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December 10, 2019

Better access to legal aid is crucial

Legal aid ensures people’s access to justice, and is, therefore, a noble undertaking. It is one of the tools to establish rule of law as it completes the judiciary pillar of a democracy.
To preserve human rights and ensure a people-friendly judiciary and to protect the judiciary pillar so it does not collapse or tilt, providing legal aid is an obligatory duty of a democratic government elected by the people, and it must be responsible to the people.
The authorities and legal aid committees in regions and states must do their best for the country and the people. They must all have ‘cetana’ or goodwill and honesty towards the country and the people.
If the government, people, and government personnel work in unity, have ‘cetana’ and capability, there would not be any concerns over lack of access to justice for those involved in civil cases who cannot afford a lawyer.
Only then can all the people, citizens, government, and public servants live a safe and secure life. All are responsible for this sort of security.
For the security of the inner self, correct conduct is needed. If things are done correctly, they help build a sense of security. Our outer, physical safety is the responsibility of the government under rule of law.
Keeping this in mind, the authorities are requested to support the legal aid boards in regions and states so that the boards can carry out their duties in accordance with the rules and regulations.
To get legal aid at government expense is the right of the poor and destitute people in the country.
According to the legal principle, ‘ignorance of the law is no excuse’, it is therefore very important to promote legal awareness among the public.
Those on low incomes should not be excluded from the judicial process, and access to a fair hearing for all citizens should be a top priority.
Poverty does not just mean lack of money, but exclusion from those processes that bind us together as citizens. We need to consider these separate challenges as the same issue.
Everybody has the right to free access to court proceedings, in accordance with due process. Whether a suspect is guilty or not is up to the judiciary, and it is for the judiciary to decide.
Access to justice and a fair hearing for all citizens should be a government priority and enshrined in law.

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