Here is an essay on ‘Nyaya Panchayats’ for class 9, 10, 11 and 12. Find paragraphs, long and short essays on ‘Nyaya Panchayats’ especially written for school and college students.
Essay # 1. Composition and Constitution of Nyaya Panchayats:
The Nyaya Panchayats cover a jurisdiction between five and seven Panchayat circles of the old pattern or according to the local situation. The officer in charge, generally the collector, is responsible for demarcating the jurisdiction. He is assisted by Tehsildars and Naib Tehsildars and Vikas Adhikaris in discharging his duties. Each Panchayat within the jurisdiction of Nyaya Panchayat, elects a member for the latter.
The member so elected must be a registered voter in the Panchayat electing him. He must not be less than 30 years of age. He must be literate enough as to read and write the state language fluently and legibly. He must not suffer from any disqualification which ordinarily debars a panch from being elected to the panchayat.
A Nyaya Panch is disallowed from holding an office of sarpanch or that of member of Samiti, Parishad, State Legislature or Union Parliament simultaneously. The elections of the Nyaya Panchayats are regulated by the same rules as those of the elections of Vikas Panchayats.
The members from amongst themselves elect a chairman of the Nyaya Panchayat. One-third of the members retire by rotation every second year. The chairman constitutes bench of three members each for dealing with the civil and criminal cases coming before the Panchayats. The member hailing from a circle in which the case arises is not allowed to sit on the bench.
Likewise if a member of the Bench is a direct party to the suit or is personally interested in it, he is not allowed to sit for hearing of such a case. The members of the Nyaya Panchayat when on duty, enjoy the same protection as public servants enjoy under law.
Essay # 2. Powers of Nyaya Panchayats:
The Nyaya Panchayats possess civil and criminal jurisdiction. Their criminal jurisdiction extends to offences under the Indian Penal Code viz., possession or use of false weights or measures, negligence or deliberate doing of acts which endanger public health, life and property, or cause public inconvenience such as fouling of water meant for public use, rash driving on public ways, obstructing or damaging public ways, failure to repair a dangerous building, causing hurt with or without provocation, misappropriation where the value involved is not more than Rs. 25, mischief, trespass, using coercion to wrongfully confine a person; injury to public property; insult; criminal intimidation; uttering words or making gestures intended to insult the modesty of woman.
Besides this, the Nyaya Panchayats are empowered to deal with offences under the Cattle Trespass Act, Public Gambling Act, Primary Education Act, Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency Act, Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and offences under other Acts as may be declared by the State Government to be taken by the Panchayats.
The criminal jurisdiction extends to the trial of cases dealing with offences against public servants. These cases include refusal to answer questions, refusal to give information, refusal to produce documents, refusal to sign a statement and refusal to take an oath where a person is duty bound to act in that manner under the orders of a public servant.
The Nyaya Panchayats can impose penalty prescribed by the statute upon the persons convicted for deliberately obstructing or insulting a public servant. The Nyaya Panchayats can impose penalty between Rs. 25 and Rs. 100. They might discharge youthful offenders by fining or by issuing admonition to the offender.
The civil jurisdiction of the Nyaya Panchayats extends to suits for damages, breach of contracts not affecting immovable property, suits for compensation for wrongfully taking or injuring movable property and suits for specific movable property the value of which does not exceed the ceiling prescribed by the statute. Such value generally ranges between Rs. 100 and 500.
The Nyaya Panchayats do not exercise jurisdiction in cases where the suits may be brought before a Revenue officer under any of the existing laws, against the Chairman or any member of Nyaya Panchayat against a Sarpanch or Panch of the Panchayat within the jurisdiction of the same Nyaya Panchayat, against a minor of person or unsound mind.
The Nyaya Panchayat is empowered to pass a degree with or without interest or installment. It may give exparte judgement if the other party does not appear after getting due notice. It may dismiss complaint or application if there is not ‘prima facie’ case against the defendant.
It may issue summons, cause appropriate documents to be produced and require the presence of a particular person for evidence. It may conduct local enquiry and make a report if directed by a magistrate to do so regarding an offence committed within its own circle.
Essay # 3. Evaluation of Nyaya Panchayats:
Though the judicial activity of the Nyaya Panchayats has not been subjected to searching examination, yet on the basis of performance of these Panchayats in some of the states, it can be concluded that their services to the village community have been fairly commendable.
The villagers’ fondness for these Panchayats has got accentuated due to quick, cheap and easily accessible justice rendered by the Nyaya Panchayats. On an average, a Nyaya Panchayat devoted approximately ten hours a month for case work and took about two hours on an average to dispose of a case.