Bhaderwah, June 10 | In a bid to protect the rights of prisoners and address their grievances, a free legal aid clinic was inaugurated at District Jail Bhaderwah by Chairman District legal services authority Bhaderwah and Principal Distt and Session Judge Ashok Kumar Shavan here.
Principal District and Sessions Judge Bhaderwah Ashok Kumar Shavan also inspected the district Jail complex and said that setting up of a free legal clinic in the jail is a welcome measure, which would benefit both the prisoners and their families, especially those who were not well-off. He also said that the provision of legal advice would also enable the legal process to move faster adding that the clinic will function from Monday to Friday, in normal office hours. “If we receive a good response from the prisoners, we will we will consider increasing the days and the time period for which the clinic will function,” said the Principal District and Sessions Judge.
The clinic is opposite the visitor’s waiting hall in the prison. An advocate from the DLSA and a paralegal volunteer will be available there to extend their assistance to relatives and visitors of prisoners and prisoners who have been released from there. Relatives of inmates can avail themselves of the services such as applying for bail for inmates and to resolve problems faced by them while prisoners on their release could also get assistance for issues that they would face.
The setting up of the clinic within the premises of the jail itself has many advantages. Not only will it make it easier for the jailed to avail legal counsel, but it also reduces complications and safety issues involved in ferrying prisoners back and forth between the prison and legal aid cells located outside the jail. Secretary DLSA (Sub Judge) Sushil Singh, ADC Bhaderwah Rakesh Kumar, SDPO Bhaderwah Aadil Reshu, Retainer lawyer Mohd Majid Malik, Jail Supdt Bhaderwah and others officers were present on the occasion.
Its is worthwhile to mention here that the Constitution provides many fundamental rights to the prisoners, but many are unaware of their rights. The jailed persons are also often unable to file appeals in the court due to lack of knowledge about legal procedure. The DLSA aims to assist undertrials, the accused, as well as convicted prisoners in legal dealings and ensure that their rights are protected by providing free legal services to them through the legal aid clinic.