The Literal meaning of Litigation corresponds to the process of taking legal action. This Policy reflects the resolve of the State Government to bring about a visible and enduring qualitative and quantitative improvement in the manner in which litigation is perceived, managed and conducted in the State. It reduces pendency and delays in our learned Courts. The Key features of this policy are enlisted below:
- To transform Government into an Efficient and Responsible Litigant so that it: Manages and conducts litigation in a collusive, coordinated and time bound manner; Ensures that good cases are won and bad cases not pursued needlessly and Reduces Overall Govt. Litigation load in Courts thereby providing relief to the judiciary.
- To encourage and enable redressal of genuine grievances through alternate dispute redressal forum / institutions within the Government.
- To provide for a substantive mechanism which would inter alia serve to monitor and control the implementation of the Policy, enforce accountability on and provide clarifications, to the implementers and stakeholders of the Policy and to consider changes in the Policy, depending on its performance and effectiveness
Salient Features of This Policy:
Various Measures are taken by the state government in this policy to reduce the time elapsed for court hearings. The following steps are taken:
Setting up of Grievance Redressal System
- It shall be mandatory for employees to seek redressal through this sytem, first, before going to the Courts.
- A time limit of eight weeks may be fixed to decide a representation.
- A Two‐tier structure will be set up. In the first tier each department shall have a grievance cell at the State Level. The second tier would be at the district level. All cases and issues, shall be reviewed to redress genuine grievances.
- The department level grievance cell / committee shall be headed by the HoD, and shall meet on a monthly basis to review the efficacy of the grievance redressal system
Quick Action on Legal Notices/ Representation:
- As soon as Legal notice is served upon any department asking for a relief the same should be decided expeditiously in accordance with the relevant rules/ instructions and by passing a detailed speaking order.
- Large number of cases comes before the High Court wherein grievances are that legal notice/ representations are not being decided or are delayed by the Government. Generally, High Court directs Govt. to decide the representation within a specific time. If Govt. disposes of the notice at the first instance, it would reduce the burden of the Court.
Settlement of dispute through Alternative forums (Lok Adalat):
- All pending disputes/cases litigation would be reviewed by the Department & District Policy Implementation Committee with a view to settling them before the Lok Adalat/Special camps, in consultation with the Legal Aid Cell of High Court. This exercise shall be carried out periodically, preferably every three months. Permanent Lok Adalats shall be set up to settle disputes in an ongoing manner.
- Every department should authorize some officers with sufficient powers to take final decisions so that minor disputes pending in different Courts can be settled through Lok Adalats.
- State empowered Committee and the Litigation Policy Implementation Committee would look into the ways and means for maximizing case/dispute disposal through Fast Track Courts, Gram Nyayalas, Evening Courts, Family Courts etc.
A good number of cases are from the category of similar cases. Each Government Department will aim to consider and settle the claim a representational/ applicant employee/ citizen, if the claim is found covered by any decision of the Court. Many service matters of this nature, can be disposed of at the level of the department.
Guidelines regarding filing of Appeals:
No Appeal at any level is to be filed without full application of mind to the order/judgement at hand. Appeals will not be field in cases where insignificant amounts are involved and when no question of Law is involved.
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