SC directs states to issue notification for establishing ‘Gram Nyayalayas’

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News:The Supreme Court has directed the states to establish Gram Nyayalayas within four weeks’ time span.

Facts:

About Gram Nyayalayas:

  • Gram Nyayalayas are mobile village courts established under Gram Nyayalayas Act,2008.
  • They are aimed at providing speedy and inexpensive justice to people in rural areas at their doorsteps.
  • The Gram Nyayalayas should be established for every Panchayat at the intermediate level or a group of contiguous Panchayats at intermediate level in a district or where there is no Panchayat at intermediate level in any State for a group of contiguous Panchayats.

Composition:

  • Nyayadhikaris who will preside over these Gram Nyayalayas are judicial officers and will be drawing the same salary and deriving the same powers as First Class Magistrate working under High Courts.
  • These presiding officers(Nyayadhikari) are to be appointed by the State Government in consultation with the High Court.

Powers:

  • They shall exercise the powers of both Criminal and Civil Courts which are specified in the First Schedule and the Second Schedule to the Act.
  • They are not bound by the rules of evidence provided in the Indian Evidence Act,1872 but shall be guided by the principles of natural justice and subject to any rule made by the High Court.