January 2, 2014 2:22:20 am
The Lok Adalat as an alternative dispute resolution mechanism saw a positive response in 2013 with 72,955 cases,including 65,313 cases of traffic violations being settled at the seven Lok Adalats held. The number of cases settled at the Lok Adalat in 2012 was around 35,000. One of the reasons for the disposal of so many cases was the organising of the Lok Adalats every second month. The national Lok Adalat held on November 23 alone disposed off 34,750 cases. Till 2012,the Lok Adalat was organised once in three months. However,attempts were made by the District and Sessions Judge,Chandigarh,S K Aggarwal,to make it more frequent. The maximum number of cases disposed off this year dealt with traffic challans. At the National Lok Adalat held in November,30,183 cases of traffic challans were disposed off and Rs 1.85 crore was collected as fine. The total number cases related to traffic offences being disposed off in 2013 was 65,791,while leniency was shown in offences like red light jumping or driving without a seat belt by reducing the fine. The Lok Adalat gave no concession to those accused of offences like using black films and reflectors on vehicles. However,due to the limited power given to insurance companies the number of Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT) cases being resolved at the Lok Adalat in 2013 did not see a good response. People seemed reluctant to settle their MACT cases at the Lok Adalat as the insurance companies had the power to provide compensation extending only to Rs 10 lakh. The number of MACT cases settled in 2012 were 57, while the figure stood at 53 in 2013. In February 2013,3,850 cases were decided that increased to 5,400 in April. The number of cases further increased to 13,966 at the Lok Adalat held on August 31. Many long-pending cases were disposed off at the Lok Adalats in 2013 that led to disposal of other related cases as well. In one case,a 20-year-old property matter related to a prominent city business family was settled leading to the disposal of over 70 related cases. Also,a cheque bounce case was settled at the National Lok Adalat leading to over 20 related cases being disposed off.
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