COVID-19 CRISIS: Implications for Access to Justice


Incidents of high-handedness are already being reported from different corners of the country. As time passes, maybe apathy and indifference to sufferings will also surface. Maybe we will write in social media and forget. Today we can perhaps afford it. But there will be a time, when we will have to face this. These are early days, but we need to be prepared for the long haul. Today, we may be lulled into complacency, saying it is a war against the virus. I argue that we need not. Even wartime needs justice mechanisms in place and working. Every war manual and martial law has a semblance of justicing mechanisms. Therefore, we will have to provide access to justice to people aggrieved. This is important for two reasons, at the very least. One, it helps contain social discontentment as it opens up pent up grievances and restricts it from getting misdirected. Two, it helps recalibrate the response of the administration and the errant public by enforcing accountability. It is required for the proper functioning of the emergency administration itself. Institutions of justice cannot be kept in suspended animation, as they are today. Today, there is no remedy for the usual wrongs.
What is our response? Ironically, justice institutions were the first to suspend operations and are silent spectators to the citizen’s plight in this lockdown. This, when a totally contactless delivery of legal services is possible with the help of technology. We have the building blocks already. While I stand resolutely behind the government on the steps being taken today, to keep the pandemic at bay, we have to prepare for a situation when this prolongs and even for the future when such disruptions occur due to reasons like biological warfare. This is a time when we should come together and attempt to repurpose ourselves to deliver contactless legal services. This will have far reaching impact on access to justice in peacetime. Let us come together and spend 2 hours every day. Let us begin with brainstorming. Will be great to receive some responses.

Adyopant Legal Awareness Street Play competition organised by Atmabodh in Collaboration with Delhi State Legal Services Authority on 18th December 2015

Delhi State Legal Services Authority and Atmabodh organised an Inter-school legal awareness street play competition on 18th December 2015. LBS School R K Puram won the first prize  and Mount Carmel School Anand Niketan won the runners’up prize. The prize for the best community engagement was awarded to Mount Carmel School Anand Niketan. The prize for the best script went to a group of students from Pochanpur, Delhi, being informally educated by Unnati Ki Rah. Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Dharmendra Rana, the Project Officer, Delhi State Legal Services Authority, appreciated the efforts of the students and encourgaed them to continue their efforts in community development. He also informed them about the mandate of the DSLSA. Mrs. Janak Nandini Singh co-ordinated the whole programme. Atmabodh members and office bearers were present on the occasion. Mr. Anurag Singh, Advocate and Member,  Executive Council, Atmabodh, welcomed the Chief Guest Mr. Dharmendra Rana. Dr. Maurya Vijay Chandra, Secretary, Atmabodh, thanked all the school teams and the organising team of Atmabodh for having made the initiative possible and a success. Dr. Chandra also thanked the Delhi State Legal Services Authority and its Member Secretary, Mr. Dharmesh Sharma, for their support to the initiative. He also announced that selected participating teams would be coached by professional artists in the future competitions.

Atmabodh Conducts Interactive Seminar on Responding to Sexual Harassment at Workplace

Atmabodh coached more than 30 young men and women students of CMC centre at Fateh Nagar, near Tilak Nagar, New Delhi on what they can do to deal with the problem of sexual harassment at workplace. Team Adyopant Legal delivered the seminar and Janak Nandini Singh coordinated it. We look forward to more such programmes.

Members Brainstorm for the Year to Come

Atmabodh members met at the office of Mr. Arvind Kumar Gupta, Advocate and Vice-President, Atmabodh on 26th October 2015. After a brainstorming evening, lots of new ideas emerged. It has been decided that the activity calendar for the next year will see changes to align well with the academic calendar of schools and law colleges. It was also thought that approaching local MLAs would enable Atmabodh to connect better with government schools and engage with the youth. The details will follow in a report from Ms. Janak Nandini Singh.

Drawing and Painting Competition in School in R K Puram area, Delhi

Atmabodh is organising a drawing and painting competition in Janta Adarsh Vidyalay, Sector 5, R K Puram on 13th August 2015 to celebrate Independence Day. Theme: “Freedom” “Azadi“. All members are requested to join the celebrations and encourage children. Contact Janak Nandini Singh.

Members’ Update

Atmabodh organised the final round Adyopant Legal Rights Awareness Street Play Competition on 14.04.2015 at Palika Bazar Rooftop Park. Sh. Dharmesh Sharma, Member Secretary, Delhi State Legal Services Authority was the Chief Guest and Prof. B B Pande was the Guest of Honour. Sh. Samar Vishal, Member Secretary, South Delhi District Legal Services Authority and Sh. Dhiraj Mor, MM, were among the judges invited to judge the event.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7gSLakepjR7akhycFMtVllkUTA/view?pli=1

Intellectual Property Rights Awareness and Consultation Campaign

Atmabodh brings free intellectual property rights consultation for NGOs in the Delhi area.

Does your NGO have IPRs (Trademark, Copyright, Design Rights, Proprietary Confidential Information, Patent etc). Can you earn money out of it? Can it be IP you have? spun off as an independent and sustainable project? How can you protect the These and many more questions can be answered in your free consultation.

The campaign will be for a 30 days period from 25th March to 24th April. NGOs with activities in the NCR region are eligible to book a consultation under this campaign. Each consultation will be for a maximum of 30 minutes and will have to be booked at least one day in advance, depending upon availability of slots. The campaign has the technical support of Adyopant Legal, a Delhi based full-service law firm.

Book your appointment now by sending SMS “IPR” to 9811942958