The video above is the first part in the documentary series JANA that examines dispute resolution by non-judicial bodies in India.

The film features interviews with members of various non-judicial organisations, such as khap panchayats, religious authorities, political parties, village panchayats, and representatives of the formal justice system, through which it explores the major factors that drive litigants to seek help from non-judicial bodies.

The cost of going to court, particularly advocates’ fees, is shown to be a significant reason for people preferring non-judicial bodies to resolve their disputes. Also, unlike in courts, lack of evidence and documents does not result in cases being dismissed in non-judicial processes. Moreover, according to the Shiv Sena and gram panchayat members, people trust them more because of their involvement in community activities, and their personal relationships with the involved parties. According to Justice (Retd.) Raveendran, because of delays in judicial proceedings, these illegitimate processes have emerged. Litigants cannot get justice within a reasonable time and at a reasonable cost in courts, and they have no other option but to seek help from non-judicial bodies.

This documentary series is based on a household survey conducted in 2017 by DAKSH, a Bengaluru-based civil society organisation working to promote accountability and better governance in India.

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Updated Date: Jan 03, 2019 16:35 PM