Gram Nyayalayas ( GN ) – established under Gram Nyayalayas Act, 2008 are sort of mobile village courts.
The main objective is to provide for speedy, inexpensive and easy access to justice in the rural areas.
GN’s exercises the power of both Criminal and Civil Courts. Though the seat of GN is located at the headquarters of Intermediate Panchayat but usually they go to villages to dispose off the cases. GN’s are courts of Judicial Magistrate of the first class and its presiding officer, Nyayadhikari ( strictly to be judicial officers, having salary & powers same as that of First Class Magistrate working under High Courts) is appointed by the State Government in consultation with the high Court of the State.
GN’s – shall be guided by the principles of Natural Justice and subject to any rule made by the High Court.
The setting up of Gram Nyayalayas is considered as an important measure to reduce arrears and is a part of the judicial reforms. It is estimated that Gram Nyayalayas can reduce around 50% of the pendency of cases in subordinate courts and can take care of the new litigations which will be disposed within six months.
The Gram Nyayalayas are NOT bound by the rules of evidence provided in the Indian Evidence Act, 1872.
As per Gram Nyayalaya Act, 2008 – it is for the State Government to establish Gram Nyayalayas in consultation with the respective High Courts.
The Gram Nyayalaya are supposed to try to settle the disputes as far as possible by bringing about conciliation between the parties and for this purpose, it can make use of the appointed conciliators.
The judgment and order passed by the Gram Nyayalaya are deemed to be a decree and to avoid delay in its execution, the Gram Nyayalaya can follow summary procedure for its execution.
Source – PIB, Department of justice Website.