How do the Lok Adalats function?
Functioning of Lok Adalat: Lok Adalats are presided over by judicial officers and other persons, who possess such qualifications as may be prescribed by the State. They make an endeavour to bring compromise or agreement between the parties. On October 6, 1985 for the first time the Lok Adalats were held in Delhi. Justice P. N. Bhagwati inaugurated the Adalats. On the first day five Lok Adalats were held. On this day 116 persons received compensation to the tune of Rs. 35 lakhs. These people had been contesting their motor accident claims since 1978-79. Delhi Transport Corporation immediately made payment to the aggrieved parties. The Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 provides that State or district authorities will organize Lok Adalats from time to time. All decisions of the Lok Adalats are now deemed to be decrees of a Civil Court and shall be binding on the parties to the dispute.
Upto December 31, 1997 more than seventeen thousand Lok Adalats had been held in different parts of the country. They heard and settled about 68.86 lakh cases. In more than three lakh motor vehicles accident cases, compensation amounting to more than a thousand crore of rupees was awarded.