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Free legal help for kids fighting criminal cases

india Updated: Mar 31, 2009 00:56 IST
Sumit Saxena
Sumit Saxena
Hindustan Times
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Children facing trial in juvenile courts will get free legal aid at their residence.

The Delhi Legal Service Authority (DLSA) will conduct camps across slums in the city to generate community awareness on juvenile justice.

The DLSA in association with NGO Human Foundation held counselling sessions to provide free legal aid to children facing trial in juvenile courts.

Scores of people from slum clusters in Mayur Vihar Phase-I, East Delhi, thronged the camp.

Mohammed Sheikh, a resident of Mullah Colony, Ashok Nagar whose 16-year-old son is facing trial in the court said, “My son fell into bad company and indulged in petty crimes. But I want to take help from the legal aid sessions and see him lead a better life.”

The DLSA counsellors took up 20 cases in a day. “We have organised these camps to rehabilitate children who have strayed from school or decent social life. Our counsellorrs, including trainee judicial officers, will also provide legal assistance in matters related to Domestic Violence Act, Maintenance and even criminal cases,” Sanjay Sharma, Project Officer, DLSA, said.

The DLSA have even roped in local police officials to assist the counsellors to conduct legal aid sessions in slum clusters. Along with the counsellors from DLSA, advocates and social workers would interact with the people. Litigants seeking legal aid can get in touch with local police station, and therefore, can attend the legal aid counseling sessions.

Shamshuddin, a resident of Ashok Nagar whose 12-year-old daughter, Gulsan was kidnapped three months ago, said, “I am an illiterate and also have no money to follow my case in the court. But now a lawyer has come to help me.” The first camp will be held on April 10 in Ashok Nagar.