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Legal literacy and aid a priority in Haryana, India

This article originally appeared in The Indian Express.

The Haryana government has decided to ensure residents, whose annual income does not exceed Rs 1.5 lakh, are entitled to free legal aid. The government has also decided to impart legal literacy to school students in the state from the next academic session, beginning 2013-14.

Announcing this on Sunday, Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, said: “ The state government has enhanced the income limit to seek free legal aid from Rs one lakh to Rs 1.5 lakh. It has also been decided that the school students be acquainted about legal literacy from the very beginning. Therefore, legal literacy would be introduced in curriculum from the next academic session that is 2013-14”.

Hooda was speaking at the 3rd annual function of the Students Legal Literacy Mission at Maharishi Dayanand University Campus, Rohtak. “The legal literacy clubs have been set up in 1,525 schools and 176 colleges in the state. Such clubs would also be set up in all private schools and colleges as well as engineering and medical colleges, in the coming future. While learning the aspects of law, the students should not forget their culture. They should keep their parents and teachers in high esteem. The free legal literacy scheme implemented for the benefit for the poor has yielded encouraging results,” the chief minister added.

The Chief Guest of the function, Justice Swatanter Kumar, Judge, Supreme Court of India said: “There are many laws in the country, but the aim should be to implement these laws in their true perspective. In our society, women are kept in high esteem. Although, there was no women member in the Constituent Assembly, yet while keeping in view the safety and dignity of the woman, laws were enacted for their reservation and equality. India has the best legal and judicial systems in the world. All the students should be acquainted with legal literacy. They should be made to understand that if duties are not performed, the rights also decrease”.

On the occasion, outstanding students were also honoured with awards. While Shalender of PG College in Hisar got a cash reward of Rs 51,000, others were given Rs 31,000 each. A number of competitions concerning legal literacy mission were also organised.

The function was presided over by Acting Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court, Justice MM Kumar, who is also Chief Patron of Haryana State Legal Services Authority. Among others present on the occasion included Secretary of the Haryana State Legal Services Authority Deepak Gupta and other legal luminaries; MLA, Rohtak, BB Batra, MLA, Meham, Anand Singh Dangi, Political Advisor to Chief Minister Prof. Virender Singh and officers of district administration.

May 30, 2012 | Namati