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Nyaya Mitra Scheme

Introduction

The high rates of pendency of cases, particularly, those pending for longer periods, in the Indian court system, have been a major source of concern as they reflect both delayed justice and hardships to the litigants for whom the consequences of delays can be enormous.

Reasons identified by the experts leading to such high rates of pendency of cases, include vacancies in the judicial and the associated systems, inadequate staffing at different levels including judicial officers, high rates of appeal on the judgments, inadequate infrastructure of the judicial system and the routine judicial process. While a number of remedial measures have been introduced, pendency rates in excess of 20 per cent of the cases, which are still pending today for 5-20 years in the district and the lower courts, shows the need for strengthening the existing remedial measures and the introduction of new approaches, wherever feasible.

The Nyaya Mitra Scheme introduced by the Department of Justice (DOJ), Government of India, in April 2017 is one such new approach. The Nyaya Mitras (NMs), appointed at the district level, are expected to assist in the disposal of the old cases, pending for 10 years or more.

Key Objectives

i. To provide assistance to the District Judges for speedier disposal of old pending cases.
ii. To build convergence with legal services authorities, relevant govt. departments, subordinate judiciary and litigants for identification and speedier disposal of pending cases.
iii. To undertake Access to Justice Initiatives to support effective implementation of Article 39-A of the Constitution of India, ensuring that easy and affordable legal aid is available to all irrespective of economic or other disabilities of those wishing to access it.