TODAY -

'Handbook of Formats: Ensuring Effective Legal Services' released
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, June 12 2020: Justice NV Ramana, executive chairman, National Legal Services Authority (NALSA), on June 4 last, released 'Handbook of Formats: Ensuring Effective Legal Services' at a webinar in the presence of Executive Chairpersons of State Legal Services Authorities, chairpersons of High Court Legal Services Committees and member secretaries of all State Legal Services Authorities, chairpersons and secretaries of District Legal Services Authorities.

In the keynote address of the online release programme, Justice Ramana highlighted the effects of lockdown, psychological issues and violence relating to it.

He said that the Legal Services Authorities have done tremendous activities during the prevailing pandemic through the latest technology.

"One of the critical areas which have come to our notice during the lockdown was rising violence within the family itself.

During such times, when the victims cannot reach us, it is imperative for us to reach them.

Acknowledging the urgency of the situation we have established One Stop Centres (OSCs)," he said.

He also maintained that persistent efforts have been taken to provide legal assistance, through teleservices of female Panel Lawyers in every district.

"To effectuate the various NALSA schemes and frameworks, it is equally imperative that legal aid providers can document and report their interventions," he said while adding that the handbook will be the first crucial step towards standardizing and bringing in uniformity in the use of formats.

"It will also be an effective tool for the management of human resources and in future will prove as a small but significant step in realizing justice for all," he continued.

"It is also being ensured that Toll-free National Legal Helpline 15100 remains fully functional so that no person in need of justice is denied the same," he said while adding that Legal Services Authorities have organised hundreds of webinars across various states and are utilising cost-effective tools such as social media, community radio stations, local cable television channels and other digital platforms to increase outreach.

The online release programme included a welcome address by Ashok Kumar Jain, Member secretary, NALSA.

Alok Agarwal, former member secretary, NALSA and Sunil Chauhan, director, NALSA were also present on the occasion.

"The Handbook, prepared in collaboration with the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), consists of two sections.

The first section contains formats for legal aid providers i.e, panel lawyers, retainer lawyers, remand lawyers, jail visiting lawyers and lawyers attached to police stations and for community and convict paralegal volunteers.

The second section includes formats for Legal Services Institutions including registers for the Front Office, attendance registers, clinics and for the Monitoring and Mentoring Committees.

This handbook contains formats that will enhance data collection, enabling NALSA to analyse trends and patterns emanating from data, and identification of issues at the micro-level, " Madhurima Dhanuka, Prog Head, Prison Reforms at CHRI said.


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