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Sparkling International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research Studies

Volume 4           Issue 1           January – March 2021           Pages 8-17

AN EVALUATIVE STUDY ON THE EFFECTIVENESS OF LOK ADALATS IN KANNIYAKUMARI DISTRICT

*Suman, S., & **Dinusha Masil, F.

*Research Scholar, Department of Commerce, Scott Christian College, Nagercoil, Affiliated to Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, Tirunelveli, Tamilnadu, India.

**Research Scholar, Department of Commerce, Scott Christian College, Nagercoil, Affiliated to Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, Tirunelveli, Tamilnadu, India.

Abstract


Lok Adalat is one of the alternative dispute redressal mechanisms, it is a forum where disputes/cases pending in the court of law or at pre-litigation stage are settled/ compromised amicably. NALSA (National legal services authority) along with other Legal Services Institutions conducts Lok Adalats. Lok Adalats have been given statutory status under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987. Under the said Act, the award (decision) made by the Lok Adalats is deemed to be a decree of a civil court and is final and binding on all parties and no appeal against such an award lies before any court of law. If the parties are not satisfied with the award of the Lok Adalat though there is no provision for an appeal against such an award, but they are free to initiate litigation by approaching the court of appropriate jurisdiction by filing a case by following the required procedure, in exercise of their right to litigate. The important objective of the study is to analyze the effectiveness of Lok Adalats in Kanniyakumari District. The study is based on primary and secondary data. The collected data were analyzed with the help of percentage, Chi-square test, and Kruskal-Wallis test.

Keywords: lok adalat, meaning, benefits and effectiveness


Introduction

Lok Adalat is one of the alternative dispute redressal mechanisms, it is a forum where disputes/cases pending in the court of law or at pre-litigation stage are settled/ compromised amicably. NALSA (National legal services authority) along with other Legal Services Institutions conducts Lok Adalats. Lok Adalats have been given statutory status under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987. Under the said Act, the award (decision) made by the Lok Adalats is deemed to be a decree of a civil court and is final and binding on all parties and no appeal against such an award lies before any court of law. If the parties are not satisfied with the award of the Lok Adalat though there is no provision for an appeal against such an award, but they are free to initiate litigation by approaching the court of appropriate jurisdiction by filing a case by following the required procedure, in exercise of their right to litigate.

There is no court fee payable when a matter is filed in a Lok Adalat. If a matter pending in the court of law is referred to the Lok Adalat and is settled subsequently, the court fee originally paid in the court on the complaints/petition is also refunded back to the parties. The persons deciding the cases in the Lok Adalats are called the Members of the Lok Adalats, they have the role of statutory conciliators only and do not have any judicial role; therefore they can only persuade the parties to come to a conclusion for settling the dispute outside the court in the Lok Adalat and shall not pressurize or coerce any of the parties to compromise or settle cases or matters either directly or indirectly. The Lok Adalat shall not decide the matter so referred at its own instance, instead the same would be decided on the basis of the compromise or settlement between the parties. The members shall assist the parties in an independent and impartial manner in their attempt to reach amicable settlement of their dispute.

Objective of the Study

The important objective of the study is to analyze the effectiveness of Lok Adalats in Kanniyakumari District.

Methodology

Area of study

The area of the study refers to the four taluks of Kanniyakumari district namely Kalkulam, Vilavancode, Agasteeswaram and Thovalai.

Sources of data

The study is based on primary and secondary data. The primary data has collected the beneficiaries whose cases were settled in this Lok Adalats from the study area. The secondary data have been mainly collected from the books, journals, magazines, and also from the internet.

Sampling Design

As per the record of Kanniyakumari District Legal Services Authority, Nagercoil from September 2017 to September 2018 there are 94 Lok Adalats held in the District. The total number of cases taken for disposal is 22805 and 944 cases settled/compromised in this Lok Adalats. 50 percent of the beneficiaries whose cases were settled in this Lok Adalats (472) are Randomly selected as samples by adopting Convenient sampling method.

 Statistical Tools Used

The collected data were analyzed with the help of various statistical measures such as Percentage, Chi-Square Test and Kruskal-Wallis test.

Analysis and Interpretation

The researcher analyzed the effectiveness of Lok Adalat in the study area through various factors which decides the effectiveness of Lok Adalat. The opinion of the respondents regarding the efficiency of Lok Adalats is presented in the following table.

Table 1. Opinion about overall effectiveness of Lok Adalat

Sl. NoOpinionNo. of RespondentsPercentage
1.Strongly Agree18839.80
2.Agree9419.90
3.Neutral7014.80
4.Disagree4810.20
5.Strongly Disagree7215.30
Total472100.00

Source: Primary Data

It is inferred from the above table that out of 472 respondents, 188(39.80 percent) of the respondents have strongly agreed, 94(19.90 percent) of the respondents are agreed, 70(14.80 percent) of the respondents are neutrally agreed, 48(10.20 percent) of the respondents are disagreed and the remaining 72(15.30 percent) of the respondents are strongly disagreed with the overall effectiveness of Lok Adalat.

Association between personal profile and opinion about effectiveness of Lok Adalats

An attempt has been made to analyze the association between the personal profile of the sample respondents and opinion about the effectiveness of Lok Adalats by essential statistical tools and presented in the following tables.

Age and opinion about overall effectiveness of Lok Adalat [Kruskal-Wallis Test]

To know the association between age of the respondents and opinion about the overall effectiveness of Lok Adalat an analysis has been made with the following hypothesis.

H0.       There is no significant association between age of the respondents and the opinion about overall effectiveness of Lok Adalat

To test the above hypothesis Kruskal-Wallis Test is applied and the result is presented in the following table.

Table 2. Age and opinion about overall effectiveness of Lok Adalat

AgeNMean Rank
Overall effectiveness of Lok AdalatBelow 35 years164184.96
35 years to 45 years142272.61
45 years – 60 years118207.53
Above 60 years48377.00
Total472

Source: Computed Data

It is revealed from the above table that the mean rank for the respondents comes under the age group of below 35 years is 184.96, for 35 years – 45 years age group respondents it is 272.61, for 45 years – 60 years age group respondents the mean rank is 207.53 and for the respondents of above 60 years age group the mean rank is 377.00. The result of Kruskal-Wallis Test is presented in the following table.

Table 3. Result of Kruskal-Wallis Test

Age of the respondents and overall effectiveness of Lok Adalat
Chi-Square97.309
Df3
Asymp. Sig..000

Source: Computed Data

From the above results it is found that the significant value for Kruskal- Wallis Test value 97.309 for 3 degrees of freedom is 0.000, which is less than the acceptable level 0.05. Hence, the null hypothesis is rejected and it is concluded that there is a significant association between age of the respondents and the opinion about overall effectiveness of Lok Adalat.

It is inferred that the opinion about the overall effectiveness of Lok Adalat is dependent to the age of the respondents.

Gender and opinion about effectiveness of Lok Adalats [Chi-Square Test]

To know the association between gender of the respondents and the opinion about the overall effectiveness of Lok Adalat has been made with the following hypothesis.

H0.      There is no significant association between gender of the respondents and the opinion about the overall effectiveness of Lok Adalat

To test the above hypothesis Pearson’s chi-square test is applied and the result is presented in the following Table.

Table 4. Gender and overall effectiveness of Lok Adalat

Crosstab
Overall effectiveness of Lok AdalatsTotal
Strongly AgreeAgreeNeutralDisagreeStrongly Disagree
GenderMaleCount11948474872334
Expected Count133.066.549.534.050.9334.0
FemaleCount69462300138
Expected Count55.027.520.514.021.1138.0
TotalCount18894704872472
Expected Count188.094.070.048.072.0472.0

Source: Computed Data

From the above table it is found that out of 472 respondents 133.00 percent of the male respondents are strongly agreed with the overall effectiveness of Lok Adalats. The result of chi-square test is presented in the following table.

Table 5. Result of Chi Square Test

ValueDfAsymp. Sig. (2-sided)
Pearson Chi-Square72.718a4.000
Likelihood Ratio104.3484.000
Linear-by-Linear Association49.9791.000
N of Valid Cases472

Source: Computed Data

From the above table it is found that the significant value of the chi-square value 72.718 for 4 degrees of freedom is 0.000 which is less than the acceptable level 0.05. Hence the null hypothesis is rejected and it is concluded that there is a significant association between gender of the respondents and the opinion about overall effectiveness of Lok Adalat.

It is inferred that the opinion about the overall effectiveness of Lok Adalat is dependent with the gender of the respondents in the study area.

Marital status and overall effectiveness of Lok Adalat [Kruskal-Wallis Test]

To know the association between marital status of the respondents and overall effectiveness of lok Adalat an analysis has been made with the following hypothesis.

H0.      There is no significant association between marital status of the respondents and the opinion about overall effectiveness of Lok Adalat

To test the above hypothesis Kruskal-Wallis Test is applied and the result is presented in the following table

Table 6. Marital status and overall effectiveness of Lok Adalat

Marital statusNMean Rank
Overall effectiveness of Lok AdalatMarried165246.94
Unmarried166255.54
Widow/Widower4794.50
Divorce94255.56
Total472

Source: Computed Data

It is revealed from the above table the mean rank for married respondents  is 246.94, for unmarried respondents it is 255.54, for widow/widower respondents is 94.50 and divorce respondents is 255.56. The result of Kruskal-Wallis Test is presented in the following table.

Table 7. Result of Kruskal-Wallis Test

Marital status of the respondents and overall effectiveness of Lok Adalat
Chi-Square61.858
Df3
Asymp. Sig..000

Source: Computed Data

From the above results it is inferred that the significant value for Kruskal- Wallis Test value 61.858 for 3 degrees of freedom is 0.000, which is less than the acceptable level 0.05. Hence, the null hypothesis is rejected and it is concluded that there is a significant association between marital status of the respondents and the opinion about overall effectiveness of lok Adalat. It is inferred that the opinion of the respondents about overall effectiveness of lok Adalat do differ when they are classified on the basis of marital status.

Type of family and opinion about overall effectiveness of Lok Adalat [Chi-Square Test]

To know the association between type of family and their opinion about overall effectiveness of Lok Adalat has been made with the following hypothesis.

H0.      There is no significant association between type of family of the respondents and the opinion about overall effectiveness of Lok Adalat

To test the above hypothesis Pearson’s chi-square test is applied and the result is presented in the following Table.

Table 8. Type of family and overall effectiveness of Lok Adalat

Crosstab
Overall effectiveness of Lok AdalatTotal
Strongly AgreeAgreeNeutralDisagreeStrongly Disagree
Type of familyJoint FamilyCount952470024213
Expected Count84.842.431.621.732.5213.0
Nuclear

Family

Count937004848259
Expected Count103.251.638.426.339.5259.0
TotalCount18894704872472
Expected Count188.094.070.048.072.0472.0

Source: Computed Data

From the above table it is found that out of 472 respondents 103.20 percent of the respondents belong to nuclear family are strongly agreed with the overall effectiveness of Lok Adalat. The result of chi-square test is presented in the following table.

Table 9. Result of Chi-Square Test

ValueDfAsymp. Sig. (2-sided)
Pearson Chi-Square145.430a4.000
Likelihood Ratio190.7774.000
Linear-by-Linear Association6.5061.011
N of Valid Cases472

Source: Computed Data

From the above table it is inferred that the significant value of the chi-square value 145.430 for 4 degrees of freedom is 0.000 which is less than the acceptable level 0.05. Hence the null hypothesis is rejected and it is concluded that there is a significant association between type of family and opinion about overall effectiveness of Lok Adalat.

It is inferred that the opinion about the overall effectiveness of Lok Adalat is dependent with the type of family of the respondents in the study area.

Educational qualification and opinion about overall effectiveness of Lok Adalats [Kruskal-Wallis Test]

To know the association between educational qualification of the respondents and opinion about overall effectiveness of Lok Adalats an analysis has been made with the following hypothesis.

H0.        There is no significant association between educational qualification of the respondents and the opinion about overall effectiveness of Lok Adalat

To test the above hypothesis Kruskal-Wallis Test is applied and the result is presented in the following table.

Table 10. Educational qualification and opinion about overall effectiveness of Lok Adalat

 

Overall effectiveness of Lok Adalats

 

Educational qualificationNMean Rank
Diploma71210.11
Primary Schooling96371.25
SSLC7094.50
Degree117239.52
PG47275.63
Job Oriented/ITI4794.50
Illiterates24376.50
Total472

Source: Computed Data

From the above table it is found that the mean rank for diploma holders is 210.11, for the respondents having primary school education is 371.25, for SSLC completed respondents the mean rank is 94.50, for degree holders the mean rank is 239.52, for PG degree holders the mean rank is 275.63, for job oriented /ITI qualified respondents the mean rank is 94.50 and for the illiterate respondents the mean rank is 376.50. The result of Kruskal-Wallis Test is presented in the following table.

Table 11. Result of Kruskal-Wallis Test

Educational qualification and opinion about overall effectiveness of Lok Adalats
Chi-Square273.998
Df6
Asymp. Sig..000

Source: Computed Data

From the above results it is found that the significant value for Kruskal- Wallis Test value 273.998 for 6 degrees of freedom is 0.000, which is less than the acceptable level 0.05. Hence, the null hypothesis is rejected and it is concluded that there is a significant association between educational qualification of the respondents and opinion about overall effectiveness of Lok Adalats.

Opinion about attending Lok Adalat and overall effectiveness of lok adalats

To know the association between voluntarily attending the meeting of Lok Adalatsor not and their opinion about overall effectiveness of Lok Adalatshas been made with the following hypothesis.

H0.      There is no significant association between opinion about attending Lok Adalat and the opinion about overall effectiveness of Lok Adalat

To test the above hypothesis Pearson’s chi-square test is applied and the result is presented in the following Table.

Table 12. Association between opinion about attending Lok Adalat and opinion about overall effectiveness of Lok Adalats

Crosstab
Overall effectiveness of Lok AdalatsTotal
Strongly AgreeAgreeNeutralDisagreeStrongly Disagree
Voluntarily attending the meeting of Lok Adalatsor notAttendingCount11794704872401
Expected Count159.779.959.540.861.2401.0
Not attendingCount71000071
Expected Count28.314.110.57.210.871.0
TotalCount18894704872472
Expected Count188.094.070.048.072.0472.0

Source: Computed Data

It is revealed from the above table out of 472 respondents 159.70 percent of the respondents who were voluntarily attending the Lok Adalats are strongly agreed with the overall effectiveness of Lok Adalats. The result of chi-square test is presented in the following table.

Table 13. Chi-Square Test Result

ValueDfAsymp. Sig. (2-sided)
Pearson Chi-Square126.246a4.000
Likelihood Ratio150.4784.000
Linear-by-Linear Association76.9631.000
N of Valid Cases472

Source: Computed Data

From the above table it is inferred that the significant value of the chi-square value 126.246 for 4 degrees of freedom is 0.000 which is less than the acceptable level 0.05. Hence the null hypothesis is rejected and it is concluded that there is a significant association between opinion about attending the Lok Adalat and their opinion about overall effectiveness of Lok Adalat.

Findings of the Study

  • It is found that most 164 (34.70 percent) of the respondents comes under the age group of below 35 years.
  • Majority 334 (70.80 percent) of the sample respondents are Male.
  • Most 166 (35.20 percent) of the respondents are unmarried.
  • The researcher found that 259 (54.90 percent) of the respondents belong to nuclear family.
  • Majority 117 (24.80 percent) of the respondents are under graduates.
  • The researcher found that 401(85.00 percent) of the respondents are voluntarily attended the Lok Adalat.
  • Regarding the opinion about the overall effectiveness of Lok Adalat 188(39.80 percent) of the respondents have strongly agreed with the overall effectiveness of Lok Adalat
  • It is also found that the opinion about the overall effectiveness of Lok Adalat is dependent with the personal factors of the respondents in the study area

Conclusion

It is concluded from the above study that the Lok Adalat plays a vital role in the settlement of pending cases without any fees and it is not new to our society. It is found that the personal factors such as the age, gender, qualification, marital status and type of family of the sample respondents are closely related with the overall effectiveness of Lok Adalat in the study area. Hence it is essential to educate the people about the importance and benefits of Lok Adalats and create awareness among them to increase the overall effectiveness of Lok Adalats in Kanniyakumari District.

 

References


Deepa Singh., “Role and Attitude of Lok Adalats in the Justice System of India: A Review”, Journal of Advances and Scholarly Researches in Allied Education, vol.15, no:1, 2018, pp.801-805.

Kshirod Kumar Moharana., “Role of Lok Adalats in India”, International Journal of Trend in Scientific Research and Development, vol.2, no.3, 2018, pp. 1-2.

Mamta Rao., “Public Interest Litigation”, Legal Aid and Lok Adalats, Eastern Book Company, Lucknow. 2004.

Narayana, P. S., “Law Relating to Lok Adalats”, Asia Law House, Hyderabad.

Sarkar, S.K., “Law Relating to Lok Adalats and Legal Aid”, Orient Publishing  Company, Allahabad.

Sharma Sonia., “Evaluation of lok adalats in rajasthan: an empirical study”, Global Journal of Politics and Law Research, vol.3, no.2, 2015, pp. 69-78.

 

To cite this article


Suman, S., & Dinusha Masil, F. (2021). An Evaluative Study on the Effectiveness of Lok Adalats in Kanniyakumari District. Sparkling International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research Studies, 4(1), 8-17.