The lockdown period saw an increase in cases of violence within the family and instances of child abuse, Supreme Court judge, Justice N V Ramana, said on Thursday.
Justice Ramana, who is also executive chairman of National Legal Services Authority and is second most senior judge of the apex court, said the pandemic has also “affected rights of women, children and senior citizen”, and that this calls for a persistent and target-oriented action plan.
Justice Ramana said these in his keynote speech while releasing a ‘Handbook of Formats: Ensuring Effective Legal Services’, prepared in collaboration with the NGO Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative.
Speaking at the webinar, he said, “Pursuant to the lockdown, thousands of people have lost their lives and livelihood, large-scale migration has taken place. The lockdown has itself created psychological issues and violence within the family. Women have been burdened with more work; children have been unable to go to schools. Adding to that, working of home has also had its impact on family life.”
“One of the critical areas which has come to our notice”, he said, “was rising violence within the family itself…we also saw increasing rise in the number of instances of child abuse.”
Justice Ramana said that acknowledging the urgency of the situation, “we have established One Stop Centres”, and that “persistent efforts have been taken to provide legal assistance through teleservices of female panel lawyers in every district”. In other matters, he said, petitions have been filed under Domestic Violence Act.
Another focus area for legal services authorities, he pointed out, is to ensure reduction of overcrowding in prisons.