Lok Adalat as an alternate dispute redressal Mechanism - India Consumer Forum

Lok Adalat as an alternate dispute redressal Mechanism

Lok Adalat is a forum where the disputes/cases pending in the court of law or at pre-litigation stage are settled/compromised amicably. The Lok Adalat has been given statutory status under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987. Under the said Act, the award made by the Lok Adalats is deemed to be the decree of a civil court and is final and binding on all parties and no appeal lies before any court against its award.


Any case pending before any court
Any dispute which has not been brought before any court and is likely to be filed before the court
Provided that any matter relating to an offence not compoundable under the law shall not be settled in Lok Adalat.


A) Case pending before the court:
If the parties agree to settle the dispute in Lok Adalat or
One of the parties makes an application to the court or The court is satisfied that that the matter is an appropriate one for settlement in Lok Adalat

B) Any dispute at pre-litigative stage:
The State Legal Services Authority or District Legal Services Authority as the case may be on receipt of an application from any one of the parties to any pre-litigation stage matter refer such matter to the Lok Adalat for amicable settlement

Where any case is referred to a Lok Adalat the Lok Adalat shall proceed to dispose of the case or matter and arrive at a compromise or settlement between the parties.

Every Lok Adalat shall, while determining any reference before it under this Act, act with utmost expedition to arrive at a compromise or settlement between the parties and shall be guided by the principles of justice, equity fair play and other legal principles.

Where no award is made by the Lok Adalat on the ground that no compromise or settlement could be arrived at between the parties, the record of the case shall be returned by it to the court, from which the reference has been received under the Act or shall advice the parties to seek remedy in a court, as the case may be.

Where the record of the case is returned under sub-section to the court, such court shall proceed to deal with such case from the stage which was reached before such reference to Lok Adalat.

Award of Lok Adalat:

Every award of the Lok Adalat shall be deemed to be a decree of a civil court or, as the case may be, an order of any other court.

Every award made by a Lok Adalat shall be final and binding on all the
parties to the dispute, and no appeal shall lie to any court against the award.

Permanent Lok Adalats:

The Central Authority or, as the case may be, every State Authority shall, by notification, establish Permanent Lok Adalats at such places and for exercising such jurisdiction in respect of one or more public utility services and for such areas as may be specified in the notification.

Permanent Lok Adalats are established to deal with disputes raising out of the following public utility services:

(i) transport service for the carriage of passengers or goods by air, road or water; or
(ii) postal, telegraph or telephone service; or
(iii) supply of power, light or water to the public by any establishment; or
(iv) system of public conservancy or sanitation; or
(v) service in hospital or dispensary; or
(vi) insurance service.

and includes any service which the Central Government or the State Government, as the case may be, may, in the public interest, by notification, declare to be a public utility service for the purposes of this chapter.

Any party to a dispute may, before the dispute is brought before any court, make an application to the Permanent Lok Adalat for the settlement of dispute provided that the Permanent Lok Adalat shall not have jurisdiction in respect of any matter relating to an offence not compoundable under any law.

The Permanent Lok Adalat shall not have jurisdiction in the matter where the value of the property in dispute exceeds ten lakh rupees however, the Central Government, may, by notification, increase the limit of ten lakh rupees specified in the second proviso in consultation with the Central Authority.

After an application is made under sub-section to the Permanent Lok Adalat, no party to that application shall invoke jurisdiction of any court in the same dispute.

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