Legal services institutions must reach as many beneficiaries as possible: President Ram Nath Kovind

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As a country, our goal is to move from “women’s development” to “women-led development,” President Ram Nath Kovind said on Saturday, while stressing the need to increase the number of women in institutions. legal services.

Speaking at the launch of the National Legal Services Authority’s (NALSA) six-week “Pan Indian Legal Awareness and Awareness Campaign”, Kovind said the Legal Services Authority should make special efforts to help marginalized sections of society.

Authority awareness programs are organized as part of “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav” to commemorate 75 years of independence.

Kovind said there were about 11,000 female lawyers among the more than 47,000 district-level panel lawyers and about 17,000 female paralegal volunteers out of a total of nearly 44,000.

The president said he was told that NALSA was making efforts to be more inclusive in engaging paralegal advocates and volunteers.

“As a country, our goal is to move from ‘women’s development’ to ‘women-led development’. Therefore, increasing the number of women in national legal service institutions is as important as reaching as many female beneficiaries as possible, ”Kovind said.

Kovind said India’s freedom struggle was led by many great advocates who also strived to make society more progressive. They envisioned a society based on justice, freedom, equality and fraternity.

“These fundamental principles have been enshrined in our Constitution. Since independence, we have made substantial progress in achieving our constitutional goals, but much work remains to be done to reach the destinations identified by our founding fathers,” a- he declared.

In Gandhi’s footsteps

Kovind said Mahatma Gandhi is a symbol of service to humanity, including services to help the oppressed achieve justice, and completed NALSA for launching this awareness campaign on Gandhi Jayanti.

He said that over 125 years ago Gandhi gave some examples that are relevant to the whole legal fraternity even today.

“In his first major case in South Africa, Gandhiji suggested that the parties seek an amicable compromise. The parties agreed to an arbitrator who heard the case and ruled in favor of Gandhiji’s client. This resulted in a heavy financial burden for the other party. Gandhi convinced his own client to allow the losing party to make installment payments over a very long period of time. Therefore, both parties felt relieved by this settlement. Before settlement, the cost of litigation was prejudicial to both parties. This experience reinforced Gandhiji’s view that amicable settlements were better than litigation, ”the president said.

Speaking of Gandhi, he said Bapu followed this approach throughout his two-decade legal practice, before devoting himself full-time to the pursuit of political, social and spiritual goals. Gandhiji had a thriving legal practice with good income as a lawyer in South Africa. But he did a lot of pro bono work to help the poor, the president said.

Pro bono essential services

Kovind said Gandhi did a lot of pro bono work to help the poor, and indentured workers in South Africa admired him for taking their case to the authorities and to the courts that he helped at no cost. He said seasoned lawyers should devote some time to pro bono services to people in the weakest sections.

He said that after Gandhi returned to India in 1915 and saw rich lawyers winning at the expense of poor litigants. He wrote that “the best legal talent must be available to the poorest at reasonable rates.” The president said that Bapu’s advice should be followed by the legal fraternity, especially the senior attorneys appointed to the Supreme Court and high courts. These defenders should devote some part of their time to providing pro bono service to people in weaker sections, he said.

Union Justice Minister Kiren Rijiju said NALSA has played an exemplary role in bringing justice within reach.

“NALSA and the state judiciary have developed a robust system of local legal aid delivery and empowerment that every individual can be proud of. NALSA has played an exemplary role in delivering system justice by creating legal awareness, ”he said. He said the government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has focused on access to justice and also on the ease of life which is access to business. .

Chief Justice NV Ramana said that since May of this year, the Collegium has recommended more than 106 judges and 9 chief judges to various High Courts. “The government authorized some and the Minister of Justice informed me that the rest will arrive in a day or two. I thank the central government for having lifted these vacancies and for having quick access to justice, ”said CJI. CJI said that for a healthy democracy, a vibrant justice system is essential.

Speaking on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, CJI said that Covid-19 has created many problems in many institutions, including the justice system where thousands of cases have accumulated in different forums, brought to light. apart from the large vacancies and the non-functioning of the courts and the lack of virtual resources. conference facilities in rural areas.


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