CHANDIGARH, DECEMBER 12: Under the visionary leadership of Hon’ble Dr. Justice S. Muralidhar, Judge, Hon’ble Punjab & Haryana High Court and Executive Chairman, Punjab State Legal Services Authority, National Lok Adalat was organized throughout the State strictly as per the guidelines issued by the Centre as well as State Government from time to time to check the spread of Covid-19 outbreak.

It was for the first time in the history that the National Lok Adalat was held through electronic mode, in addition to the physical mode. It was only the second National Lok Adalat after 8th February 2020, when the first National Lok Adalat was held in the year 2020.

A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) was finalized and circulated to all the 22 Districts in the State of Punjab through the respective District & Sessions Judges-cum-Chairpersons of the District Legal Services Authorities, for the purpose of convenience of the Lok Adalat benches, Advocates as well as the Litigants.

Hon’ble Dr. Justice S. Muralidhar, Judge, Hon’ble Punjab & Haryana High Court and Executive Chairman, Punjab State Legal Services Authority, visited Amritsar, Fatehgarh Sahib, Moga, Ferozepur, Ropar and Patiala districts through virtual mode and participated in the proceedings going on before different benches. Various matters relating to recovery of amount, rent, permanent injunction and matrimonial disputes were settled.

A large number of cases including matrimonial disputes, property disputes, disputes relating to Motor Accident Claim, recovery cases, criminal compoundable cases including cheque bouncing cases under Section 138 of Negotiable Instrument Act etc., were successfully resolved.

In this mega event, more than 48,000 cases were taken up by the 363 Benches, out of which more than 18,500 cases were resolved amicably which includes pending court cases as well as pre-litigative cases, involving the settlement amount of more than Rs. 250 Crores.

Various awards were passed with the consent of the parties after minimizing their differences. As per the provisions of Legal Services Authority Act, 1987, the court fee was ordered to be refunded.

The strenuous efforts and participation of the Hon’ble Executive Chairman Dr. Justice S. Muralidhar, acted as a catalyst in resolving a large number of cases and brought back the lost smile and hope on the faces of litigants.

In one of the case pertaining to district Kapurthala, the Lok Adalat Bench has attained the major success by resolving the 14 year old matrimonial dispute.

The parties agreed to withdraw the connected cases. On this occasion, people have also been made aware to contact toll free number 1968 for any kind of legal assistance. The free legal assistance is available to all particularly the marginalized segments. Our toll free number and Front Offices set up at District and Taluka level in the premises of the courts are there to guide the litigants as to who and how free and effective legal aid can be obtained. For any kind of assistance, the people may contact the Front Office of Legal Services Authority situated in each district and Sub-Divisional Court for taking up their matter in the upcoming Lok Adalat and also assistance can be sought from the Head Office.

Arun Gupta, Member Secretary, Punjab State Legal Services Authority has informed that now the National Lok Adalats shall be held in the upcoming year strictly as per schedule of the National Legal Services Authority and urged the general public to take the maximum benefit of this upcoming Lok Adalat by amicable settlement of their disputes.