New Delhi: The Government is trying to make every citizen get justice and efforts are on to ensure that road to justice is available at the doorstep. Union Minister for Law and Justice and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad said this here today while launching mobile application and dashboard and Nyaya Bandhu mobile application. He said the policy of this Government is to ensure empowerment of common man by popularizing technology to a level that it becomes an instrument of change.
He said with this purpose Government has directed that CSC is permitted to extend its services for tele-law throughout the country. He said a pilot project in this regard has proved useful and more than 50,000 affected people have already availed this service in the States of UP, Bihar and J&K.
He said to encourage social service among law fraternity, the collegium should consider introducing a provision for getting preference in appointment as a judge if the advocate has substantive credit of providing pro-bono service.
Benefit from towards fulfilling the Constitutional commitment under Article 39A for providing Access to Justice to all and aiming to realize the government mandate of Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas and Sabka Nyaya, Department of Justice (DoJ) has successfully endeavored to spearhead its two key programmes namely Tele –Law: Mainstreaming Legal Aid through Common Service Centers and Nyaya Bandhu (Pro Bono Legal Services), through leveraging with different technology-based channels to boost legal advice and aid in the country.
Harnessing the advancements in technological interventions, DoJ is innovating with solutions and identifying platforms to provide legal advice and aid, that is not only accessible but also responsive to the needs of different segments of the population. Making headway with this vision, in order to promote the expansion and penetration of Tele-Law online legal advice and consultation in the far-flung and remote corners in the entire country, a mobile application has been developed for Para Legal Volunteers (PLVs). This mobile application will enable the PLVs to perform on-field pre-registration of cases with a facility to seek appointment from the Panel lawyer on preferred date and time, in coordination with Village Level Entrepreneur (VLE) at the CSC. The application will benefit 73,000 PLVs of National Legal Service Authority and State Legal Services Authorities (SLSA) in the country who will be associated under Tele-Law service.
This mobile application is integrated with a Dashboard created to confirm and register the pre-registered cases, to enable online interface between the beneficiary and the panel lawyer stationed at SLSAs through video conferencing and telephone facility available at each CSC and to measure the progress of advice enabled to the beneficiary, to all its key stakeholders that include Department of Justice (DoJ), CSC- e-Governance Services India Limited (CSC e-Gov), National Legal Service Authority (NALSA)in a decentralized manner.
Till January 2019, it has resulted in enabling legal advice to 49,192 beneficiaries that include 36,526 (Women), 7049 (SC) and 13970 (ST) in 11 states namely Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and all North-Eastern states and the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
Moreover, lack of availability and affordability of quality legal representation erodes the very edifice of providing justice to all and questions the effectiveness of the justice delivery mechanism. On the one hand, there is the significant number of lawyers who would be interested to volunteer their time and money in providing their services as a pro bono, but may not be able to perform due to a lack of a common platform to serve the unserved. So far, 391 lawyers have registered to provide pro bono services and 341 cases have been registered on the already available online web service for this purpose. Thus to accelerate and facilitate the practising advocates to register and connect with the registered eligible beneficiaries Nyaya Bandhu ( Pro Bono Legal Service) mobile application is developed to solidify the pro bono culture in the country
To increase opportunities and benefits under these programmes, DoJ in collaboration with DAVP is carrying out extensive outreach and publicity campaign. In about identified 937 locations that include spaces near the district courts, bus shelters, auto hood wraps, public convenience etc., and in 730 retail outlets of Oil marketing companies, information about the above two programmes has been displayed through Hoardings. In addition to the above, Posters and Flyers are displayed and distributed to reach and educate the masses in the gram panchayat of 1800 CSCs in 11 States (Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and all North-Eastern states and the State of Jammu and Kashmir).