When we talk about ‘jan seva’, we are one, says Law Minister
Union Minister for Law and Justice Kiren Rijiju, on Saturday, stressed the importance of delivery of justice at people’s doorsteps under alternative dispute resolution system, and said that helping people get benefits of welfare schemes along with legal aid will ensure “total justice”.
New app launched
Launching “Citizen’s Tele-Law Mobile App” at an event, he called on frontline paralegal workers and other functionaries to help people get benefits of welfare schemes of the government in addition to providing them with legal aid.
“This is very important. We need to work to ensure that people get total justice…There is a need to understand in perspective. There are various government schemes. We are not doing paperwork in the name of legal aid. We have to suggest them to solve their legal problems along with the problems pertaining to their basic needs, electricity, water road. I believe this kind of service delivery is justice,” he added. Rijiju said the e-interface platform, Tele Law, was developed under the Digital India scheme to strengthen the pre-litigation mechanism in the country. “The goal of this platform is to achieve Sabka Prayas, Sabka Nyay,” he said.
Tele-Law leverages technology to connect the beneficiary with the lawyers in a panel to seek legal advice and consultation for early redressal of their grievance, according to the Law Ministry.
The minister announced the expansion of Tele-Law in 75,000 gram panchayats covering all States and Union Territories as a part of the 75 years of India’s Independence celebrations. He also appealed to the lawyers to join the Tele-Law movement and provide legal guidance and consultation as basic steps to legal aid services.
The minister said that while speaking to Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, Justice UU Lalit who is executive chairman of the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) and other senior judges, he has conveyed to them that judiciary, executive and legislature should go for field visits together. “I have spoken to Chief Justice of India, Justice UU Lalit, and senior judges. I said this is not about the judiciary, executive or the legislature. “When they work in their respective field, their independence is there along with their limitations. But, when we talk about ‘jan seva’ (public service), we are one. And be it a judge, a minister or an officer, we should all go out in the field together,” the minister said. “So I have appealed to the judges also (saying) you also do field visits, as much as possible. Then we will effectively complete our work,” he added.
Rjiju emphasised on the need to bring change in the way various departments function to take India on the path of development and make all Indians empowered citizens.
“Rules, regulations, traditions will remain there. We need to bring a little change in the way we work to develop India, make all Indians empowered citizens. Just sitting in a chair and giving lectures will not do,” he added.
E-tutorial, easy access to lawyers
He appreciated the team effort of all frontline functionaries for their contributions, saying the Tele-Law platform has crossed the 12 lakh beneficiary mark Minister of State of Law and Justice SP Singh Baghel said that the Citizens’ Tele-Law Mobile App would be a first of its kind initiative to provide equal opportunities in seeking legal redressal.
“Every citizen would now be entitled to have access to a lawyer on a touch of a finger. He also emphasised that the features of the Mobile App would be available in form of e-tutorial in all scheduled languages and urged the frontline functionaries to ensure its maximum outreach,” he said.
In a statement later, the ministry said ‘Tele-Law, reaching the unreached e-interface platform’ was launched in 2017 by the Department of Justice to strengthen the pre-litigation mechanism in the country. This is currently operational in 51,434 Common Service Centres across 50,000 Gram Panchayats in 633 districts.
“Expanding its reach and ambit the Citizens’ Tele-Law Mobile App intends to widen the access to increased legal information and empowers the masses to identify their problem and choose from an appropriate forum of dispute redressal to claim their entitlements and rights,” it added.