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Jharkhand High Court Chief Justice R Banumathi and Supreme Court judge Justice MB Lokur (to her left) after unveiling a plaque for the newly installed elevators at Jamshedpur civil court on Saturday. Picture by Bhola Prasad

Jamshedpur, May 3: Justice got a boost in the steel city today with the inauguration of the state’s first alternate dispute resolution and mediation centre.

Nyaya Sadan, which brings the offices of District Legal Service Authority (DLSA), permanent adalat, lok adalat, counselling centre and mediation facility under one roof, was launched by Supreme Court judge Justice Madan B. Lokur in the presence of Jharkhand High Court Chief Justice R. Banumathi.

The double-storeyed centrally air-conditioned facility has been constructed at a cost of Rs 1.56 crore on Jamshedpur civil court premises. Apart from providing counselling and mediation facilities, the 15 rooms at Nyaya Sadan will also seat mediators and advocates for providing free legal aid to the needy, who cannot afford lawyers.

“It is one of the best facilities in the country having the offices of permanent adalat, lok adalat, counselling centre and mediation facility in the same building. I have heard that it is certainly the best in this state,” said Lokur, also a member of mediation and conciliation project committee (MCPC), Supreme Court.

The civil court also got disabled-friendly as four new lifts (two for judicial officers and two for public and advocates) were inaugurated along with a fountain, built at Rs 1.6 crore, by the Chief Justice.

Banumathi and Lokur also distributed around 30 laptops among judicial officers as part of National e-Courts Project that aims to create e-filing system at the Supreme Court, high courts and district courts.

“Distribution of laptops under this project has begun with Jamshedpur. Gradually, laptops will be distributed at different courts across the state. Around 410 laptops will be distributed among judicial officers and all judgments will be available online,” said executive chairman of Jharkhand State Legal Services Authority (Jhalsa) and Jharkhand High Court judge D.N. Patel.

Later addressing members of the judiciary and mediators at the lok adalat hall on the subject “Fundamental duties and mediation mechanism”, Lokur said: “I had launched a pilot project under MCPC to extend the reach of mediation centres in Jamshedpur and Ranchi last May. I am happy that Jamshedpur made huge progress within a year.”

In one year, around 600 cases have been settled through mediation in Jamshedpur.