to the vulnerable sections of society, with the sole aim of fulfilling the avowed object of ‘access to justice for all’.

Last year, a total of 76,986 cases got settled in lok adalats conducted by the Authority, leading to passing of awards to the tune of Rs 69.03 crore.

Lok Adalat is an innovative Indian contribution to the judiciary system and it played an important role in settling disputes in an indigenous manner, said Justice C. Nagappa, Judge of the Madras High Court. Justices Chita Venkataraman and V. Dhanapalan, Judges of the Madras High Court were among those who spoke on the occasion.

High Court judge says it is an innovative Indian contribution to the judiciary system