Supreme Court judge Justice Dipak Misra on Saturday inaugurated Gujarat’s Legal Assistance Establishment in Ahmedabad to provide free legal aid to the poor. Justice Misra, while inaugurating the centre named Nyay Sampark, said the purpose is to provide justice to the real poor that is due to them.
“This establishment, that would function under Gujarat State Legal Services Authority, is for social service.”
Earlier this month, Justice Misra also launched the first Legal Assistance Establishment in New Delhi. Such centres, which will be launched in other states as well, will help the poor avail legal assistance through advocates on their panel. Nyay Sampark will have facilities like a toll-free helpline number for seeking legal aid, videoconferencing to help undertrials in jails to speak to their lawyers, besides a team of volunteers to help people in need.
Gujarat High Court Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy, who was also present at the inauguration, said the initiatives taken by the establishment such as Lok Adalats had helped reduce the number of pending cases, a major problem at present. “There is a need to spread awareness, specially in rural areas, about this service for its optimal use,” he added.
State Law and Justice Minister Pradipsinh Jadeja said the government is committed towards making justice accessible to all, which is the responsibility of a welfare state. “The state government has increased the fees of lawyers on the Legal Assistance Establishment panel by 250 per cent and set up courts in seven districts in the last one year,” he said, adding the hike would attract good lawyers.