Village Courts in India - Gram Nyayalayas
- Gram Nyayalayas are village courts for quick and easy access to the justice system in rural areas of India.
- The establishment of Gram Nyayalayas in India can be traced back to the Gram Nyayalayas Act 2008, passed by the Parliament of India.
- Although the goal was to establish 5,000 village courts in India, only about 200 Gram Nyayalayas are functional now.
Functions of Gram Nyayalayas:
- Establishment of a regular cadre of Gram Nyayadhikaran.
- Performing procedures in the local language and with simpler procedures.
- Creating awareness among stakeholders through seminars, press releases, etc.
- Establishment of permanent Gram Nyayalayas at an intermediate level at a suitable location showing easy access to ordinary people.
- To specify the jurisdiction of Gram Nyayalayas clearly and redefine it to remove any ambiguity.
- Provision of building, staff, etc. for Gram Nyayalayas and their provision in the state budget.
What is the village court known as?
The preamble of the Gram Nyayalayas Act envisages access to justice at citizens' fingertips and ensures that no citizen is denied opportunities to secure justice. Despite the challenges and shortcomings of the existing framework of village courts in India, these courts have a positive role in providing access to justice to the poor and reaching out to the marginalized sections of society.