Justice N.V. Ramana, the second senior-most judge of the Supreme Court and executive chairman of the National Legal Services Authority of India (NALSA), on Friday underscored the need for giving legal assistance to the marginalised as early as when a person is called to a police station on suspicion.
Justice Ramana, nominated as the NALSA executive chairman with effect from November 27, issued a vision document for the authority for 2020.
The document focusses on strengthening and digitalising the basic units of legal aid like legal services clinics. It calls for strengthening legal services clinics in jails and spreading legal aid to “aspirational districts” so that none, however poor, is denied justice.
Texts and booklets
The NALSA is also preparing basic legal aid texts and booklets in regional languages.
They will give information on laws that affect the lives of the marginalised communities. This is an attempt to empower them with the knowledge of their rights, and of how to fight for them in courts with the help of legal aid.
“The outreach legal aid programmes will be strengthened and aligned with the marginalised and vulnerable people’s legal needs. There will be a stronger movement for legal empowerment. The coming year will see accelerated action on meeting the legal needs of the marginalised sections...,” an official statement said.
The NALSA was constituted in 1987 so as to promote an inclusive legal system to ensure fair and meaningful justice to the marginalised through effective representation and awareness.