Advocate Prashant Bhushan, representing the petitioner, NGO National Federation of Societies for Fast Justice and others, submitted before a bench headed by Justice S.A. Nazeer that despite a direction from the top court in 2020, many states have yet not taken any action.
He added that these ‘Gram Nyayalayas’ should be such that people may be able to articulate their grievances without requiring a lawyer.
In 2008, the Parliament passed an Act for setting up of ‘Gram Nyayalayas’ at the grassroots level for providing access to justice to citizens at the doorstep.
The bench, also compromising Justice V. Ramasubramanian, said the high courts should be made party in the matter as they are the supervisory authority. After hearing arguments, the bench issued notice to the Registrar General of all high courts and made them parties in the case, and scheduled the matter for further hearing on December 5.
In 2020, the top court had directed the state governments, which are yet to come out with notifications for establishing ‘Gram Nyayalayas’, to do so. It had also asked the high courts to expedite the process of consultation with state governments.
The plea contended that sections in the Act provide that the state government in consultation with the high court will appoint a ‘Nyayadhikari’ for each ‘Gram Nyayalaya’.