Online Lok Adalat

In light of COVID-19 and Supreme Court’s direction to promote technology in the Indian justice system, Sama is providing technical support to State Legal Services Authorities (SLSAs) across the country to hold online lok adalats.

Justice at your doorsteps

The COVID-19 pandemic unquestionably presents an era-defining challenge to public health and the global economy. It appears that despite the overwhelming nature of the COVID-19 outbreak, there could be a hoard of disputes, in trade and businesses, well after the world is free of the lethal virus. This could spread across sectors: banks, consumer issues with airlines/hotels etc, lack of access to basic essential services/public utilities. People are falling behind payments and potential job losses and pay cuts could have a direct impact on default in loan payments affecting the banking sector.

 

The Supreme Court and various high courts across India are already adopting video-conferencing tools to become virtual courts and hear urgent matters. Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India, had already issues an Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) notification in 2017, urging government departments to use ODR platform across the country to resolve pending cases efficiently. (Notification available here)

 

People and businesses won’t have the power/time to fight while they trying to survive. With majority of the offline services being limited, online services become crucial. With no time to waste or large amounts of money to be spent, Online-collaborative Dispute Resolution (ODR) will play the most important role in keeping the wheels of justice rolling. An online lok adalat, held remotely, will ensure that access to justice continues. The following disputes will be covered; loan matters, family disputes, MACT issues, S-138 cheque bounces etc.

 

Online Lok Adalat- FaQs



  1. What is the background of Sama?

Sama is an online dispute resolution platform incorporated under the name Odrways Solutions Private Limited.

Since 2015, Odrways has been working in the space of Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) in India. The legal name of the company is Odrways Solutions Private Limited (hereinafter as Sama), and ODR platform is hosted at the website called- www.sama.live .The Company Incorporation Number (CIN) is CIN: U74999KA2019PTC125645, and company’s AoA/MoA can be accessed from the MCA website.
(Note: Sama is the name of website)

It runs a campaign called “Indian Mediation Week”, to sensitize the general public about adopting collaborative dispute resolution practices. In 2017, the Department of Justice (DoJ), Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India, recognized Odrways as an ODR service provider. The notification is available on the Department of Justice website, available here- https://doj.gov.in/sites/default/files/firm%20details.pdf (Refer to page 9 of the notification) Media Coverage is available here.

In 2019, Odrways won the E-ADR challenge organized by Agami and ICICI Bank, where 16+ ADR/ODR platforms from across the world participated. A jury led by former Supreme Court judge, Justice BN Srikrishna, identified Odrways as the most capable organization to build an Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) platform for the country. The media coverage is available here.



  1. What is the role of Sama in the Online Lok Adalat?

Sama’s role is strictly limited to providing technical support to the Online Lok Adalat, which is being held under the aegis of State Legal Services Authority according to National Legal Services Authority (Lok Adalat) Regulations, 2009. Sama will provide SLSA, lawyers and parties access to an end to end online dispute resolution platform to enable SLSA to conduct an end to end online lok adalat (not limited to video conferencing).Sama will provide assistance in-

    1. Sending notices to a party through email/whatsapp/text
    2. Sama’s user friendly Video Conferencing Support for Pre-counselling sessions/Online Lok Adalat
    3. E-signature support
    4. A Sama case manager who will be available to provide administrative assistance to the counselors appointed by SLSA, secretaries, court staff, parties and lawyers. (A case manager is a person who helps all parties in a dispute by providing them end to end administrative assistance)
    5. Compiling report of total cases taken up, disposed and total settlement amount.

(Note: This assistance is being provided by Sama in a pro-bono manner, and no data/record pertaining to the Online Lok Adalat will be used by Sama for any personal/commercial/business purposes in any direct or indirect manner. Sama will be officially recognized as the technical partner for this online lok adalat)



  1. What is not within the scope of Sama in the Online Lok Adalat?
    1. Sama does not identify suitable cases for the online lok adalat. That is identified by SLSA.
    2. Sama does not appoint the counselors. That is appointed by SLSA from their respective panel of neutrals.
    3. The Rules and Procedures of Sama do not apply in the Online Lok Adalat proceedings.


  1. What is Sama’s experience with Online Lok Adalats?
    1. On August 8, 2020- Sama assisted Delhi State Legal Services Authority as a technical partner in conducting an online lok adalat. Around 77 courts from 11 districts across Delhi, came onto Sama's Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) platform, to settle disputes online through Sama Video Conferencing & electronic signatures. A total of 5838 disputes were settled, with total settlement value crossing 46.2 crores. Report is available here.
    2. On August 22, 2020- Sama assisted Rajasthan State Legal Services Authority, under the aegis of National Legal Services Authority, as a technical partner in conducting an online lok adalat. A total number of 33,546 disputes were settled with total settlement value crossing ₹ 270 crores by 351 Benches. Guidelines on the website available here..

 

Contact Details- Drop a mail at info@sama.live.