Two day campaign in Punjab, Haryana to clear pending court cases

December 19th, 2008 - 5:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, Dec 19 (IANS) In this season of festivities, the Punjab and Haryana High Court here is holding a mega event of its own. With over one million cases pending in courts under it in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh, the court has set itself up to clear nearly 25 percent of the backlog in two days flat.Saturday and Sunday (Dec 20 and 21) will be two days when the “Samadhan 2008″ (Solution 2008) campaign - an initiative of the high court’s Chief Justice, Tirath Singh Thakur - will be held at special ‘Lok Adalats’ (public courts) across both states and the union territory of Chandigarh to clear the backlog.

The high court itself has over 260,000 law cases - some of them dating back to the 1950s - pending before it. The remaining cases are before subordinate courts under it in the two states and the union territory of Chandigarh.

“Officials from both states and Chandigarh should cooperate for the disposal of maximum number of cases at this event,” Thakur said.

Hundreds of judges, law officers and lawyers under the jurisdiction of the high court have been involved to make the mega Lok Adalats a success. Even trainee judicial officers in the two states have been engaged to help in sorting out pending cases in different categories.

A majority of the cases to be dealt with by the Lok Adalats will pertain to banking matters, financial institutions, insurance claims and divorce cases, where there is mutual consent.

“The total number of litigants and counsels at various places will run into thousands on both days of the mega event,” a official of the high court said.

District authorities in 21 districts in Haryana, 20 districts in Punjab and Chandigarh, including from police, revenue and other departments, have been involved in the exercise. Even ’sarpanches’ (village heads), ‘patwaris’ (local revenue officials) and teachers have been roped in, not only to make litigants aware but also to ensure that they come with a mindset to get matters decided.

The public courts - two parallel sittings to be held simultaneously at scores of places in the region - will aim at doing away with arguments in the cases to be taken up and try to find amicable solutions fast. The various district and sessions judges will be in charge in areas under their jurisdiction.

“Some of the cases related to banking and insurance, which may have been pending for years, could be decided in a matter of minutes,” a leading lawyer told IANS here.

The category of cases proposed to be taken up in the Lok Adalats (public courts) include thjose under section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act which deals with dishonoured cheques, motor accident claim cases, compoundable criminal offences, matrimonial disputes under the Hindu Marriage Act, petty offences under special enactments, cases of domestic violence and cases relating to road accidents except serious cases.

Petitions under sections 18 & 19 of Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, petitions for custody of children, civil suits of recovery of money and possession of immovable property, suits for injunctions, rent cases and civil and criminal cases relating to electricity will also be taken up.

The inaugural function of the mega Lok Adalats will be held in Gurgaon city adjoining Delhi, with Supreme Court judge, D.K. Jain launching the campaign. Supreme Court judges H.S. Bedi and G.S. Singhvi will also be present.

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