It is one of the components of ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) systems. This concept of the settlement of disputes through mediation, negotiation or arbitration is conceptualized and institutionalized in the philosophy of Lok Adalat. It involves people who are directly or indirectly affected by dispute resolution. This system is based on Gandhian principles.
Powers of lok adalats:
- The Lok Adalat shall have the powers of a civil court under the Code of Civil Procedure
- 1908, while trying a suit, in respect of the following matters:
- Power to summon and enforce the attendance of any witness and to examine him/her on oath.
- Power to enforce the discovery and production of any document.
- Power to receive evidence on affidavits,
- Power for requisitioning of any public record or document or copy thereof or from any court.
- Such other matters as may be prescribed
Advantages of Lok Adalats
- Speedy Justice
- Unburdening of Courts and thus reducing the backlog of cases
- Maintenance of Cordial Relations (since the main thrust is on compromise and not punishment)