I feel privileged to introduce to you the Nyaya Bandhu mobile application – a platform to promote delivery of pro bono legal services in our country. This initiative of the Department of Justice, Ministry of Law & Justice is an extension of its Pro Bono Legal Services Programme, which has, over the past year, connected litigants in need of legal assistance with advocates volunteering pro bono legal advice.
Friends, millions in our country face obstacles in effectively accessing justice mechanisms, one reason being their inability to afford quality legal representation. Many of these people are fighting for their basic rights - like keeping a roof over their heads, getting an education, employment or seeking matrimonial rights. Without assistance of trained legal professionals, it becomes extremely difficult for them to assert their legal rights effectively.
Nyaya Bandhu initiative acknowledges the need to reach out firstly, to dedicated qualified advocates who have keen interest in delivery of pro bono legal services and secondly, to marginalised beneficiaries who need such services to effectively access justice. Through this technology driven platform, we wish to connect these two, across a wide geographical area– to maximise efficiency of the justice system.
As Minister of Law & Justice and Electronics & IT, it has been my constant endeavour to use technology in enhancing access to justice for all, through innovation and adaptation. And Nyaya Bandhu is a significant manifestation of this vision and efforts.
I hope that this programme encourages marginalised individuals to come forward and seek quality legal aid under the programme.
A lot of this responsibility rests with my legal brethren. With the great privilege of practicing law, comes the responsibility of ensuring that our justice system is equally accessible to all people, rich and poor alike. As lawyers, it our duty to improve the quality of justice in our communities, especially for the marginalised. I hope that you will make pro bono service a high priority in your professional lives. I am sure it will give you immense opportunities to build your professional reputation.
I believe that this new initiative will help us spread the culture of pro bono legal services to all corners of this country with ease and efficiency. I am certain that it will also contribute significantly in facilitating administration of justice that ensures easy access and timely delivery of justice to all.
Together we shall ensure our justice system reflects and realizes the values and ideals enshrined in the Constitution for each one of us. In this, I seek your blessings and continued support.