After a high court order shut down the Gurgaon Lok Adalat in December, the number of pending civil cases and those involving family feuds have increased substantially.
Earlier, nearly 70-100 cases were disposed off in a month by the fast track court.
According to a district bar association estimate, even a hearing on such cases would now be pending for not less than six months.
The Punjab and Haryana high court order has shifted all cases to regular courts.
“At least 500 written orders were to be pronounced by the Lok Adalat when it stopped working after the HC order,” said Bal Krishna Bhardwaj, bar association secretary.
The HC order cited no particular reason for shutting down the Lok Adalat in Gurgaon.
Though the regular courts have begun hearings for civil suits that spilled over, they have not been able to devote adequate time to such cases.
They already have to deal with a long list of pending cases, 100-150 a day.
While the Lok Adalat exclusively dealt with civil matters throughout official working hours, the regular courts only have a one-hour slot — 3pm to 4pm.
Raj Kumar Sharma, an elderly litigant, had a hearing scheduled in the Lok Adalat for December 21. Now, his case has been deferred till the next month.
“I was hoping to get my matter resolved within a couple of months. Now, I can’t expect to settle a property feud with my sisters in less than 6-8 months,” he said.
Lok Adalat is a system of alternative dispute resolution. It is a system where mock courts are held by the state authority, district authority, Supreme Court Legal Services Committee, High Court Legal Services Committee, or Taluk Legal Services Committee.
They are held periodically for exercising such jurisdiction and are usually presided over by retired judges, social activists, or other members of the legal profession.
Lok Adalats can deal with all civil cases, matrimonial disputes, land disputes, partition/property disputes, labour disputes etc.