Section 20 in The Gram Nyayalayas Act, 2008

Title: Plea bargaining before Gram Nyayalaya

Description: A person accused of an offence may file an application for plea bargaining in Gram Nyayalaya in which such offence is pending trial and the Gram Nyayalaya shall dispose of the case in accordance with the provisions of Chapter XXIA of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974).

Title: Conduct of cases in Gram Nyayalaya and legal aid to parties

Description: (1) For the purpose of conducting criminal cases in the Gram Nyayalaya on behalf of the Government, the provisions of section 25 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974) shall apply. (2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), in a criminal proceeding before the Gram Nyayalaya, the complainant may engage an advocate of his choice at his expense to present the case of prosecution with the leave of the Gram Nyayalaya. (3) The State Legal Services Authority, constituted under section 6 of the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 (39 of 1987) shall prepare a panel of advocates and assign at least two of them to be attached to each Gram Nyayalaya so that their services may be provided by the Gram Nyayalaya to the accused unable to engage an advocate.

Title: Pronouncement of judgment

Description: (1) The judgment in every trial shall be pronounced by the Nyayadhikari in open court immediately after the termination of the trial or at any subsequent time, not exceeding fifteen days, of which notice shall be given to the parties. (2) The Gram Nyayalaya shall deliver a copy of its judgment immediately to both the parties free of cost.

Title: Overriding effect of Act in civil proceedings

Description: The provisions of this Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908) or any other law, but save as expressly provided in this Act, the provisions of the Code shall, in so far as they are not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act, apply to the proceedings before a Gram Nyayalaya; and for the purpose of the said provisions of the Code, the Gram Nyayalaya shall be deemed to be a civil court.

Title: Special procedure in civil disputes

Description: (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, every suit, claim or dispute under this Act shall be instituted by making an application to the Gram Nyayalaya in such form, in such manner, and accompanied by such fee, not exceeding rupees one hundred, as may be prescribed by the High Court, from time to time, in consultation with the State Government. (2) Where a suit, claim or dispute has been duly instituted, a summons shall be issued by the Gram Nyayalaya, accompanied by a copy of the application made under sub-section (1), to the opposite party to appear and answer the claim by such date as may be specified therein and the same shall be served in such manner as may be prescribed by the High Court. (3) After the opposite party files his written statement, the Gram Nyayalaya shall fix a date for hearing and inform all the parties to be present in person or through their advocates. (4) On the date fixed for hearing, the Gram Nyayalaya shall hear both the parties in regard to their respective contentions and where the dispute does not require recording of any evidence, pronounce the judgment; and in case where it requires recording of evidence, the Gram Nyayalaya shall proceed further. (5) The Gram Nyayalaya shall also have the power— (a) to dismiss any case for default or to proceed ex parte; and (b) to set aside any such order of dismissal for default or any order passed by it for hearing the case ex parte. (6) In regard to any incidental matter that may arise during the course of the proceedings, the Gram Nyayalaya shall adopt such procedure as it may deem just and reasonable in the interest of justice. (7) The proceedings shall, as far as practicable, be consistent with the interests of justice and the hearing shall be continued on a day-to-day basis until its conclusion, unless the Gram Nyayalaya finds the adjournment of the hearing beyond the following day to be necessary for reasons to be recorded in writing. (8) The Gram Nyayalaya shall dispose of the application made under sub-section (1) within a period of six months from the date of its institution. (9) The judgment in every suit, claim or dispute shall be pronounced in open court by the Gram Nyayalaya immediately after conclusion of hearing or at any subsequent time, not exceeding fifteen days, of which notice shall be given to the parties. (10) The judgment shall contain a concise statement of the case, the point for determination, the decision thereon and the reasons for such decision. (11) A copy of the judgment shall be delivered free of cost to both the parties within three days from the date of pronouncement of the judgment.