LEGALISTIC NOTION SUCH AS DUTY AND OBLIGATION


PROBLEM OF INDIGENT PERSON AND LEGAL AID IN INDIAN JUSTICE SYSTEM - AN ANALYTICAL STUDY - By Mr. Ashish Yadav (H.O.D of LAW at Vikrant Group OF Collages).

 In the words of Former Chief Justice of India (T.S.Thakur)

“The justice system of India seems to support only the rich person.

On the contrary a common man is fighting and struggling for his basic rights. The main aim of law is to protect and secure the dignity of an individual, whether he is wealthy or indigent. Legal Aid is a weapon through which an indigent person can successively fight for his rights without the discrimination of power and wealth. In India where the laws are the same for everyone, indigent persons are seeking for their rights. Indigent person always waits for his number to get justice in a proper channel. It is hard to digest why indigent persons are not able to get speedy justice, while a wealthy person heirs a good lawyer to get free and make himself tarnish free without much problems. Indigent person always waits for help because he is not able to fight for his rights. 

The prime obligation of the state is to provide free aid to the indigent, poor and marginalized and it is their right guaranteed under the constitution of India to demand and avail. The philosophy of legal aid as an inalienable element o fairness is evident from

Justice Brennan’s well known words:

“Nothing rankles more in the human heart than a brooding sense of injustice. Illness we can put up with. But injustice makes us want to pull things down. When only the rich can enjoy the law, as a doubtful luxury, and the poor, who need it most, cannot have it because its expense puts it beyond their reach, the threat to the continued existence of free democracy is not imaginary but very real, because democracy’s very life depends upon making the machinery of justice so effective that every citizen shall believe in and benefit by its impartially and fairness”

 

         In a participatory democracy, it is essential that citizens have faith in their institutions. A judiciary that is seen as fair and independent is an important component in sustaining their trust and confidence.

                          An impartial independent judiciary is the guardian of individual rights in a democratic society. In order for citizens to have faith in their court system, all people must have access to the courts when necessary. 

               In a generic sense, an indigent person means a person who is poor and needy that he/she cannot provide the Necessities of life (food, clothing, shelter) for himself /herself. While in legal terminology, one without sufficient income to afford a lawyer in his defense in court proceedings is an indigent person.

                 It is also the responsibility of the state to ensure that fair and impartial justice is made available at the doorsteps of the indigent and economically weaker sections irrespective of their castes , creed , religion , geographical position at free of cost . A fundamental value of Indian justice system is that the stability of our society depends upon the ability of the people to readily obtain access to the courts, because the court system is the mechanism recognized and accepted by all to peacefully resolve disputes. Denying access to the courts forces dispute resolution into other arenas and result in vigilantism and violence.

 

            Human equality at the spiritual level has been preached and practiced in our country since ages. This is the meaning of, and is derived from, the Vedantic teaching of the same divine Atman in all beings integral, inalienable and full, and the samatvam and the sama-darsitvam, equality and sameness of vision, flowing from it. 

          Equality has been and is the single greatest craving of all human beings at all points of time. However, to provide and avail the free legal assistance certain difficulties and challenges are being experienced in our nation. The issues with regard to the provisions of free legal existence to the indigent people are increasing day by day and the challenges have also been taking its growth rapidly.

 

         Under these circumstances, the national legal services authority being the strewed, with the strength of the state legal services authorities, being its forefront warriors, is taking relentless effort to find out solutions with the active assistance of the government both central and state to tackle the situations.