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An estimated 3-minute read

Nari Adalat: A social experiment !

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They have never been to a law school or sported the lawyer's black robes butmany women in rural India are dispensing justice in tough cases like rape, child marriage and even divorce mostly in just two weeks - at “NariAdalats.”


I am sure majority of you would not have heard of Nari Adalats. The literal translation would mean "Women's Court". They are a type of ADR system. Mostly unknown, they work very efficiently. They are known as the silent warriors. They fight for justice. It was started in Vadodara, Gujarat.


What is a Nari Adalat?

They are a bunch of women working as a Lok Adalat. There are no male members involved in the decision making process.  Contrary to the opinion that you might have had in the first two lines, they are absolutely gender neutral when it comes to delivering justice.  Yes, you read that right.


They want to involve women into the judicial process. They want women to raise voice against violence and injustice. They want to change the role of women in the society. They want to be less dependent on the patriarchal society of justice. 


General features

It does not have a formal court setup. No fix place. No judge, a large group of women instead. The minutes of the proceedings in a day are written and maintained. The orders decided in the meetings do not bind the parties legally. It only binds them morally and socially. They charge no fees. They travel to the party’s home to solve their disputes. They are sometimes trained by the local lawyers on basic topics of law. These ‘adalats’ have solved more than 23,000 cases till now. The figure is a very conservative estimate. The real figure will be much much higher.


Future plan

They are working on making people aware about the complimentary judicial systems. They want to expand it to every village in the country. It is to be made a bit formal. They will finalise a place. Training will be given to Nari Adalat women. of NA. They will start observing the International Violence against Women day. They will hold legal workshops where people will be made aware about their rights.



The government, the judiciary and the society at large have a duty to encourage such women. The police force of their respective areas is already in awe of these women. They have made identification cards for some of them. They also offer transportation facilities whenever they can. People in the village look up to them.


The faith that people had on the justice system in the olden days is being restored by these women. They are a pillar of strength for other women in the society. They are the symbol of the rise of women in the society.


Inspite of all these positives, they are still ignored by the larger mass. Almost no one knows about them. They have to spend their personal money for travelling expenses. Their only identification is the identity cards that police of certain villages have given them.


I had gone to many such Adalats for a survey for the college. We were moved by the enthusiasm of these women. We asked them what they needed. They said that they want more people to know about this. They want more people to join in the movement. They want a normal uniform, maybe saree so that they can connect with it and feel like one. They want a proper place to function. They do not want tables and chairs, they just want a place which has a concrete shade over it and a fan. All their sessions are held in borrowed places and all of them sit on the floor.

Thank You

This is the first post I have written which has actually given me a sense of satisfaction. I can now tell my subconscious, “This is why I became a law student.”




Tagged in: ADR Nari Adalat society
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