MALAPPURAM: Taking cues from the village court in Kavanoor panchayath in Malappuram, the Kerala Institute of Local Administration (KILA) has come up with a project to set up more village courts in as many panchayats as possible across the state.
The quasi judicial body named ‘Nattukodathi’ in Kavanoor is unique in the state and provides a platform for out of court settlement of disputes among the people. The village court set up by an order of the state government in 2008 handles civil cases including mostly property and family disputes.
"KILA has planned a workshop on April 5 for the Panchayats across the state. In the first phase, two panchayats from every district will be identified to set up such courts. We will also bring all the 20 members of the Kavanoor Nattukodathi to this session to share their experience. KILA is in the process of developing a methodology for such courts to be set up in panchayats across the state," said Dr, P.P Balan, Director, KILA.
"What makes the Kavanoor village court unique in the state is the organic relationship between the panchayat and Village authorities in settling disputes out of court," says Dr. Balan.
The court works under the Village Development Council, which is a joint committee of the Panchayat administration and Village office, and is headed by the Village officer as its convener.
The members of the court include representatives of political parties having state assembly representation, District/Block/Panchayat/Municipal members within the village limits, representatives of the Member of Parliament and MLA.
The court convenes on the third Saturday of every month to hear cases that come before the council which is presided over by the Panchayat president. The village court has proved effective by settling 185 out of 196 cases heard during the six years since its inception. Last month, Panchayat authorities had commemorated the court's successful sixth anniversary.