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Meghalaya: HC Chief Justice inaugurates NALSA Schemes, govt Welfare Schemes, launches DoJ

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Tura, July 15: Honorable Justice Sanjib Banerjee, Chief Justice, High Court of Meghalaya & Patron-in-Chief, MSLSA inaugurated the Mega Camp cum Awareness programme on NALSA Schemes and Government Welfare Schemes on Saturday at St Francis De Sales Secondary School, Somonpara under Gambegre, Community and Rural Development Block, West Garo Hills District. Judge, High Court of Meghalaya, H S Thangkhiew, Registrar General, High Court of Meghalaya, E Kharumnuid, District and Session Judge, West Garo Hills, A M Ripnar, Judicial Officers, Heads of Departments, Para legal Volunteers, Nokmas, Sordars and people of the area attended the programme. The theme for the Mega Camp is “Bridging the Gap”.

Moreover, as part of the Celebration of 25 years of Legal Services in the State of Meghalaya, the Chief Guest along with other dignitaries launched the Department of Justice (DoJ) Funded Project titled “Increasing Access to Justice through Community Mediation” during the function. It may be mentioned that this project is aimed to train the Headmen or Village Court under District Council or Nokmas with special reference to Mediation for understanding formal laws, basic distinction between civil and criminal matters, under CRPC and to impart legal knowledge to weaker sections of the society. This endeavour will not only preserve the culture and tradition of the indigenous people, but also lessen the burden of the court with unnecessary litigation.

Sharing his vivid observation while travelling to this village, the Chief Justice, High Court of Meghalaya, Justice Sanjib Banerjee said that people live here in pristine and green environment, however, the look on the face of the people made him realise that promises have not been delivered even after 75 years of Independence. Therefore, he urged the Legal Services Authority to serve the vulnerable section of the society including women, children and physically disabled persons so that they get the deserved rights and privileges.

Mentioning about the importance of Tribal Rights, he said that these rights teaches people to live in harmony with nature but there are certain practices which are not conducive to womenfolk and hence needs reconsideration adding that with the introduction of POCSO Act there have been many sexual abuses especially of girl child even boys and cautioned the parents since these crimes are committed either by persons or relatives who have access to these young vulnerable children. Further, he mentioned the importance of education and the Right to Education Act and advised the parents to send their wards to the nearest school available in the area. Moreover, considering the safety measures of the people, he said that everyone should go to health care centres for treatment from illness and said that if any rights are denied to the public then anyone can file a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) directly in the High Court. Another important aspect of highlight is to protect our youth from menace of drug abuse, he said and request everyone to protect their children from using drugs and also to respect and protect the environment by supporting only those development activities that are in sync with the environment.

Meanwhile, Justice H S Thangkhiew, Judge, High Court of Meghalaya and Executive Chairman, MSLSA said that the day is special since the State is celebrating 25 years of establishment of Legal Services ensuring equal access to justice for all. He said that the Legal Service has changed and transformed the society as years gone by and one of the most important aspects is bridging the gap of disparity in the society that sometimes prevent people from exercising their right. Mentioning the role of the Legal Services Authority, he said that free legal aid is prioritised to ensure that all have access to justice. Informing about the pilot project of Community based mediation being introduced in Ri Bhoi and West Garo Hills districts, he said that the project aims to sensitise the Headmen, Village Courts under District Council or Nokmas on Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) with special reference to Mediation and to sensitise on local customs and usages, so as to enable them to resolve disputes at the grassroots level.

Chief Justice, Sanjib Banerjee in the presence of Judge, H S Thangkhiew and other dignitaries flagged off the Bike Rally organized on the occasion of 25 years Celebration of Legal Services in the State of Meghalaya from St Francis De Sales School, Somonpara Village, Gambegre to Don Bosco Higher Secondary School Basketball Court, Tura.

Further, various line departments such as Health and Family Welfare, Agriculture, Horticulture, Social Welfare, Fishery, District Commerce & Industries Centre (DCIC), Animal Husbandry & Veterinary department, Tourism, etc participated and highlighted their schemes and show case their locally available products for sale during this Mega Camp cum Awareness Program. The Health department conducted free health check up and testing of simple blood samples was also done. MHIS and Aadhaar enrolment was also organised during the Mega camp.

The District and Sessions Judge cum Chairman, District Legal Services Authority, West Garo Hills Tura, A M Ripnar, MHJS, Secretary, Education Department, Government of Meghalaya, Shillong Ambrose Ch Marak, Additional Deputy Commissioner, West Garo Hills, Tura Dolrich B G Momin, Officer on Special Duty, MSLSA, T T M Sangma, MJS, were among others who spoke on the occasion.

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The Judge along with other dignitaries distributed the Assistive Devices to the Specially Abled persons and also distributed TLM Kits to school going children of the area during the Mega Camp.

Earlier, during the Mega Camp, the NALSA Theme song was also played and the enthusiastic Meghalaya Police Cultural troupe from 2nd MLP Battalion, Goeragre enthralled the gathering with song and other various items.

Also read: Tripura Police seize cannabis worth Rs 5 lakh in Chakmaghat area

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