17 August 2009
The Gram Nyayalayas Bill, 2007, establishes gram nyayalayas as the lowest tier of the judiciary for rural areas.
Each gram nyayalaya shall be headed by a nyayadhikari, who shall have the qualifications of a first class magistrate and be from a cadre created by the Governor and the High Court.
Gram nyayalayas shall try those cases whose maximum punishment is a year’s imprisonment, is only a fine, or in which offence is compoundable. They shall also settle civil suits dealing with land, water, etc., as listed in a Schedule. In civil disputes, gram nyayalayas shall not be bound by the procedure in Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, or the rules of evidence in the Indian Evidence Act, 1872. In criminal cases, the court shall follow procedures for summary trials.
Appeals in civil and criminal cases shall be heard by the senior civil judge and the assistant sessions judge, respectively. Further appeals are not permitted.