Mr. Justice Sanjay highlighted 70% of the under trials are from the socially vulnerable section

Shillong, March 18: The National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) today organised the East-Zone Regional Conference on the theme “Enhancing Access to Justice” at Taj Vivanta Hotel, Shillong.

The inaugural session was graced by Mr. Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Judge, Supreme Court of India & Executive Chairman, NALSA in the presence of Mr. Justice Sanjiv Khanna, Judge, Supreme Court of India as the Special Guest.

Mr. Justice Sanjib Banerjee, Chief Justice, High Court of Meghalaya & Patron-In-Chief, MSLSA, Mr. Justice H.S. Thangkhiew, Judge, High Court of Meghalaya & Executive Chairman, MSLSA and Mr. Justice W. Diengdoh, Judge, High Court of Meghalaya & Chairman, HCLSC.

In his inaugural address as the Chief Guest, Mr. Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul said that the approach to legal services authority should have a long term perspective since it is not a task which can be achieved in a day or a year, hence continuity is necessary.

The main objective that led to the creation of the Legal Services Authority Act was to provide a sense of relief and equality in terms of legal assistance to the large underprivileged sections of the society, he added.

Mr. Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul highlighted some of the data and figures relating to cases faced by the underprivileged sections, 70% of the under trials are from the socially vulnerable section, 89% were found to be illiterate, 41% had not completed their secondary education and 72% of the under trials belong to socially vulnerable categories and other backward classes.

This shows that the impoverished and marginalized groups often faced the brunt of the arbitrary address, detention and custodian violence and procedural protections built into the law are often violated, he said.

Mr. Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul further stated that such conferences should not only be confined to a particular state rather it should be held in other places as well in order to gain different views and ideas and knowledge sharing which can be beneficial in addressing the various concerns and issues that plagued the society.

The Chief Guest along with other dignitaries released the Newsletter of the Meghalaya State Legal Services Authority titled “New Light” issue VII.

The inaugural session was followed by a technical session wherein the State Legal Services Authorities of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura, West Bengal and UT Andaman and Nicobar gave a presentation on “Identification of issues / challenges and sharing best practices”.

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