In a first,govt bank opts for Lok Adalat,settles huge backlog

Seventy-year-old Jaspal Singh had been struggling for over a year to get back his property in Defence Colony that he had mortgaged against a loan taken from a bank.

Written by Ayesha Arvind | New Delhi | Published: February 23, 2009 1:03:29 am

Seventy-year-old Jaspal Singh had been struggling for over a year to get back his property in Defence Colony that he had mortgaged against a loan taken from a bank. On Sunday,however,it took him just half an hour to get it back after a court settled his case in the Lok Adalat at the Patiala House courts complex.

More banks have now joined hands with the Delhi Legal Services Authority (DLSA) now to bring down the ever-mounting judicial backlog.

After the success of the recent Lok Adalat held in collaboration with ICICI Bank,Canara Bank,which is a public sector bank,apart from Axis Bank participated in today’s Mega Lok Adalat that saw the disposal of almost ninety per cent of their cases.

The Lok Adalat was held to settle recovery cases pertaining to personal loans,mortgage loans and education loans of the two banks. Unlike previous instances,all cases taken up by the DLSA were referred by the banks while in the pre-litigative stage,to prevent the fresh inflow of cases in courts. The two courts assigned by the DLSA for the purpose,recovered a sum of over Rs 45 lakh by settling 32 cases,of which Rs 31,73,783 was obtained from the court of the presiding officer Sanjay Sharma.

“Once again,the Lok Adalats got a favourable response from both the parties and we were successful in settling most cases,” said Sanjay Sharma,project officer of DLSA.

Litigants went home happy after their cases pending for years were settled in no time. The Lok Adalat offered 47-year-old Ramesh Mishra a swift solution to his pending loan. “It was good that I came here for the settlement of my personal loan. The court carried out reasonable negotiations before finalising my amount and gave me a chance to pay it in convenient installments,” said Mishra,who had taken a personal loan from Canara Bank.

According to the authorities,the success of Sunday’s Lok Adalat has now prompted other public sector banks to follow suit. “We have been approached by several public sector banks now and might soon organise another Lok Adalat for cases pending with the State Bank of India,” said Sanjay Sharma.

Earlier this month,a mega cyber Lok Adalat organised in collaboration with ICICI Bank saw the settlement of over 12,000 cases in a single day.

In the past,Lok Adalats have also been organised to settle cases pending with many private sector banks like the HDFC,Standard Chartered and ABN Amro among others. It was for the first time,however,that Canara Bank,a public sector bank,had approached the DLSA.

An exclusive Lok Adalat was also held today at the Patiala House complex for the disposal of matrimonial cases,which saw a whopping 100 per cent success rate.

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