People in the villages of India have always managed to solve their problems and settle disputes through village councils or Gram Panchayats. The word Panchayat designates the decision of the panches, i.e. the five elderly, learned and wise men. These dispute resolving institutions as Panchayat court function under various names like Nyaya Panchayat, Gram Kachheri etc. to decide civil and criminal disputes of petty and local nature at the village level. In the State of Jammu and Kashmir this has been designated as “Panchayati Adalat” and the Government has enacted Panchayati Raj Act-1989 and Panchayati Raj Rules-1996, to provide powers and civil/criminal/territorial jurisdictions to these rural courts. This book traces the evolution of Panchayati Raj, Panchayati Adalat and Municipal Administration in the State of Jammu and Kashmir. The Panchayati Raj Act 1989 envisages a Panchayati Adalat for every Halqa which generally consists of a contiguous number of villages as determined by the Government under Section 48(I). Panchayati Adalat has emerged as one of the important judicial and dispute processing institutions in the democratic and rural system of India. While acknowledging the role of Panchayats in democracy, the book explains the role of local- self governments in the form of Municipalities and District Councils in general and in state of Jammu & Kashmir in particular.