Gram Nyayalaya - Establishment of Civil and Criminal Court in Indian Villages
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Gram Nyayalaya - Establishment of Civil and Criminal Court in Indian Villages

Gram Nyayalayas enables appeasement or peace-making of the dispute and settlement of an equivalent within the first instance.

· 2 min read

Gram Nyayalaya - Background Context:

The Apex Court has instructed the respective State Governments, which are yet to return with notifications for constituting ‘Gram Nyayalayas’, with immediate effect within four weeks, and asked the high courts to accelerate the procedure of consultation with state governments on this issue.

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What is the Issue?

After the instructions from the apex court, only 11 states have taken action to notify Gram Nyayalayas. Several states have provided notifications for the institution of “Gram Nyayalayas” but all of them weren't actually functioning or were not active except, in the following states

  • Kerala
  • Maharashtra
  • Rajasthan

Only a mere 208 ‘Gram Nyayalayas’ are active within India as against 2,500 estimated to be needed by the 12th five-year plan.

About Gram Nyayalaya

Gram Nyayalayas (i.e. village courts) are instituted under the Gram Nyayalayas Act, 2008 for immediate and simple access to the justice system within the remote and rural areas of India.

The Act came into effect on 2 October 2009.

Composition

The Gram Nyayalayas are guided by a Nyayadhikari, who will have an equivalent capability and competency, and appreciate the same salary, comfort, and welfare of a Judicial Magistrate of first-class. These Nyayadhikari are to be chosen by the state government in consultation with the respective apex court.

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Jurisdiction

  • A Gram Nyayalaya has jurisdiction control over a geographical area as specified by a notification by the state government in consultation with the respective apex court of India.
  • The Court can function as the "Anywhere Mobile Court” at locations within the jurisdiction of appointed Gram Nyayalaya.
  • Establishment of both civil court jurisdiction and criminal court jurisdiction over the wrongdoing or crimes.
  • The budget and capital of jurisdiction of the “Gram Nyayalayas” are predetermined by the respective High Courts.
  • The primary goal of “Gram Nyayalayas” and the powers given to them is simply to undertake or consider certain proofs & pieces of evidence to deliver justice, which might otherwise not be unwelcomed or acceptable under the Indian Evidence Act.

Procedure to be Followed

Delivering justice is the primary aim of “Gram Nyayalayas”, hence they can follow an exceptional process in civil matters, in a manner that considers it to be just important, and fair within the interest and context of justice.

Gram Nyayalayas enables appeasement or peace-making of the dispute and settlement of an equivalent within the first instance.

Appeals

Appeals or reconsideration in civil and criminal cases shall lie to, or mislead the Court of Session, which shall be heard and concluded within the time period of six months from the date of filing of such request of reconsideration.

Significance

The establishment of “Gram Nyayalayas” is taken into account as a crucial action to reduce the deficit and is a part of the judicial reconstruction. It is evaluated that “Gram Nyayalayas” can reduce approximately 50% of the undecided (awaiting) cases in subordinate courts and may look out of the new litigations which can be disposed of within six months.