Delhi

NALSA legal service camps benefited 43 lakh people

Within a span of eight months since Justice Ranjan Gogoi, the next CJI, was appointed its chairman

Within a span of eight months since Justice Ranjan Gogoi took up the task of heading the National Legal Services Authority(NALSA), it has organised 927 legal service camps across the country in which 43 lakh people have benefited.

The legal service camp is a first-of-its-kind outreach programme organised by NALSA where various government departments set up their respective stalls to pass on the benefit programmes to the poor and the marginalised.

“Access to justice is required to be given an expanded meaning by not confining it to access to courts alone,” Justice Ranjan Gogoi, executive chairman, NALSA, had said while introducing legal service camps.

The first such legal service camp was organised in Assam’s Dibrugarh.

Digital streaming

Some of the legal camps were organised in far-living areas such as Silchar, Jammu, Srinagar, Kargil and Leh. Under Justice Gogoi, NALSA has also embarked on a mass awareness campaign over the availability of free legal services and existence of legal service institutions.

Digital streaming of NALSA theme song was made in 8,557 theatres, which was played four times in a day for 30 days in January-February, touching 50 crore people.

NALSA has also taken up the task of digitisation of its processes. In the past eight months, 626 jail legal services clinics have been digitised, making up for 51% of the existing such clinics in the country.

Women prisoners

In another first, NALSA organised a 10-day nationwide campaign for women prisoners and their accompanying children in jails. A total of 2,088 awareness camps were held inside jails exclusively for women prisoners apprising them of their rights.

NALSA noted that women prisoners are more vulnerable to sexual and physical abuse in prison as compared to their male counterparts.

“They are generally found to be unaware of their legal rights, case status etc. which leads to inadvertent lapse of justice,” it said.

Five thousand and ninety women prisoners were connected with vocational trainings that will help in their rehabilitation, another 2,942 women prisoners were provided court-based legal assistance, NALSA said, adding that each State Legal Service Authorities (SLSA) customised their approach to assistance based on their local needs.

NALSA currently has 61,593 panel advocates, 50,007 male and 11,586 females, and another 9,600 remand lawyers.

There are also 17,952 Legal Literacy Clubs in schools and colleges across the country.

Within a span of eight months, 4,114 new legal literacy clubs have opened.

With Justice Gogoi set to assume office of the Chief Justice of India next week, he will become the NALSA patron-in-chief and the senior-most judge of the apex court will become the executive chairman of NALSA.

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 5:24:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/nalsa-legal-service-camps-benefited-43-lakh-people/article25085141.ece

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