BHUBANESWAR: In a bid to provide free legal advice at the doorsteps and revamp the socio-economic structure at the grassroots by making people aware about their rights, the State Government will soon engage legal assistant lawyers in all Gram Panchayats soon.
Delivering his progress report, Law Minister Pratap Jena said a one-of-its-kind scheme Madhubabu Aain Sahayata Scheme has been implemented to provide access to justice to the weaker sections of the society and ensure free legal aid to the citizens.
“We have so far engaged legal assistant lawyers in 337 GPs and the process is on to cover rest of the GPs,” he said.
The State Government in consultation with Orissa High Court has established 220 courts of different categories and appointed 279 judicial officers in the last four years. While Civil Judge-cum-JMFC courts in 199 blocks of 314 have been established, plans are afoot to open such court in rest 115 blocks in phases.
Other special courts which have been established, include 30 courts for trial of women related offences and courts for trial of ST and SC cases. About 17.12 lakh cases have been disposed of by the sub-ordinate courts.
In order to revive the glory of numerous temples and mutts, Jena said, `7.3 crore has been allotted to different indexed religious institutions to make adequate provisions for their upkeep, maintenance, festivals and rituals.
“As many as 323 legal aid clinics, 602 student legal literacy clubs in schools have been set up to provide legal aid and 11,307 lawyers have been engaged to conduct legal aid cases. Besides, 5,034 para legal volunteers have been engaged to see that opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any of the citizens at the grass roots,” Jena said.
In the last four years, 23.17 lakh cases have been disposed of through 3,808 Lok Adalats, which have awarded `480 crore in favour of motor accident victims and `50.94 crore deposited in the State exchequer by way of realisation of fine.
The Government also organised 5,657 legal awareness programmes by legal aid service authorities to make people aware about State-run beneficial schemes benefiting 21,557 people. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik reviewed the activities of Law Department and directed the officials to provide legal aid services to the poor and needy.