A National Lok Adalat has urged authorities to take an expeditious decision on authorising officers to settle cases so as to reduce litigations, noting that undue delay in settlement of compensation defeats the core purpose of this legislation.
Justice Anuja Prabhudessai of the Bombay High Court on May 7 presided as head of the National Lok Adalat.
A total of 112 appeals pertaining to the Railway Claims Tribunal were placed before the National Lok Adalat for settlement on that day.
However, advocate T J Pandian, appearing for the Railways, stated that railway officers present in court that day did not have the authority to enter into a settlement or give consent to settle the matter.
Justice Prabhudessai noted that even in March 2022, nearly 150 matters could not be settled or disposed of by the Lok Adalat for the same reason.
The advocates, representing the victims in such cases, informed Justice Prabhudessai that over 1,000 appeals were pending and the same could be settled before the Lok Adalat if railway authorities gave their consent.
The Lok Adalat provides expeditious, economic and viable justice to the common man and the most needy section of society, particularly those who have lost their limb or loved one or a bread-earner in an untoward incident, Justice Prabhudessai said in the order.
"It is, therefore, necessary for the authorities concerned to take expeditious decisions regarding authorisation of their officers to enter into a settlement or compromise," the judge said in the order.
This would not only help in reducing the pendency of matters before courts, but will also be in the interest of victims, keeping in mind the fundamental principle that undue delay in settlement of compensation in such matters defeats the very core purpose of the beneficial legislation, the order said.
Justice Prabhudessai directed the railway authorities to view the matter seriously and take expeditious decisions in this regard.
Lok Adalat is an alternative dispute redressal mechanism forum where disputes/cases pending in courts can be settled amicably.
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