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Where no award is made by the Lok adalat on the ground that no compromise or settlement could be arrived at between the parties : High Court Of Calcutta

Where no award is made by the Lok adalat on the ground that no compromise or settlement could be arrived at between the parties : High Court Of Calcutta

We make it clear that a writ petition need not be filed only for seeking a relief of direction referring the matter to Lok adalat. This is so in the light of express provision under the legal services act that a per litigation Lok adalat is possible even before commencing of litigation or initiation of a litigation in the court of law and the party who intends to have the dispute settled without approaching the court of law can always appear before the legal service authority with an application asking for pre-litigation adalat, was upheld by the high( court of Calcutta, by the learned bench of Indranil Chakraborty, in the case of high court legal services committee and Anr V. ICICI Bank ltd and others, F.M.A. 782 of 2014.

FACTS

The respondent/writ petitioner borrowed about 5 lacs of amount for construction of a residential house, from the respondent Bank. Property was secured towards the loan. Subsequently, when he defaulted in payment of instalments and the loan amount became over due after treating the account as non-performing asset, the respondent Bank initiated proceeding under Section 13 of the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act. The Bank initiated proceeding for recovery of the amount, which came to be challenged before this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, wherein the writ petitioner alleging arbitrary and illegal-action on the part of the bank in initiating proceeding under the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act or so also sought the intervention of the Court seeking reference of the dispute between the Bank and the writ petitioner for settlement before Lok Adalat.

JUDGEMENT

The learned Single Judge after referring to various provisions of Legal Services Authority Act, specially Sections 19 and 20 of the Act opined that a matter which needs invocation of extraordinary jurisdiction of a High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India cannot be referred to Lok Adalat since the Legal Services Act refers to civil, criminal and revenue matters alone to the Lok Adalat. This opinion of the learned Single Judge was taken exception to by High Court Legal Services Committee since matters pending before the High Court, i.e., writ petitions filed under Article 226 of the Constitution could not be referred to Lok Adalat. According to the appellant’s stand, except the matters exempted from reference before Lok Adalat, irrespective of nature of the litigation, if they are pending before any Court of Law could be sent for settlement before the Lok Adalat, as opined by the learned single judge of the court.

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Judgement reviewed by – Rani Banerjee

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