Law students like medical students, would henceforth be compelled to visit talukas to create legal awareness and deliver quality legal advice to the people, Supreme Court justice UU Lalit said on Saturday. While speaking to judges, attorneys, and legal service providers at a state-level conference on “Early Access to Justice at the Pre-Arrest, Arrest, and Remand Stage,” Justice Lalit urged the provision of quality legal aid services to unrepresented individuals.
He further stated that he has contacted the Bar Council of India about this matter. Justice Lalit emphasised the need of providing quality legal help and the inclusion of senior advocates in the program. According to him, the man should have the advantage or benefit of expert legal assistance at every conceivable stage, but no legal aid is supplied from NALSA and state legal services authority to district and taluka level; instead, these agencies operate as facilitators. The point, according to Justice Lalit, is legal aid, and free legal aid does not imply inadequate legal aid; rather, free legal aid must imply quality service.
“I’ve been asking them, to make it part of your curriculum at the LLB level, and I stated it just a few days ago, we have courses like medical, where once a person graduates, he gives it back to society by working as an internship in rural areas, correct! Why not consult a lawyer? Why is it that the service of rural areas is solely the privilege and preserve of medical professionals? “said Justice Lalit, who is also the executive head of the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA).
Justice Lalit, India’s second-highest ranking judge after the Chief Justice of India, stated, “As a result, when it comes to legal education, we should accept that as a guiding concept. This is what I have been advocating, what I have been emphasising, with Bar Council of India representatives, and they have agreed that from the third year onwards, they will be regularly sending students, every law college will adopt two or three talukas and send law students to those nearby talukas, so that as young students, as young professionals, they have first-hand experience…”
He stated that everybody apprehended within 24 hours must be brought before a magistrate and that every judicial officer must guarantee that everyone has access to justice as soon as possible. According to Justice Lalit, people lack trust in the legal aid system, which is especially problematic given that just 1% of persons receive legal help at the trial or post-remand stage.
“What does this imply? Are we, as judges, to be motivated by compassion and thereby free the man immediately? That is not the intention. We must consider what the merits of the particular matter need “He stated.