Supreme Court of India
Supreme Court of India

SC notice to Centre, states on PIL seeking establishment of gram nyayalayas

ANI | Updated: Sep 02, 2019 15:26 IST

New Delhi [India], Sept 2 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the Centre and the states on a plea seeking the establishment of 'gram nyayalayas' to ensure access to justice for the rural poor.
A bench of Justices N V Ramana and Ajay Rastogi sought response from the central and the state governments on the public interest litigation (PIL).
The National Federation of Societies for Fast Justice, an NGO, which filed the plea, submitted Article 39-A of the Constitution mandates the grant of justice on a basis of equal opportunity. The Article also points out that opportunities for securing justice should not be denied to any citizen by reason of economic or other disabilities.
Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the petitioner, said that the 114th Report of the Law Commission recommended setting up of gram nyayalayas at the grass-root level to provide access to justice to the most marginalised sections of the society.
The report recommended setting up of gram nyayalayas specifically to reduce barriers in terms of distance, time and associated costs and also bring down the workload on higher tiers of the judiciary.
The petition said after a long delay, the Gram Nyayalayas Act was enacted in 2008.
It said as against a requirement of 2500 estimated by the 12th Five Year Plan for the period 2009-10 to 2017-18, a mere 320 gram nyayalayas were notified by 11 state governments. However, only 204 are operational.
It said 18 states have failed to constitute any gram nyayalaya over the past ten years frustrating the object of the Act to ensure access to justice. (ANI)