In 2017, DAKSH conducted a household survey to explore the various methods people choose to resolve their disputes. What prompted us was the question: ‘How do people resolve their disputes, if not through the courts?’ In addition to responses from the public, we interviewed representatives of various non-judicial bodies across the country, such as khap panchayats, religious authorities, political parties, village panchayats, and the police, who are all deeply involved in dispute resolution, as well as lawyers and judges from the formal justice system.
The videos in this documentary series record the responses of these representatives to questions such as why people approach them instead of courts, what kind of disputes they resolve, how many disputes they hear, how they resolve them, whether they deal with criminal cases, and so on. Also documented are their ideas of justice and their opinions about the court system. In doing so, the films highlight the various pathways to justice in India and the reasons for people’s choices. Thus, ‘Justice, Access, and the Nation’s Approaches’.