Supreme Court judge Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul has said that indiscriminate arrest, restrictive bail regime and delays in investigation all result in the large proportion of socio-economic vulnerable under trials in India.
Addressing the East-Zone Regional Conference on the theme “Enhancing Access to Justice” organised by the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) in Shillong today, Kaul said that 70 per cent of the under trials are from the socially vulnerable section, 29 per cent were found to be illiterate, 41per cent had not completed their secondary education and 72per cent of the under trials belong to socially vulnerable categories and other backward classes.
“Impoverished and marginalized groups often face the brunt of the arbitrary address, detention and custodial violence while procedural protection built into the law through the medical practitioners and magistrates are often violated, he said.
Pointing out that the main objective 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 stressed that the approach to legal services authority should have a long term perspective with continuity.
He 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.
Supreme Court judge Justice Sanjiv Khanna, Meghalaya High Court Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee, Justice H.S. Thangkhiew, Justice Wanlura Diengdoh were also present on the occasion.
A newsletter of the Meghalaya State Legal Services Authority titled “New Light” issue VII was also released on the occasion.
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 & Nicobar gave a presentation on “Identification of issues / challenges and sharing best practices”.
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