'Legal aid aimed to provide free legal services to weaker sections'

District Principal and Sessions Judge, Abdul Rashid Malik, Srinagar, said that legal aid is aimed to provide free legal services to the weaker sections of the society to make justice accessible to all.

Speaking during an event organized by District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) Srinagar in collaboration with Amar Singh College, Malik who is also chairman of DLSA Srinagar, said the objective of legal aid is to offer free of charge, proficient and legal services to the people belonging to weaker sections of society.

He further said improving legal literacy by setting up legal literacy camps is part of DLSA.

“Free and competent legal services are being provided by DLSA Srinagar. The notion of free legal aid finds its roots in the idea that no individual should have to undergo trial in the absence of a proper legal assistance. All the people who come as underprivileged citizens must get free legal aid as their right. Every individual must have access to justice,” he said.

Advocate, Mir Naveed Gul, clinic lawyer of DLSA Srinagar cited various experiences as a lawyer and elaborated as how DLSA offers proficient legal services to the people of weaker sections of society.

He added that legal aid should be provided to the underprivileged sections of the society at their doorsteps.

“It is important to strengthen the role of Para-Legal volunteers in legal Services and also to set up legal aid in villages and towns. We also need to make collective effort for legal literacy amongst school and college students and setting up of legal literacy clubs and legal awareness camps,” advocate Gul stressed.

President J&K College Teachers Association Prof Tariq Ashai, who was invited for a special address on the occasion, said in the 20th century, legal aid developed together with progressive principles has often been supported by those members of the legal profession who felt that it was their responsibility to care for those on low income.

“Legal aid became driven by what lawyers could offer to meet the legal needs of those they have identified as poor, marginalized or discriminated against,” he said.

He stressed that students in different colleges must be imparted legal education through seminars and other relevant programmes.

“And then these students will use their knowledge to enhance the legal information of community in their respective localities. They will act as ambassadors of legal aid help,” he added.