ACHIEVEMENTS OF DELHI STATE LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITY
1. IMPLEMENTATION OF THE VARIOUS SCHEMES
I. Improving the Juvenile Justice System and protecting the rights of the children:-
- Delhi State Legal Services Authority has set up Legal Aid Centres at Juvenile Justice Boards in Delhi where committed & experienced advocates are deputed to provide free legal services to the Juveniles in conflict with law. Legal Aid Counsels are available throughout the day and also interact with Juveniles and their family members.
- At present 6 Legal Aid Counsels are working in Legal Aid Centres at Juvenile Justice Boards.
- DSLSA has also constituted a panel of lawyers who would visit observation homes and interact with children in conflict with law to find out the difficulties being faced by them and to apprise the legal aid counsels about the same.
- Delhi State Legal Services Authority has also deputed Legal Aid Counsels in all the Child Welfare Committees to safeguard the interest of children in need of care and protection.
- Secretaries of Delhi State Legal Services Authority regularly visit Observation Homes and Children Homes in order to ensure that children are provided all the basic necessities and they are not being harassed or exploited in any manner.
- Member Secretary, DSLSA regularly interacts with Principal Magistrates to sensitize them and to ensure that the cases of all the Juveniles are dealt with expeditiously and requisite sensitivity.
- Delhi State Legal Services Authority has also deputed counsellors who are retired Senior Judicial Officer’s of Delhi Higher Judicial Service to supervise the day to day work of Legal Aid Centres & to act as interface between the Juveniles, their families and Delhi State Legal Services Authority.
- Delhi State Legal Services Authority also organizes Orientation and Training Programme for Members of Juvenile Justice Boards, Child Welfare Committees and NGOs maintaining Observation and Children Homes & Special Juvenile Police Officers who are dealing with “Children in Need of Care and Protection” and “Children in Conflict with Law”. DSLSA has given training to 389 Juvenile Welfare Officers during the year 2012.
- On 25th February, 2012, DSLSA organized a workshop for Chairpersons and Members of all the CWCs in Delhi at Conference Hall, Tis Hazari Courts to enhance their efficiency and skills and in order to assist them in complying with the statutory provisions and the directions of the Courts. In this regard, a review meeting was also held on 5th May, 2012.
- Training programmes have also been organized for Juvenile Welfare Officers of all Police Districts from February, 2012 to September, 2012
- Delhi State Legal Services Authorities has got affixed Display Boards at prominent places at Juvenile Justice Boards and Observation Homes displaying the rights of Juveniles to seek free legal aid.
- Secretaries of District Legal Services Authority regularly visit Tihar Jail and Rohini Jail to ensure that no Juvenile is lodged there as major & is exposed to hardened criminals and denied right of trial before Juvenile Justice Board. Delhi State Legal Services Authority has strengthened legal aid set up at Juvenile Justice Boards and Child Welfare Committees. So far 1314 probable juvenile identified in the 10 jails. Out of these 128 inmates were found to be juvenile and sent to juvenile justice board for trial in accordance with law
Legal Literacy Classes For Children : –
- Delhi State Legal Services Authority is regularly conducting legal literacy classes in colleges and schools for students to educate them about POCSO Act, Child Labour, Trafficking, Fundamental Rights and Duties enshrined under the Constitution of India, their rights under the law and redressal mechanisms available to them. Delhi State Legal Services Authority endeavors to eliminate child labour in Delhi and ensure proper rehabilitation of such children. During the year 2012-2013 approximately 130 legal literacy classes were organized in colleges and schools.
- Delhi State Legal Services Authority is providing legal aid/counseling to rescued/found of missing children in Delhi and further co-ordinates with Delhi Police to identify if any organized gang is involved. Counselling of 3540 found missing children was conducted.
- Delhi State Legal Services Authority in collaboration with Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA), NGO has constituted “All India Legal Aid Cell on Child Rights”, whereby raids are organized to rescue the child labour with assistance of police, followed by recovery of salary as per Minimum Wages Act. As per the need, the rescued child labour is either restored to his parents or rehabilitated. From June, 2011 to March, 2013, counselling of 1307 rescued child labour was conducted.
- Delhi State Legal Services Authority has also organized Sensitization Programmes to make police personnel aware about their role and responsibilities in implementing judicial directions in the cases of missing children, rape victims and child labour. Para Legal Volunteers are also given special training on the rights of children and to report any abuse/violation of the rights so that remedial measures can be taken. During the year 2012-2013 DSLSA has organized 28 such programmes.
- The Member Secretary, DSLSA has been appointed Nodal Officer to ensure that the directions passed by the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi in WP (C) No.8889/2011 titled Court on its own Motion Vs. Deptt. of Women and Child Development are being complied with by various authorities such as Police, Jails, Hospitals, JJBs etc. As per directions it is ensured that juveniles are not lodged in regular jails alongwith adults and are dealt with only under Juvenile Justice Act, 2000.
- Display Boards have been affixed in every police station prominently, informing that persons below the age of 18 years are governed under the provisions of JJ Act and cannot be kept in police lock up and jails and are not to be taken to the Adult Criminal Courts. Such notice boards also contain the names and contact details of Juvenile Welfare Officers, Probation Officers and Legal Aid Lawyers of DSLSA.
- At the time of first production of an offender who is between 18 to 21 years of age as per the initial inquiry of the IO, the offender is produced along with a copy of the FIR and age memo before the Secretary of respective District Legal Services Authority, irrespective of whether the alleged offender is being represented by a legal aid lawyer or not.
- At the time of first production of offender before Court or JJB, the IO ensure that parents or relatives of such offender are duly informed about (1) date, (2) time and (3) particulars of the court of such production and a copy of such intimation shall be produced before the Court at the time of first production.
- All Government Hospitals have constituted Medical Boards to carry out age determination tests and are giving their report within 15 days of request being made in this regard.
II. Generating awareness & ensuring access to Legal Aid Services to Women:-
- Delhi State Legal Services Authority is regularly organizing Community Awareness Programmes to empower the women so that they can live and work with a sense of security and safety in their social and public life.
- DSLSA is generating awareness in the community on the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994 and Sexual Harassment at Workplace. During the year 2012-2013 approximately 140 programmes were organized.
- DSLSA has partnered with Mission Convergence and around 100 NGOs in its endeavour to organize Legal Literacy Classes for women belonging to all the stratas of society. Special training is given to Para Legal Volunteers on women’s rights who visit the community and empower the women about their rights and refer them to District Legal Services Authorities for redressal of their grievances.
- DSLSA has also prepared informative material on women’s rights which is distributed amongst the women besides exhibition of documentary film.
III. Enlisting and Training of Community-based Para Legal Volunteers (Legal Services Volunteers):-
- DSLSA has trained 370 Para Legal Volunteers. It has given Para Legal Training to students of Campus Law Centre, Law Centre-I, Chandra Prabhu Jain College of Higher Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia University, Kirori Mal College, Members of NGOs and Jail inmates. Para Legal Volunteers are given intensive training about the law relating to women, children, senior citizens, industrial workmen, construction workers, mentally and physically challenged persons.
- The services of PLVs are utilized in community awareness programmes, Legal Literacy Classes in Tihar and Rohini Jail and management of legal aid clinics. Para Legal Volunteers act as interface between legal aid beneficiaries and the Delhi State Legal Services Authority.
IV. Establishment of Legal Aid Clinics in the community and close monitoring of the Legal Aid Clinics:-
- Delhi State Legal Services Authority has entered into partnership with Mission Convergence (an initiative of Delhi Government) and is providing legal awareness at 104 Gender Resource Centres (GRCs) established by Government of NCT of Delhi in slum and J.J. Colonies in Delhi.
- Delhi State Legal Services Authority in association with Mission Convergence is generating awareness in the community about rights of women, children, senior citizens and labourers.
- DSLSA has deputed legal aid counsels at the Gender Resource Centres who visit them on scheduled days and give legal advice to the community members.
- Para Legal Volunteers also visit community under Summer and Winter Internship Programmes. Besides generating awareness in the community about the relevant laws, they also generate awareness about the existence and utility of legal aid services available at Gender Resource Centres in Delhi.
- Legal Aid Counsels at Gender Resource Centres makes sincere efforts to bring the parties to settlement particularly in family, neighbourhood and business disputes.
V. Setting up of Legal Aid Clinics in Jails:-
- Delhi State Legal Services Authority has set up Legal Aid Clinics in all the 10 Jails i.e. Nine at Tihar Jail Complex and One at Rohini Jail.
- In each Jail, 3-4 legal aid counsels have been deputed for providing free legal aid services to inmates from 3 PM to 7 PM on all working days.
- DSLSA has also set up a Legal Aid and Counseling Centre at Tihar jail to supervise the functioning of all the Legal Aid Centres in Jails.
- DSLSA has also trained 39 inmates serving long term sentences as Para Legal Volunteers and they are assisting the Legal Aid Centres established at Jails.
- DSLSA regularly conducts Legal Literacy Classes in Tihar Jail and Rohini Jail in order to educate prisoners about their rights and duties as well as availability of free legal aid services. Services of law students, Para Legal Volunteers and Legal Aid Lawyers are also taken to ascertain legal aid needs of jail inmates.
- Secretaries of District Legal Services Authorities regularly visit Tihar Jail and Rohini Jail and interact with jail inmates and popularize Plea bargaining in jails.
- DSLSA is coordinating between prisoners and District Courts in order to ensure that the persons who are lodged in jail for want of surety, despite passing of Bail Orders, are released on bail by moving an application for reduction of surety amount or release of accused on personal bond. The data of identified inmates whose bail orders were passed but who failed to furnish bail bonds, is as under:
- Year Inmates granted bail
- 2010 824
- 2011 708
- 2012 381
- 2013 till date 59
- A total number of 91,200 under trial prisons/convicts lodged in Jails received free legal aid and counseling between 2010-2013.
VI. Establishment of Legal Aid Clinics in Delhi University, Law Colleges and other Institutions:-
- DSLSA has set up Legal Aid Clinics at Law Centre-I, University of Delhi; Gandhi Bhawan, University of Delhi; National Commission for Minorities, Khan Market; Zakir Hussain College, Chhatra Marg. Process has also been initiated for setting up Legal Aid Clinics in Campus Law Centre, Vivekanand Institute of Professional Studies, Rohini & other colleges in Delhi. Legal Aid Clinics are manned by a Senior Professor, Legal Aid Counsels and a team of Para Legal Volunteers. Legal Aid Counsels render appropriate advice to the persons approaching the Clinics and maintain proper record of the cases. Legal Aid Clinics also refer appropriate cases to District Legal Services Authority for Legal Aid.
VII. Legal Literacy Classes in Schools and Colleges:-
- DSLSA is regularly conducting legal literacy classes in colleges and schools specially for girl students to educate them about POCSO Act, Child Labour, Trafficking, Fundamental Rights and Duties enshrined under the Constitution of India. Delhi State Legal Services Authority has brought out a book “Lessons in Law” for high school students containing requisite information regarding the Constitution of India, Hierarchy of Courts, Penal Laws, Fundamental Rights and Duties etc. During the year 2012-2013 approximately 130 legal literacy classes were organized in colleges and schools.
VIII. Setting-up of Legal Literacy Clubs: –
- DSLSA has set up 90 Legal Literacy Clubs in schools all over Delhi. The book published by Delhi State Legal Services Authority, “Lessons in Law”, gives basic information to the students about Fundamental Rights and Duties under the Constitution, Protection of Women and Children from Sexual Offences Act, Hierarchy of Civil and Criminal Courts in India, Traffic Rules and Regulations, Legal Aid Mechanism for under-privileged sections of society, Sexual Harassment at workplace etc.
- Delhi State Legal Services Authority is also regularly conducting Legal Literacy Classes in schools so as to empower the future citizens of the country with the basic laws of the country.
IX. Promoting the ideals of fundamental duties under Part-IV A of the Constitution:-
- DSLSA is organizing Legal Literacy Classes in Colleges and Schools to make the students aware of the ideals envisaged in Part IV-A of the Constitution.
- Legal Literacy Classes organized by Delhi State Legal Services Authority include topic on Fundamental Duties under Part IV-A of the Constitution of India. The book of Delhi State Legal Services Authority gives basic information to the students about Fundamental Rights and Duties.
X. Legal Services to the mentally-ill and mentally handicapped:-
- DSLSA organizes Sensitization and Awareness Programmes for Mentally and Physically challenged persons so as to ensure that their rights are safeguarded and not exploited by anyone.
- DSLSA has also partnered with Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IHBAS) in order to facilitate involuntary treatment of Mentally ill Persons. Legal Aid Counsels posted in Magisterial Courts have been given orientation to keep a watch in respect of proceedings relating to Mentally ill Persons. DSLSA has also set up a Outreach Centre at Jama Masjid, Urdu Park, Delhi for involuntary treatment of mentally ill persons. It functions on every Monday from 6 PM to 8 PM during Winter Season and 7 PM to 9 PM during Summer Season. DSLSA has ensured availability of a Magistrate at the centre alongwith a team of Senior Doctors from IHBAS.
XI. Training of Legal Aid Lawyers and Para Legal Volunteers:-
- DSLSA organizes Refresher Course for Legal Aid Counsel and imparts them training on different facets of law.
- DSLSA organizes Orientation and Training Programmes to improve efficiency and skills of Legal Aid Counsels.
- Para Legal Volunteers are given 6 days intensive training on important branches of law. It is followed up with a detailed written examination and viva to test their preparedness to function as a Para Legal Volunteer (PLV). Their services are thereafter utilized by sending them to communities and prisons.
- Para-Legal Volunteers in Delhi
- Data regarding trained para legal volunteers
- Community Workers through GRCs : 126
- Law Students : 187
- Jail Inmates : 46
XII. Invoking co-operation of the Government Departments and the various training institutions under the Government for spreading awareness about the functioning of Legal Services Institutions:-
- DSLSA has entered into partnership with Mission Convergence (an initiative of Delhi Government) and is providing legal awareness services at 104 Gender Resource Centres (GRCs) established by Government of NCT of Delhi in slum and J.J. Colonies in Delhi. DSLSA in association with Mission Convergence is generating awareness in the community about rights of women, children, senior citizens and labourers. DSLSA has also involved Department of Social Welfare, Women and Child Development, Delhi Police and NGOs in awareness generation programmes. Orientation and Training Programmes for Police Officers on Human Rights, Women Rights, Juvenile Justice Act are periodically organized. Advertisement regarding availability of legal aid along with contact addresses of District Legal Services Authorities are also exhibited at all the prominent places at District Court Complexes, Police Stations & Jails.
XIII. Orientation Programmes for 75 Judicial Officers of North Eastern States in the year 2012:-
- DSLSA is providing information about legal aid functioning in Delhi to Judicial Officers from North Eastern States. DSLSA is making them aware about various legal aid programmes implemented in Delhi for legal aid beneficiaries.
XIV. Giving due credit to the Judicial Officers who excel in the legal services activities:-
- In Delhi, Judicial Officers are given due credit for referring cases to Lok Adalats for amicable settlement. According to the assessment criteria, two units are given per case settled in Lok Adalats. Judicial Officers holding Lok Adalats are paid adequate honorarium. Even the self-assessment form filled by Judicial Officers during the preparation of Annual Confidential Reports carry a clause qua number of cases referred by the officers for disposal by taking reports to Alternative Dispute Redressal Mechanisms.
XV. Putting in place an effective system of monitoring the activities of the Legal Services Authorities through time bound feedback and reports through the District and State Legal Services Authorities:-
- DSLSA has also issued instructions to District Legal Services Authorities to monitor legal aid activities. Monthly report of function of all the District Legal Services Authority is called by the DSLSA and a regular day to day follow-up of all the activities is carried out and supervised closely. Any complaint received by DSLSA in respect of deficiency in legal aid is promptly attended, acted upon and remedial measures are taken.
XVI. Use of the Web-based Monitoring System of NALSA:-
- All data of legal aid activities in each district is being furnished through web-based monitoring system of NALSA on monthly basis by DSLSA & DLSAs.
XVII. Social Audit of the Legal Services Activities:-
- Law Interns and PLVs visit community and conduct door to door survey qua legal aid requirements of residents of the area.
- DSLSA has given instructions to District Legal Services Authority to ensure that legal aid beneficiaries are provided quality and timely legal services. We have provided legal aid to 18,000 persons (approx.) during the financial year 2011-2012 and 26,000 persons (approx.) during the period from April, 2012 to March, 13. Any grievance made by any legal aid beneficiary is promptly attended, acted upon and redressed.
- We have redressal mechanism whereby complaints against lawyers are thoroughly probed and action including de-empanelment is taken in case of mis-conduct.
XVIII. To prepare a Handbook of guidelines for the guidance of all those involved in or connected with legal services activities:-
- DSLSA has also prepared pamphlets on all relevant subjects of law for awareness generation and guidance of the beneficiaries.