Kerala CJ launches 24-hour, toll-free legal helpline
Kochi, July 7 (UNI) Kerala Chief Justice Vinod Kumar Bali today launched a 24-hour, toll-free legal helpline and hoped the service, started by the Kerala State Legal Service Authority (KELSA) will be of great help to poor people living in remote areas.
Lauding KELSA for this initiative, which he said was perhaps the first of its kind in the country, Mr Justice Bali called for a concerted effort to make the common people aware of this service so that the really needy will be able to make good use of it.
Mr Justice J B Koshy, who presided over the function, said the facility would be absolutely free of cost. He lauded service provider Hutch Cellular for joining hands with the legal fraternity for a good cause.
The helpline number is 9846700100.
District judge U Sarathchandran, who is the member-secretary of KELSA, said that the legal experts manning the helpline will use their soft skills for giving assistance to a caller in distress.
They will keep their identity anonymous for reasons of professional ethics. They will be expected not to give full fledged legal advice but only guidelines on what to do in a given situation.
''The common people, when confronted with a legal situation or violation of their legal rights, often do not know what to do. This is due to lack of legal knowledge and the knowledge about the rights conferred on them by law. KELSA hopes that this new project will be of help to the common people who are denied access to justice due to multifarious reasons including the geographical distance from their house to the seats of justice,'' he added.
Also present on the occasion were Mr Sreekumar, president of the Kerala High Court Advocates Association, Mr K Sankaranarayan, the chief operating officer of Hutch, Kerala, and several members of the bench and the bar.