Member, West Bengal Human Rights Commission and former dean, faculty of law, Calcutta University
The government is encouraging settlements through alternate dispute resolution systems, like Lok Adalats. Some civil cases can be settled out of court while among the criminal cases, only the compoundable ones can be done so with the courtís permission. The number of judges has not increased in proportion to the population rise. A court case will take time unless the procedures are simplified. Lok Adalats now have legal sanctity and its decisions are binding upon the parties. But perhaps because of lack of awareness, people are not approaching these bodies as much as the government would like.