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Lawyers asked to uphold social commitment

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PROGRAMME: Justice M. Karpagavinayagam (second from right), flanked by judges M. Jaichandren, K. Mohanram and M. Jeyapaul at the Legal Aid, Legal Literacy and Lok Adalat programme organised in Chennai on Tuesday. Photo: Vino John
PROGRAMME: Justice M. Karpagavinayagam (second from right), flanked by judges M. Jaichandren, K. Mohanram and M. Jeyapaul at the Legal Aid, Legal Literacy and Lok Adalat programme organised in Chennai on Tuesday. Photo: Vino John

Staff Reporter

They are advised to give free legal aid to at least a few clients

CHENNAI: Madras High Court Judge and Chairman Tamilnadu State Legal Services Authority Justice M. Karpagavinayagam on Tuesday urged the lawyer fraternity to uphold social commitment and develop humaneness in the profession.

In his presidential address at the Legal Aid, Legal Literacy and Lok Adalat programme organised by the District Legal Services Authority and Taluk Legal Services Committee, Egmore, Justice Mr. Karpagavinayagam reminded lawyers that intellectual eminence without humaneness was of little value.

Pointing out that there was a difference between `lawyers' and `advocates', the judge urged "lawyers to become advocates who espoused the cause of society."

Lok Adalats were the refuge of the masses who could not afford to invest in the mainstream judicial system, which was faulted for being too technical, too time-consuming and too expensive, he said.

High Court Judge Justice Mohanram appealed to lawyers to encourage clients to participate in Lok Adalats. Contrary to misgivings, Lok Adalats, which complemented the judicial system, would not adversely affect law practitioners and would provide people an alternative to the cumbersome and slow-moving nature of the legal process.

High Court Judge Justice M. Jaichandren said Lok Adalats should be extended to towns and villages as a means of taking law to the people. High Court Judge Justice Jaichandren saw immense scope for the alternative disputes redress mechanisms in providing a settlement of cases without exhausting the resources of litigants.

High Court Judge Justice M. Jeyapaul urged lawyers to ensure the high quality of services made available for clients approaching the Legal Services Authority.

V. Periyakaruppiah, Principal Judge, Chennai, G.M. Akbar Ali, member-secretary, Tamilnadu State Legal Services Authority, P. Jayaraman, vice-president, Bar Association, Egmore and D. Arulraj, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Egmore also participated.

The Lok Adalat disposed 725 cases.

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