Nari Adalats: “Women only courts for Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) in India”

Nari Adalats:

Nari Adalats are the pilot scheme of the Union Government. These Nari Adalats will be set up at village level to make the dispute resolution system more accessible. It will deal with issues like domestic violence and property rights in order to counter the patriarchal system. It will cater to all women and girls who require assistance or have grievances within the local community.
Some states like Uttar Pradesh already have running Nari Adalats.


What is Alternate Dispute Resolution ?

ADR is the process by which disputes between the parties are settled or brought to an amicable result without the intervention of any Judicial Institution and without any trial.
It is a mechanism of dispute resolution in which a neutral third party helps the parties to communicate, discuss the differences and resolve the dispute and by working together cooperatively to reach the best resolution for everyone. It can be instrumental in reducing the burden of litigation on courts.
ADR resolves all types of matters including civil, commercial, industrial and family etc.

Implementation of the Scheme

  • First, this scheme will start in 50 villages of Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir and State of Assam.
  • In the next 6 months this will be expanded to all across the country.

Concerned Ministry:

The scheme will be run by Ministry of Women and Child Development under the Samble sub-scheme of Mission Shakti which is dedicated to strengthening women's safety, security and empowerment.

Implementation of Scheme in collaboration with other Ministries:

Implementation will be done in collaboration with the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, The Ministry of Rural Development and Common Service Centres operated by Ministry of Electronics and Information technology.

Legal status of Nari Adalats:

The Nari Adalat will not hold any legal status. It means if Alternate Dispute Resolution fails amongst parties, the parties will have to go to courts.

Members of Nari Adalats:

There will be 7 to 9 members where all members are women.


Half of members would be the elected members of the gram panchayat and other half will include teachers, doctors and social workers nominated by the villagers.
The members will be known as Nyaya Sakhis(Legal friends) and the Mukhya Nyaya Sakhi is called (Chief legal friend). Mukhya Nyaya Sakhi will be chosen among the Nyaya Sakhis.

Tenure -

The tenure will be generally 6 months after which a new one will be selected.
You might be thinking what will Nari Adalats do when we already have mechanism for panchayats , tribunals and court system? Here is the answer to it...

Functions of Nari Adalats:

  • It provides for Alternative dispute resolution and grievance redressal.
  • To provide for Counselling, evidence based decision making.
  • To act as a pressure group tactics, negotiation, mediation and reconciliation with mutual consent for accessible and affordable justice.
  • It will act as a pressure group by leveraging the potential of the members as advisors and leaders within their communities, functioning as a pressure group.
  • It will engage with citizens, promoting awareness about women's rights, legal opinions, and collecting public feedback.
  • It will also raise awareness of government schemes and the legal right and entitlements of women.

Positives and Negatives of Nari Adalats:

  • It will make alternative dispute resolution mechanism more accessible at gross root levels i.e. rural women will have easy access to justice. Usually women try to compromise the ill-treatment faced by them as it is hard for them to knock the doors of the court and to continue their case due to socio-economic beliefs. Nari Adalats will improve and uplift the conditions of women.
  • Local membership will be helpful as they will have better understanding of local issues.
  • Nyaya Sakhi position might lead to empowerment of women as 73rd and 74th amendment is doing.
  • It will increase legal awareness among women of their rights and claims.
Negatives :
  • No legal status is given to Nari Adalats.
  • Tenure is fixed only for 6 months which is very short period for understanding the working and socio-cultural conditions of the area.

Present condition of the Scheme:

As of now, the standard operating procedures (SOPs) are fixed by the government however not released in public domain. It will start functioning in J&K and Assam first and then in next six months to all across the country.

Some additional facts to add up to your knowledge:

On the ocassion of International Women Day on 8 march 2021, all schemes under the Ministry of Women and Child Development were integrated into three parts:
1. Mission Poshan
2. Mission Vatsalya
3. Mission Shakti

Mission Shakti is further divided into:
  • Sambal group
  • Samarthya group

-> Sambal group contains schemes for protection for women such as

  • One stop centre
  • Women helpline
  • Ujjwala scheme
  • Working women hostel
  • Nari Adalat etc

-> Samarthya group contains schemes relating to development of women such as :

  • Beti Bachao Beti padhao
  • Matra Vandana Yojana etc.

More Blogs