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With reference to Lok Adalats, which of the following statements is correct?
1. Lok Adalats have the jurisdiction to settle the matters at pre-litigative stage and not those matters pending before any court
2. Lok Adalats can deal with matters which are civil and not criminal in nature
3. Every Lok Adalat consists of either serving or retired judicial officers only and not any other person
4. None of the statements given above is correct

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Correct Answer - Option 4 : None of the statements given above is correct

The correct answer is None of the statements given above is correct.

  • The National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) has been constituted under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 to provide free Legal Services to the weaker sections of the society and to organize Lok Adalats for amicable settlement of disputes.
  • Lok Adalat is one of the Alternative Dispute Redressal(ADR) mechanisms. 
  • It is a forum where disputes/cases pending in the court of law or at the pre-litigation stage are settled/ compromised amicably.
  • Lok Adalats have been given statutory status under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987
  • Nature of cases to be referred to Lok Adalat:-
    • Any case pending before any court or
    • Any dispute which has not been brought before any court and is likely to be filed before the court. Provided that any matter relating to an offense not compoundable under the law shall not be settled in Lok Adalat. Hence, option 1 is not correct.
  • As per section 18(1) of the Act, a Lok Adalat shall have jurisdiction to determine and to arrive at a compromise or settlement between the parties to a dispute in respect of:-
    • Any case pending before; or
    • Any matter which is falling within the jurisdiction of, and is not brought before, any court for which the Lok Adalat is organised. Provided that the Lok Adalat shall have no jurisdiction in respect of matters relating to divorce or matters relating to an offence not compoundable under any law.
  • All cases of civil and criminal nature which are permitted under law to be compromised and compounded are settled in Lok Adalats, Hence option 2 is not correct.
  • Composition of Lok Adalats-
    • The Lok Adalat has a chairman, two members and one social worker.
    • The chairman must be a sitting or retired judicial officer.
    • The other two members should be a lawyer. Hence, option 3 is not correct.

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