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Insights Daily Current Events, 08 December 2014

Insights Daily Current Events, 08 December 2014

Lok Adalat settles 1.25 cr. cases in a day

The Second National Lok Adalat held across the country recently settled about 1.25 crore pending and pre-litigation cases and brought financial relief of over Rs. 3,000 crore to ordinary litigants in a single day.

Organized by: The National Legal Service Authority (NALSA) .

How has it helped?

  • It has reduced backlog by about nine% in all the States.

Types of cases settled:

  • The cases settled out of court include family disputes, matrimonial cases, motor accident claims, bank recoveries, petty criminal matters, revenue matters, disbursement of payment under the MGNREGA and other government welfare schemes.

Some more details:

  • The Lok Adalat hearings were held in courts at all levels, right from the Supreme Court to the High Courts to the taluk courts.
  • In Delhi, the State Legal Services Authority expanded the network of Lok Adalats to include the State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission, the Debt Recovery Tribunals, the Central Administrative Tribunals, Revenue Department Courts, Sub Divisional Magistrates and district consumer forums.
  • It was able to resolve nearly double the number of disputes than last year. In November 2013, around 71 lakh cases were settled in the First National Lok Adalat.

Lok Adalat:

Lok Adalat is a system of alternative dispute resolution developed in India. It roughly means “People’s court”.

  • The idea of Lok Adalat was mainly advocated by Justice P.N. Bhagwati, a former Chief Justice of India.
  • Lok Adalat is a non-adversarial system, whereby mock courts (called Lok Adalats) are held by the State Authority, District Authority, Supreme Court Legal Services Committee, High Court Legal Services Committee, or Taluk Legal Services Committee.
  • They are held periodically for exercising such jurisdiction as they determine.
  • These are usually presided over by retired judges, social activists, or other members of the legal profession.
  • The Lok Adalats can deal with all Civil Cases, Matrimonial Disputes, Land Disputes, Partition/Property Disputes, Labour Disputes etc., and compoundable criminal Cases.
  • The first Lok Adalat was held on March 14, 1982 in Gujarat.

How are these different?

  • These are less expensive and relations between litigants do not get strained.
  • The focus in Lok Adalats is on compromise. When no compromise is reached, the matter goes back to the court. However, if a compromise is reached, an award is made and is binding on the parties.
  • The disputing parties plead their case themselves in Lok Adalats. No advocate or pleader is allowed, even witnesses are not examined.
  • No court fee is levied. Speedy justice is given to the people of all classes of society.
  • Award has same effect as of a Civil Court decree.
  • It was the LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITY ACT 1987, which gave statutory status to Lok Adalat.

Sources: The Hindu, Wiki, GOI


Child marriages still rampant

New data shows that a majority of parents who get their children married before the legal age do not even seek their consent, and among those who do, the child not consenting does not stop the marriage.

The 2005-06, National Family Health Survey had shown that 46 per cent of young women were married before the legal age of 18, and the Planning Commission sought to understand why this was occurring.

New Data shows that:

  • Child marriage remains rampant, especially in the northern States.
  • Child marriage was prevalent among both Hindu and Muslim families, and across caste groups.
  • Among the parents interviewed, “traditional practice” was the most common reason for child marriages, followed by growing demands for dowry later in life, and pressure from relatives. Over 1 in 10 said that concerns about their daughters’ safety was one reason to marry them off early. Nearly 80 per cent were unaware that their act was illegal.
  • Over 60 per cent of parents said that they had not sought the consent of their children before fixing the marriage. This was highest in Gujarat, Odisha and Rajasthan. In seven out of 10 cases, it was the father who had decided on the wedding. Among parents who did seek their children’s consent, nearly 60 per cent said that the children did not agree, but this rarely led to a change in the parents’ decision.

The study was carried out in 10 States reporting high rates of child marriage — Bihar, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Odisha — and two districts reporting the highest rates were then selected in each State. In all, the researchers surveyed 10,000 respondents.

Sources: The Hindu.


GSAT-16 on course

Communication satellite GSAT-16 was successfully launched on board an Arianespace rocket from Kourou in French Guiana recently.

  • The satellite has 48 transponders, the largest ever carried by a communication spacecraft built by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
  • It was injected into the intended Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).
  • Master Control Facility of the satellite is located at Hassan in Karnataka.


  • GSAT-16 is the 11th Indian communication satellite meant to increase the number of transponders that in turn enhance the satellite based telecommunication, television, VSAT services in India. GSAT-16 is similar to GSAT-15 with each satellite weighing 3,150 kg and having power generation capacity of 6.8 kW.
  • GSAT-16 has 24 C-band, 12 Ku-band and 12 Upper Extended C-band transponders that will boost public and private TV and radio services, largescale Internet and telephone operations.
  • It would augment the national space capacity with 48 transponders joining 180-odd existing transponders with ISRO which has been hit by capacity crunch, impelling it to lease 95 transponders on foreign satellites mainly for private sector users like TV broadcasters who have often complained of inadequate transponder capacity to meet their requirements.
  • GSAT-16 will be the 11th among GSAT series of Indian communication satellites, and will have estimated lifespan of 12 years. It will support civil aviation services apart from backing up the services provided by other communication satellites.
  • The satellite is aimed as a replacement for satellite INSAT-3E.

Sources: The Hindu, Wiki.


Limiting job scheme to poorest districts will not help, finds survey

New data shows that confining India’s flagship rural jobs scheme to the 200 poorest districts would not direct the benefits to those who need it most.

New yet-to-be-published data from the 2011-12 India Human Development Survey (IHDS) shows that:

  • Nearly 70 per cent of India’s poor live in better-off districts. The average household in the 200 poorest districts is not poorer by much.
  • Splitting India’s income distribution into five classes, the IHDS found that 22 per cent of people in the poorest districts were in the bottom fifth, as against 19 per cent in the other districts. Also, both the 200 poorest and the other districts have a similar share of marginalised populations.
  • Both sets of districts currently use the MGNREGS; 28 per cent of rural households in the poorest districts and 23 per cent of the other districts have participated in the scheme. Among the households which participated, a slightly larger proportion of their income comes from MGNREGS in India’s better-off districts than in the poorest. In the poorest districts, people are trying harder to piece together a livelihood with many different jobs. So, when they work in MGNREGA, they also have other work. In better-off districts, some people find better jobs. Those who are left out find work under MGNREGA programmes and are consequently more reliant on them.

Results from the IHDS suggest that targeting districts is likely to be ineffective and that it may be better to target households.

Experts also point out that reducing the number of districts would “run against a fundamental premise of the Act: gainful employment that affords basic economic security is a human right.

Sources: The Hindu.