What is the News?
In a recent judgement, the Supreme Court has ruled that Lok Adalat are not courts and their settlement decrees cannot be cited as a precedent before a court of law.
What was the issue?
In 1984, Noida Authority had acquired the land by giving compensation for lower rate. All the landowners accepted the amounts. However, one landowner filed an application and a settlement was made at Lok Adalat in 2016 where Noida Authority agreed to pay a higher amount per square yard.
After this, the other landowners pleaded before the Allahabad High Court arguing Lok Adalat awarded decrees had precedential value.
The High Court took the view that the award passed by the Lok Adalat can indeed form the foundation for exercising power. After this, Noida Authority filed a petition in Supreme Court.
What has the Supreme Court said?
The Supreme Court disagreed with the High Court’s view.
The Supreme Court has ruled that Lok Adalats are not courts as it does not resort to judicial adjudication in resolving disputes. They only encourage the parties to settle amicably.
Hence, their settlement decrees cannot be cited as a precedent before a court of law to claim similar reliefs by others who were not a party to the compromise before the Lok Adalat.
Source: This post is based on the article “Lok Adalats not courts, no precedent value of settlement decrees, says SC” published in TOI on 5th Feb 2022.