A robust, effective and democratised legal system is necessary to ensure every citizen an equal access to justice, Chief Justice of India Justice HL Dattu has said.
“However, it is of equal importance that the legal system itself be democratised, which would ensure that every citizen of our country has equal access to the legal system — equally swift, equally effective and equally impartial,” the CJI said in his written message on Legal Services Day today.
Justice Dattu, the Patron-in-Chief of National Legal Services Authority (NALSA), also said that though great strides have been made in breaking down age-old barriers since Independence, there is much that still needs to be done as many sections of society continue to be vulnerable to abuse.
“Ours is a society of great diversity and complexity. While great strides have been made in breaking down age-old barriers in the years since our Independence, there is much that still needs to be done.
“Many sections of our society continue to be vulnerable to abuse and exploitation in various forms. It is essential that these vulnerable sections be provided equal and effective access to justice,” he said.
The CJI, while highlighting articles in the Constitution which provide for justice on the basis of equal opportunities and suitable legislation, listed seven schemes being launched by NALSA, saying the authority has been working for quite sometime to ensure equal and effective access to justice at doorstep of people who are vulnerable to abuse.
“Keeping the constitutional objective in mind, NALSA has been working for quite some time to ensure that not only marginalised sections of society but also those vulnerable to abuse and exploitation in various forms are provided equal and effective access to justice at their doorstep,” he said.
“It is with this objective in mind and in order to bridge the gap between the declared rights and intended beneficiaries through a nationwide network of panel lawyers and para legal volunteers, NALSA is launching seven schemes…
“Victims of the Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation Scheme 2015, Legal Services to the Workers in the Unorganised Sector Scheme 2015, Child Friendly Legal Services, Legal Services to the Mentally Ill, Effective Implementation of Poverty Alleviation Scheme 2015, Protection and Enforcement of Tribal Rights Scheme 2015, and Legal Services to the Victims of Drug Abuse and also holding workshop on actualisation,” Justice Dattu said.