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Sending Law Graduates To Remote Districts Noble Idea

Updated: November 3, 2012 2:21 pm

It needs no Albert Einstein to gauge the obvious truth that Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid’s proposal to send students compulsorily to practice for at least a year in far-flung remote districts of India after completing their studies is a very revolutionary idea matching completely with ground realities and needs to be implemented at the earliest. It merits no reiteration that when law graduates will undertake a remote stint at the very primary stage of their career, it will certainly do a yeoman’s service in getting them more practical experience and expose them to the numerous problems faced by people residing in remote areas. In fact, this should have been implemented a long time back.

However, such a landmark proposal of sending fresh law graduates to remote places can yield fruitful results only if they are chalked out properly after adequate deliberations by legal luminaries and other experts concerned so that it does not turn out to be another white elephant. Government must initially give them some financial remuneration as an incentive to work with full dedication and certainly it will immensely help them in contributing their best and in discharging a positive role in society. Also, some senior lawyers must accompany them and help them wherever and whenever they face any hitch in understanding a complex case or encounter any other problem. Moreover, good guidance of seniors always serves as a shot in the arm of young lawyers who are full of zeal but lack the experience and this is where the role of seniors come into play.

The new entrants to the legal profession must first be asked to do an internship with the State and National Legal Aid Authority because let us not be oblivious of the fact that it is only after getting the basic training that they would be confident and mature enough to be able to render free legal services to the under-privileged and poor people residing in remote areas. The government also must play its part well by being more generous in making more financial aid for the various expenditures arising from the various work which the new lawyers engage themselves in and in sparing more senior lawyers for supervising them as they cannot be expected to tackle all complicated cases without any help rendered by any senior. Also the new lawyers must themselves maintain relations with various social organisations and NGOs because there social workers operate and it is the ideal hub to meet and interact with them. It is these social workers who work and intermix with all sections of society especially the poor, backward and under-privileged.

We also need to be conscious of the fact that as a way to render this entire process of sending fresh law graduates to remote areas more meaningful and relevant, they must be given the liberty to not only just fight the already lodged cases but also to take up such cases where they witness gross injustice perpetrated on the poor, hapless farmers or women or those hailing from weaker sections of society. Here they must be given enough discretion to decide which case they want to contest. Also they must be taught that just minting money is not the sole aim of this noble profession and they have to rise up to the expectations posed in them by the poor and downtrodden sections of society.

It is the government’s prime job to make sure that the law graduates are not just simply kicked into any remote district without any help of any kind because if this be the case, the result will be obviously a big zero. Moreover, how can we be oblivious of the fact that lawyers have no fixed clients unlike doctors and it is after many years of active and sound practice that people start trusting the lawyers concerned. All said and done, it will extremely benefit especially those poor, under-privileged, under-trial prisoners who mostly are in jail for no fault of theirs and the tragedy is that they spend so many years in prison that they would not have spent even if they had actually committed the offence because there is no one to represent them and they can’t afford to pay exorbitant fees as many lawyers demand often.

By Sanjeev Sirohi

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