“The Legal Services Authorities Act and The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, were drafted in 1987 and 2000 respectively but some of us (members of the judiciary), even today after so many years, are not familiar with the various provisions of the Acts. It is not a reflection on any body particular as such, its just that we did not get an opportunity to deal with these enactments in detail to educate ourselves. Its a problem which I have faced all over wherever I have gone. I have seen that in remote parts of the country people are still not aware of what are the provisions of the Acts, what are their benefits and especially if those who are to implement these provisions are not aware of them then what about those people who are the beneficiaries?,” averred Honble Mr. Justice Altamas Kabir, Judge- Supreme Court of India while inaugurating the training programme on “ Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 and Juvenile Justice System” organized by UP State Legal Services Authority under the aegis of National Legal Services Authority at Amity University, Sector-125, Noida.
Sharing his views and vast experience with the gathering, Honble Justice Altamas Kabir further said said that extensive programs of legal awareness have been regularly organized to make people aware of what is available to them and what needs to be implemented. He opined that its time that law fraternity realize the need to educate themselves in the nitty gritties of the two enactments. Dwelling on the lacuna hampering the smooth functioning of the Lok Adalats, Hon’ble Justice lamented the dearth of effective infrastructure to implement the provisions of the Acts and the reluctance of the people to come to Lok Adalats. At the same time, Hon’ble Justice revealed that the situation is not same all over the country. Therefore, in states which are densely populated like UP having so many districts, it is important to educate and familiarize people on the provisions of the Act.”
Expressing his views on “ Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987” during the inauguration of the training programme, Honble Mr. Justice Amitava Lala- Sr. Judge Allahabad High Court said, “the problems of “Noida” cannot be equated with the problems of “Son Bhadra” and problems of District Son Bhadra cannot be equated with the problems of the District of Lucknow. The aim of the Legal Services Authority is to render alternative judicial system, justice delivery is not restricted from the point of view of the Civil Custodial Court and Evidence Act. It depends upon fair play, it depends upon equity and when we think about equity then we think about morality, we think about the other natures of social justice which are required to be rendered through this process. It is not a dream, it was a dream at one point of time but by inclusion of Article 39 A and thereafter, promulgation of the Act and several amendments, we have come across a particular pavement from we shall be able to render justice.”
Welcoming the distinguished gathering, Dr. Ashok K Chauhan- Founder President, Amity Group said that its a historical day for Amity to host such a vast gathering of eminent members of judiciary. Dr. Chauhan remarked that the topics chosen for the training are very apt and relevant for making India a “Super power”. He averred that lawyers from no other country can supersede the intelligence of Indian lawyers. He shared five mantras for the budding lawyers to scale the pinnacle of success- “Creativity”, “Commitment”, “ Intuition”, “ Flexibility”, and “ Wisdom”. Dr. Chauhan, during the occasion, announced to start 3 Credit Course of “Legal Aid Services” for the law students of Amity University.
Sharing his views with the august gathering, Honble Mr. Justice Deepak Misra- Chief Justice, Delhi High Court said, “People who are associated with Lok Adalats or Juvenile Justice Systems must have concern, sincerity and commitment towards the litigants. They should ask themselves the fundamental questions- Do I really feel for the poor? Do I really have the commitment to argue the case of a marginalized person who cannot really afford? Students belonging to legal profession should restraint from condescending attitude, they should go to the villages, conduct studies, report and try to ameliorate the problems of the poor and marginalized sections of the society, acting as social activists”. He remarked that every case has a face to it therefore, he advised the judiciary to adopt humanitarian approach while dealing with people.
Mooting an important suggestion during the inauguration, Honble Mr. Justice Devendra Pratap Singh- Judge, Allahabad high Court said, “I have a rural background and nearly every month I visit my village, there are very small petty matters of the illiterate villagers for which they have to make rounds of the Tehseel very often. If the Authority can look into that I think it will render more human service to the litigants.”
Justice Syed Rafat Alam- Chief Justice, Allahabad High Court who could not make it to the occasion sent his message, which was read out by Honble Mr. Justice Devendra Pratap Singh. The message focusing on the Juvenile Justice read , “Rule 143 of the Central Juvenile Justice Model Rules 2007 specially mandates juvenile justice reports to ensure that juveniles in conflict of law receive free legal service and they can also deploy services of the students studying law for this purpose. The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2000 has brought major changes in dealing with young offenders. It is a matter of satisfaction that the Government has addressed this problem by making various legislations yet the laws made require to be enforced effectively especially those pertaining to child labor, elimination of beggary, continuing education to children, prevention of child abuse and trafficking etc.
During the occasion, a Permanent “Amity Legal Aid Center” was inaugurated at Amity Campus, Sector 125, Noida by Hon’ble Mr. Justice Altamas Kabir, Judge Supreme Court of India & Chairperson, National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) in the presence of all the eminent judges present during the occasion including Hon’ble Mr. Justice Deepak Misra- Chief Justice, Delhi High Court and Justice Dilip Gupta- Judge , Allahabad High Court and many more. The centre shall work on all working days from 3 pm to 5 pm and shall deal with cases referred to it by UP State Legal Services Authority as well as cases brought before it concerning all sections of society. The establishment of the Legal Aid Centre in an academic institution is a new concept hitherto unheard of. Dr. Chauhan announced the opening of one “ Legal Aid Clinic” in each of Amity University ie in Haryana, Rathasthan and Gwalior.
The inauguration was followed by the training sessions on “Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987” and the different schemes of The National Legal Services Authority (NALSA)”, “Lok Adalat under Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 and the National Legal Authorities (Lok Adalat) Regulations, 2009”and “Juvenile Justice System”
Eminent speakers for the sessions included Honble Mr. Justice Amar Saran- Judge, Allahabad High Court, Honble Mr. Justice Devendra Kr. Arora, Judge, Allahabad High Court, Lucknow Bench, Lucknow, Honble Mr. Justice Deepak Misra- Chief Justice, Delhi High Court Honble Mr. Justice Uma Nath Singh- Judge, Allahabad High Court Lucknow Bench, Lucknow, Honble Mr. Justice A. K Sikri-Judge, Delhi High Court Honble Mr. Justice Dilip Gupta- Judge, Allahabad High Court and other.
A documentary titled, “The Lost Childhood” was also screened during the training programme highlighting the various problems affecting the lives of the juveniles in our country.
The training programme was attended by over 250 Judicial Officers, 150 Lawyers and 1000 students from Amity Law Schools.