RANCHI: The chief justice of Jharkhand high court, Dr Ravi Ranjan, on Saturday urged judicial officers to be more proactive in harnessing witch-hunt-related murders.
Speaking at the inaugural session of a two-day state-level conclave organised by Jharkhand Legal Services Authority (JHALSA) here, Dr Ranjan said, “The District Legal Services Authorities (DLSAs) have to be more proactive in dealing with this menace.”
Citing as an example, the chief justice, who is also the patron-in-chief of JHALSA, said earlier this month, the high court took suo moto cognisance of the Gumla murders in which five members of a family were killed as a result of witch-hunt on February 24 and ordered state officials, including the DGP, to furnish a report on the case.
Meanwhile, JHALSA’s executive chairman Justice H C Mishra said the objective behind organizing the state-level meet of DLSA chairpersons from across Jharkhand is to help the authorities concerned understand legal challenges and plan ahead.
“The entire funds available to the DLSAs have to be utilized,” he added.
Stressing on the importance of Permanent Lok Adalats, Justice Aparesh Kumar Singh, who was also present at the conclave, implored the judicial officers to help the litigants.
“The para-legal volunteers, which comprises a huge task force, need to be channelized appropriately to raise awareness on legal and social issues. Legal aid has to percolate down to those in the lower rungs of society,” he said.
Justice S Chandrashekhar, while quoting lines from Hammurabi, said, “The poor need to be protected and laws help protect the weak from the strong. The rights of the needy, in terms of access to legal aid, must be ensured, as mandated by the Constitution.”
He added, “JHALSA has shaped the lives of many and has provided relief to people coming from different backgrounds. The role of DLSAs is very important when it comes to ensuring justice for the downtrodden.”