Legal aid clinics to benefit HIV positive persons in 16 districts

With 11 more legal aid clinics for the HIV infected to come up in the State on Wednesday, positive persons in 16 districts of the State will be served by free legal services and counselling.

The districts in which one clinic each will be inaugurated on Wednesday are Chennai, Dharmapuri, Villupuram, Krishnagiri, Salem, Tiruchi, Tirupur, Karur, Theni, Tuticorin and Kanyakumari.

To be set up by the Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control Authority in association with the Tamil Nadu Legal Services Authority, the centres will be manned by an advocate and counsellor appointed by the latter. Each clinic will be set up at a cost of Rs.2 lakh, received as funding from the National AIDS Control Organisation.

The clinics are meant to directly address issues of people living with HIV/AIDS, especially widows, destitute women and children, with sensitivity. They are a step in the direction of providing easy access to legal services wherever anyone has been wronged, or there is a denial of services, according to the policy note.

“Completely free services will be provided at these clinics. There has been a great demand from the districts for such clinics, especially since the first five clinics were able to redress the grievances of people who were infected with HIV and could not afford legal services,” S. Vijayakumar, Project Director, TANSACS, said. Mostly, cases concerning property disputes, alimony and inter-familial disputes come up at the clinics.

So far, the five clinics already set up in Namakkal, Dindigul, Madurai, Cuddalore and Tirunelveli districts have received a total of 1,913 non-legal and 432 legal petitions. Of these, 270 legal petitions and 1,011 non-legal cases have been settled, according to official figures. A substantial percentage of the clients at the legal aid were women. In several instances, disputes have been settled at the mere instance of the counsellor, even before taking the legal route, according to officials.

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 6:22:22 PM |

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