In an initiative to give effect to the policy and directions of the National Legal Service Authority (NLSA), a specialized legal aid clinic has been set up at the faculty of law.
Legal Aid is the provision of assistance to people otherwise unable to afford legal representation and access to the court system. It also works towards creating awareness among the people particularly illiterate and coming from remote and underdeveloped areas.
Necessary support for the regular maintenance of the clinic will be provided by the State Authority and District Legal Service Authority (DLSA) and monthly progress of the clinic will be monitored by the state authority.
Asha Menon, member-secretary, Delhi Legal Service Authority, who has contributed immensely to the legal aid activities at the Faculty of Law, inaugurated the Legal Aid Clinic on Friday, March 4, 2011, at the faculty of law.
Professor S.M. Rashid, pro-vice-chancellor presided over the event.
In order to comply with the provisions of the constitution which talks of ensuring equality of law, those who don’t know the basics of law should be brought on equal footing with the ones who are aware of it; legal aid clinics are set up to cater to the need of this ‘law starved sovereign’ of India.
As many of us already know, legal aid today is driven by what lawyers can offer, to meet this ‘legal need.’ We can say legal aid is supply driven and not demand driven. In order to meet this gap of demand and supply, steps are taken to inculcate into law students their obligation towards society, feeling of altruism and above all, the need of their profession.
Our constitution according to article 39(A) provides for equal justice and free legal aid to the economically backward classes and lawyers have a duty incumbent upon them to uphold this provision of the constitution.
Mr. Asad Malik, assistant professor at the faculty of law, says, quoting Justice Hewart of Britain, “Justice should not only be done, it should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done.”
Faculty of law is moving towards achieving this objective.
Asst. Professor Ghulam Yazdani, who teaches law and poverty at Faculty of Law said, “Our Faculty is hoping to work towards improved training in skills and ethics through this clinic with the combined efforts of law teachers and students.”
Students from the faculty also went through Para Legal training organized by National Legal Service Authority (NLSA) and Faculty of Law, supervised by Dr. Kahkashan Y. Danyal, assistant professor at the faculty of law. The trained students would be active participants at the legal aid clinic.
Zenia Mehta, one of the students who went through the para legal training, said: “It was a great experience, we got this prestigious opportunity to be a Para legal volunteers which only few of the law schools in the country provided to their students.”
This trend of setting up legal aid clinic at different prestigious law colleges and universities in India is growing with the development of legal education in the country.
Scenes From the Event