This film, which is a part of the documentary series JANA, highlights the various methods used by non institutional bodies to resolve disputes. It features interviews of members of various non-judicial organisations, who suggest that reaching an amicable resolution between involved parties is their primary goal.

For instance, khap panchayats constitute a committee consisting of members that represent each party in the dispute, and they discuss until an agreement is reached. Santosh Dahiya, president of Sarav Khap Sarav Jaat Mahapanchayat’s women wing says, “We use social set-ups to resolve disputes, the arguments continue until both the sides agree with the settlement. We don’t need police or judiciary, we try to counsel both the parties.”

Shivamurthy Shivacharya Mahaswamiji, who conducts Saddharma Nyaya Peetha —  an open court session — in Sirigere, follows a similar process for dispute resolution, where both the parties get an opportunity to present their versions. While explaining how his process is different than a judicial process, he says, “What happens in the court is that one party loses and one party wins, but in my Saddharma Nyaya Peetha, both the parties lose and both the parties win.

The film also features an interview with Harish Narasappa, lawyer and co-founder of DAKSH, who observes that the judicial system has certainty and consistency in outcomes because judges write decisions based on law and judicial precedents. This guarantees certainty about the consequences of a person’s actions, in contrast to ad hoc systems.

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.

Watch the other parts of the docu-series JANA here and here.

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Updated Date: Jan 07, 2019 17:38 PM