The National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) observed Legal Services Day in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh today. iOS Mobile App was also launched on the occasion. Shri Justice N.V.Ramana, Chief Justice of India & Patron-in-Chief, NALSA was the Chief Guest for the function. Union Minister of Law & Justice Shri Kiren Rijiju and Shri Justice Uday Umesh Lalit were the guests of honour for the function. Shri Justice Rajesh Bindal, Chief Justice, Allahabad High Court and Shri Justice M.N.Bhandari, Executive Chairman, UP State Legal Services Authority and other dignitaries including Judges, Supreme Court of India, Judicial Officers, etc. shall also be gracing the said occasion.
Shri Justice Uday Umesh Lalit lauded the students of Maharishi University who launched a skit on the occasion on the importance of Legal Aid Awareness. He stressed the importance of the wide dissemination through various modes of communication in making people aware of people’s constitutional right to get free legal aid. He wished to eradicate the lack of knowledge on this right so that more people will come forward to avail of the right. He stressed the importance of the law students engaging in the legal aid events to eradicate the ignorance about constitutional rights of the citizens.
Addressing the gathering, Shri Kiren Rijiju commended the legal services authorities on their initiatives and measures taken for spreading legal awareness in each part of the country. He said judges are busy with their work on hearing the cases and so services of NALSA are required to spread the legal awareness to the citizens. He expressed happiness in seeing Lok Adalat being conducted and serving justice on time. He said this brings justice to the doorsteps of the people. He said more focus should be given to the lower judiciary. He said the bridge between access to justice and the common man has to be bridged. He said a strong judiciary is required for democracy to be robust.
He emphasized on bringing all the Law Colleges & Universities in upgrading their standards. He said the Government is looking at alternative redressal mechanisms and other such avenues for the career of law students. He recalled the Prime Minister’s promise of making India a global hub of arbitration. He argued for bringing a simple and small law so that the common man can understand the law easily.
The Minister mentioned Article 8 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948 that provides that “Everyone has the right or an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted by the constitution or by law.”
He noted that Article 39 A of the Constitution of India spells out the paradigm for ensuring justice to all. He said the Constitutional vision of “Equal Justice and Free Legal Aid” is imperative for a nation whose millions of people are living in abject poverty. He said having fundamental rights doesn’t make a country great. People should be aware of the fundamental duties and oblige them. He said a common man can live a dignified life, if he is given proper legal aid.
Shri Justice NV Ramana lauded NALSA for spreading legal awareness and upholding justice for the poor and the needy. He quoted Swami Vivekananda’s mantra “Arise, awake and stop not till the goal is reached” and said that the skit performed a while ago was reflective of this mantra. He commended the law students for making the legal services day a grand success. He expressed happiness for observing legal services day on such a grand scale.
He recalled the legal services movement during the period of freedom struggle. He said earlier the service of legal aid was confined to the courtroom and now it has expanded to legal awareness, legal literacy, social action litigation, alternative dispute resolution mechanism, etc.
He said on this occasion a new building for the mediation centre was inaugurated in the supreme court premise. He urged the law students to be the voice of those who have none and be alert about the social problems and act to solve it. He lauded the law students for disseminating legal awareness among the people. He commended the launch of the multi-language portal of NALSA thereby extending the reach of the NALSA. He commended the work of NALSA in spreading legal awareness among the people.
Hon Chief Justice of India Justice N V Ramana inaugurated a four day short film festival on the Legal aid awareness which is being organised under the aegis of the Chhattisgarh State Legal Services Authority. Over 300 entries have been received for the festival on Crimes on women and children, drug awareness etc.
Prizes were also distributed to the winners of the Moot Court Competition and elocution competition among students of Law Colleges.