PATIALA: Punjab and Haryana High Court Judge and Executive Chairman, Punjab State Legal Services Authority, Justice Ajay Tewari today reviewed the National Lok Adalat at Patiala. Meanwhile, Justice Tewari reunited Baljit Kaur and Gobind Singh, a couple from Patiala who have been living apart for the last one and a half years and have a 6-year-old child. He stressed on the need for this couple and other such separated couples to live together by adding that when the couple has children, they become parents instead of husband and wife and It is their primary responsibility to give priority to brought up their children in a cordial and better way.

Later on, interacting with the media, he said, “Covid has also adversely affected the functioning of the judiciary and we will have to work very vigorously and consistently to resolve pending cases, once we come out of its influence”. He said that Lok Adalats have proved to be very useful in cases such as cheque bounce, accident claims and other minor cases which could be resolved by reaching on consensus/compromise.

He said that today 51, 150 cases have been listed for hearing in the National Lok Adalats across Punjab for which 340 benches have been constituted for disposal. In Patiala district alone, today, 4416 cases have bee taken for hearing in the National Lok Adalats. For this, 35 benches have been set up in Patiala, Nabha, Samana and Rajpura.
Justice Tewari said that a new system of ‘Plea-bargaining’ has also been introduced for speedy disposal of long pending criminal cases where quantum of sentence is less than 7 years imprisonment. In this system, the accused can get disposed of his/her case expeditiously by giving his/her confession during the trial of the case. This will also save the precious time of the courts and the parties involved in the case and the matter will be settled with the consent of both the parties by giving some compensation to the aggrieved party and giving a lesser punishment to the accused.

Justice Tewari further said that despite the COVID Pandemic, the Punjab State Legal Services Authority had helped 217 victims of crime including rape and acid attack, sexually abused children, etc. to get a compesation of Rs 5.5 Crore under the ‘Punjab Victim Compensation Scheme’ and ‘National Legal Services Authority’s Compensation Scheme for Wome Victim, Survivors of Sexual Asault/Other Crime-2018’. He further said that for more information in this regard, the Punjab State Legal Services Authority website: www.pulsa.gov.in and toll free number 1968 can be contacted.

Justice Tewari also reviewed the process of hearing/disposal of cases taken up by various benches during the National Lok Adalat. Earlier, District and Sessions Judge Rajinder Aggarwal, Deputy Commissioner Kumar Amit, SSP Dr. Sandeep Garg, District Legal Services Authority Secretary, CJM Parminder Kaur and other Judicial Officers formally welcomed Justice Tewari on his arrival in Patiala. He was accompanied by Punjab State Legal Services Authority Member Secretary Arun Gupta and Additional Member Secretary Dr Mandeep Mittal. Meanwhile, Bar Association Patiala President, Advocate J.P. Ghuman and Secretary, Advocate Avneet Singh Biling welcomed Justice Ajay Tewari and honored him with a badge of honor.

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