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Mahindra University Inaugurates State-of-the-Art Legal Aid Clinic, Championing Access to Justice

Mahindra University, a premier institution dedicated to imparting quality education and fostering social responsibility, celebrated a momentous occasion with the inauguration of its cutting-edge Legal Aid Clinic.

The auspicious event was graced by the esteemed presence of Honourable Justice Sri. B. Vijaysen Reddy garu, a sitting judge at the High Court of Telangana, as Chief Guest and Advocate Sri A.P. Suresh, a renowned legal luminary practicing with AP Suresh Associates Law Chambers, Hyderabad in the High Courts of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

The inauguration ceremony commenced with a ceremonial ribbon-cutting by the Chief Guest, Justice Sri B. Vijaysen Reddy, accompanied by Dr. Yajulu Medury, the Honourable Vice-Chancellor of Mahindra University, Dr. Balakista Reddy, the Dean of the School of Law and Prof. Manjula Mallepalli, the faculty in charge of Legal Aid cell.

This symbolic act marked the official unveiling of the Legal Aid Cell, a remarkable initiative aimed at bridging the gap between the legal system and the marginalized and disadvantaged sections of the society.

Following the inaugural ceremony, Dr. Balakista Reddy took the stage, captivating the audience with his insights on the profound significance of legal aid, while delivering his Welcome Note.

Drawing from his extensive experience at NALSAR and other institutions, he shared inspiring accounts of empowering rural villagers as para-legals, an initiative that benefited countless individuals across the region.

He said that the main motive of the University is to produce professionally competent, technically sound, and socially relevant lawyers and such motive can be achieved through this legal aid cell. He also emphasized on academic social responsibility.

He shared his thoughts on the legal aid movement, Article 39A of the Constitution, and Legal Services Authority Act, 1987. He expressed his views on the importance of establishing a Legal aid Cell in a law school to impact legal education and legal practice.

Later, the esteemed guest Advocate Sri A.P. Suresh, a distinguished lawyer and partner at AP Suresh & Associates, Hyderabad delivered a thought-provoking address that resonated with the core values of legal aid. Invoking the legal maxim “Ignorantia Juris Non Excusat,” which translates to “ignorance of the law is no excuse,” he underscored the pressing need to bridge the information gap that often hinders equal access to justice.

With eloquence and conviction, Advocate Suresh emphasized that legal aid is not merely a charitable endeavour but a fundamental academic and social responsibility, as compliance with the law begins with knowledge. Advocate Suresh further elaborated on the practical implementation of legal aid, citing examples such as Lok Adalats and mediation under the Civil Procedure Code.

His insightful perspectives shed light on the multifaceted approaches to ensuring that the benefits of legal aid reach even the most marginalized communities, including tribal and rural populations.

Finally, the esteemed Chief Guest, Honourable Justice Sri. B. Vijaysen Reddy, enthralled the audience with his profound wisdom and extensive legal experience.

He delved into the principles of affirmative action enshrined in Articles 15 and 16 of the Indian Constitution, highlighting the provision of reservation in public employment under Article 16.

Justice Reddy’s journey was deeply rooted in his father’s legacy, the Honourable Justice (late) Sri. B. Subhashan Reddy, a former Chief Justice of the Madras and Kerala High Courts and the former Chairperson of the A.P. State Human Rights Commission.

In a poignant moment, Justice Reddy underscored the importance of contributing a portion of lawyer’s income, ideally 1 to 2%, towards legal aid initiatives.

He shared personal anecdotes from his early days as a fresh graduate, recounting instances where he provided pro bono legal services to impoverished clients, families embroiled in disputes, and farmers in need of legal counsel.

These experiences served as a testament to his unwavering commitment to ensuring access to justice for all, regardless of their socio-economic status.

Justice Reddy also shed light on the dissemination of legal aid through various legal provisions and frameworks, including the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) and the Civil Procedure Code (CPC).

His insights highlighted the intricate interplay between legal aid and the judicial system, emphasizing the need for a comprehensive approach to address the multifaceted challenges faced by those seeking legal recourse.

In a moment of levity, Justice Reddy quipped about the substantial packages law graduates often receive. This light-hearted remark served as a reminder of the noble pursuit of law, which transcends mere financial gains and extends to the realm of service and social impact.

Adding to the insightful discourse, Prof. (Dr.) Manjula Rani Mallepalli, the faculty in charge of the Legal Aid Committee, has spoken about legal framework related to legal aid and the Right to Access to Justice.

She emphasized that through legal aid the justice can be made accessible to citizens, regardless of their economic status or other disabilities and it serves as a cornerstone of a democratic society where access to justice is a fundamental right.

Notably, she emphasized the significance of ‘equal justice and free legal aid’ besides Articles 14,19,21 and 32. Dr. Mallepalli also shed light on the pivotal role played by the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) in India, established under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987.

The event concluded on a high note, leaving attendees inspired and motivated to champion the cause of legal aid and promote access to justice for all. The inauguration of the Legal Aid Clinic at Mahindra University marked a significant milestone in the institution’s commitment to upholding the principles of equity, empowerment, social responsibility and contribute to the realization of a just and equitable society.”  

Note: For this press release we have relied heavily on the content shared by Mahindra University.

Source: Lawctopus

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