Supreme Court judge Justice H L Dattu has said that the presiding officers of Lok Adalat should be given powers to decide the cases.
Speaking at the inauguration of mega Lok Adalat organised by High Court of Karnataka and Karnataka State Legal Services Authority, (KSLSA) Bangalore, Justice Dattu said most of the cases settled in the Lok Adalat return to the courts.
“Most settled cases in Lok Adalats like declarative suits and matters related to property will be directed back to the Court because the presiding officer of Lok Adalat has no powers to deal with them. If we can provide a mechanism where the officer is given a route to decide the case, when the parties do not agree for settlements, it may solve the problem,” he said.
Chief Justice D H Waghela in his presidential address mentioned that over 1.5 lakh cases have been settled in the Lok Adalats organised by the High Court and KSLSA. “Over 50,000 cases have been settled in pre-litigation stage. In the first Lok Adalat in November 2013, we settled a record number of 95,000 cases within a span of 21 days.
Today we are reaching out to the society to give justice to those people who cannot afford high cost of litigation and hope for speedy disposal of cases,” he said.
Attributing the success to the legal fraternity of Karnataka, Waghela said, “The message is reaching out to the people that there exists an alternative to them beyond the trial and appeals, which is less time-consuming.” The adalat, to be held across the State, aims at resolving thousands of disputes through settlements.