Permanent Lok Adalat for Public Utility Services is another feature of Legal Services Authorities Act. It is a process of pre-litigation, conciliation and settlement. The Permanent Lok Adalat consists of a working Judicial Officer in the Cadre of District Judge and other Members having adequate experience in Public Utility Service. These Lok Adalats deal with cases pertaining to the following public utility Services at Pre-litigation stage
i). transport service for the carriage of passengers or goods by air, road or water; or
ii). postal, telegraph or telephone service; or
iii). supply of power, light or water to the public by any establishment; or
iv). system of public conservancy or sanitation; or
v). service in hospital or dispensary; or
vi). insurance service; or
vii).Banking and other Financial Institutions (declared as Public utility Services vide GO.Rt.No.1839, Law (LA & J Home Courts,A1) Department,dated 12-12-2006; or
viii). NREG Scheme (declared as Public Utility Services vide GO.Rt.No.293, Law (LA & J Home Courts,A1) Department, dated 3-2-2009.
xi). Education or Educational Institution ( Declared as Public Utility Services Vide GO.No.417 Dated 14-2-2016 or
x). Housing and Real Estate Service ( Declared as Public Utility Services Vide GO.No.417 Dated 14-2-2016
Any party to a dispute may before the Dispute is brought before any Court, make an application to the Permanent Lok Adalat for settlement of dispute. However, the Permanent Lok Adalat shall not have jurisdiction in respect of non-compoundable cases. The Permanent Lok Adalat shall not have jurisdiction in the matter where the value of the property in dispute exceeds Rs 1 Crors.
After an application is made to the Permanent Lok Adalat for Public Utility Services, no party to that application shall invoke jurisdiction of any Court in the same dispute. No fee is required to be paid for settlement of cases before Permanent Lok Adalat. The Permanent Lok Adalat can make award either on merit or in terms of the settlement Agreement. The Award of the Permanent Lok Adalat shall be final and binding on all the parties thereto. Every Award of the Permanent Lok Adalat shall be deemed to be a decree of a Civil Court.
Permanent Lok Adalats are being set up in phased manner. Six (6) Permanent Lok Adalats have been set up in the first phase at the following stations and are functioning in the premises of Nyaya Seva Sadan in the District Court premises of the District Concerned.
5. Ranga Reddy