Under the visionary guidance of Hon’ble Mr. Justice Pankaj Mithal, Chief Justice High Court of J&K and Patron-in-Chief, Ladakh Legal Services Authority and dynamic leadership of Hon’ble Mr. Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur, Executive Chairman, Ladakh Legal Services Authority, the UT of Ladakh Legal Services Authority held series of activities in district Leh today in observance of Weeklong Services Outreach Programme ‘Enabling to Serve’.
An Online training programme for Panel lawyers and PLVs was organized by Ladakh Legal Services Authority in collaboration with DLSA Leh on the topic “Role of Panel Lawyers and PLVs in helping Access to Justice” at Leh. The Online training programme was presided over by Hon’ble Mr Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur, Executive Chairman, Ladakh Legal Services Authority in the presence of Mr. M.K. Sharma, Member Secretary, Ladakh Legal Services Authority, Mr. Deepak Sethi, Principal District & Sessions Judge & Chairman DLSA Leh, Mr. Mohd. Rafiq Chak, Principal District & Sessions Judge & Chairman DLSA Kargil, Ms. Spalzes Angmo, CJM Leh, Ms. Swati Gupta, Sub Judge, State Judicial Academy, Ms. Phuntsog Angmo, Secretary DLSA Leh, Mr. Chemit Yurgyal, Chairman TLSC Khaltsi, other judicial officers from District Leh & Kargil, Mr. Mohd Shafi, President Bar Association Leh, Panel Lawyers and PLVs.
In his inaugural address, Hon’ble Mr Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur highlighted the importance of ‘Access to Justice’ which is in line with the constitutional mandate. He advised the Legal Services Authorities at the District and Tehsil Level to render effective legal services and aid to ensure that the rights of the people particularly from the marginalized and vulnerable sections are protected. He termed the Para Legal Volunteers as the real warriors of the cause on ground and reminded them of their responsibility to understand the plight of people in far flung and inaccessible areas and make them aware about their entitlements. He also underscored the importance of panel lawyers in the entire scheme and encouraged them to put in their best efforts and seek guidance from senior colleagues whenever they require. He stressed upon adopting a target oriented approach by the DLSAs and TLSCs and directed them to submit monthly performance reports which shall be shared inter–se DLSAs and TLSCs for adoption and emulation of successful practices and strategies. He also impressed that for the purpose of creating awareness about various welfare schemes and corresponding entitlements, a board should be placed in front of every Panchayat Ghar showcasing these schemes and benefits along with helpline numbers for information and assistance. He underlined that the legal services authorities should strive to reach the deepest and remotest corner and for this purpose a data bank should be prepared and maintained by the respective DLSA or TLSC in a scientific manner with the assistance of social welfare department and rural development department. The officers were impressed to encourage settlement of disputes through Lok Adalats and for this purpose substantive cases should be identified for being taken up and for settlement.
Mr. M.K. Sharma, Member Secretary, Ladakh LSA in his address defined an institution as the sum total of individual achievement of its members thus making it obligatory for the institution to ensure peak performance by its members. He further highlighted that the weeklong legal services outreach programme in the UT of Ladakh and the training programme is an effort to transform the Ladakh Legal Services Authority into an efficient, result oriented and one of the best performing legal services authority of the country. He expressed hope that the training programme will help the participants to acquire new skills, sharpen existing one and increase productivity.
The welcome address was given by Mr. Deepak Sethi, Principal District & Sessions Judge & Chairman DLSA Leh whereas vote of thanks was given by Mr. Mohd Shafi, President Bar Association, Leh. The proceedings of the programme were moderated by Ms. Phuntsog Angmo, Secretary DLSA Leh.
In the working session, Resource person Ms. Swati Gupta, Sub Judge sensitized the participants about the importance of Access to Justice as being an essential ingredient of justice delivery system. She apprised the participants about the constitutional mandate, statutory provisions and judicial pronouncements on the concept of ‘access to justice’. She also apprised the participants about the objective behind access to justice and importance of legal assistance particularly at the pre arrest, arrest and remand stages of criminal justice system. She also emphasized the role of panel lawyers and their duties in granting legal aid and assistance at all stages of the criminal procedure. She advised the panel lawyers to adopt and embrace technology at ease whenever required by them for the furtherance of the cause. She also dealt briefly with the topics of victim compensation scheme, ODR mechanism, awareness and empowerment to ensure that opportunity for access to justice is not lost to anyone. Mr. Chemit Yurgyal dealt with the communication skills as a mandatory aspect for the day to day working of PLVs at the time of personal interaction and community dealings so as to reach out to maximum number of people and convey them the existence of their rights, schemes floated by the administration and their entitlement. He also encouraged the Para Legal Volunteers to shed inhibition and do their field work without hesitation. He also encouraged them to assist and support the efforts of the administrative departments and try to bridge the gap between the department and the common man.
Later in the day, Justice D.S. Thakur also inspected the site for Ladakh Legal Services Authority office. He was accompanied by Mr. M. K Sharma, Member Secretary Ladakh Legal Services Authority.