In yet another first-of-its-kind initiative by Delhi High Court Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal, a transgender and a victim of acid attack sat as associate members on the National Lok Adalat conducted on Friday by the Delhi State Legal Services Authority.
The Lok Adalats were organised in all 11 districts in all the court complexes and were presided over by the judges/ retired judges of district courts, Delhi along with associate members.
In an effort towards creating an inclusive society, transgender Neelmani Tiwari and a victim of acid attack, Kamar Jahan, sat as associate members in Lok Adalat benches in New Delhi district.
Along with presiding judicial officers Sushant Changotra and Namrata Aggarwal, they disposed of matters of civil nature and cases under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act.
Both Neelmani and Kamar Jahan belong to the marginalised sections of the society and their inclusion in the Lok Adalat is a step towards creating an inclusive society.
“The idea to include them in Lok Adalat benches is to ensure the empowerment of these sections of the society and to send the message that they can contribute equally in every sphere of national life,” said the Delhi State Legal Services Authority.
Neelmani Tiwari, who has Masters in Social Work degree and works with NGO Basera, was overwhelmed and shared how she had never imagined she would be a part of the justice delivery system.
She appreciated the cooperation she got from the presiding officer and the court staff in discharging her duty.
The Lok Adalats were held for all civil, criminal, motor accident claim tribunal matters which have an element of settlement in them.
Nearly16,193 cases were disposed of pertaining to different jurisdiction of pre-litigative and pending nature at district courts of Delhi in which settlement amount was approximately Rs. 52 crores.
Both pre-litigative matters and matters pending in courts were taken up in the Lok Adalats. Special Lok Adalats for electricity matters were also held in Saket, Tis Hazari and Karkardooma district courts and would also be held on December 10.
It is to be noted that 12 Lok Adalat benches for MACT cases pending in all districts of Delhi were constituted at Patiala House Courts wherein 252 cases involving Rs 12 crore were pending. The Lok Adalats organised in Delhi High Court saw disposal of 28 cases with settlement amount of Rs 1.20 crore.
The Lok Adalats organized in District Consumer Forums saw 123 cases getting settled and a settlement amount of Rs 1.76 crore.