Panchkula, 05 June 2020: Hon’ble Mr. Justice N.V. Ramana, Judge, Supreme Court of India and Executive Chairman, National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) released a ‘Handbook of Formats: Ensuring Effective Legal Services’ at a webinar in the presence of Executive Chairpersons of State Legal Services Authorities, Chairpersons of High Court Legal Services Committees and Member Secretaries of all State Legal Services Authorities, Chairpersons and Secretaries of District Legal Services Authorities.
This handbook was prepared in collaboration with the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) and is a first crucial step towards standardizing and bringing in uniformity in the use of formats. This handbook is an effective tool for management of human resources and in future will prove as a small but significant step in realizing justice for all.
In his key note address, Hon’ble Mr. Justice N.V. Ramana highlighted several issues and challenges being faced by the country due to pandemic of COVID-19. Pursuant to the lockdown, thousands of people have lost their lives and livelihood, large scale migration has taken place. His Lordship appreciated the work/activities undertaken by the Legal Services Authorities during the prevailing pandemic by adopting the latest technology.
His Lordship also stated that during lockdown, it has come to the notice that the cases of violence are rising within the family itself. In this situation, persistent efforts were taken to provide legal assistance to the victims, through tele-services of female Panel Lawyers in every district.
In pursuance of directions 23 march of Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, the State Legal Services Authorities have actively assisted High Powered Committees to identify and complete the necessary formalities for the release of prisoners, both under-trials and convicts, during the pandemic. Total 58,797 undertrial prisoners and 20,972 convicts on parole etc. have been released with the assistance of the Legal Services Institutions and legal representation has been provided to 9,558 persons at the remand stage. Legal aid and assistance have also been provided in 1,559 domestic violence cases to women; 16,391 convicts; 1,882 labourers; 310 tenants amongst others.
Legal Services Authorities have organized hundreds of webinars across various states and are utilising cost effective tools such as social media, community radio stations, local cable television channels and other digital platforms to increase outreach.
In Haryana, total 5,752 under-trials and 3,041 convicts were released since 24 march 2020.