Laxmikanth: Summary of Subordinate Courts UPSC Notes | EduRev

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SUBORDINATE COURTS
Articles 233 to 237 in Part VI of the Constitution make the following provisions to regulate the organization of subordinate courts and to ensure their independence from the executive.
1. Appointment of District Judges The appointment, posting and promotion of district judges in a state are made by the governor of the state in consultation with the high court. A person to be appointed as district judge should have the following qualifications:
1. He should not already be in the service of the Central or the state government. 2. He should have been an advocate or a pleader for seven years.
3. He should be recommended by the high court for appointment.

LOK ADALATS

  • Lok Adalat is a forum where the cases ( or disputes) which are pending in a court or which are at prelitigation stage (not yet brought before a court) are compromised or settled in an amicable manner.
  • The word ‘Lok Adalat’ means People’s Court’. This system is based on Gandhian principles. It is one of the components of ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) system.

Statutory Status

(i) The first Lok Adalat camp in the post-independence era was organized in Gujarat in 1982. This initiative proved very successful in the settlement of disputes. Consequently, the institution of Lok Adalat started spreading to other parts of the country.
(ii) Any case pending before the court can be referred to the Lok Adalat for settlement if :

  • The parties thereof agree to settle the dispute in the Lok Adalat; or
  • One of the parties thereof makes an application to the court, for referring the case to the Lok Adalat; or
  • The court is satisfied that the matter is an appropriate one to be taken cognizance of by the Lok Adalat.

The Lok Adalat shall have the same powers as are vested in a Civil Court under the Code of Civil Procedure (1908), while trying a suit in respect of the following matters:

1. the summoning and enforcing the attendance of any witness examining him on oath;

2. the discovery and production of any document;

3. the reception of evidence on affidavits;

4. the requisitioning of any public record or document from any court or office;

Benefits
1. There is no court fee and if court fee is already paid the amount will be refunded if the dispute is settled at Lok Adalat.
2. The basic features of Lok Adalat are the procedural flexibility and speedy trial of the disputes. There is no strict application of procedural laws like the Civil Procedure Code and the Evidence Act while assessing the claim by Lok Adalat.

PERMANENT LOK ADALATS

The Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 was amended in 2002 to provide for the establishment of the Permanent Lok Adalats to deal with cases pertaining to the public utility services.
Reasons: The reasons for the establishment of Permanent Lok Adalats are as follows:
1. the cases which arise in relation to public utility services such as Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited, Delhi Vidyut Board, etc., need to be settled urgently so that people get justice without delay even at prelitigation stage
2. It is, therefore, proposed to amend the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 to set up Permanent Lok Adalats for providing compulsory prelitigative mechanism for conciliation and settlement of cases relating to public utility services.

Family COURTS
The Family Courts Act, 1984 was enacted to provide for the establishment of Family Courts with a view to promote conciliation and secure speedy settlement of disputes relating to marriage and family affairs. 1 he main objectives and reasons for setting up of Family Courts are
(i) To create a Specialized Court which will exclusively deal with family matters so that such a court may have the necessary expertise to deal with these cases expeditiously. Thus expertise and expeditious disposal are two main factors for establishing such a court;
(ii) To institute a mechanism for conciliation of the disputes relating to family;
(iii) To provide an inexpensive remedy; and
(iv) To have flexibility and an informal atmosphere in the conduct of proceedings.

Features
The salient features of the Family Courts Act, 1984 are as follows:
1. It provides for the establishment of Family Courts by the State Governments in consultation with the High Courts.
2. It makes it obligatory on the State Governments to set up a Family Court in every city or town with a population exceeding one million.
3. It simplifies the rules of evidence and procedure so as to enable a Family Court to deal effectively with a dispute.
4. It provides for only one right of appeal which shall lie to the High Court.

Establishment: At present 2016 a total 438 family courts.

GRAM NYAYALAYAS

The Gram Nyayalayas Act, 2008 has been enacted to provide for the establishment of the Gram Nyayalayas at the grass roots level for the purposes of providing access to justice to the citizens at their doorsteps and to ensure that opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizen due to social, economic or other disabilities.
Reasons: Justice to the poor at their door step is a dream of the poor. Setting up of Gram Nyayalayas in the rural areas would bring to the people of rural areas speedy, affordable and substantial justice.

Features

  • The Gram Nyayalaya shall be established for every Panchayat at intermediate level
  • The Gram Nyayalaya shall exercise the powers of a Civil Court with certain modifications and shall follow the special procedure as provided in the Act.
  • The Gram Nyayalaya shall try to settle the disputes as far as possible by bringing about conciliation between the parties and for this purpose,
  • Appeal in civil cases shall lie to the District Court, which shall be heard and disposed of within a period of six months from the date of filing of the appeal.

Establishment

  • More than 5000 Gram Nyayalayas are expected to be set up under the Act for which the Central Government would provide about Rs.1400 crores by way of assistance to the concerned States/Union Territories.
  • Under of the Gram Nyayalayas Act, 2008, it is for the State Governments to establish Gram Nyayalayas in consultation with the respective High Courts. Present 175 Gram Nyayalayas is working.
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