Doorstep legal camps in Rajasthan are not only helping in instant settlement of long-pending contentious issues but also bridging the divide in many an estranged family. Brothers Cheena and Ahmad Rahmat of Maseet village hardly spoke to each other for 19 years following a land dispute.
Now thanks to the state government’s ‘Nyay Aapke Dwar’, a camp was organised in Maseet where Cheena and Ahmad’s case reached a logical conclusion, thus facilitating the brothers to bury the hatchet. Cheena and Ahmad had stopped seeing eye to eye since 1998 when they began a legal fight over division of a 1.5-hectare land they had inherited from their father.
With neither ready to budge, the courtroom fight took a toll on their financial situation.
“Even imagining an amicable solution to the dispute was far-fetched after almost two decades,” says Cheena.
“They (the administration) informed us that cases such as mine can be solved at the Nyay Aapke Dwar, and I decided to file a petition,” he says.
A week later, the brothers were summoned on May 10 at the revenue department-run ‘lok adalat’.
“Before the hearing, we had the case investigated, and found that the land according to its fertility could be divided equally among them, with neither being deprived of good soil,” Sub-Divisional Magistrate (Tijara) Khema Ram Yadav says.
The ‘adalat’ settled the case on the spot and the entire process took hardly an hour, he says.
Like in Alwar, on the same day, camps in seven panchayats in Churu district disposed of more than 300 cases.
“This is one of the most successful legal-aid system in the country. We try to finish these camps before the monsoon. Once, the rains arrive, farmers become busy and hearings are almost impossible to conduct,” says Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.
“The legal camps handle cases related to the revenue department and these move from one revenue village to another. Most cases are those of property disputes, and we try to dispose of as many as possible in a day,” according to Additional District Magistrate (Alwar) Rakesh Kumar.
Started in 2015, Nyay Aapke Dwar camps (justice at your doorstep) have settled more than 69 lakh cases, some more than four decades old, through 28,000 ‘lok adalats’. Last year, a camp in Nagaur successfully divided a piece of land among 50 members of a family, ending a 50-year-old dispute.
“These camps are helping us not only solve cases, but also implement development projects by ending disputes such as construction of village roads,” Raje says.
She attributes the success of Nyay Aapke Dwar to revenue department officials, especially those at the district level.
According to officials, the camps cater to cases related to the land dispute, road construction, electrification, land and identity records, and different settlements.
They say the programme has also helped check crimes arising from personal and property disputes, by disposing of cases in a speedy manner.
“The objective of this programme is to deliver justice to the people, right at their doorstep, thus restoring their faith in the judicial system,” Raje says.
Rajasthan’s Nyay Aapke Dwar is in-line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s assurance to the Chief Justice of India that the government will make its share of “contribution” to help reduce the burden on the judiciary and deal with the high number of pending cases.