Report: State Level Consultation on Prison Legal Aid at 27th -28th May 2014
A two day State Level Consultation on Prison Legal Aid was organized by Human Rights Law Network on 27th and 28th of May in Patna. In this State Level Consultation on Prison Legal Aid different districts of Bihar Participated, namely, Patna, Bhagalpur, Gaya, Motihari, Jehanabad, Aurangabad, Muzaffarpur Samastipur.Saran,Sarsa,and Nalnda.The Consultation was mainly organised to enhance pro-bonolegal aid services to the poor prisoners in their respective districts and the course of action to be followed to further the legal aid work.
HRLN believes that all poor in India are entitled to access to legal facilities, and should be equally represented in front of the law, irrespective of their cast, creed, and state of being or gender. However, in reality, thousands of poor people, including dalits, Muslims, women and juveniles, are languishing in jails and police lock-ups in different parts of Bihar. Though the law guarantees them free legal aid, the Bihar State Legal Services Authority is in disarray.
Report of Legal Clinic in Gaya District Juvenile Home on 7th February 2014
A legal clinic was organized by Human Rights Law Network on 7Th Feb 2014 in the campus of Gaya child observation home. Chairperson of child welfare society Sri ManojKumar Sinha, members of J.J Board Gaya so many Advocates of HRLN Gaya Father Josh K of PUCL, Sister Sneha , Savita of HRLN and Sri Harendra ojha of Bihar Institute of Law and his students were participated in the legal clinic.
The legal camp attended by 100 juvenile and 30 participant advocate, Activist, and Justice Venture of India, Two student(Manish kumar, Ajaykumar) and One professor (Harendarnath ojha) from Bihar student of law collage (Patna Bihar).
Children are the future of our country. There are 38 districts in Bihar. In every district child observation home is established, A child observation home also in Gaya. There is also a child welfare society for children reform and protection. In Gaya observation home 100 children can stay. But on 7-2-14 there are more than 100 children in observation home. In this observation home there are 4 wards.
One Day Legal Aid Clinic in Patna on 8th February 2014
One day Legal aid camp was organised by Human Rights Law Network which was held at Patna in a down trodden, economically and socially backward locality of kadamkuan, on 8TH Feb 2014. It was inhabited by mainly uneducated women; some of them are engaged in doing menial jobs. These women folk were found to be not only uneducated but also unaware of their rights and had numerous problems to discuss on various fronts, on various issues. Inspire of the lack of education they were found to be very enthusiastic and sharp women, willing to learn and highly receptive of all the suggestions.
HRLN Bihar Unit of Patna constituting of a team comprising of Sister Sneha from HRLN Delhi , Savita , co-ordinator of Patna Unit of HRLN, Satya Prakash , Alka Verma, consultant advocates , as well as Rakesh and Kanti from Bread organisation together held the legal aid camp in this locality giving able guidance on leg concerned legal issues of Domestic violence and atrocities as women by sister sneha, savita and Alka verma .
The objective of this legal aid camp was to create awareness among these socio economically and educationally backward women and to make them aware of their rights, about the laws in regard to domestic violence, Dowry and various women atrocities women, Pregnancy rules, Government schemes benefit for women were subjected to.
State Level Consultation on Prison Legal Aid, West Bengal
9th and 10th November, 2013
Venue: Indian Institute of Training and Development (IITD), Kolkata
Overcrowding, lack of adequate medical care, physical mistreatment of prisoners resulting in custodial deaths, inadequate conditions for female and juvenile detainees, poor administration, long detention of those awaiting trial, and inadequate opportunities for prisoners to communicate with counsel, administrators, and family are some of the plaguing problems inside the jails. The intolerable conditions of prisons compound the misery of prisoners. Out of the whole prison population only 20% prisoners are convicts, while the rest are under-trials. Thousands of poor persons including Muslims, women and juveniles languish in the jails and police lockups, without due process of law.
The 2011 report of the National Crime Records Bureau, Ministry of Home Affairs, reports overcrowding in a large majority of jails, some operating at over 200 percent of their available capacity, with undertrials accounting for up to two-thirds of the prison population. The central jails are overcrowded by 118.6 percent, while the district jails are overcrowded by 126.9 percent. Amongst the maximum number of overcrowding in jails West Bengal jails ranks 6th (Prison Statics India, 2011, National Crime Record Bureau: i) with the highest number of undertrials languishing in different jails of West Bengal.
Women with children and the mentally ill are among the worst-affected groups. According to available statistics, 1,400 children younger than five are accompanying their mothers in jails.
The absence of adequate medical care and psychiatric services, contributes to the deplorable conditions. Individuals with severe mental illnesses, branded as “non-criminal lunatics,” are often imprisoned. With many mentally vulnerable prisoners left to suffer without support in a brutal environment, there is a high rate of suicides of prison inmates and police detainees.
Media Reports: Conference on Prisoners’ Rights at Allahabad
ALLAHABAD 22nd SEPTEMBER 2013
Conference on Prisoners’ Rights
Human Rights Law Network organized a National level conference on Prisoners’ Rights and uses of Criminal Law, on 21st September at Swaraj Vidyapeeth. Lawyers and Human Rights’ activists from 25 different states took part in the conference. Prisoners’ Rights and atrocities committed against them while in custody were pondered upon in the conference. Chief Guest of the conference, Mr. Achal Bihari Srivastava, ex Chief Justice of the High Court, pointed out that in situations like this the responsibility of the judges’ increase, but they must come forward and take decisions on such sensitive issues. He further stated that it is understandable that the judges face extremely heavy workload, but they must try to fit in jail visits into their busy schedules in order to ensure smooth operation of the jails.
Vice Chairman of PUCL, Seema Azad, conducted a detailed discussion on rights of female prisoners and Dalit prisoners. Senior Advocate Vishnu Shukla came in from Kanpur to express his views on the condition of the health facilities available to the prisoners. Senior reporter Suresh Gandhi shared with the participants his tryst with harassment and torture at the hands of police personnel. Further on in the conference, Senior Advocate K.K. Rai pledged to continue the fight for Prisoners’ Rights. Lenin, Zaheer Ahmed Falaahi, Farman Naqvi, Satyendra Singh, Rajanikanth Rai, K.C. Shukla, Saswati, Rudra Prasad Mishra, Randhir Singh, Suman, Shams Vikas, Ramesh Kumar, Shiv Kumar Mishra, V.K. Roy, Gauhar Ajit, Dharmendra Singh, Deeksha Dwivedi, Amiy Shukla, Rakesh Singh, Himanshu Singh, Arindam were few of the participants.