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Report No. 114

5.12. From Nyaya Panchayat to Gram Nyayalaya.-

In order to avoid any possible confusion arising from the distressing experience of the present state of the Nyaya Panchayats and to give a distinct connotation to the new forum which is in more ways than one dissimilar to the existing Nyaya Panchayats and which is couple of steps ahead of it, it was considered advisable to find a new name for the forum. There were numerous suggestions in this behalf. The name of the forum presented a complex problem. Nyaya Panchayat was the most common name proposed, but it also carried a stigma of its past failure. Lok Adalat is at present a popular phenomenon. That name must be rejected for a valid reason in the sense that Lok Adalat, as is understood by people at large, is a voluntary organisation to which no one can be compelled to submit his case.

The Commission is recommending the setting up of a statutory village level court and its jurisdiction is not optional. If the dispute is of the nature which falls within the jurisdiction of the proposed forum and arises within the local limits of the jurisdiction of it, the parties, if they seek resolution of the dispute, have no option but to resort to it. Therefore, the name Lok Adalat would not be onomatopoeic and might even be misleading and, therefore, does not command to the Commission. Having examined various alternative suggestions, the Commission feels that the name 'Gram Nyayalaya' would adequately describe the new forum.



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