TODAY -
'Government neglected attitude mar free legal services in state'
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, August 21 2010: Government failure in appointing permanent member secretary and regular staff of the Manipur State Legal Service Authority (MASLSA) has hampered in the delivery of free legal services to the needy people, lamented Th Surbala, Judge of the District and Session Judge, Manipur East who is also looking after the charge of the member secretary of MASLSA today.

Surbala said due to the shortage of manpower, the MASLSA could not deliver legal services under the Legal Service Authority Act, 1987 which is in force in the state too.

The authority is set up for the purpose, she said speaking at the sideline of a sensitization programme of Judicial Officers, Legal Aid Counsels, Prosecutors and Advocate held at the conference hall of the district and session judge court complex, Uripok.

The Act aims at to provide free and competent legal services to the weaker sections of the society to ensure that opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizen by reason of economic or other disabilities, and to organise Lok Adalats to secure that the operation of the legal system promotes justice on a basis of equal opportunity.

The objective of the Act could not be delivered to the people as the member secretary of the authority as the post of member secretary is given to a judge a court who is busy always in court works.

She had approached the government the problems facing by her as in-charge of member secretary but except "under process" no apparent works seen taken up, she added.

Besides this as chief judicial magistrates the districts who are busy enough to deal with their own court duty are the secretaries of the MASLSA.

That was why people are not able to get the desire free legal services from the authority, the judge went on to observe.

Surbala further informed that recently a counseling centre of the authority has been opened at Uripok Cheirap Court Complex where people can avail free legal counseling.

People can avail the benefits from 11 to 4 pm on every working day.

The helpline number 9612872128 can be used by the needy persons, she added.

The centre was opened in association with the All Manipur Lady Bar Association.

People can hold consultation with the counselors at the centre before filing cases and also advice free of cost, she added.

Meanwhile, the sensitization programme of Judicial Officers, Legal Aid Counsels, Prosecutors and Advocate was held at the conference hall of the district and session judge court complex, Uripok.

The inaugural session of the programme was attended by executive chairman of the Manipur Legal Service Authority, Justice Maibam Binoykumar of the Gauhati High Court.

As resource person of the sensitization programme, judge of the special court (NDPS) Manipur talked on "Section 89 CPC, Additional Public Prosecutor, District and Session Judge, Manipur East, Ng Tejkumar on "Section 89 CPC" while Additional District and Session Judge (FTC), Manipur West, M Ibohal on "Plea Bargaining.

Additional Public Prosecutor, District and Session Judge (FTC), Manipur West, Chitrabhanu and other also talked on different topics.


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