• LokAdalat is a system of alternative dispute resolution developed in India. It roughly means “People’s Court”. India has had a long history of resolving disputes through the mediation of village elders. The system of LokAdalats is an improvement and is based on the principles of Mahatma Gandhi.
  • LokAdalat is a non-adversarial system, whereby mock courts (called LokAdalats) are held by the State Authority, District Authority, Supreme Court Legal Services Committee, High Court Legal Services Committee, or Taluk Legal Services Committee. They are held periodically for exercising such jurisdiction as they determine.
  • These are usually presided over by retired judges, social activists, or other members of the legal profession. The LokAdalats can deal with all Civil Cases, Matrimonial Disputes, Land Disputes, Partition/ Property Disputes, Labour Disputes etc., and compoundable criminal Cases.


  • The focus in LokAdalats is on compromise. When no compromise is reached, the matter goes bact to the court. However, if a compromise is reached, an award is made and is binding on the parties. It is enforced as a decree of a civil court. An important aspect is that the award is final and cannot be appealed, not even under Article 226 because it is a judgement by consent.
  • All proceedings of a LokAdalat are deemed to be judicial proceeding s and every LokAdalat is deemed to be a Civil Court.


Sarkaria Commission

  • In view of the growing pressure for greater autonomy, in June 1983 the union government appointed a commission under the chairmanship of Justice Sarkaria to review the question of Centre state relations. The commission submitted its report to the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on 27 October 1987.

The important recommendations of the commission included:

  1. Formation of an inter-governmental council consisting of the Prime Minister and chief ministers of states to decide collectively on various aspects of governance that cause friction between Centre and states.
  2. Sparing of Article 356 of the Constitution. The state assembly should not be dissolved unless the proclamation is approved by the Parliament.
  3. The Judges of High Courts should not be transferred without their consent.
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