Lok Adalats


SHOULD INDONESIA ADOPTS LOK ADALATS?
By: Pan Mohamad Faiz
[1]

Lok Adalat is a special kind of people’s Court in which some particular kind of disputes are sought to be kept confusing court procedure and efforts are made to solve the disputes by direct talk between the litigants. The speciality of these courts is that in these courts the cooperation of social workers, workers and the students of law are also procured. They, after studying the case try to decrease the difference of opinion between the litigants. Lok Adalats try to solve simple differences, which otherwise are likely to have for reaching consequences, through mutual understanding and compromise.
In regard to the sitting of the Lok Adalats, the government declares the date, place, time and the name of the judge well in advance and the litigations are also declared which are to be taken up and decided upon. Such a kind of appearance is given wide publicity and by printing in newspapers, through public notifications and by pasting on the doors of Court, the people are informed about it.

IMPORTANCE OF LOK ADALAT

The system of Lok Adalats is a success of democracy and is a most up-to-date and cheap method of providing justice at your doorstep. It is the justice visiting your place to shower blessing. The feeling of a Lok Adalat is a feeling of compromise and it is a philosophy which strikes the balance and urges the spirit of philosophy of ‘Give and Take’. So far as the cases which are not arising out of the dealings with the State are concerned, the results have been wonderful and in been held at Delhi, New Delhi, Jaipur, Jodhpur and Udaipur and in certain parts of U.P., they have proved their role and success. In one Lok Adalat, about 8000 cases were reported to be solved. People feel a sense of relief and calm. If they do not get decision in their favour they have no frievence as the system of Lok Adalats is free from prejudices, bias and revenge.

JURISDICTION OF LOK ADALAT

It is very difficult to contain and restrict the jurisdiction of the Lok Adalat, so they could be settled easily through these courts. As regards the cases which can be best suited for the following category of cases where the functioning of the Lok Adalats can be most effective, fruitful and desirable.

  • Landlord-Tenant disputes relating to the enforcement of rent and vacating of the premises.
  • Compoundable offences.
  • Cases arising out if motor accidents.
  • Enhancement of the rent.
  • Matrimonial cases including cases relating to property given at the time of marriage, debts, securities, guardianship, custody of children and divorce.

CONCLUSION

We must remember that the Lok Adalats are not substitutes for existing Courts. If properly, thoughtfully and wisely constituted, Lok Adalats can become welcome additional arm of the existing judicial institution, moreover, if the process of accumulation of arrears is reversed and there is less burdening, its qualitative performance can improve. How about Indonesia? Do we need another judicial institution likes Lok Adalat to solve many problems in Judicial Area? Keeping in view the magnitude of the problems and keeping in view the fact that a fool-proof is always difficult to find, the following suggestions my be given if Indonesian Judicial System consider to adopt this institution:

  1. The Lok Adalat should be vested with conciliatory and reconciliatory function.
  2. The court fees should be nominal and the disposal of the cases should be fast with litigation cost on the minimum side.
  3. Justice should be made the basis in to under the Lok Adalat.
  4. The head and other officers of Lok Adalat should be persons qualified in law and acquainted with legal process.
  5. The justice should be speedy and the cases be preferably decided summarily and not based upon witnesses.
  6. The procedure should be simple and smooth, and there should be minimum formalities in conducting the case. ۩

The Writer
Email: pm_faiz_kw@yahoo.com
Site: http://www.faizlawjournal.blogspot.com/

[1] Writer is a Postgraduate Student of M.C.L. (Master of Comparative Law) at Faculty of Law, University of Delhi and a Researcher at The Constitutional Court of The Republic of Indonesia.

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