Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar on Monday said denial of legal aid creates an existential challenge to the vulnerable, and said affirmative initiatives and policies can help overcome such problems faced by the weaker sections.
He also said that the Global South should shed the shackles of its colonial past and strive together to reverse the historical wrongs that have perpetuated injustice and inequality.
"Time has come to follow India's example and emulate the same ... Our country is in the process and legislations are under consideration of Parliament that will bring about sea change in our outlook and totally curb and contain those exploitative provisions in procedure and penology," he said.
The vice president was apparently referring to three bills which seek to replace the IPC, CrPC and the Evidence Act.
Addressing the first regional conference on "Ensuring Access to Quality Legal Aid for the Vulnerable: Challenges and Opportunities in the Global South," he said Parliament has embarked on a journey of legal reformation.
Promoting mediation, repealing archaic laws that hinder progress and enacting new laws that address contemporary challenges are some of the key areas on which bills are being considered and passed. Access to legal aid and justice system, he felt, is quintessential to nurturing and blossoming of fundamental human values and fostering equitable societies. He referred to the declaration in the preamble of the Indian Constitution "We, the people of India," saying it reflects the spirit of an inclusive document aimed at safeguarding the rights of every citizen, regardless of background, circumstances, or social standing. "Prescription in Article 32 of the constitution, the right of every individual to move the Supreme Court for the enforcement of fundamental rights was eloquently reflected by B R Ambedkar as the 'soul of the Constitution', " he pointed out. He also said Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud is in mission mode to secure, particularly for the marginalised sections, availability of legal aid and access to justice with ease. He recalled that the CJI has initiated in the last one year series of affirmative innovative people-centric steps that have turned out to be game changer in bolstering both legal aid and easy access to justice system by vulnerable segments of society. Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal, CJI Chandrachud and senior judges of the Supreme Court were present.
Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.