To the average Indian, accessing the country’s justice system is an arduous task. High case pendency, seemingly endless procedures, and the complexity of legal language are some of the obstacles making this task one which many prefer to avoid.
These factors compound even further when the individuals seeking justice are from a marginalised section of society. Like 3 year old Amal* whose rapist was initially acquitted by the trial court despite she identifying him; or 11 year old Akash* who received discriminatory compensation after being sexually assaulted at his school. In some cases, it is the entire communities that suffer, like the residents of New Delhi’s Rajeev Camp slum, who were denied their right to shelter and declared ineligible for relocation because they could not produce some very specific documents.
In the above cases, the litigants had to struggle and wait an agonising time while navigating the corridors of Indian legal system for justice and each one of them must have felt like it would eventually be denied at one point.
As an organisation committed to making quality legal representation and justice accessible to the civil society and vulnerable individuals, iProbono is always looking for ways to help our beneficiaries overcome obstacles which can prevent them from availing justice. One such way is spreading awareness about the legal provisions available to citizens and simplifying their meaning, making them accessible and understandable to many.
With that in mind, we are pleased to launch ‘Know The Law’, a campaign that aims to present legal information around rights of some of the most vulnerable sections of the society in detailed yet easy to understand language. As part of the campaign, iProbono’s Program team will be writing articles that cover important legislation concerning child rights, maternity rights, and rights of disabled people. The articles will be published periodically, from September 29 to October 10, on Youth ki Awaaz as well as iProbono’s website.
These articles will borrow from our legal expertise and litigation experience to list down provisions made available by relevant legislation, identify groups likely to benefit from the said provisions and detail out the process through which these provisions can be availed by beneficiaries. We will also supplement this information with examples and instances of actual legal matters from iProbono’s extensive body of work.
Through ‘Know The Law’, we hope to empower vulnerable individuals and communities to understand their legal rights and avail them, while also promoting legal awareness for citizens who may need to access the legal system in future. You can support this campaign by following and sharing it or participate in it by sending your thoughts to us using #KnowTheLaw.
Abhimanyu Shankhdhar – Senior Communications and Advocacy Manager, iProbono