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35% undertrial prisoners did not have access to legal aid; 64% wanted change of lawyer: Report by TISS, NLU Delhi

The report was released on January 28, 2023, by Supreme Court judge, Justice PS Narasimha, along with Justice RD Dhanuka of the Bombay High Court, who is also the executive chairperson of Maharashtra State Legal Services Authority (MSLSA). 

At the event, Justice Narasimha discussed the “urgent need to reform the institutions in the criminal justice system to protect the rights of the individuals,” with particular focus on the quality of legal representation and bail pendency. 

Justice Dhanuka highlighted the need for Bar Councils to incentivise and create a culture among young lawyers to provide legal aid to vulnerable communities. He pointed out that competent legal representation for undertrial prisoners is a facet of the right to fair trial and must be guaranteed to all. He also assured that there will be complete cooperation from MSLSA to ensure equal and quick justice for all undertrial prisoners. 

Justices AM Thipsay and Dr S Radhakrishnan, former judges of the Bombay High, were also present at the event and spoke on the need to sensitise magistrates on protecting marginalised communities. 

Source: Barandbench

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