The free legal aid cell set up on the High Court Dharwad Bench premises was inaugurated here on Saturday by Supreme Court judge V. Gopala Gowda.

Mr. Gowda said judges and lawyers should ensure that free legal aid cells function effectively and benefit the lower strata of society. It is equally important to see that such cells are not misused for any particular community or vested interests, he said.

Mr. Gowda hoped the cellwould emerge as a model in ensuring its services reach the target groups. He felicitated senior lawyer Venkatesh Kulkarni, for his contribution to spreading legal literacy in the region. High Court judges, including Karnataka High Court Legal Services Committee president H.N. Nagamohan Das, K.L. Manjunath, Mohan Shantanagoudar, Anand Byrareddy, Advocate-General Ravivarma Kumar, and High Court Bar Association president B.D. Hiremath were present.

The legal aid cell has been established at the ground floor of the High Court building. Lawyers will extend services like preparing notices, replying to notice issues and legal consultation. It will function from 10.30 a.m. to 5p.m. on all working days. The cell can be contacted on 0836–2485242.