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Prisoners, jail authorities sensitised on legal rights

By EMN Updated: Feb 23, 2014 12:12 am

Kohima, February 22

The Kohima District Legal Services Authority (KDLSA) today organized a day-long seminar on legal awareness and para-legal volunteers (PLV) at District Jail, Kohima for jail authorities and jail inmates.Speaking on the topic ‘Access to Justice for all’, chief judicial magistrate and KDLSA deputy secretary Mezivolu T. Therieh highlighted that the legal services authority is constituted to provide free and competent legal service to ensure opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizen by reason of economic or other disabilities. She said there are multifarious barriers in “our society” to access justice, naming illiteracy, social backwardness, physical, geographical, social and psychological distancing as some examples.
To the convicts, she said that being in jail did not translate into condemnation by the society and highlighted some basic rights of convicts. She urged them to view jail term as a reformative correctional place for introspection to desire a better future with changes in choice. “Attitude and mindset need to change to become a better person,” she asserted.
Meanwhile, stating that legal services activities and access to justice are not just the concerns of the judiciary, Therieh urged the jail authorities to be part of the legal services authorities as para-legal volunteers and enable the weak and the marginalized to get access to justice.
Speaking on the rights of prisoners, KDLSA panel lawyer, Joshua Sheqi underscored the Article 14 of the Indian Constitution which ensures the right to equality for all citizens. He pointed out various rights of an arrested person such as the right to inform a family member or friend of his/her arrest, nutrition, medical care, right to be produced in a court within 24 hours of arrest, right to remain silent, their right against torture etc. However, he stated, every right is attached with a duty.
He also encouraged the prisoners that they can take up productive activities in the corrective centre while serving their detention sentence. The advocate also informed about the rights of a person who is wrongly detained.
PLV trainer of trainees, Alemwapang Ao explained that the legal services comprises of two important constituents – providing legal aid and access to justice, and para-legal volunteer service.

By EMN Updated: Feb 23, 2014 12:12:44 am