Legal aid in its literal sense means help, assistance, or free service in the field of law. Legal Aid is to mean not only representation through lawyer at state expense in court proceedings but also includes legal advice, legal awareness, legal mobilization, PIL, law reform and a variety of strategic and preventive services which instead of assisting each individual helps them as a class to avoid injustice.
With this aim in mind, National Law University and Judicial Academy, Assam in collaboration with Kumar Bhaskar Varma Sanskrit and Ancient Studies University organised Legal Aid Camp at Nalbari (District), Assam.
Prof (Dr.) R.C. Borpatragohain, Advocate General, Govt. of Assam, was the Guest of Honour for the occasion. He also spoke at length about the Preamble to the Constitution, highlighting that sovereignty in our country lies with the people and under the Constitution, all citizens have the liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship. He then proceeded to speak about the significance of Part III of the Constitution of India, which guarantees fundamental
rights to citizens of India as well as non-citizens, and clarified for the benefit of the audience that these are some of the most basic rights guaranteed to us under the Constitution. He referred to Article 39A of the Constitution which provides that the State shall secure that the operation of the legal system promotes justice, on a basis of equal opportunity, and shall, in particular, provide free legal aid, by suitable legislation or schemes or in any other way, to ensure that opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizen by reason of economic or other disabilities. He concluded by stating that respect for the Constitution is a must and that we must religious abide by the noble provisions of the highest law of the land.
The Chief Guest for the event- Justice B. Sharma, Retired Judge of Gauhati High Court, also addressed the audience. Justice Sharma in his speech focussed primarily on the Legal Services Authorities Act of 1987, highlighting the objective of the Act, the scheme under the Act and some of the important provisions.
This was followed by deliberations by 3 students of NLU Assam on topics of Consumer Rights, Domestic Violence and Sexual Harassment at Workplace. The students of 5th year also performed a skit comprising of three acts, all focussing on some pertinent issues of the times. While the first act dealt with Cyber Stalking followed by Acid Attack, the second act focussed on ‘Vishing’ and Cyber Frauds. Moving forward with the final Act in the Skit presented by the students, the topic of ‘Misuse of Power by Police’ was presented to the gathering. Through it the students tried to depict the theme of how authorities in power can take advantage of their positions thereby leading to circumstances of abuse of such powers and positions. For the ease of the audience, who were primarily villagers, most of the discussions were held in the local language, i.e., Assamese. The event ended with the Vote of Thanks by Mr. Himangshu Ranjan Nath, Assistant Professor of Law, National Law University and Judicial Academy, Assam.