Lower courts dispose of a record 16K cases in a day

The exercise was part of first-of-its-kind National Lok Adalat held across country Saturday.

Mumbai | Published: November 24, 2013 12:12:45 am

AAMIR KHAN

The fate of a property mired in litigation for the past 39 years was decided in two hours by the City Civil and Sessions court on Saturday. Three sisters,who had been fighting over a house in Mahim worth Rs 2.5 crore,agreed to sell it off after a panel of judges at the National Lok Adalat played the peacemaker.

Theirs was one among 16,105 cases that were disposed of by the subordinate courts in Mumbai on Saturday in the first-of-its-kind National Lok Adalat held by the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA). The disposal figures of the Bombay High Court and its benches are likely to be released on November 25.

The Lok Adalat was aimed at reducing the pendency of cases in courts and resolving them amicably.

The National Lok Adalat was held for the first time in 27 High Courts and all district courts in the country.

Several cheque-bouncing and bank recovery cases,civil suits,motor accident claims,family and matrimonial disputes were taken up by various subordinate courts in the city. Thirty-two judges of the City Civil and Sessions Court at Fort disposed of 191 of the 523 cases slated to be heard before the court in one day.

“It (Lok Adalat) is aimed at clearing the pendency of matters in courts. There were quite a few settlements and Lok Adalat has successfully managed to bring some matters,going on for several years,to disposal,” said one of the panelists and special judge G A Sanap.

While the metropolitan magistrate courts concluded 7,018 cases,the Charity Commissioner,Mumbai,resolved 1,688 pending cases through the National Lok Adalat. The NALSA also resolved 6,175 cases at the pre-litigation stage,thus avoiding addition to the existing backlog in the lower courts of

the city.

The house in Mahim had been through several rounds of litigation,first between the owners and the tenants and later between the three sisters – aged 72,65 and 55 respectively. After a patient discussion,a panel comprising judges Sanap,D A Dholakia and B H Loya was of the view that the sisters should make the most their relationship and help each other. The sisters – two of whom were present at the Lok Adalat- agreed upon the suggestions and called up the third sister in Pune. The panel,while passing the decree,said the youngest sister should get an additional Rs 20 lakh from the sale of the flat as she had maintained the house over the years.

“I am very happy. I needed financial help and this will help me pay my medical expenses,” the sister in Pune told The Sunday Express over the phone,her voice choking.

“Apart from the Lok Adalat that was held Saturday,we also conducted a special drive in order to clear the pendency of cases. Both the Lok Adalat and special drive have been very effective. The Lok Adalat will most probably happen next year,” said Ajay Gujarati,who coordinated the Lok Adalat in Mumbai district and is the secretary of Legal Services Authority,Mumbai district. A total of 21,870 cases were disposed of as result of the special drive in the city civil and sessions courts and metropolitan magistrate courts in the city.

mumbai.newsline@expressindia.com

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