Tele-law services enabling the voiceless: Ravi Shankar Prasad

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The government program benefits more than nine lakh people.

Providing legal assistance to those in need by telephone and video conference by lawyers and paralegal volunteers has given “the voice of justice to the voiceless,” Justice Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Tuesday.

The minister was addressing an event marking the coverage of more than nine lakh beneficiaries of the government’s tele-law program, using common service centers (CSCs) to deliver justice across the country.

Mr. Prasad said the facility was also “a source of gender justice and empowerment”. To mark the occasion, the Minister published a special mailing cover on TV-Law – Reaching the Unreached.

Urging lawyers and paralegal volunteers engaged in tele-law to keep their pledge, Mr. Prasad said tele-law has the potential to foster inclusive justice and strengthen the rule of law.

Secretary (Justice) Barun Mitra pointed out that tele-law has seen a 369% increase in the number of beneficiaries seeking legal advice over the past year.

A third-party assessment conducted by the National Council for Applied Economic Research (NCAER) in January 2020 described tele-law as “a successful model of legal empowerment for the poor and vulnerable” and recommended increasing its imprint, added Mitra.

Currently, the tele-law program is operational in 633 districts (including 115 ambitious districts) across all states and union territories using a network of 50,000 CHCs. CHCs help needy and disadvantaged people obtain legal advice from a panel of lawyers using electronic interface platforms.

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