Chief Justice of India, Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar on Saturday expressed appreciation for the “super divine duty” of para legal volunteers towards many poor, helpless, and deprived people who are the “main clients of the Indian judicial system”. He however noted that “there is still the vast undone (work) in relation to sheer number of poor and helpless, the deprived and utterly dependent, for the constitutional promise of a life of dignity and equal opportunity”. Describing the most vulnerable section of society waiting for this constitutional promise as “main client of the India justice system”, he said: “It is the para legal volunteers who enables the ordinary but helpless Indian to take the benefits of the legal system for alleviating his suffering and injustice.”
“These are the people who need justice and these are the people who have no access to justice,” he said in his inaugural address at two day National Para Legal Volunteers meet organised by the National Legal Service Authority. “You (para legal volunteers) are the few in this vast country who are destined to do this super divine duty,” he said.
In his address, Union Law and Justice Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that Indian democracy has now matured and in last 70 years, the common man now knows “who he is and what are his rights.” Pointing out that common man knows that he can change government through his vote, he said that so long they are not able to deliver justice, the pillars of democracy will not be strengthened.
Supreme Court Justice Dipak Misra said that the man at the tail end must know that he was not alone and the National Legal Service Authority and its para legal volunteers were there to help him in accessing justice. Describing 2017 as the ‘Year of Excellence for Access to Justice through Para Legal Volunteers’, he said that the volunteers will have to identify socio-legal issues and make people aware of their rights including right of every child to free and compulsory education.