Country Has Ability To Adopt- PM Modi Vouches For Use Of Technology In Justice Delivery System
Today Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Justice of India N. V. Ramana addressed the first All India District Legal Services Authorities Meet. Union Minister of Law and Justice Kiren Rijiju, Justice U. U. Lalit and Justice D. Y. Chandrachud along with other Judges of the Supreme Court also graced the event organised by the National Legal Services Authority.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the gathering and said that "In the Amrit Yatra of the country ease of justice is as important as ease of doing business or ease of living."
He also said, "There is no better time for use of technology in justice delivery than now, when there is a natural capacity of innovation and adaptation in the country. I am glad that the justice system of the country is progressing in this direction under the guidance of the Supreme Court. What we adopted as an option during the Covid Pandemic period has now become a part of the system. This is proof that our legal system is committed to the Indian jurisprudential values and at the same time is ready to match the realities of the 21st century."
He said, "For delivery of justice to the general public NALSA and District Legal Services Authorities will have to use the power of technology. Technology can play a big role for a common man to know his Fundamental Rights and Duties, to know his Constitution and to know the rules and remedies available to him."
Prime Minister Modi also shared concerns about the undertrial prisoners. He said, "There are many prisoners who are in prison waiting for legal aid, our District Legal Service Authorities can take up the responsibility of providing them with legal aid. Today we have with us District Judges from all corners of the country, it is my request to them that being the Chairman of District Level Undertrial Review Committee you should speed up the process of releasing undertrial prisoners."
He appreciated the efforts of NALSA in launching a campaign regarding the release of undertrial prisoners and requested the Bar Council of India to inspire advocates to join this campaign.
The Chief Justice of India N. V. Ramana in his address said, "Today, India stands as the 5th largest economy in terms of GDP, and 2nd most populous country in the world. In the 21st century, we are a force to be reckoned with."
He said that "Project democracy is about providing a space for participation of all. Participation will not be possible without social emancipation. Access to Justice is a tool for social emancipation."
He shared his views on District Judiciary stating, "The District Judiciary is the backbone of the justice delivery system in the world's largest democracy. The District Judicial officers are the first point of contact for much of the population. Public opinion about the judiciary is primarily based on their experiences with the district judiciary. This casts a great responsibility on your shoulders. You must undertake multifaceted tasks and roles. You are best placed to understand people's problems and social issues…..Strengthening the District Judiciary is the need of the hour. Without any doubt, the District Judiciary is the driving force behind the legal aid movement in India."
Chief Justice Ramana urged to enhance the pace of justice delivery with the use of modern technological tools.
Addressing the issues of undertrial prisoners he said, "I am happy to note that NALSA is actively collaborating with all stakeholders in securing much deserved relief for undertrials….We need sincere and dedicated jail visiting advocates. Jail visiting advocates can later become the legal aid authorized defense counsels. Such advocates must also be accessible to families of the prisoners, who are often unaware about their status. Similarly, counsel also must be aware about the conditions and needs of prisoners and must make appropriate and timely applications before the authorities."
He also spoke about the agenda of strengthening the ADR and Lok Adalats. He said, "ADR, through Lok Adalats, Gram Nyayalayas, mediation and arbitration centers, has the potential to transform the legal landscape of India by providing millions of people a platform to settle their grievances…..This will not only reduce pendency and backlog, but also will provide much needed speedy justice to affected parties."
The first-ever national level meet of District Legal Services Authorities (DLSAs) is being organised from 30-31 July 2022 at Vigyan Bhawan by National Legal Services Authority (NALSA). The meet will deliberate on creation of an integrated procedure in order to bring homogeneity and synchronisation across DLSAs.
There are a total 676 District Legal Services Authorities (DLSAs) in the country as per a press release from the PMO. They are headed by the District Judge who acts as Chairman of the authority. Through DLSAs and State Legal Services Authorities (SLSAs), various legal aid and awareness programmes are implemented by NALSA. The DLSAs also contribute towards reducing the burden on courts by regulating the Lok Adalats conducted by NALSA.
The Prime Minister and the CJI released a postal stamp to celebrate the contributions of NALSA. The stamp contains the logo of NALSA with the text "right to free legal aid".