New Delhi: Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar emphasized on Monday that the denial of legal aid poses a significant challenge to the vulnerable and suggested that affirmative initiatives and policies can address the problems faced by weaker sections. He also urged the Global South to break free from its colonial past and collaborate to rectify historical wrongs that have perpetuated injustice and inequality.
Indicating the need to follow India's example, he mentioned that the country is undergoing legal reformation, with Parliament considering legislation that will bring about a substantial shift in outlook and eliminate exploitative provisions in procedure and penology. The reference seemed to be to three bills aiming to replace the IPC, CrPC, and the Evidence Act.
Addressing the inaugural regional conference on "Ensuring Access to Quality Legal Aid for the Vulnerable: Challenges and Opportunities in the Global South," the vice president highlighted Parliament's journey of legal reformation. He emphasized the importance of access to legal aid and the justice system, considering it essential for nurturing fundamental human values and fostering equitable societies.
Dhankhar referred to the preamble of the Indian Constitution, stating that the declaration "We, the people of India" reflects the inclusive spirit of a document designed to safeguard the rights of every citizen, irrespective of background, circumstances, or social standing. He pointed out the significance of Article 32, emphasizing the right of every individual to approach the Supreme Court for the enforcement of fundamental rights.
He acknowledged Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud's mission mode to ensure the availability of legal aid and easy access to justice, especially for marginalized sections. The vice president commended the affirmative and innovative steps initiated by the Chief Justice over the last year, describing them as game-changers in bolstering legal aid and improving access to the justice system for vulnerable segments of society. Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal, Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud, and senior judges of the Supreme Court were present at the conference.