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Report No. 114

2.6. Cumbersome provisions of C.P.C. not suited for settling rural disputes.-

The disputes arising in these rural areas have a distinct local rural flavour. The irony is that these disputes are sought to be resolved by a procedure uniformly applied from the small village to metropolitan areas like Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, Delhi, etc. Disputes involving crores of rupees, raising intricate questions of law and constitutional issues of far-reaching importance on the one hand and possession of petty occupancy, minor dispute as to passage to the field, dispute as to location of irrigation channel, dispute as to a share in a small occupancy land on the other hand are all dealt with by the same cumbersome procedure prescribed by the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, as amended from time to time.

Is this not an anomaly? Does it need a change? Reform of substantive law may be kept aside for the time being because according to Prof. Michael Zander of the London School of Economics 'what matters in the matter of law reforms is the cheapness, accessibility, and expedition of the legal process; that the substantive law is of less importance than the procedural law'1. This paper proposes to suggest restructuring of dispute resolution mechanism at grass-roots level in respect of disputes arising in rural and semi-urban areas.

1. As quoted in Lord Scarman Law Reforms in a Democratic Society, (1985), p. 31.

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