Legal awareness is a weapon in the hands of citizen provided he knows its power, Supreme Court Judge Justice Dipak Misra said on Saturday while announcing a conference of NALSA for senior citizens to make them aware of the legal benefits available to them. Justice Misra, who is also the Executive Chairman of the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA), said the authority is also planning to “structurally institutionalise” legal assistance system. “Senior citizens are entitled to many benefits from government schemes. But they don’t know. Legal awareness is a weapon in the hands of citizen provided he must know its power,” he said.
“The Haryana State Legal Services Authority with the consent of NALSA is organising a conference in Faridabad on April 15 to make aware the senior citizens of the benefits available to them from the government,” Justice Misra said. Justice Misra, who is the second senior most judge in the Supreme Court, said for the purpose of institutionalisation of legal assistance, an administrative set-up named ‘Legal Assistance Establishment’ will be formed in four metro cities of the country in coming months.
Elaborating on the new set-up, he said, “Legal Assistance Establishments are establishments for the purpose of institutionalisation of legal assistance having an infrastructure where you can identify and go. It will be an administrative set-up at four metros of the country namely Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Mumbai functioning at the SALSA buildings and managed by experts in giving and collecting information to the litigants and addressing their grievances. The establishment is comparable to the public defender office of the USA,” he said.
He said that National Lok Adalat which was held on February 11 had settled nine lakh cases out of which six lakhs were pending cases and the rest were pre-litigation cases. The executive chairman of NALSA also said that a conference for the para-legal volunteers will be organised on April 29 and 30 in New Delhi.
“The conference will be attended by seven para-legal volunteers from each state and training will be given to them to assist the society in listening grievances of the litigants and to guide them,” Justice Misra said.