Saran Power to remove difficulties. Overriding effect of Act in criminal trial. The performance of this Act was very poor as only Gram Nyayalayas in entire Country have been established out of as target as of November Qualifications for appointment of Nyayadhikari. Conduct of cases in Gram Nyayalaya and legal aid to parties.
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In a press release issued on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti 2nd October, , the Centre announced that there shall be new courts instituted across the country, that it shall spend approximately crores for this purpose. The same press release added that the setting up of the Gram Nyayalaya is part of drawing a larger road map for judicial reforms.
Any discussion of law reform either by the Chief Justice or the Law Minister have touched upon the setting up of these courts primarily in terms of its impact on reduction of pendency of cases in the subordinate courts. The Gram Nyayalaya is the latest in the reforms in the structure of the Indian judiciary. The state introduced Fast track Courts and Lok Adalats to address the monumental backlog of cases in the judiciary. Family Courts instituted since also espouses speedy disposal, sensitive approach and relaxation of strict rules of evidence and procedure.
The Gram Nyayalaya seems to be a combination of the objectives of several special courts in contrast to the regular emphasis on the adversarial trial. A Round Table was organised in Hyderabad on 19 September, with several lawyers practicing in the District Courts to discuss the scope and possibilities of these new courts. The following is a report of the main issues that came up in the discussion. The Gram Nyayalaya as a different court was proposed by the th Law Commission lawcommissionofindia.
The report recommended the concept of the Gram Nyayalaya with two objectives. While addressing the pendency in the subordinate courts was the major objective, the other objective was the introduction of a participatory forum of justice.
To make it participatory the Law Commission recommended that the Magistrate be accompanied by two lay persons who shall act as Judges, that the legal training of the Magistrate will be complemented by the knowledge of the lay persons who would bring in the much required socio-economic dimension to adjudication. It was proposed that such a model of adjudication will be best suited for rural litigation.
The report suggests that such a litigation is expensive both for the state as well as the litigant. However the participatory aspect has been set aside in the current Act and we find the Gram Nyayalaya manned by the regular Judicial First Class Magistrate.
Its features are: It will be a mobile court and will conduct its proceedings in close proximity to the cause of action. The proceedings will be carried out in the local language. The court fees for any of the civil claims will not exceed Rs irrespective of the worth of the property involved. In criminal cases the proceedings will be of a summary nature.
In civil cases, in execution proceedings, the court will not be bound by the Code of Civil Procedure and will be guided by principles of natural justice. The Nyayalaya may accept documents that may not be strictly admissible under the Indian Evidence Act. All the orders except consent orders of the Nyayalaya can be appealed in the District Court and no further. In criminal cases the accused can petition the court for plea bargaining.
The Magistrate presiding in this court will be called a Nyayadhikari. The Nyayadhikari, in addition to his regular adjudicative functions, has to assist, persuade and conciliate the parties in arriving at a settlement. Issues in the Round Table a Is village litigation simple and amenable to fast solutions? For one foot of land people have initiated cumbersome litigations. The proximity of these courts may lead to more litigation among family members or among neighbors too.
What could be resolved with the help of local and customary mechanisms may end up being trapped in these courts. In a way these courts, with its judges and conciliators, will invalidate existing mechanisms of managing disputes in the villages.
While standardizing court fees enables access to the poorer litigant, it may also lead to excessive litigation. How can a relaxation of this kind be used by parties to a dispute who are drawn from unequal powers and resources. A more powerful litigant may be able to play the rules of documentary evidence much more to his advantage.
It is common knowledge that some judges are extremely rule bound while some are not. Discretion of the judge can also turn arbitrary. The discretionary powers of the judge has tricky implications. Two important aspects of a summary trial are that charges are not framed and only the gist of evidence is recorded.
What could be gained if a full recording of the evidence is given up in favor of the summary recording if not lip service to the question of speedy disposal. By making it a summary trial, one is giving more room for the judge to exercise his discretion. It was pointed that cases filed by workers under the Minimum Wages Act or women under Domestic Violence Act, plea bargaining would wield lot of pressure on the victims to close the case, which may be detrimental to the interests of the victims.
It was observed that the model of taxation is changing in the rural areas with newer taxes being introduced. They gave instances of how the rural litigant traveled long distances and even slept overnight in the court complex to attend his case the following day. They also contradicted the general opinion that such courts would invalidate the existing local mechanisms of solving disputes especially in a context where much of the local dispute redressal has been made over into the hands of the goondas, party leaders and police stations.
Despite being local and customary, they pointed out, these local forums have become expensive and time consuming for the common man. At the end of the Round Table there was not much consensus about how these new courts would function. A recurring question was whether speedy disposal meant speedy justice for the poorer litigant. A court that is closer to the rural litigant and a speedy disposal are definitely laudable objective of the legal system.
However, an emphasis on speedy disposal alone raises doubts if these are moves are being made to manage the arrears of the cases or to enable better access to the litigant-people. One was also unclear about what to draw from the experiences of the other special courts such as Fast Track courts or the Lok Adalats. Clearly, family courts, despite its emphasis on conciliation and relaxed procedures, ended up functioning like regular civil courts. Considering the disappointing practices of special courts and their functioning, the question remained, whether the Gram Nyayalaya be able to establish a new forum for litigation.
Gram Nyayalayas Act, 2008
Zolojind Appeal in civil cases. These local and small level Courts are much easily influenced by the Politicians, Money makers, etc. Jurisdiction of Gram Nyayalaya. The Gram Nyayalayas Act, This Act framed in order to provide justice to every corner of the Country, it failed to fulfill its objective as there were several such Temples of Justice to perform such functions in much effective way though every Act has its own lacuna.
Download PDF Equality and justice are indisputably two key facets of the idea of a modern, democratic, and constitution-adhering India. The principles of equality and justice are realized by the State apparatus through the business of administration of justice. To overcome these problems the Law Ministry had set up Gram Nyayalays in with an aim to provide a cost-effective forum at the grass-root level for the poor living in villages to settle legal matters. It was established by the Gram Nyayalayas Act, This Act perpetuates the phenomenon of two sections of Indians - that of the better-resourced urban citizen who can afford and has access to the courts, and the other India of the impoverished - the more disconnected rural citizen, who gets primary access to forums that focus primarily on disposing of their claims, minus the application of essential safeguards of the legal process - lawyers, appeals, procedural protections, and evidentiary requirements. Gram Nyayalayas are mobile village courts in India established for speedy and easy access to justice system in the rural areas of India.
The Gram Nyayalayas Act, 2009
This Act has been established to provide Gram Nyayalayas in order to provide Justice to its Citizen at their door steps. This has been enacted with the intention to provide justice with no objection or barriers considering speedy disposal and unnatural delays by Courts. This is a cost effective mechanism at the root level people in villages to settle their legal matters. The performance of this Act was very poor as only Gram Nyayalayas in entire Country have been established out of as target as of November This is because of Financial contingencies, reluctance of lawyers, police, etc. The State Government shall establish any number of Gram Nyayalayas with the consultation of High Court through notification.
The Act came into force from 2 October Gram Nyayalaya is a mobile court and exercises the powers of both Criminal and Civil Courts. More than Gram Nyayalayas are expected to be set up under the Act. Around such courts have been set up as on March Reluctance of police officials and other State functionaries to invoke jurisdiction of Gram Nyayalayas, lukewarm response of the Bar, non-availability of notaries and stamp vendors, problem of concurrent jurisdiction of regular courts etc. Further, majority of States have now set up regular courts at Taluk level, thus reducing the demand for gram nayayalayas Gram Nyayalaya are established generally at headquarter of every Panchayat intermediate level or a group of contiguous panchayat in a district where there is no panchayat at intermediate level.