The National Lok Adalat held at the district courts on Saturday settled 738 cases related to public utility disputes here.
Supervised by district and sessions judge Harminder Singh Madaan, who is also district legal services authority (DLSA) chairman, the lok adalat took up matter related to electricity, water, telephone, and other public utilities. A bench was constituted for Permanent Lok Adalat at Patiala. Of the 742 matters taken up, 738 involving total amount of about `6 lakh were settled.
DLSA secretary Kapil Aggarwal said that this alternative court settled to public utility disputes only, but monthly lok adalats were organised on last working Saturday of every month to take up all categories of matters except non-compoundable criminal cases. "The objective is to settle the disputes amicably through compromise, to save the time and money of the parties and reduce enmity between them. Cases even at pre-litigation stage can be brought before the lok adalat," he said.
When a case is settled in the lok adalat, its award becomes final and cannot be challenged. Moreover, the court fees (if any paid) is refunded to the parties. Quick justice is in the interest of both parties.