Paribarik Mahila Lok Adalat
India remained a British Colony for nearly 200 years and Great Britain wrote laws of its colonies named as Government of India Acts. The last one was Government of India Act, 1935.
India was independent in the year 1947 and the Constitution of India was drafted which came in force effectively on 26th January 1950. The Constitution of India was amended from time to time to meet the needs of the country.
Article 39A of the Constitution was inserted by the Constitution (Forty-second amendment) Act, 1976. The mandate of the Constitution was that the state shall ensure operation of the legal system promotes justice, on a basis of equal opportunity and shall, in particular provide free legal aid, by suitable legislation or schemes or in any other way, to ensure that opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizen by reason of economic or any other disabilities.
In 1987, Legal Services Authorities Act was enacted to constitute legal service authorities at National, State and District level to provide free legal services to the weaker sections of the society and to organize Lok Adalats. The objective of Lok Adalats was to settle disputes between the parties without delaying the process. Lok Adalat deals with the disputes where formal and elaborate examination of evidence is not necessary to bring the parties to compromise or settlement. The award passed by the Lok Adalat is deemed to be a decree of a Civil Court or order of Court or Tribunal and is legally binding on both the parties. District level Aid and Advisory Boards were constituted (DLAAB) to co-ordinate free legal service and organize Lok Adalat with the respective districts.
The disputes which could be settled or compromised in a Lok Adalat include disputes regarding marriage and other family matters. The family disputes, specially disputes in respect of marriage require quick disposal for providing redressal to the woman who are suffering from injustice and are subject to torture and violence in their marital life.
Considering the plight of women to whom justice was denied due to long pendency of the proceedings before the court, The National Commission for Women evolved the concept of Paribarik Mahila Lok Adalat(PMLA). Marital disputes and other family disputes may be settled or compromised in the PMLA. Apart from pending cases, the dispute can also be resolved at the pre litigation stage and the parties can avail themselves of the opportunity to resolve their disputes without aid of any lawyer. They do not need to incur any expenditure. PMLA supplements the efforts of the DLAAB for redressal and speedy disposal of such cases. In the year 1995 the first PMLA was organized and till date 76 + 3 PMLAs have been organized throughout the country. 3 PMLAs have been organized by the State Women Commission in collaboration with the National Women Commission and the State Legal Services Authority. Paribarik Mahila Lok Adalat is the alternative forum where redressal will be available to the destitute wives or other family members within the shortest span of time. For making the PMLA more effective necessary amendments are to be made in the Legal Services Authorities Act. We demand speedy remedy to all disputes, specially the family disputes and if more and more PMLAs are organized, a new arena of delivering justice to the weaker section will be established.