New Delhi, May 14 (PTI) Over 56 lakh cases were settled in the second National 'Lok Adalat' organised in 24 states and union territories on Saturday with a total settlement amount of Rs 2,648 crore, the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) said.

The 'Lok Adalat' was held in both physical and virtual or hybrid mode under the aegis of NALSA.

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‘Lok Adalat' is an alternative dispute redressal mechanism and it is a forum where disputes or cases pending in the court of law or at pre-litigation stage are settled or compromised amicably.

"As per the figures received till 5 PM, more than 56.82 lakh cases have been reported to be settled, which include 8.53 lakh pending and 48.29 lakh pre-litigation cases. The total value of the settlement amount is Rs 2,648.43 crore. The said disposal would result into easing the burden of the pending cases,” NALSA said in a press note.

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The press note said Supreme Court judge Justice U U Lalit, who is the Executive Chairman of NALSA, has stressed the need of quick and affordable access to common people so that they are encouraged to actively participate in the process.

It said Justice Lalit has inaugurated the National Lok Adalat in the district court complex, Srinagar.

"Justice Lalit has interacted with litigants, in particular to those who belong to poor and downtrodden strata. A large number of litigants have expressed their satisfaction for settling their disputes during the Lok Adalat. Justice U U Lalit has also handed over cheque of Rs 1.2 crore to father of one of the victims of an accident who is in coma (unconsciousness) for last 4-5 years and struggling for survival,” the press note said.

Justice Lalit said the settlement through Lok Adalat not only offers a way for the parties to settle their disputes according to their choice, which is speedy and cost effective, but also blocks the pre-litigation matters from maturing into litigation, an official spokesman said in Srinagar.

He said in order to have maximum response and settlements between the parties in motor accident claims and matrimonial cases, pre-Lok Adalat sittings or pre-counselling sessions should be held regularly well before the date of national Lok Adalat so that parties may get one or more chances for entering into negotiation/dialogue with the opposite parties.

The NALSA press note said due to summer vacations in some of the high courts and district courts, the national ‘Lok Adalat' have been either preponed or rescheduled.

“Maharashtra, Daman & Diu and Dadar & Nagar Haveli have successfully conducted the Lok Adalat on May 7, 2022 while Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Puducherry and Andaman & Nicobar Islands will organise on June 26, 2022, whereas Goa on June 25, 2022,” it said.

The NALSA said this year its endeavour is to focus on promoting people friendly and people centric legal aid system.

In Jammu and Kashmir, more than 1.24 lakh cases were settled and an amount of over Rs 200 crore was awarded as compensation/settlement amount.

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