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An estimated 7-minute read

Guidance for common man in or out of litigation

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It is said that today the power lies with the associations. We should therefore develop the habit of selfless service to others and associate with the associations doing service in various fields. This habit can help us during troubles.
There is yet a spiritual cause behind every trouble which can be counter balanced by thinking in a spiritual way. First, the position of stars may turn the table against us and second, our own misdeeds may take a shape of dispute against us. So, while facing a trouble don’t blame the others personally for the wrong done to you and try to understand your own fault and remove your egoistic tendencies. The prayer with repentance is the best and easiest cure of every trouble in life.
But spiritual thinking does not mean that you will abandon all the efforts to protect yourself. It does not mean a cowardice thinking but becoming bold enough to face the truth. Sometimes while fighting a wicked and treacherous person, you may have to adopt unethical means, but while so doing it has to be seen that no illegal methods are adopted against your adversary, otherwise it may land you in another trouble.
Broadly speaking the disputes can be divided into two categories:- Civil and Criminal. Civil disputes may be subdivided as individual cases or the cases pertaining to a company, corporate body or any other institutions. In criminal side, it may relate to some offence which requires prosecution in a criminal court or imposition of a simple penality for breach of a rule. In civil side, there is also specialization of cases, courts and tribunals, requiring expert opinion. For example, there are different tribunals dealing with income tax, sales tax, excise, customs, company affair, work contracts, service matters, Labour courts, revenue board, consumers redressal forum and transport authorities etc. Many of these tribunals have power to impose penality and grant compensation or other relief according to law governing their respective jurisdiction. The general civil courts deals with cases of property and personal rights. There are also separate family courts dealing with matrimonial cases and maintence of neglected spouse. Then there are appellate courts, generally known as the court of District Judge. In most of the states the District Judge also deals with grevious offences, like rape, murder and decoity in his capacity as sessions judge, while other offences are tried by judicial magistrates and appeal against such cases lies to the Sessions Judge. The civil courts are governed by Civil Procedure Code, while criminal courts are goverened by Criminal Procedure Code. At village level, some civil and criminal powers have also been deligated to panchayats, under different laws enacted by different states.
High Court, in a state is the highest court to hear appeal both in civil and criminal matters, besides hearing appeal or revision against orders passed by different tribunals working under its jurisdiction. The High Court under its constitutional power grants writs to protect fundamental rights of the citizens and examine valadity of laws passed by the legislatures. Its rulings are to be followed by all subordinate courts and tribunals operating in a state.
The Supreme Court has jurisdiction over all the High Court’s and national commissions of the country and it has power to examine any law passed by the Parliament or State legislatures. It can protect fundamental rights throughout the country and grant any relief in public interest. Its rulings are binding on all the High Courts, tribunals and national commissions.
Although in case of serious offences police report has to be lodged without delay in the nearest police station or where the offence is committed, however in other matters of petty nature attempts should be made to settle the disputes amicably. Insofar as the disputes of civil nature are concerned it may require first to collect necessary documentary evidence and experts legal opinion. For obtaining information at government level recouorse may be had to the provisions of the Right to Information Act 2005, under which the Centre and State governments have appointed Public Information Officers in every department. In case of their failure to act within 30 days appeal can be filed against their inaction within 30 days to the appellant authority of the same department. There is also provision of second appeal within 90 days to the Central or State Chief Information Commissioner, who has power to impose penality upto Rs. 25,000/- on the defaulting Public Information Officer. This right to information extends to inspect documents, record or manuscript or obtaining its certified copy, which include taking certified sample of material and prints of computer device.
The Government has also established many agencies for settlement of disputes at an early stage. For example, the police department tries to settle minor disputes between husband and wife. Woman Commission looks after the atrocities committed against ladies. Human Rights Commission deals with various types of breaches committed against human rights or atrocities. At village level panchayats have rights to settle and investigate minor disputes. Similarly, so many non-governmental organisations (NGO) take up the cases of different types and provide their free services to individuals or group of individuals who are unable to defend themselves. The states have also established legal aid authorities at different levels to provide free legal aid to poor person, which includes free councel and bearing litigation expenses.
Here it is also felt necessary to sound a word of warning to a litigant or any aggrieved person about a net of touts operating in and around every helping agency, either governmental or non-governmental. So is the case in choosing a right counsel. In this respect, prior and full information should be obtained about the person or agency of which we are seeking help. Invention of information technology can prove of immense help in this respect. From so many web-sites you can have online correct informations about different agencies and organizations, who can help you in your hour of crisis.
After filing a case before a court or tribunal you can also have the correct information about the position of your case, date fixed or order passed through computer networking. In case of your aggrievence or complaint about any employee or counsel you can sent it through e-mail to the higher authorities or can get necessary guidance in this respect.
Gone are the days when a senior advocate assisted by an army of the juniors and possessing a huge library of law books was considered necessary for winning a case. Now, with the development of the information technology and vast changes introduced in the field of law, youngsters are considered a better choice. So much so that the students of law in five years course are even selected by big business houses, during their study. Since the entire literature of law, law book and latest judgements of Supreme Court and various High Courts are readly available online in a computer or laptop, the maintenance of a huge library and staff has become redundant. Intelligent young advocate can provide more time, information and assistance and can be affordable to a middle class litigant. Unfortunately, even the truthful cases are lost today, because of various reasons. Chief among them is the fear and insecurity in the mind of those, who are willing to support a right person. On the otherhand wicked and anti social elements get support even from the state agencies involved at the early stage of a dispute. However, here also the person fighting a right cause, need not to loose his heart, because India is a holy land of Rama-Krishna and Mahatma Gandhi, where people ultimately come forward and unite for a right cause. Still the satruggle for truth is hard and requires much patience. Such a struggle has to be fought with purety of means and Gandhian way of non-violence and satyagrah. It is wrong to say that Gandhian means and ways to fight for truth are impracticable, as we see even today in so many cases that the truth is ultimately upheld.
Print and electric media is another strong mode to work for good or bad purposes. They are mostly controlled by capitalists and influencial politicians. Still there are certain news papers and T.V. channels which aims at social good and then there are also rival groups between themselves. In case if your case is based on truth or you are going to be falsely implicated under some conspiracy, you may expose your opponent through such media or agency. A press club can be approached in every big city, where you can lodge your complaint and request the media channel to take your cause to public or divert the state machinery to investigate your case effectively.

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