Legal aid van to serve remote villages of Orissa

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Bhubaneshwar, Nov 2 (ANI): In an attempt to empower weaker and marginalised sections of society in Orissa, a van providing doorstep legal aid was flagged off from Bhubaneshwar on Sunday.

'Justice on Wheels', as the legal aid van has been named, will visit remote areas of the state to disseminate information about legal services.

K G Balakrishnan, Chief Justice of India, flagged off the first of the vans in the presence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

"The condition of roads in our state is not good, people are more poverty-ridden and they can't afford coming to city court by bus and train...so keeping all these factors mind this vehicle has been introduced...The idea is that instead of people coming to court, the court will reach them," said B. K. Mishra, a sessions court judge.

Besides disseminating information on legal aid and constitutional rights, the vans will also be a platform to hold 'Lok Adalat' or people's court.

"The vehicle is equipped with a computer projector for projection of documentary films...it also has the provision of conducting mobile Lok Adalats," said Sumit Mohanty, an official of Orissa Legal Services Authority.

Justice delivery system in India is tottering under a huge backlog of pending cases. Most poor undertrials, unable to afford the services of a good lawyer or the high bail bond amount, languish in prisons very often for periods longer than the maximum term they could be sentenced to for the offence.

The central government is planning a slew of judicial reforms, including empowering Lok Adalats, to slash trials from a orturous 15 years to three years. (ANI)

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