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Coming soon: Lok Adalat on March 22

In yet another step to ‘de -clutter’ district courts,the Delhi Legal Services Authority will organise a Lok Adalat for the settlement of compoundable offences on March 22.

Written by Ayesha Arvind | New Delhi |
March 21, 2009 12:26:03 am

In yet another step to ‘de -clutter’ district courts,the Delhi Legal Services Authority will organise a Lok Adalat for the settlement of compoundable offences on March 22. The initiative,according to DLSA,is also an attempt to relieve the litigants of the trouble of attending regular hearings for resolving their pending disputes. Police officers across 11 district police stations have been asked by the DLSA to send to them the list of such cases that have reached the settlement stage. The response to the same “has been tremendous,” says DLSA project officer Sanjay Sharma.

Sharma said,within a week itself,the officials have sent a whopping list of 550 such cases from all over the Capital. Of these,the DLSA has identified around 350 cases that fall in the category of compoundable offences in accordance with the Criminal Procedure Code. They will be taken up on Sunday for settlement and disposal on the spot.

The project comes after a workshop conducted by the DLSA last month,where the DCP,ACP,SHOs and ASIs of all police stations here were told about ‘Alternative Dispute Resolution’ of cognizable and compoundable offences at the pre-litigation stage. The workshop,according to authorities,was organsied to stress on the advantages of alternate methods of dispute resolution.

Sharma said once the cases in which FIRs have been registered are referred to the Lok Adalats by police stations,DLSA counsellors will then interact with the parties to facilitate settlement of cases. The Investigation Officers in all cases will also appear in the Lok Adalats and the cases will get the final order the same day.

The parties,however,cannot challenge the order anywhere once such cases are settled in the Lok Adalat,Sharma said. Lok Adalats for settling compoundable offences will be held in all the five district courts on Sunday 10 am onwards. Compoundable offences are those offences which can be compromised or settled privately with or without permission of the court.

The private settlement of such an offence has the effect of an acquittal of the accused. Section 320 of the Code of Criminal Procedure deals with such offences. ‘hurting religious feelings’,‘causing minor hurt’,‘wrongfully restraining or confining any person’ and the offence of ‘adultery’ are among the many compoundable offences mentioned in the CrPC.

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