A State Level Legal Aid Symposium was organised by the Legal Aid Clinic, Institute of Law, Nirma University on February 10, 2024. Hon’ble Mr. Justice Kamal Mehta (Retd.) Judge, High Court of Gujarat graced the event as Chief Guest. Shri R A Trivedi, Member Secretary- Gujarat State Legal Services Authority, Prof. (Dr.) MRK Prasad, V.M. Salgaocar College of Law Goa, Mr Bhavesh Desai, Advocate- High Court of Gujarat and Dr. Kalpesh Gupta, Founder ProBono India were the other esteemed guests at the event.
Hon’ble Mr. Justice Kamal Mehta in his address discussed the origin of legal aid and the significance of justice in the Preamble and Article 39-A of the Constitution of India. He highlighted the Venkat Chelliah Committee Report on Legal Aid Services. He stressed to put Legal Aid Services under Part III of the Constitution rather than keeping it as Directive Principles of State Policy. The report was published in the year 2002 and even after more than 20 years there has been no discussion on the recommendations of the committee. He advised the students to deliberate on the same.
Shri R A Trivedi emphasised on the importance of practical knowledge in the legal field as well as of participation in legal aid activities for a law student. He emphasized to enhance legal services activities by adopting village with full information about population of the village and their other variables like Gender, Age, Education, Occupation etc.
Prof. (Dr.) MRK Prasad oriented on the implementation of the idea of Social Justice through the Legal Aid Clinics of Universities. He also gave various suggestions on how Clinic Legal Education can enhance their reach including establishing Legal Compliance Cells that specifically address issues such as RTI, Consumer Protection Rights and Right to Education.
Dr. Kalpesh Gupta interacted with the audience on the contemporary issues of Legal Aid and the problems faced by Legal Aid Clinics. He also discussed innovative way to enhance Legal Service Activities by various examples.