Banks increasingly bank on lok adalats to resolve huge pending cases
The Lok Adalat, conducted by Tamil Nadu State Legal Services Authority (TNSLSA) is becoming increasingly popular in Chennai with several civil cases that slog for several years in the courts gets settled across the table. This is a boon both to the litigant public and the other parties.
People prefer this ‘peoples court’ because it is very effective in bringing about expeditious remedy as the settlements are done after mutual consultation and consent. Once a settlement is reached it is final, as neither of the parties can appeal against the Lok Adalat ruling. However the parties are free to agree or prefer to continue in courts, a time consuming and cumbersome procedure. There is no need to pay court for the exercise, and no need to engage a counsel.
Bad personal loans, house and vehicle loans, credit card dues, mobile phone bill problems, insurance settlements and even family disputes are settled through Lok Adalats, the most popular of all alternative disputes redressal (ADR) mechanisms.
The State Bank of India is organizing today a special Lok Adalat at the TNSLSA premises. This is following the success of an exclusive mega Lok Adalat held by the authority for the Central Bank of India on January 6 which helped the bank to dispose of 226 cases and recover a whopping Rs 11.2 crore on a single day. The ICICI Bank is also planning to have its own special adalat on February 5.
Mr. T Mathivanan, Member-Secretary of the TNSLSA, said “the SBI has decided to bring 1,693 pre-litigation cases before the special adalat. Six adalat benches will be created for the purpose.”
The SBI General Manager Mr. V. Srinivasan said the cases listed today involves a claim amount of Rs 20.62 crore, “and we hope that our customers as well as the bank itself would benefit from the exercise.” He added “We have participated in several lok adalats in the past too. They were beneficial both to the borrowers and the bank.”
Pointing out that the Legal Services Authority Act had provisions to hear pre-litigation cases, Mr. Mathivanan said it would reduce the burden on judicial forums, as in case of non-settlement of these disputes they would end up as civil suits in courts. He also said the TNSLSA had resolved 42,761 cases last year, and settled an estimated claim amount of Rs 172.8 crore.
Last week there was a Special Lok Adalat organised at Puzhal Central Prison, where 69 cases were settled. A total of 401 cases were placed for settlement.
Jointly conducted by Tamil Nadu State Legal Services Authority (TNSLSA) and the District Legal Services Authority in co-ordination with Puzhal Central Prison, the special adalat resolved the undertrial cases. The prison adalat was inaugurated by Chief Justice H.L. Gokhale and presided over by Madras High Court Judge and TNSLSA Executive Chairman Elipe Dharma Rao.
According to a TNSLSA press release, the Special Lok Adalat will be held till July 31.
- Asian Tribune -