Have you lost some documents or valuable property while travelling in a train? Do you know how to lodge a report while still traveling ? What is the procedure for disposal of the case? When does a trial begin?
These are a few common questions of law that additional district and sessions judge Narinder Kumar tries to answer in his three-part series, Law for Common Man Series.
Kumar, the presiding officer at the labour court in Karkardooma, launched the series at the recently concluded New Delhi World Book Fair. The books aim to be a guide to common litigants about practices and procedures in criminal and civil matters.
Making the often obtuse legislative language more comprehensible, the books deal with a range of procedures such as “how and where to lodge a report” and explains matters like “production of documents”. The book also gives probable solutions to problems the litigant faces and tells them of the remedies available under the system.
“Legal literacy is very low among our litigants. The need of the hour is that our litigants be educated on the procedure of law so that the hurdles they face are minimised,” Kumar said. “More importantly, they should also understand the individual rights of citizens, the rights that are granted to them by the law of the land.”
On matters of civil litigation, the book deals with simple procedures on how to institute a civil suit, how the suit is heard and on aspects of withdrawal and compromise on civil matters. It also deals with civic matters that a common man faces on a daily basis. Such issues, generally related to agencies such as DDA, MCD and NDMC, are covered under the working of Lok Adalats.
On criminal matters, the books gives detailed procedures, especially on the rights of the accused, on aspects related to wrongful detention and on very unusual legal matters such as how to lodge a report while traveling in the train.
The book also delves into societal issues related to maintenance of parents and senior citizens, including matters on the question of welfare and on procedures related to interim maintenance and allowances. On criminal matters the book deals with consumer rights — food that is unsafe or injurious to health and “emergency steps in case of health risk conditions”.