As we observe Legal Services Day today it is time to conduct a serious analysis of the status of justice delivery system of the world’s largest democracy post independence. It is a fact that improving the pace of justice delivery system which can be accessible and affordable for all is the best guarantee to the welfare of people of a nation.
Unfortunately, the ground situation today is such that only the affluent and influential do get justice while the commoners continue to be eluded be it due to their inability to afford the ace lawyers or unawareness about their rights and last but not the least the inaccessibility factor. As such the Legal Services Day holds great significance especially in view of the fact that the aims and objectives behind observing this day are mainly addressing the existing shortcomings in the legal and justice delivery system. The main aim is to offer the free of charge, proficient and legal services to the people of weaker sections of society; organizing Lok Adalats to make safe the legal system operations and encouraging the righteousness of people on the equality basis. While the Theme for National Legal Services Day is revealed on the day itself, the celebrations are focused on educating people about their rights and the opportunities offered by the Indian government so they can access social benefits and live lives free from poverty. Higher legal services authorities hold meetings to commemorate Legal Services Day. In order to give country’s people the most benefits and support them in leading happy lives, the authorities will address the most recent legal services laws and orders. Moreover, multiple aid programmes and campaigns related to the legal aware- ness will be launched today. Given the current scenario, there is a dire need to focus on woman, children and youth besides the students and children of the early age ensuring that they are made aware about the constitutional rights and laws relating to them. People at large must be made aware about the laws for prevention of child labour and rights of old parents besides augmenting the campaigns by opening welfare centres for targeted legal beneficiaries. It is time to emphasize on legal literacy and increase legal awareness amongst the masses especially those who live in far off areas where literacy and more importantly legal literacy is lacking. It is an irony that despite the constitutional provisions having elaborately vouched for a vibrant justice system there are multiple lacunae in the implementation part that have left a lot of scope for making the legal system quite effective today. Undoubtedly a robust, effective and democratized legal system is necessary to ensure that every citizen gets an equal access to justice and until this objective is achieved the underprivileged will continue to be eluded by justice. An effective legal system deserves to be equally swift, equally effective and equally impartial irrespective of the class to which the justice seeker belongs. It can’t be said that the nation has not made any forward movement in achieving an effective legal system because great strides have been made in breaking down age-old barriers since Independence. However there is much more that still needs to be done especially in view of vulnerability of many sections of the society to abuse and exploitation. So, on this year’s Legal Services Day let all the stakeholders take a pledge to work relentlessly for an effective legal system as no system, no polity or society can survive if stakeholders fail to ensure equitable justice.