- Apprentice Lawyer
One of the most important lessons learnt during COVID-19 pandemic is that we can continue to run institutions well, observed Karnataka High Court Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka today.
He was delivering the inaugural address at the e-inauguration of the 2nd edition of the Mega e-Lok Adalat, which was live-streamed on YouTube
"In fact, from this pandemic, we have learnt many things. The most important lesson we learnt was, notwithstanding all the difficulties we face, it is possible to run all the institutions, may not be as usual, but to the best possible extent", said Chief Justice Oka
Chief Justice Oka further informed that the first Mega e-Lok Adalat was able to dispose a total of 1,15,925 cases with 870 panels.
Chief Justice AS Oka
For the Lok Adalat today, over 3,18,000 cases have been identified with over 870 panels, Chief Justice Oka further told. He added:
"These figures are not important. What is more important is, after March 2020, after the pandemic set in, we were able to continue many of our activities of various institutes such as, Legal Services Authority, Judicial Academy, Arbitration centre, Conciliation centre etc. Notwithstanding the pandemic, we were able to continue our activities ..."
He noted that many accident claims, execution cases have been posted for being taken up in today's Lok Adalat. He further observed,
"Lok Adalats during pandemic have a different importance. We have posted many accident claims, execution cases. The reason is that our courts were not able to record evidence in a large number of cases and the claimants were deprived of their compensation, which they would have got in normal course, if the Courts were functioning."
Before ending his address, Chief Justice Oka lauded the High Court Legal Service Committee for being active throughout these difficult times, from helping migrants to go back to their States to aiding in identifying children selling toys at traffic stations.
Advocate General Prabhuling Navadgi, in his talk, averred that litigation is only one among the many types of dispute settlements and that the same is being overused or abused these days.
He opined that the idea of Lok Adalats is to stir a change in the mindset, to shift from litigation to Alternate Dispute Resolution.
"Lok Adalats are a much-needed change in legal reforms", said AG Navadgi.
Additional Solicitor General MB Nargund and Advocate AP Ranganatha were among the other speakers for the day. The event concluded with a vote of thanks.