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Lok Adalat is a repository of public confidence: CJ

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PRO-PEOPLE OPENING: The Chief Justice of the Madras High Court, Ajit Prakash Shah, unveiling a plaque to mark the inauguration of `Maha Lok Adalat' in the Bench in the city on Saturday. Looking on are, from right, P.D. Dinakaran, P.K. Misra, M. Kar pagavinayagam and K. Ravirajapandian, all judges of the High Court. Photo: G. Moorthy
PRO-PEOPLE OPENING: The Chief Justice of the Madras High Court, Ajit Prakash Shah, unveiling a plaque to mark the inauguration of `Maha Lok Adalat' in the Bench in the city on Saturday. Looking on are, from right, P.D. Dinakaran, P.K. Misra, M. Kar pagavinayagam and K. Ravirajapandian, all judges of the High Court. Photo: G. Moorthy

Staff Reporter

"I am pained at the reaction from certain sections of bar"

MADURAI: The Chief Justice of the Madras High Court, Ajit Prakash Shah, on Saturday came out in support of `Lok Adalats' and said, "Today, Lok Adalat is taken to be a repository of public confidence in view of its intrinsic strength which knows no barricades as it flows through the basic human precepts of equity, good conscience, fair play and natural justice."

Addressing a huge gathering of litigants from southern districts, judicial officers, bar members and police officials, at the inaugural function of `Maha Lok Adalat' in the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court here on Saturday, he expressed anguish over the opposition to `Lok Adalats.'

"I am pained at the reaction from certain sections of bar... It is said that the interest of common man is not served by Lok Adalat. It is also said that Maha Lok Adalat is impractical and would cause hardship to the people," he said and added: "As the Indian judicial system crumples under the cases that pile up, coupled with shortage of judges, Lok Adalats have carved out a niche for themselves."

He pointed that 48 specially constituted benches, presided over by serving judges and 24 mediation panels in the `Maha Lok Adalat,' would deal with more than 12,000 cases on a single day. As far as practicability of the mega event was concerned, he recalled that the Special Lok Adalat organised at Amritsar had disposed of 13,461 cases out of 23,781 put up before it.

"Punjab is not the only State where such special Lok Adalats are organised and if other States are marching ahead, I do not see any reason why the State of Tamil Nadu should lag behind in the Lok Adalat movement," Mr. Shah said.

He also appreciated P. D. Dinakaran, Judge of the Madras High Court, for conceiving the idea and organising the `Maha Lok Adalat' along with his companion judges.

Judges M. Karpagavinayagam, P. K. Misra and K. Ravirajapandian also spoke.

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