The Department of Justice, Ministry of Law and Justice seeks to collaborate and converge with various government and non-government agencies for wider dissemination of legal literacy and the ensuing objective of Access to Justice, Bureaucracy Today has learnt.
The Department of Justice has been allocated with the function of legal aid to poor; administration of justice access to justice delivery and judicial reforms as per the Government of India Allocation of Business Rules 1961. Towards this mandate the Department of Justice is implementing two projects on Access to Justice for Marginalised in seventeen States of India which include Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, eight States of North East and Jammu and Kashmir.
Both the projects aim at strengthening access to justice for the marginalized - particularly women, scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, minorities, senior citizens, undertrial prisoners - by supporting strategies and initiatives that seek to address the barriers they face as well as to improve the institutional capacities of key justice service providers, to enable them to effectively serve the poor and disadvantaged.
One of the key parameters of Access to Justice and legal empowerment of the marginalised communities is increased awareness amongst the people about their rights and entitlements. For this purpose, the Department proposes to widely disseminate awareness of rights and duties through the medium of television. Television has been an effective medium for education and awareness and for reaching out to maximum number of people.
It has been our experience that short films as a medium of increasing awareness have a larger impact as it becomes useful for semi-literate and illiterate masses. In partnership with Ministry of HRD and Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Department of Justice wishes to create a pool of short films/ documentaries on socio legal issues which will then be broadcasted in partnership. Due credits will be given to the Ministry/ Department or agency which has developed the video content.
The Department of Justice is also organising a Legal Literacy Video Contest 2017. The entries have been invited from civil societies, individuals, educational institutes on the following identified eight themes that include Child Rights; Women Rights; Rights of Persons with Special Needs; Rights of Undertrial persons; Fundamental Duties; Welfare of socially and economically backward classes of society and persons under circumstances of caste atrocity; ethnic violence; Juvenile Justice and Forest and Indigenous Communities. The Department has decided to felicitate the efforts of civil society, individuals and academic institutions working in the area of legal aid and empowerment of the marginalised communities by announcing awards for short films/documentaries under the above categories.