Legal aid implies giving free legal services to the poor and needy who cannot afford the services of a lawyer for the conduct of a case or a legal proceeding in any court, tribunal or before any authority and to effectuate this DME has created a Legal Aid Cell. The purpose of this cell is to provide justice irrespective of social or economic incapacity.
The 39A of the Constitution of India provides for equal justice and free legal aid:
“The State shall secure that the operation of the legal system promotes justice, on a basis of equal opportunity, and shall, in particular, provide free legal aid, by suitable legislation or schemes or in any other way, to ensure that opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizen by reason of economic or other disabilities.” This Article emphasizes that free legal service is an inalienable element of ‘reasonable, fair and just’ procedure, for without it a person suffering from economic or other disabilities would be deprived of the opportunity for securing justice.
In the civil side, Order XXXIII. R.18 of the Code of Civil Procedure 1908 provided that the state and central governments may make supplementary provisions as it thinks fit for providing free legal services to those who have been permitted to sue as an indigent person. The Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 made drastic changes in the field of legal services. It is an Act to constitute legal services authorities to provide free and competent legal services to the weaker sections of the society to ensure that opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizen by reason of economic or other disabilities, and to organize Lok Adalats to secure that the operation of the legal system promotes justice on a basis of equal opportunity
The legal aid cell at DME conducts number of activities such as:
- Spread legal awareness
- Expand consumer awareness
- Discuss cyber awareness
- Promulgate legal knowledge
- Set-Up Legal Aid Camps
- Provide Legal Advice free of cost
Apart from the above-mentioned activities the Legal Aid Cell at DME has several ambitious projects in the pipeline to supplement Juvenile Justice Mechanism.
Legal Aid and Its Growing Importance in Pandemic Times
Legal Aid committee of DME Law School on 7th sep, 2020 at 4.30 pm organised the webinar on the topic “Legal Aid and Its Growing Importance in Pandemic Times” on collaboration with LEX LOCUM CONSULATANTS LLP , New Delhi.
It focused on furnishing free legal aid to people in peculiar conditions and to support the weaker section like women, older persons & migrant workers in the pandemic. It also took into consideration the importance of awareness regarding the need for free legal assistance to the poor & weaker section of the society. The webinar was graced by Adv. Rajesh Gogna and Advocate Yogesh Singhal who were the keynote speakers. Mr Rajesh Gogna is a partner at Lex Locum consultant LLP, a practising lawyer and has experience of more than 30 years in the field of law. Advocate Yogesh Singhal, an associate at Lex Locum consultant LLPis presently Addl. Central Government standing counsel (CAT) Madhya Pradesh.
Mr Yogesh began the session by analysing the historical background of legal aid in India and the need to promote timely justice in the times of Pandemic. He also ascertained the significance of legal aid in Hussainara Khatoon case in which the decision was pronounced by Justice P.N. Bhagwati. In addition to this, he shed light upon parole to prisoners during the recent crisis and virtual Lok Adalat to resolve the ever-rising domestic violence cases. Mr Yogesh concluded by quoting BR Ambedkar: “ law and order are the medicine of the politic body and when the politic body gets sick, medicine must be administered.”
Mr Rajesh Gogna demonstrated the significance to support the older persons so that they could remain safe and protected in this health crisis and to promote the social distancing among the prisoners in the overcrowded prisons. He also illustrated international policy brief by the United Nation Secretary-General regarding the suggestion to main social distancing. As the migrant workers are in prevailing crisis, he stressed upon providing regular salary and wages to employees. He also added how the Justice system has failed virtually because there is no access to virtual hearing due to lack of technical know-how.
After both the speakers concluded, the conference was followed by questions by attendees which were about the role of lawyers to provide legal aid and the concern of legal service authority regarding the right of prisoners and the effect on legal aid services amid COVID 19 pandemic.
The programme came to an end by a vote of thanks being delivered by Mr Yasser Wali, student co-convener where he expressed his gratitude towards guest speakers and rest of the DME legal Aid society who participated, directly and indirectly, to make this webinar possible.
The whole online event was conducted under the guidance of Director, DME (Prof. Ravi Kant Swami), Dean Law School (Prof. N.K. Bahl), Head of Academics (Prof. Bhavish Gupta), Mr Kush Kalra, the faculty Convener of the Legal Aid Committee of DME Law School and faculty members of Legal Aid committee and Mr Ankit Mishra, student convener.
ASSISTANCE PROVIDED TO STRANDED PASSENGERS DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”. – Mahatma Gandhi
Legal Aid Society of DME law school took up an initiative of helping the stranded labours in Delhi NCR. Nationwide lockdown had its effect on every sector of the economy, but the worst effected were the labourers. These labourers came to Delhi NCR from different parts of India, there problems were severe because they were fighting the pandemic as well as poverty. Home Ministry advised the state governments to make certain arrangements for safe passage of labours that are stuck in different states that’s when we stepped in and tried to assist the labours to fill out forms or work out an arrangement with the administration to make their travel uninterrupted. There were different arrangements for different states hence it was a challenge for us to enrol the subjects accordingly and the immense crowd made things even harder, but with perseverance we eventually made out a way which was systematic, with a word of caution with the concerned faculties we proceeded with the work. We all enthusiastically took up this work under the instructions of Mukesh Kalwani sir and Kush Kalra sir.
MECHANISM OF WORK
Due the Covid 19 situation it was difficult to go out and help the needy, our team worked from their respective homes with several Ngo’s who gave us the data of the stranded person in different parts of Delhi NCR, we divided the contacts amongst ourselves and got started with the assistance the priority was to fill out the forms that were offered for the special “Shramik special” trains that were started to help them, if that arrangement was unavailable we directed them to bus stands in Ghaziabad from where inter districts busses were available for the state of UP.The following are the details of migrants shared by the team member with the assistance provided to them from their end.
INDIVIDUAL WORK DONE BY VOLUNTEERS
DHRUV GUPTA AND AASHI SHARMA (STUDENTS OF BA.LLB, 4TH YEAR, SECTION B)
I am honoured to be part of the legal Aid team of our college, my duty was to work on the ground and provide the inputs of the stranded person to the team. I teamed up with my NGO and provided food and water to the stranded. We took their contacts and forwarded them to the group to divide the job amongst them. I also circulated the contact details of Ankit Mishra amongst the others who were managing the division of work in different teammates.
SIMRAN KHANNA (STUDENT OF BBA.LLB, 4TH YEAR, SECTION B)
It was an honor for me to work with the legal aid society and be a part of a noble cause. My work included guiding the team on how to start working with the initiative. I provided with basic outline of the working system of UP government to the team also I suggested the team to contact their house helps, drivers etc so that they may get some lead . I informed the team members about almost 20 workers that were in need of assistance and the team contacted them and helped them.
I went to Delhi Ghaziabad border to contact the authorities and informed them about the working of our team members so that they can work easily at the border without any hindrance.
PRATEEK JAIN (STUDENT OF BA.LLB, 4TH YEAR, SECTION C)
On 24th May 2020, I have contacted Arun Kumar. According to the details furnished by him, he and his father was stranded at GhazipurMandi and wanted to reach his home in Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh. As soon as I received the information and on the basis of details furnished by him, I have filled the form as provided by the Government of Delhi for placing stranded migrants back to their hometown through railway route. After the form is filled, the confirmation for the same is received on behalf of the government of Delhi and I conveyed this message to Arun Kumar.
On 25th May 2020, Arun Kumar contacted me and told that his railway booking is confirmed to Azamgarh for 26.05.2020 and he have to reach the station by 8:00 am for the screening at Kautilya Government Sarvodaya Bal Vidyalya, Chirag Enclave, Greater Kailash, New Delhi. He also sent me the confirmation message he received on behalf of the Delhi government.
YASSER WALI (STUDENT OF BA.LLB, 4TH YEAR, SECTION C)
A family of 5 migrants was about to run out of food supplies. I got the above information on the night of 20th May 2020 after this I started working on it and called on the phone number mentioned above to help them, a lady picked up the phone her age was 25 pursuing M.A her father runs a shop on rent which was closed because of the lockdown so there was problem in the family for food supplies. Rest I assured them that I along with the other members of the legal aid committee will help them and will take them out of this situation.
Name– Keturam, Contact no- 7082275118
I got the information that around 14 people along with Keturam are standing at AnandVihar bus terminal, they were not having any idea from where to take the bus for their village to Sitapur, UP. They were been given wrong information that no bus is going from the terminal and to leave the place. I, with the help virtual assistance coordinated with the people there to look out if there is a bus which will go to their designated destination and it turned out to be a success as they found the bus which was going to Sitapur,UP. Keturam called me again and gave me the information that with your assistance we found the bus to our village and we are thankful, I also told them maintain social distancing from each other as they were in a large group of 25 people.
Noor Akhtar, Imran
I, along with one of my group member worked on this and we got a call in night that migrant labours were being brought to government camp near MayurVihar phase-2 , East Delhi from Anand Vihar Bus Terminal with the on duty DTC buses. They were tensed about the situation that why they were being brought here and they were having no idea. They were 200 people being brought to the camp as furnished by the labour Noor Akhtar they wanted to go to their home. Some of them were from Sitapur and some were from Faizabad.
Next morning I visited the place personally to look for the situation, I had a talk with the civil defence staff there appointed I introduced myself to them with my post in the legal aid committee and they told me that yes there are people who were brought from the bus terminal last night no need to worry they will be send to their homes from train and they will depart from here by afternoon towards the railway station. We contacted the people who called us and told the whole conversation. Thereafter by afternoon they contacted us and said they are being taken to the railway station and from there they will be sitting in the train namely Shramik Express which was a special train inaugurated by the government of India for our migrant labours to reach their destination home.
ANKIT MISHRA (STUDENT OF BA.LLB, 4TH YEAR, SECTION C)
As the student convenor of this cell, I had the huge responsibility of allotment of task to the members and their follow ups, my call lists were flooded with unknown mobile numbers of people who needed assistance. I personally worked with Yasser in the east Vinod Nagar camp, we went together and personally talked with the officials to know the whereabouts of the stranded. We made a list of the 200 workers with their contacts. Some were of UP and others belonged to Bihar. I personally have talked to every number that was provided and according to the locality of the member we allotted him the task. As the members of this cell are from diverse areas of Delhi NCR we were both physically and mentally prepared to give the required assistance to the stranded.
The only challenge during this whole journey was to gather up the contact details of needy, as nobody wanted to risk their well-being for this noble cause but with the support of NGO’s of Mr. Dhruv Gupta and Ms. Simran Khanna, we were able to furnish that information. The whole exercise was conceptualised by Mukesh sir and duly coordinated and supervised by Kush sir.
But even with the inspiration of others, it’s understandable that we sometimes think the world’s problems are so big that we can do little to help. On our own, we cannot end wars or wipe out injustice, but the cumulative impact of thousands of small acts of goodness can be bigger than we imagine.
Indian migrant workers during the COVID-19 pandemic have faced multiple hardships. With factories and workplaces shut down due to the lockdown imposed in the country, millions of migrant workers had to deal with the loss of income, food shortages and uncertainty about their future. Following this, many of them and their families went hungry. Thousands of them then began walking back home, with no means of transport due to the lockdown.
With this belief and doing something on my end I decided to help migrant worker to reach there home by filling their forms which is generated by the government.
Legal Aid Before Lockdown
LEGAL AID AW ARENESS PROGRAMME: RIGHT TO LEGAL AID FOR THE UNDERPRIVILIGED
DME Legal Aid Society organized a Legal Aid Awareness Programme with a theme “Right to Legal Aid for the Underprivileged” for 4th and 5th year students of DME Law School on Monday, 14th October 2019 at 1 p.m at Nelson Mandela Auditorium of the college in order to spread legal awareness amongst all.
The distinguished speakers for the event were:
- Mrs. Minakshi Sinha, Secretary, DLSA Noida
- Senior Advocate, Mr. Shikhar Thakral
- Director, Dr. Ravi Kant Swami.
- Dean, DME Law School, Dr. N.K. Bahl.
- Head, Academics, DME Law School, Dr. Bhavish Gupta.
COMMENCMENT OF THE PROGRAMME – The event commenced with the dignitaries arriving at DME Campus where they were welcomed at the main door with the ceremonial application of Tilak and Flowers. After which the dignitaries were escorted to the Director General, Justice Bhanwar Singh’s office for a short while where the list of Para-Legal volunteers amongst the students of DME Law school was approved by Secretary, DLSA, Mrs Minakshi Sinha. She was gifted a book by the Honorable DG sir as a token of affection.
After that the dignitaries were escorted to the Nelson Mandela Auditorium.The programme started at the auditorium with the lighting of the lamp and Saraswati Vandana and the guests were asked to grace the dais. Ms. SreeDurga (Faculty, DME Law School) was then called upon the podium to address the gathering with opening remarks.
OPENING REMARKS OF THE EVENT BY MS. SreeDurga (Faculty, DME Law School) – She welcomed the guests and the audience present at the auditorium and started by saying that free legal aid has been made an intrinsic fiber of the Fundamental Rights of our Constitution. She introduced the Theme of the Event, which was- “Right to Legal Aid for Underprivilieged”
She continued by saying that it is a Fundamental Right of all citizens to be provided with free legal aid. As a duty bound institution of this country, DME strives to extend its help in creating legal awareness amongst people so that they are able to realize their rights in a judicious and efficacious manner. In pursuance of this objective, DME Law School has inaugurated Legal Aid Clinic at DME as a functional unit in association with District Legal Service Authority NOIDA on 4th November, 2018. She also mentioned that The Legal Aid Centre of Delhi Metropolitan Education had organized a Legal Aid Camp in the village of Hoshiarpur, Sector 51, NOIDA, Gautam Buddha Nagar District on 4th November, 2018 in collaboration with the District Legal Service Authority where the event was graced by Mr. P.K. Srivastava, the then District Judge, Gautam Buddha Nagar as the Chief Guest. He was accompanied by Ms. Neelu Mainwal, the Secretary, District Legal Services Authority NOIDA and Mr. Rakesh Singh Chauhan, the District Information Officer. She then went on to thank the dignitaries for investing their time in theLegal Aid Awareness Programme initiated by DME Law School.
INTRODUCTION OF GUEST AND THE THEME OF THE PROGRAMME – Ms. Megha (Student, DME Law School) was called upon the podium to introduce the hon’ble guest and theme for the day’s programme. She started by introducing the esteemed guests and went on to say that Legal aid in a free legal assistance to the poor and weaker sections of the society with the object to enable them to exercise the rights given to them by law. The Constitution of India gives much emphasis on constitutionalism and the rule of law. In India the rule of law is regarded as a part of the basic structure of the Constitution and also of natural justice. The rule of natural justice says that individuals should not be penalised by decisions affecting their rights or legitimate expectations unless they have been given prior notice of the cases against them, a fair opportunity to answer them, and the opportunity to present their own cases. The preamble of the Constitution secures to its citizen, social, economic and political justice.
Article 14 of the Constitution makes it clear that the State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India. The aim of Article 14 is to ensure equal justice. The guarantee of equal justice is meaningless if the poor or illiterate or weak persons cannot enforce their rights because of their poverty or illiteracy or weakness therefore a separate legislation, The Legal Services Authority Act, 1987 has been enacted to constitute the Legal Service Authorities to provide free and competent legal services to the weaker sections of the society to ensure that opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizen by reason of economic or other disabilities and to organise Lok Adalats to secure that the operation of the legal system promotes justice. The Legal Services Authorities Act establishes statutory legal services authorities at the National, State and District level. In the end she thanked the dignitaries for investing their time and then invited Director Mr. Ravikant Swami upon the stage to felicitate Mrs. Minakshi Sinha the Hon’ble Chief Guest of the event.
FELICITATION OF HON’BLE CHIEF GUEST BY DIRECTOR MR. RAVIKANT SWAMI – Director Mr. Ravikant Swami was delighted to felicitate the Hon’ble Chief Guest Mrs. Minakshi Sinha and extended his warm welcome by presenting a momento and a tusli plant. He spoke for a brief while wherein, he highlighted the importance of Legal Aid services and appreciated the role of the college management and the legal aid society to imbibe the vision to carry forward the actual goal of providing legal aid to the needy and underprivileged.
WORDS OF WISDOM BY PROFESSOR DR. N.K BAHL, DIRECTOR JUDICIAL TRAINING ACADEMY – The event went forward and Prof. N.K Bahl, Director, Judicial Training Academy and Dean, DME Law School was then invited upon the podium to present his views upon free legal aid. He urged everyone not to consider Legal Aid as a charity. He said that being a responsible citizen of this country it is our duty to provide help and assistance to those who don’t have deep pockets to pay hefty amount. In pursuance of this objective DME Law School has inaugurated Legal Aid Clinic at DME as a functional unit in association with District Legal Service Authority NOIDA on 4th November, 2018. He stressed that justice, be it political, economic and social was a virtue promised by our Constitution and that everyone was entitled to achieve it.
SENIOR ADVOCATE MR. SHIKHAR THAKRAL – Mr. Shikhar Thakral was next in line to grace the podium. He urged the students to understand the practicalities of the legal profession. He emphasized that litigation should always remain the last recourse to any dispute. One should try to resolve the disputes amongst each other and as amicably as possible rather than initiating the process of litigation at the first instance, because litigation and all its forms are a long drawn, time consuming and tedious process. He stressed on minimizing litigations by keeping court as the last option of dispute settlement. He quoted Abraham Lincoln and said that in a case, those who win are actually those who lose, pointing out to the loss of good relations between the parties and the long years of litigation.
HON’BLE CHIEF GUEST Mrs. MINAKSHI SINHA (SECRETARY, DLSA NOIDA) – Last but not the least was our Hon’ble chief guest Mrs. Minakshi Sinha. She was invited upon the podium to give her insights on need for free Legal Aid. She provided the audience the much-needed basic information about – What is Legal Aid, Why Legal Aid and Who all are entitled to Free Legal Aid. Special Emphasis was given to Section. 12 of Legal Service Authorities Act, 1987 so as to enable students to understand who all are entitled for free Legal Aid.
CERTIFICATE DISTRIBUTION BY THE CHIEF GUEST – DME Legal Aid Society was overwhelmed with success of 1-day Legal Aid Camp organized at Village of Hoshiarpur, therefore the society decided to distribute Certificate of appreciation to all the participants and Faculties for their enthusiasm and support. The certificate of appreciation was distributed by the Chief Guest.
And with this Legal Aid Awareness Programme came to a successful end.
Inauguration of Legal Aid Clinic at DME and Legal Aid Camp at Hoshiyarpur Village, Gautam Buddha Nagar, November 4th, 2018
Free legal aid has been made an intrinsic fiber of the Fundamental Rights of our Constitution. It is a Fundamental Right of all citizens to be provided with free legal aid. As a duty bound institute of this country, DME strives to extend its help in creating legal awareness amongst people so that they are able to realize their rights in a judicious and efficacious manner. In pursuance of this objective a Legal Aid Clinic was inaugurated in the premise of DME as a functional unit in association with the District Legal Services Authority NOIDA on 4th November, 2018.
The Legal Aid Centre of Delhi Metropolitan Education had organized a Legal Aid Camp in the village of Hoshiyarpur, Sector 51, NOIDA, Gautam Buddha Nagar District on 4th November, 2018 in collaboration with the District Legal Service Authority. The event was graced by Mr. P.K. Shrivastava, District Judge, Gautam Buddha Nagar as the Chief Guest. He was accompanied by Ms. Neelu Nainwal, the Secretary, District Legal Services Authority NOIDA and Mr. Rakesh Singh Chauhan, the District Information Officer.
The event commenced with the dignitaries arriving at DME and inaugurating the newly constituted Legal Aid Clinic in the DME campus. The venue was then shifted to Hoshiyarpur Village, Sector 51 NOIDA where the Legal Aid Clinic was officiated by our esteemed dignitaries. The Legal Aid Centre of DME also organized a one day camp to solicit the people of Hoshiyarpur village with knowledge about law on various pressing issues such as filing of an FIR, domestic violence, property matters, matters relating to the interests of children, consumer rights etc. so that they are better equipped and informed about the protection of laws that exists for them.
The programme started with the lighting of the lamp and invocation of Goddess Saraswati and the guests were asked to grace the dais. Mr. P.N. Parashar, the Head of the Legal Aid Committee of DME was then invited to address the gathering and pave out the outline of the ensuing programme. He stated that as a responsible citizen every member of DME Law School was committed towards providing any kind of aid and assistance in the matters of law and attainment of justice. He stressed that justice, be it political, economical and social was a virtue promised by our Constitution and that everyone was entitled to achieve it. He then went on to thank the dignitaries for investing their time in this social enterprise initiated by DME.
Prof. N.K. Behl, the Director, Judicial Training Academy was then invited upon the podium to present his views on the concept of free legal aid. He stated that the idea of legal aid works on the collaboration and consensus between the parties. He stated that government policies need efficacious application on the ground level and DME is trying to help in the implementation of those policies.
Ms. Neelu Nainwal, Secretary District Legal Services authority was then called upon to give her insights on the need for free legal aid. She provided the audience the much needed basic information about provisions of free legal aid and the rights available to the people by virtue of article 21 and article 39A of the Constitution. She explained the mechanisms enlisted in the Legal Service Authority Act. She explained the hierarchical level of the legal services authorities in India, ie. the National Legal Services Authority, the State Legal Services Authortiy, District Legal Services Authority and Tehsil Legal Services Authority. She gave a holistic view about the statutory backing of legal aid.
Mr. Rakesh Singh Chauhan was next in line to grace the podium and he averred on the necessity of free legal aid in a democratic welfare society.
After various insightful comments by the esteemed guests, it was the turn of DME team to throw light upon the issue of free legal aid and its necessity in making people more conscious about their rights.
Dr. Bhavish Gupta stressed upon the importance of legal awareness in people as it is one of the major components in the all round growth and development of the society.
Next, Saurav Kumar, a student of DME Law school gave a presentation on the evils of human trafficking and the rights of the victims involved in it.
A Nukkad Natak was then staged by the students of DME under the guidance and direction of Ms. Navjot Suri, Assistant Professor of Law. The play brought the issue of domestic violence into a sharp relief highlighting the problems faced by women and men alike in abusive domestic relationships and environment.
Ujjwal Sharma, another student from DME informed the audience about the issue of exploitation of women and women rights, whereas Keshav Nagi initiated a discussion on rights of children such as right to education and right against child labour.
Mr. Pramod Kumar, an advocate working with the District Legal Services Authority NOIDA explained to the audience the duties that entail along with various rights.
Finally, the Chief Guest of the event, Mr. P.K. Shrivastav was ushered on the podium to express his valuable opinions. He urged the students to understand the practicalities of the legal profession and that the educational institutes through activities like the present legal aid camp should provide the law students ample opportunities to interact with the people and understand their idea of law, rights and their applicability. He commented that in the present course of education system, the law students are quite ignorant of the ground realities of the court and the people and through free legal aid the students can get a firsthand experience of dealing with the cross sectioning of law and society.
Mr. P.K. Shrivastav then addressed the audience stating that litigation should always remain the last recourse to any dispute. He averred that one should try to resolve the disputes amongst each other and as amicably as possible rather than initiating the process of litigation at the first instance, because litigation and all its forms are a long drawn, time consuming and tedious process. He stressed on minimizing litigations by keeping court as the last option of dispute settlement. He quoted Abraham Lincoln and said that in a case, those who win are actually those who lose, pointing out to the loss of good relations between the parties and the long years of litigation.
With this the one-day camp at Hoshiyarpur Village came to a successful end.
CYBER TRAINING OF POLICE OFFICERS IN DISTRICT GAUTAM BUDDHA NAGAR MAY 2019