Ganderbal: The Department of Law, School of Legal Studies (SLS), Central University of Kashmir (CUK), in collaboration with School of Law, University of Kashmir (KU), Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law (RGNUL), Patiala, and Damodaram Sanjivayya National Law University (DSNLU), Visakhapatnam, organized a national webinar on “Pro Bono Publico: Justice Within Reach Through Legal Aid” at Tulmulla Campus here on Thursday
In his welcome address, Dean SLS, Prof. Farooq Ahmad Mir, talked about Public Trust Doctrine and some landmark judgments regarding free legal aid. He highlighted the Constitutional and Statutory provisions relating to free legal aid in India, discussed special Legislation, implementation mechanism relating to free legal and emphasis criteria for giving legal services under section 12 of the Legal Services Authorities Act.
Speaking on the occasion, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Farooq Ahmad Shah talked about legal aid and how we can help needy people for getting free legal aid. He said Justice cannot be achieved unless and until all have equal opportunity for access to justice. Prof. Farooq Shah asked the Department to conduct more such programmes to educate the students about the role of legal aid clinics in providing the much-needed legal aid to the impoverished class of the society.
Registrar, Prof. M Afzal Zargar, highlighted various issues related to free legal aid, and observed that the concept of legal aid is enshrined in the Constitution, but the benefit secured has been micro in nature. He said that 58 per cent of the population living below the poverty line is yet to be covered and the major challenge is that we have to reach to the unreachable and for that we need to conduct legal awareness programmes in far flung areas.
The programme was followed by presentations by speakers from different corners of India. Prof. Dayananda Murthy, Director Academics, NLU, focused on “Legal Aid to the victims of mass disaster and industrial disaster.” Prof. Shruti Bedi, UILS, Punjab University, focused on constitutional perspective shedding light on the contributions of Justice Krishna Iyer and Justice P.N Bhagwati. She said “let this constitutional right become a reality with colors.” Dr. Dinesh Kumar, Associate Professor, DoLs PU, gave a presentation on Lok Adalats, and ground reality and how cases are dealt therein. Dr. Shabir Ali, Principal, V.M. Salgaocar College of Law, highlighted various provisions of legal services and discussed the grass-root level issues particularly about Goa. Dr. Sophy Jopseph, Associate Professor, NLU, New Delhi accentuated the exploitative factors in the labour sector whereby she discussed the concept of vulnerable workers in labour and its related statistics. Prof. Beauty Bandey, Head and Dean School of Law, University of Kashmir proposed the vote of thanks. Asst Prof. Dr. Mudasir Bhat, conducted the programme proceedings.
The webinar was attended by faculty members, scholars, and students of SLS CUK, School of Law, KU, and RGNUL, and DSNLU in online mode.