Variety of disputes can be settled at pre-litigation stage in Lok Adalats: HC judge 

Photo used for representative purpose only.

Photo used for representative purpose only.

The Karnataka State Legal Services Authority (KSLSA) has created another new record in amicable resolution of disputes by putting an end to a total of 8.34 lakh cases pending in various courts as well as a large number of cases at the pre-litigation stage on a single day at the national-level Lok Adalat held on August 13.

Of the 8.34 lakh cases settled, 1.53 lakh cases were among the cases pending in courts, and the remaining 6.31 lakh cases were at pre-litigation stage before various public authorities. 

Addressing presspersons here on Monday, Justice B. Veerappa, a judge of the High Court of Karnataka and the executive chairperson of KSLSA, said that settlement of an issue at pre-litigation is very important as they have the potential to give rise to a full-fledged legal disputes before various judicial and quasi judicial fora in future.

Amicable resolution of an issue at pre-litigation stage reduces possible litigation before the courts as it is aimed at resolving the differences between the parties at its initial stage, he said.

Pointing out that certain people are misguiding the litigants that certain petty cases cannot be settled through Lok Adalat, Justice Veerappa clarified that unpaid traffic challans, non-payment of telephone, electricity, water bills, and other utility services, non-repayment of bank loans, disputes before revenue authorities, etc. come under the ambit of Lok Adalat for settlement through conciliation.

He made it clear that the provisions of the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987, empowers settlement of wide variety of cases, including disputes pending before revenue authorities like tahsildar, etc. at pre-litigation stage. 

If an issue between two parties under the revenue laws before the lowest revenue authority is settled amicably then the question of the issue reaching the higher revenue authorities, the civil court, the High Court, and the Supreme Court by way of appeals does not arise, Justice Veerappa pointed out. 

In this Lok Adalat, 94,446 cases related to khata change, issuance of ID cards, pension etc. pending before the revenue authorities were amicably settled, he said. 

Due to the efforts of conciliators, 1,380 matrimonial dispute cases pending in the courts were settled and about 120  couples were reunited, he said.

A civil suit related to partition, pending in a district courts in Karwar for 42 years, was the oldest case settled.

Settlement at pre-litigation stages 

2,46,890 traffic challans settled, collected ₹14.35 crore as fine.

8,571 bank loan issues closed, ₹25.08 crore recovered. 

95,756 electricity bill issues settled, ₹13.58 crore collected.

78,716 water bill issues closed, ₹13.86 core due amount collected.

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Printable version | Aug 16, 2022 9:44:33 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/variety-of-disputes-can-be-settled-at-pre-litigation-stage-in-lok-adalats-hc-judge/article65772002.ece