Gram Nyayalaya for each district

24/06/2020

In the year 2013, the then Government of Jammu and Kashmir made efforts to establish Dehi Adalats on the pattern of Gram Nyayalayas yet the attempt failed to yield the results even after identification of headquarters of Dehi Adalats due to lack of manpower. The inordinate delay in establishment of Dehi Adalats had also received sharp criticism from the High Court, which while dealing with a Public Interest Litigation in the month of December 2018, had questioned the lackadaisical approach of the Government. Now, to provide access to justice to the citizens at their door-steps, the Government has decided to establish Gram Nyayalaya in each district of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and has approached the Union Ministry of Law and Justice for release of sufficient funds as early as possible. These Gram Nyayalayas would be established as per the provisions of the Gram Nyayalaya Act which was enacted by the Parliament in the year 2008 and has become applicable to the Jammu and Kashmir as per the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act, 2019. Like other Central legislations, Gram Nyayalaya Act could not be extended to erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir because of its special status.
The Department of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs of J&K UT has already issued notification mentioning that the headquarters identified for the Dehi Adalats shall be deemed to be the headquarters of the Gram Nyayalayas and a communication has also been addressed to the Union Ministry of Law and Justice with the request to release sufficient funds for early establishment of Gram Nyayalayas. A person who is eligible to be appointed as a Judicial Magistrate of First Class will be the head of each Gram Nyayalaya, who besides holding the court shall periodically visit the villages falling under his jurisdiction and conduct trial or proceedings at any place which he or she considers is in close proximity to the place where the parties ordinarily reside or where the whole or part of the cause of action had arisen. As per the provisions of this Act, the District Court or the Court of Session may transfer all the civil or criminal cases pending before the courts subordinate, to the Gram Nyayalaya competent to try or dispose of such cases. The Gram Nyayalayas will deal with offences related to Payment of Wages Act, Minimum Wages Act, Protection of Civil Rights Act, the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, civil disputes related to right to purchase of property, use of common pasture, property and several other disputes.

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