To provide access to justice to the citizen at their door steps, the Central Government has enacted the Gram Nyayalayas Act, 2008. It provides for establishment of Gram Nyayalayas at intermediate panchayat level. The State Governments are responsible for establishing Gram Nyayalayas in consultation with the respective High Courts. Department of Justice has not issued any directives to make it mandatory for new judicial officer to serve in these Gram Nyayalayas, as appointment of Nyayadhikari in Gram Nyayalayas falls within the domain of the State Government.
The Gram Nyayalayas scheme has been evaluated from time to time. The third party evaluation of the Scheme was done through NITI Aayog recently, which recommended continuance of the scheme. The Government has extended the above scheme for a further period of five years from 01.04.2021 to 31.03.2026, with a budgetary outlay of Rs.50 crores.
The Central Government has been encouraging the States to set up Gram Nyayalayas by providing financial assistance. As per the scheme, the Central Government provides one-time assistance to States towards non-recurring expenses for setting up of Gram Nyayalayas subject to a ceiling of Rs. 18.00 lakhs per Gram Nyayalaya. The Central Government also provides assistance towards recurring expenses for operating these Gram Nyayalayas subject to a ceiling of Rs. 3.20 lakhs per Gram Nyayalaya per year for the first three years.
The Central Government has been regularly following up with the State Governments and the High Courts for setting up of Gram Nyayalayas in the respective States. During the current year, 05 (five) meetings have been held with the Registrar Generals of High Courts and Law / Home / Finance Secretaries of State Governments to expeditiously set up Gram Nyayalayas and appoint Nyayadhikaris to enable rural population to get justice at the village level.
As per information made available by State Governments / High Courts, 476 Gram Nyayalayas have been notified so far by 15 States. Out of these 256 are operational in 10 States at present. State-wise details of the Gram Nyayalayas notified, operationalised by the State Governments and status of fund release by this Department is as under:
256 Gram Nyayalayas operational in 10 States
This information was given by Shri Kiren Rijiju, Union Minister of Law & Justice in Lok Sabha today.