Lack of timely legal help to poor affects credibility: CJI

Lack of timely legal help to poor affects credibility: CJI

Lack of timely help to the poor and illiterate has put a “severe strain” on the rule of law and credibility of the legal system, Chief Justice J S Khehar has said.

Inaugurating the two-day programme organised by National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) on Saturday, Khehar said the work taken up by Para Legal Volunteers (PLV) is more sacred than the duties performed by the judges.

The PLVs have enabled ordinary and helpless people to avail benefits of the legal system to alleviate their sufferings and injustices, the chief justice added.  “In the absence of timely help to most Indians, the credibility of the legal system and the rule of law comes under severe strain,” he said, stressing that the poor and illiterate Indian were the main clients of the justice system.

He said the volunteers carried out a “super divine duty” by serving the poor, which is more than the “divine duty discharged by the judges.”

For a villager, the last-mile connectivity under the PLV scheme was not the lawyers but the PLVs working under competent legal authorities who impart them the awareness of law and legal system, Khehar added.
When the disputes prove beyond the abilities of the volunteers to resolve, since they have only the basic training in law, they approach the nearest legal services authority such as Lok Adalat, mediation or more formal legal remedy.

Also speaking on the occasion, Law and Justice Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad stressed on the importance of using technology to provide access and administration of justice. “with the changing times, we have to change our technology. Technology is a very important tool in the administration of justice,” Prasad said.

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