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Report No. 114

Chapter IV

Proposal for Adoption of a New forum of Nyaya Panchayats

4.1. Composition of existing Nyaya Panchayats.-

It is at this stage advantageous to refer to the composition of Nyaya Panchayats at present in vogue. The Nyaya Panchayats at present are composed of directly elected members, and in some cases elected members of Gram Panchayat forming Nyaya Panchayats. The method is wholly elective. Undoubtedly, with adult universal suffrage and democratic decentralisation, political parties have penetrated into the smallest village. Even the Panchayat elections are more or less fought on political party lines. To that extent, the village landscape is politicised.

The purely elective system may bring in politicised individuals to man Nyaya Panchayats and with it would come inevitably political confrontations, prejudices and divisions. This may hamper administration of even handed justice. And even if these elected representatives act in an wholly judicious manner their political attachments would cause dissatisfaction amongst litigants to different political hue. This would cut at the root of one of the facets of justice, namely, justice must seem to be done. Therefore, having regard to this existing unquestionable situation, it is necessary to devise a scheme which permits people's participation simultaneously avoiding the pitfalls of elective system.

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