IMC gives Lok Adalat the cold shoulder | india | Hindustan Times
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IMC gives Lok Adalat the cold shoulder

DOES THE Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) administration actually intend to rein in violators? Not really going by what transpired at the Lok Adalat held at the district court on Sunday.

india Updated: Mar 27, 2006 14:29 IST

DOES THE Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) administration actually intend to rein in violators? Not really going by what transpired at the Lok Adalat held at the district court on Sunday.

The Corporation did not bother to depute even a single Law department official at the Adalat even though over 500 municipal challans were scheduled to come up for hearing.

And so, while telephone companies, insurance agencies and even cops were out in force the civic body went unrepresented. That the Corporation managed to settle 225 cases and collect fines amounting to nearly Rs 20,000 despite the legal eagles’ recalcitrance is a tribute to Nazir Sheikh, a lowly IMC clerk.

Deluged by a flood of form-waving applicants as irascible as they were impatient Sheikh remained unperturbed and politely kept filling out forms for over six hours.

Stopping only to shepherd the queue-breakers outside the Public Prosecutor’s chamber where municipal cases were being dealt with. In between, Sheikh made several requests to a couple of Health department inspectors to help manage the unruly crowd but only received a smirk for his troubles.

The clerk finally sat to a well-deserved rest and luncheon at around 4 pm when the last of the applicants had left. According to district court lawyers a retinue of five Law department staffers including Assistant Law Officer PC Verma, Kamla Dubey, Kamal Korasia, Manoj Vyas and S Kushwaha are stationed at the room on weekdays.

Why, then, did the staffers, particularly Assistant Law Officer PC Verma, fail to turn up at the court on Sunday even though they knew a Lok Adalat was scheduled?

Obviously, enjoying the weekend sabbatical takes priority for the staffers over ensuring that municipal violations are punished.

When contacted Assistant Law Officer PC Verma disclaimed any knowledge of municipal cases being dealt with at the Lok Adalat. “Normally departments inform us in advance about cases that are to be put up for hearing. This time we received no such information and so I did not feel it necessary to attend”, said Verma.

23,000 cases settled
OVER 23,000 cases were settled at the Lok Adalat held at the district court on Sunday. Of these the largest, 6,365, pertained to pre-litigation cases while 2,172 pertained to complaints of dishonoured cheques.

The largest compensation, Rs 7.30 lakh, was paid by United India Insurance Ltd in an accident case under the 13th Motor Accidents Claim Tribunal in which a 35-year-old BSF soldier was killed.

Although the insurance company officials were authorised to sanction payments of only up to Rs 5 lakh, President, Legal Services Authority, Justice Deepak Mishra contacted the company’s regional manager in Bhopal over the phone and persuaded him to raise the compensation.

In all 6,035 criminal cases were disposed of through mutual agreement. Summary (3,517), revenue (945), non-judicial cases (2,615), Co-operative Society cases (1,000), municipal (225), claims 219 and Labour disputes (08) were among other categories for which the Lok Adalat settled cases.