Parivarik Mahila Lok Adalat (PMLA)

Concept of Parivarik Mahila Lok Adalat (PMLA) was evolved by National Commission for Women (NCW) to supplement the efforts of district legal services authority (DLSA) for redressal and speedy disposal of matters related to family and marriage issues. The key objectives of PMLA include:

  • To provide speedy and cost free dispensation of justice to women.
  • To generate awareness among the public regarding conciliatory mode of dispute settlement.
  • To gear up the process of organizing the Lok Adalats and to encourage the public to settle their disputes outside the formal set-up.
  • To empower public especially women to participate in justice delivery mechanism.

Working of PMLA

PMLA works on Lok Adalat model. The NCW  provides financial assistance to NGOs or State Women Commissions or State Legal Service Authority to organize the Parivarik Mahila Lok Adalat. The NGOs approach the DLSA or District Judge and collect information about pending cases of family disputes within the district. Then the DLSA selects women related cases which are admissible in the Lok Adalat, and makes relevant files/case papers available to the NGOs. NGOs through their counsellors approach the parties and start counselling prior to the date of the PMLA to bring them to a compromise or settlement. If settlement occurs then the settlement will be noted down on paper in each case and the signatures of both the parties must be obtained on the document which will be presented before PMLA for its legal authentication. Later the NGOs will organise PMLA on the specified date on which the cases will be brought up for settlement. At least 40% of the cases received from DLSA must be disposed of on the date of PMLA. The District Judge will appoint a Presiding Officer, for the PMLA, who should be a Judge and two or more members who can be judges, advocates or social activists. The Venue of the PMLA will be a suitable central place convenient to the panelists as well as the parties and preferably premises other than a Court Room. The panel will authenticate the settlement on the date of PMLA  Court decree will be issued as per the settlement and will be legally binding on both the parties. After that the settled cases will be withdrawn from the dealing courts. NGOs shall not charge any fee from the parties.

Advantages
PMLA provides cost effective justice and helps encourage the public to settle their disputes outside the formal set-up, it empowers the public (especially women) to participate in the justice delivery mechanism, and ideally, cases are amicably settled by the parties in a harmonious atmosphere. An award of the Lok Adalat has the same force as a decree by a Court of Law.

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