Highlight the significance of the Gram Nyayalayas in providing inexpensive and speedy justice to people in rural areas. Also discuss the hurdles faced by them.

The Gram Nyayalayas were set up under the Gram Nyayalaya Act 2008, to serve as an alternate dispute resolution means to the rural people at the block level or contiguous Panchayat level.

Significance of Gram Nyayalayas:

  • It provides inexpensive and speedy justice.
  • Summary procedure is used which is easier to comprehend.
  • It is not bound by Indian Evidence Act and CPC.
  • Its decisions have the force of law and they can be appealed in the district courts.
  • Both civil and criminal cases can be tried in them.

Issues:

  • Lack of enthusiasm among the Judiciary, Lawyers & the Administration, as most blocks have their Courts.
  • They are not functioning and operational at scale, due to wide vacancies in the judiciary.
  • Non-devolution of adequate funds and lack of infrastructure.
  • Lack of awareness among the masses.

Way ahead:

The burgeoning burden of pending cases poses a great challenge to the judicial system in India and the Gram Nyayalayas offer a great means to expedite justice and fulfil Gandhiji’s dream of the Gram Swaraj.

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