Supreme Court judge Justice Dipak Misra today inaugurated the Legal Assistance Establishment here to provide free legal aid and services to the weaker and marginalised sections of society. Inaugurating the facility, called “Nyay Sampark” under the Gujarat State Legal Services Authority, Justice Misra said the LAE is a “social service” which seeks to ensure that the poor and marginalised people get justice.
The establishment will help the poor people avail legal assistance through advocates on its panel who can also know about the status of pending cases in courts across the state. “When you have courage, ethics and spirituality, you get impelled to do things which you call social service. Legal Assistance Establishment is a social service. The whole purpose is to ensure that the poor and marginalised people get justice,” Justice Misra said at the function held at the Gujarat High Court.
You may also like to watch:
The LAE provides facilities like a toll-free helpline number for those seeking legal aid, a video conferencing facility to connect undertrials in jails to lawyers, a team of volunteers to help people seeking legal aid. Through the establishment, people can also know about the aid being provided by the Central and state legal services authorities.
Speaking on the occasion, Gujarat high court chief justice R Subhash Reddy said the initiatives taken by the Legal Services Authority such as Lok Adalat have helped reduce pendency of cases.
“Our major problem is pendency of cases. I am of the strong view that this is the only piece of legislation (Legal Services Authorities Act) which we can make use to reduce pendency,” he said. While holding that this service is yet to be used to its optimal level, Reddy underlined a need to make people in rural areas aware about Lok Adalat.
“Many rural people do not know about Lok Adalat. They always think about courts because of the credibility of the institution, without knowing that cases in courts are growing leaps and bounds. Cases being filed in a court is a big problem as they will go on for many years,” Justice Reddy said.
State Law and Justice minister Pradipsinh Jadeja said the government is committed towards making justice accessible to all.
“This is not charity but the responsibility of the welfare state,” he said.
Listing various measures initiated by his government to ensure speedy justice, the minister said his government has increased the fees of lawyers on the Legal Assistance Establishment panel by 250 per cent and has set up courts in seven districts in the last one year.
“Our government is committed to set up courts in 14 out of 249 talukas in the state,” he added.