Noida (Uttar Pradesh), Aug.6 : The India Legal magazine launched a unique public service initiative called the ILRF Conclave on the theme "Access to Justice" in Ranchi.
The event, which was held last month, was attended by the Governor Droupadi Murmu and Chief Justice Virender Singh, sitting judges of the high and lower judiciary, journalists, top lawyers, senior bureaucrats and law students of Jharkhand.
It was the first conclave sponsored by the India Legal Research Foundation (ILRF), partnered by India Legal magazine and APN News.
"Access to Justice" will be a year-long theme for similar conclaves that the ILRF is planning for all major cities across India.
The objective of the year-long exercise is to promote grassroots involvement in making available the fruits of justice to all those who are given this basic right within our democracy but often cannot even pick the low-hanging fruit.
"Equal justice under law is not merely a caption on the facade of the Supreme Court building; it is perhaps the most inspiring ideal of our society.
It is one of the ends for which our entire legal system exists . . . it is fundamental that justice should be the same, in substance and availability, without regard to economic status," said Justice Lewis F Powell, Jr, US Supreme Court in 1976.
"Courts exist for the convenience of the litigants and not in order to maintain any particular system of law or any particular system of administration," noted Justice M C Chagla, former Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court.
Their wisdom, and those of countless luminaries who have fought and argued passionately for the majesty of the Rule of Law, guides the editorial spirit of India Legal magazine and the conclave on "Access to Justice" organized by the ILRF.
Speaking on the occasion, ILRF president Pradeep Rai said the theme of the conclave "Access to Justice" though simple sounding words also reflected beauty and spirit of a juridical principle of natural justice that human beings morally strive and crave for to ensure that they live a life of dignity.
He described India Legal as the country's only news conglomerate which serves as a unique platform focusing on a comprehensive and sweeping range of news, views, opinion and breaking stories from all courts, the legal and judicial community through a network of magazines, TV channels, websites, and partnerships with prestigious colleges, their professors and students, like the National Law University, Delhi, NALSAR, and Jindal Global Law School.
"Some of the leading lights of the judicial community have used our platforms to directly address the concerns of the judiciary.
The participants have included former chief justices, union ministers for law and justice, and top senior advocates," he said.
"Today's theme is very much a part of India Legal Research Foundation's attempt of providing free and high quality legal services to those unable to afford legal help.
This conclave is very much a part of that overall design by spreading the word and sensitizing all concerned through debate and interaction.
It is also a celebration of the best of the past history of Ranchi, a part of our nation from where some of the wisest teachings spread across the world," he added.
He further stated. "This is a collective effort of taking the law to the people through the judiciary, the press and the legal fraternity.
I do believe that in promoting social and constitutional causes, the "trickle down" theory can really work.
Legal literacy, just as literacy about health and environment, is essential in strengthening civilized existence.
And what better way for awareness to spread than "trickling down" into the mind space through the media and media-related events such as this present one?" He said, "The notion of 'access to justice' in our Constitution is placed on the high pedestal of fundamental rights.
Access to justice is an inbuilt content of Article 14 which guarantees equality before the law and equal protection of laws.
If in accessing justice, the common man has to encounter barriers and impediments, the equality clause in our Constitution becomes no more than a promissory note! A Paper Tiger!.