Bilaspur (Chhattisgarh) [India], July 11 (ANI): Inaugurating the country's first E-Lok Adalat, Chhattisgarh High Court Chief Justice PR Ramchandra Menon on Saturday said that it is a noble initiative to bring relief to people and reduce the pendency amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
"As lockdown has affected all the economic activities including the judiciary sector, E-Lok Adalat is an initiative to reduce the problems being faced by the people involved in cases pending before the courts," Chief Justice Menon said at the inaugural programme organized by Chhattisgarh State Legal Service Authority at the conference room of Chhattisgarh High Court.
According to officials, the effort has been taken to settle pending cases in the courts while also following the precautionary measures amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The courts, defendants, advocates from all 23 districts of the state joined this inaugural programme through video conferencing. The programme was also viewed across the nation through social media platforms.
In his address, Chief Justice Menon said that the government and judicial work has significantly been affected due to the ongoing lockdown imposed to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
"Advocates and defendants both are going through tough times. Court proceedings were stopped due to the lockdown. We have decided to cancel summer vacation and have decided to work in the weekends as well," Justice Menon said.
He said that during the coronavirus crisis, more than 5,212 cases have been filed.
"3,959 cases have been resolved in the High Court. Most of these resolved cases were the ones for which hearing was going on for more than five years. Commendable work has also been done in the district and lower courts, based on their capacity and infrastructure," he said.
Chief Justice Menon said that more than 45 thousand cases were filed in Chhattisgarh High Court alone in 2019, out of which 39 thousand cases were resolved.
Executive Chairman of State Legal Service Authority Justice Prashant Mishra, presiding over the programme, said that it is a historical opportunity to resolve cases through the mutual agreement in courts across the state through video conferencing.
"This is an initiative to bring justice to poor people, which would not have been possible without the support of judicial officers, advocate, law officials, and guidance of Chief Justice," Justice Mishra said.
Justice Mishra also thanked Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and Chairman of National Legal Service Authority for their support and guidance in establishing the E-Lok Adalat system.
He appealed to the presiding officers and parties of the districts to work as much as possible to ensure settlement in as many cases as possible. He said that if E-Lok Adalat turns out to be a success, then more such e-courts will be set up in the future. (ANI)