Literature Paving the Way for Law: ADR as an Idea in Munshi Premchand's Panch Parmeshwar

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Ms. Priyam Singh , Dr.Seema Yadav


Literature has always been a pioneer of ideas and it toys and tests the endurance and situation of the social fabric at any point of time. The role of the artist is to engage with its citizens at various levels. In that essence, Munshi Premchand is firmly rooted to the ground and ethos of the Indian culture. His story Panch Parmeshwar is a harbinger of many legal ideas and it’s acceptance and requirement at the village level. Amongst many ideas that replicate into law post- independence, ADR as an idea is mooted through the Panchayat at a time before India became a sovereign nation to settle matters with mutual consent and without involvement of the courts. Thus, even before a formal system of ADR is set up, Jumman and Khala agree to resolve their property matter at such as platform. It is consequent to this that an important analysis can be made. The impartial nature of the Panch and the institution of the Panchayat not yet formalized is a quality worthy of emulation considering the plethora of Lok Adalat kind of institutions in place today that remain embroiled in inter institutional confusions and lethargy. Thus, our paper aims to show that even though we inscribed the Positive Law on Panchayats under the 76th Constitutional Amendment Act, we have begun to forget the underlying spirit of Natural Law that informs any legal formulation. Through the literary fictional world of Panch Parmeshwar, we aim to establish that ADR system was very much present in literature and ethos of Indian Community well before it’s establishment in the real world today through study of various techniques of ADR system and that literature helps in making this idea acceptable through its nature of mass circulation and impact. Besides, we will also look at how several judges have directly and indirectly quoted Premchand’s PanchParmeshwar as a route to envisioning the idea of Arbitration in its novice and infant stage.

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