New Delh: National Lok Adalat (one of the alternative dispute redressal mechanisms) will be held on November 12, 2022 across the country to dispose of pending cases through settlement, said the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution on Thursday.
Considering the benefits of the Lok Adalat system and mutual settlement between parties a large number of consumer cases are expected to be disposed of, the ministry said in a statement.
The groundwork for this exercise has already been initiated and all the consumer commissions have been intimated to identify cases that have an element of settlement and prepare a list of pending cases that can be referred to Lok Adalat. Regular monitoring of the making of the list is been done by the department, as per the statement.
To have maximum outreach and benefit consumers, Department is reaching out to consumers, companies, and organisations through SMS and emails. Department has the phone numbers and emails of three lakh parties whose cases are pending before the commissions. The Department has done a Video Conferencing with the Consumer Commission which has more than 200 pending cases.
With the help of technology, a separate link is being created and circulated amongst all stakeholders wherein one can enter their pending case number and commission where the case is pending and easily refer the matter to Lok Adalat. The link shall be circulated through email and SMS.
Through data analytics, sector-wise distribution of pendency has been identified such as banking with a total number of 71,379 pending cases, insurance with 1,68,827, e-commerce with 1,247, electricity with 33,919, railways with 2,316, etc., and efforts are being made towards the settlement of such consumer cases on priority.
Department of Consumer Affairs is constantly monitoring the disposal of cases in Consumer Commissions and is in the process of collaborating with the National Legal Service Authority (NALSA) for referring the inclusion of pending consumer cases to be disposed of through the upcoming National Lok Adalat, where both parties mutually agree on a settlement. Communication in this regard has already been made to NALSA.
How to register cases
For further information and assistance to get their pending case referred to Lok Adalat, they can register their cases for the reference to Lok Adalat through the link (http://cms.nic.in/ncdrcusersWeb/lad.do?method=lalp) or can call on 1915, National Consumer Helpline who will assist them in the process.
Also, the Consumer Commission can upload the updated list of referred cases on the portal through the above-mentioned link.
National Lok Adalats are held at regular intervals where on a single day Lok Adalats are held throughout the country, in all the courts right from the Supreme Court to the District level wherein cases are disposed of in huge numbers.
The mission of the Department of Consumer Affairs is to strengthen consumer protection and safety through progressive legislation, empower consumers through awareness and education, and provide access to fair and efficient grievance redressal mechanisms.
National Legal Service Authority (NALSA) along with other Legal Service institutions conducts Lok Adalats. It is one of the alternate dispute redressal mechanisms, it's a forum where disputes/cases pending in the courts/commissions are settled/ compromised amicably.
There are about 6, 07,996 consumer cases pending in the country. In NCDRC there are about 22,250 numbers of cases pending.
The major states like Uttar Pradesh with 28,318 cases pending, Maharashtra with 18,093 pending cases, Delhi with 15,450 pending cases, Madhya Pradesh with 10,319, and, Karnataka with 9,615 pending cases are some of the states with the highest number of pendency.