Judge checks facilities for Bhondsi jail inmates
The member-secretary of the Haryana State Legal Services Authority (HSLSA), Panchkula, visited the Bhondsi jail on Thursday along with the secretary of District Legal Service Authority (DLSA), Gurugram, to take stock of the facilities being provided to inmates.
Pramod Goyal, district and sessions judge and member-secretary, HSLSA, Panchkula, met the inmates and heard their grievances at Bhondsi jail for two hours, and issued directions to officers He exhorted the undertrials to avail themselves of free legal aid facilities.
Officials said that legal aid was provided to 366 inmates in the last three months and 928 cases are being handled by DLSA in the district.
“Earlier, the inmates had issues in getting free legal aid services and a majority of them had no financial resources to access help but now, the DLSA is acting as a watchdog of poor inmates. They were not even aware that they have free legal aid as a right and many end up behind the bars for longer periods than necessary,” said Goyal.
He said that he was satisfied by the vocational training — computer courses, artisan classes, music classes, beautician courses and chocolate making — being provided to inmates.
“Rehabilitation courses are important for each inmate as it helps them integrate to the mainstream after completion of their sentences. Many have started their tailoring shops, hair salons and bakeries after their terms,” said Narender Kumar, secretary of DLSA and the chief judicial magistrate.
He said that the panel of advocates and paralegal volunteers must interact with new inmates at the earliest possible opportunity so that timely and effective legal aid can be provided to them.
Goyal also interacted with advocates, paralegal volunteers and mediators, who sought enhancement of the honorarium for settled cases.
“We have introduced baking, cooking, singing and handicraft courses to help inmates learn life skills. Also, all efforts are being made to provide legal aid so that none is deprived of justice,” said Jai Kishan Chilar, jail superintendent.