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Report No. 114

6.13. Power to call for information.-

The Gram Nyayalaya will have power to call for information from any source which is considered necessary for the just decision of the dispute brought before it. While retaining the adversary format, the Gram Nyayalaya should not be handicapped in rendering just decision in the case by the failure of the parties to bring available material before it. At present the court cannot act suo motu. In order to remove the present handicap, it is desired to empower the Gram Nyayalaya to adopt, as and when necessary, inquisitorial approach, so that no material which can shed light on the issues arising before it in a dispute, would escape its attention. The Gram Nyayalaya must always remain conscious of its role that more or less it is desired that it should adjudicate the disputes without the assistance of lawyers.

Initially its approach must be to bring about reconciliation between the parties by acting almost as a Conciliation Board. But even if it fails to reconcile the parties and has to assume the adjudicatory role, it should not dispose of the dispute by merely saying that the decision is referable to what material is brought before it. It should attempt to adjudicate dispute satisfactorily and conclusively by having recourse to its power to call for material from any source including government records. The Gram Nyayalaya will accordingly have power to:

(a) enforce the attendance of any person and examine him on oath;

(b) compel the production of documents and material objects;

(c) issue commissions for the examination of witnesses, if the witness is unable to appear before it on account of physical incapacity; and

(d) do such other things as may be prescribed.

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