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GSLSA Launches The 'Legal Aid Defense Counsel System' [Read Press Release]

30 Jan 2020 3:07 PM GMT
GSLSA Launches The Legal Aid Defense Counsel System [Read Press Release]
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The Gujarat State Legal Services Authority on Sunday launched a dedicated office for the Legal Aid Defense Counsel System.

The Legal Aid Defense Counsel System, is a pilot project for providing Legal Aid in Criminal matters (in Sessions Cases, at the first instance) that has been envisaged by the National Legal Services Authority, to make legal services more professional and to provide quality legal services in Criminal matters to eligible, on the line of Public Defender System.

The office was inaugurated on January 26 at the Surendranagar District Court by Justice Vikram Nath, Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court & Patron-in-Chief, Gujarat State Legal Services Authority, who insisted that the officials concerned must ensure that the poor litigants are not deprived of Justice and that they get quality and speedy justice.

The Legal Aid Defense Counsel Office will provide legal advice and assistance to accused/convicts, conduct trial and appeals in Sessions Courts, handle bail applications in Sessions Courts and any other legal aided work related to Sessions Courts.

This system will involve salaried Lawyers with Assistants, who shall not be permitted to take any private case. The said unit will deal exclusively with the legal aid work in criminal matters. At first instance, the following appointments have been made on a two year contract:

(1) Advocate Vinodkumar L. Rahod, having experience of more than 10 years, has been appointed as Chief Legal Aid Defense Counsel;

(2) Advocate Nareshbhai L. Makwana, having experience of more than 7 years, has been appointed as Deputy Chief Legal Aid Defense Counsel; and

(3) Advocate Narendrasinh J. Zala, having experience of 1 year, has been appointed as Assistant Legal Aid Defense Counsel.

The inaugural ceremony was marked by the presence of Justice SR Brahmbhatt, Judge, High Court of Gujarat & Executive Chairman, Gujarat State Legal Services Authority; Justice RM Chhaya, Judge, High Court of Gujarat & Chairman, High Court Legal Services Committee and Justice Umesh A. Trivedi, Judge, High Court of Gujarat & Hon'ble Administrative Judge, Surendranagar District.

With this, Gujarat has become one of the few States that have a dedicated Legal Aid Defence Counsel System. Notably, GSLSA also has a fully functional panel of Pro Bono Legal Aid Lawyers in all the Districts. It organized the first Lok Adalat and launched the first 24 hours Free Legal Aid Clinic.

The GSLSA has also launched the 'Prisoner Information Module' (PIM) of GujLam Software and Menstrual Hygiene Awareness Programme in prisons across the State of Gujarat.

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