Hon’ble Dr. Justice Dhananjaya Y. Chandrachud, the Chief Justice of India delivered the inaugural address of the 19th All India Legal Services Authorities' Meet at Srinagar, today.Hon’ble Lieutenant Governor of J&K, Shri Manoj Sinha; Hon’ble Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh, Brig. (Dr.) B.D. Mishra (Retd.); Hon’ble Union MoS for Law and Justice, Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal and Hon’ble Judges of Supreme Court also graced the occasion and addressed the meet.
The Chief Justice of India congratulated the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) and J&K Legal Services Authority for organizing the meet and bringing together the wealth of learning and experience of Indian Judiciary.
“This significant meet in the perspective of the Indian Judiciary is the reflection of mainstreaming of J&K and Ladakh in the discourse of development in India,” the CJI said.Our Constitution seeks to create social order based on the ideals of Liberty, Equality and Social Justice.
The Indian Constitution recognized the fundamental rights of every individual regardless of their social and economic status, he observed.The CJI expressed gratitude to NALSA, all the office bearers, members of Legal Services Authorities, lawyers, para-legal volunteers for striving to make the constitutional goal of social justice a reality.
Addressing the meet, the Lieutenant Governor of J&K, Shri Manoj Sinha lauded the efforts of Legal Services Authorities to achieve the Constitutional goal under Article 39 (A) to provide free legal aid to weaker sections of society and also ensuring welfare of people and upholding justice and social equity.
State Legal Services Authorities have also ensured the legal system promotes justice on the basis of equal opportunity through Lok Adalat, public outreach and mediation, he added.He also appreciated the efforts to strengthen the Legal Aid movement and generating legal literacy among the people, especially in far flung and rural areas of J&K.
Given the lack of awareness in far flung areas, the people are being made aware about their rights, which have empowered the rural poor, he said.The Lt Governor termed the Legal Services Authorities Act 1987 as a revolutionary step in the judicial system of India, which ensures that no citizen of the country is deprived of justice.
“The spirit of equal justice is rooted in our ancient culture and it is the solemn duty of all of us to strengthen the system which does not discriminate among the citizens and protects them from inequality and injustice,” the Lt Governor said.
The Lt Governor shared the major reforms introduced, under the guidance of Hon'ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi Ji, to ensure social-economic equality and access to justice to all the citizens of Jammu Kashmir.
“In J&K, for almost seven decades, Article 370 prevented central legislations from benefiting a large section of society. It had also denied benefits of legitimate citizenship to a sizeable section of society. Abrogation of Article 370 ensured social equity and inclusive development,” the Lt Governor said.
He said the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A brought historic reforms and a new era in J&K. Today, the UT is offering limitless possibilities to the people, especially to those from the weaker section of the society, who were deprived of the benefits of the laws enacted by the Parliament, he added.
Within four years J&K is synonymous with peace, progress, prosperity and the world has seen our capability, our socio-economic growth during the last month's G20 meeting. Projects are being implemented with unprecedented speed and we have taken infrastructure development to a new height, the Lt Governor observed.
The Lt Governor highlighted the efforts to strengthen the judicial infrastructure and also threw light on the progressive administrative and land reforms implemented in the past few years.“Obsolete land rules were scrapped and land passbooks were issued in three languages to empower farmers and landowners.
Transparent and accountable governance has ensured that development benefits all sections and areas victims of unbalanced progress were brought into developmental mainstream,” he added.Brig.(Dr.)B.D.Mishra (Retd.), Lt Governor of Ladakh, commended the National Legal Services Authority for its efforts in ensuring access to Justice to the weak, poor and marginalized.
Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal, Union MoS for Law and Justice, Parliamentary Affairs, said the All India Legal Services Authorities' Meet at Srinagar will prove to be a milestone in the future journey of National Legal Services Authority.He highlighted the steps taken to overhaul the functioning of Indian Justice Delivery System and further laid emphasis on strengthening the Legal Aid Defense Counsel System.
Hon’ble Mr. Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Judge, Supreme Court of India; Hon’ble Mr. Justice Sanjiv Khanna, Judge, Supreme Court of India; Hon’ble Mr. Justice N. Kotiswar Singh, Chief Justice, High Court of J&K and Ladakh and Hon’ble Mr. Justice Tashi Rabstan, Judge High Court of J&K and Ladakh presented a detailed insight on Legal Aid Movement in India and the working of the Legal Services Authorities across the country.
A manual for District Legal Services Authorities functioning across the country was also released on the occasion. Hon’ble Judges of Supreme Court of India; Hon’ble Chief Justices and Judges of the High Courts from across the country; members of Judiciary, legal experts, senior officials of Police and Civil administration attended the inaugural session.