Juvenile Justice

Poster - Juvenile Justice

“Humanity has the stars in its future, and that future is too important to be lost under the burden of juvenile folly and ignorant superstition”.
-Isaac Asimov

It is a harsh reality today that juveniles are often involved in a large number of crimes. Hence, this presents a special challenge for law enforcement.

The Juvenile Justice concept was derived from the notion that the problems of juvenile delinquency in abnormal situations are not possible to rectify within the framework of the conventional processes of criminal law. One of the principle roles of juvenile justice has been to provide specialized treatment for better social integration and preventive treatment services for children.

Through the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989, the highest point in the quest for ensuring rights to juveniles has been reached. India, being a signatory, has made efforts to ensure the child such protection and care for his or her well-being, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.

One of the principle roles of juvenile justice has been to provide specialized treatment for better social integration and preventive treatment services for children. The array of opportunities must help the children in satisfying various needs of children.

The present Law i.e. Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act allows for juveniles (16 to 18 years) to be tried as adults for heinous offence like rape and murder. It also makes it mandatory for setting up Child Welfare Committees and Juvenile Justice Boards in every district. Both must have at least one woman member each.

Further, under this act several rehabilitation and social reintegration measures have been provided. For example, children are provided with various skill set training and also other facilities like education, health, nutrition, de-addiction, treatment of diseases, vocational training, skill development et al which help them reignite their spirit of cooperation and a sense of belongingness to society.

However, there are certain loopholes in the Act itself and a number of things need to be improved at the ground level as well. Juveniles are less knowledgeable than adults, and time and again exhibit fewer respect to the authorities. The infantile behavior of many children leads them to often engage in unusual behavior when in the company of their peers. Juveniles also present a special trouble for law regulators, as they are less mindful of the consequences of their actions and of the effects of their delinquent behavior on their victims, their parents and families, their peers, and themselves.

Thus, a lot more remains to be done to ensure a smooth running of the juvenile justice system in the country. This is why discourse regarding this topic and opinion of experts and stakeholders is extremely necessary.

Realizing the importance of the same, at the NAF one full theme has been dedicated to Juvenile Justice.

I think it’s important for us as a society to remember that the youth within juvenile justice systems are, most of the time, youths who simply haven’t had the right mentors and supporters around them – because of circumstances beyond their control.

-Q’orianka Kilcher

Rural Sanitation: Cleanliness in Godliness.

Poster - Rural Sanition

The age of technology that we live in today has kept us aware with issues all over various social media platforms, but there is one story that we, as Indians, constantly neglect despite it being a pertinent problem – that of Rural Sanitation. The scourge of manual scavenging which was a daily affair until recent times in villages has slowly seen a reduction in its practice post the judgment against it by the Supreme Court in the case of Safai Karamchari Andolan v. Union of India and Ors.

The present day India though is far better off than the pre-independence India, a lot yet needs to be done. Today there are various schemes of the government to improve the sanitation condition but its implementation has a long way to go. For example the 2014 election victory brought with it the enormous hope of Swachh Bharat, something that was envisioned from the times of Gandhi but despite efforts being taken each day, it is yet to see fulfillment.

Sanitation is not limited merely to maintaining cleanliness in public spaces and environment but is also inclusive of safe drinking water, liquid and solid waste management and personal hygiene. The Central government has taken several initiatives towards realizing the goal of sanitation with the first effort in 1986 through the Central Rural Sanitation Program that aimed at providing a clean, healthy and environmentally acceptable disposal of excreta and thus creating good sanitation and improving health standards. This program was modified in 1993 to include development of at-least one model village covering sanitary latrines, conversion of dry latrines garbage pits, soakage pits, drainage, pavement of lanes, sanitary latrines in village institutions, cleanliness in ponds, tanks, clean surrounding around hand pumps and other drinking water- sources. It was followed by the Total Sanitation Campaign in 1999 which was implemented in phases with start-up activities.

The turn of the century saw several other schemes being enacted like the Nirmal Gram Purashkar – the incentive scheme for promotion of rural sanitation (2003), the growth of Rural Sanitary Marts and Production Centres – that caters to the need for materials and guidelines in constructing different sanitary facilities which are technologically and financially suitable to the rural areas. Other initiatives include Construction of Individual Household Latrines, Women Sanitary Complex and School Sanitation.

The above objectives of sanitation though can be truly fulfilled not just by creating infrastructure and formulation of policies by central government but through a significant change in the mindset of villagers themselves. What the hours needs is awareness and sensitization towards the pressing problem of rural sanitation and active participation from villagers, local NGOs and other concerned stakeholders. The Legal Services at Gujarat National Law University through its Annual Forum is taking one such initiative towards spreading awareness. After all, in the words of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself, if India can send a mission to Mars and launch a record number of 104 satellites on a single rocket, the mission of a clean India does not seem too big to achieve.

Water and sanitation has not had the same kind of champion that global health, and even education, have had. – Jim Yong Kim

2nd National LSC Interlinking Annual Forum : Disability and Mental Health.

DISABILITY AND MENTAL HEALTH (2) (1)

report from the World Health Organisation and the World Bank in June 2012 estimated than around 1 billion people live with a disability and it is estimated that this number will only increase in future.
The memoirs of those who have triumphed despite physical challenges are among the most remarkable in literature. Their stories would be astounding for able-bodied people, and their further drive to physically create the text is as awesome as the rarest athletic performance. From Helen Keller to Ira Singhal or the Indian Blind Cricket Team, they represent the fortitude of the human spirit when physically challenged individuals find the strength to lead exceptional lives despite phenomenal obstacles. But for most, their journey isn’t easy. The aid from government or people, further discourages them. In India, The Rights of Persons with Disability’s Bill 2014, expanded the definitions of physical disabilities to cover 19 conditions from the earlier 7 (in 1995). This bill was brought to comply with the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities to which India became a signatory in 2007.The amended bill includes acid attack and Parkinson’s disease.
On March 27 this year, with the Lok Sabha passing the Mental Health Bill 2016, the parliament has ushered in new changes for the rights of the mentally disabled. The Bill ensures every person shall have a right to access mental health care and treatment from mental health services run or funded by the appropriate government. The Bill also assures free treatment for such persons if they are homeless or belong to Below Poverty Line, even if they do not possess a BPL card. Importantly, person who attempts suicide shall be presumed to be suffering from mental illness at that time and will not be punished under the Indian Penal Code, among a host of other benefits. Recently, our Prime Minister, Narendra Modi talking about mental illness, it helps in breaking the stigma regarding mental illness.                                      .
The people with disabilities, say that the social stigma attached to mental ill health and the discrimination they experience can make their difficulties worse and make it harder to recover. On one hand, they struggle with the symptoms and disabilities that result from the disease. On the other, they are challenged by the stereotypes and prejudice that result from misconceptions about mental illness. As a result of both, people with mental illness are robbed of the opportunities that define a quality life.
Researchers are beginning to apply what social psychologists have learned about prejudice and stereotypes in general to the stigma related to mental illness. We have made progress in understanding the dimensions of disabilities but there is a long way to go, firstly in spreading awareness about disabilities, especially mental illness and secondly in formulating laws in favour of the disabled people. Change strategies for public stigma have been grouped into three approaches: protest, education, and contact- all of which needs to addressed immediately. In view of this, one of the themes in The 2nd LSC Annual National Inter-linking Forum deals with ‘Disability and Mental Health.’

Successful efforts towards RTE: GNLU-LSC members felicitated by DDO, Ahmedabad.

img-20160927-wa0004The GNLU-LSC takes great pride in announcing that two of the projects undertaken under various collaborations were completed successfully this year. The students who displayed exemplary efforts in the successful completion of this project were felicitated by the District Development Officer , Ahmedabad.

The Legal Services Committee, GNLU established the Kalam library earlier this year. It was inaugurated on 18th January, 2016. The Centre has adopted Koba, a village near GNLU, where most of its activities are based. Apart from undertaking activities like the Kalam Library and “I am Kalam” drive, LSC also undertook the RTE project in July and sent a delegation from LSC to attend the Kalam conclave held in Lucknow in July this year.

The details of these activities are as follows:

  1. RTE

Created feedback forms for the Workshop that the Kalam foundation wanted to carry out with the DDO office.

Web portal structure: A sample form used for RTE admissions was made by the students

Brief and simplified version of the RTE Act

Research on the education Schemes and policies in India and the implementation of RTE in India in general and Gujarat in specific.

 

  1. District Panchayat Project

Research and simplified versions of the following schemes and programs:

– Grishmotsav

– Health initiative District Panchayat Ahmedabad

– Twin District MOU

– Dikri Vadhaamna Utsav

– Nutrition kit distribution

– E-Shikshak

– Sharadotsav

– D-PRARUP

– Vanche Gujarat

– Ghadtar

– Ambaji Padyatra

– Joy of giving

– Digital locker

– Agriculture Start up

 

img-20160927-wa0008The Right to Education project was initiated by the Government of Gujarat in order to plug loopholes in the education sector. A team of 6 members of LSC, Abhishek Vyas, Abhijit Kujur, Chaitra S, Priya Kumari, Priyanshi Meena and Saloni Gupta, were part of the team which worked on this project. This opportunity was provided to the GNLU-LSC by Mr Saurav Singh ( National Coordinator of the Kalam Center) . Mr Singh is also a keen enthusiast and a supporter of all other initiatives of  the GNLU-LSC.

The project, which was completed in two months, was divided into two parts. For the first part, the team created a website, FAQ’s about RTE, simplified version of RTE Act and feedback forms for Parents, Principals and Students availing the RTE quota. The forms were framed to gather information about conditions of schools, treatment of children and quality of education modules amongst others. The second part of the project dealt with education schemes in India, implementation of these schemes in the country, education schemes particular to Gujarat and RTE admissions in Gujarat.

After successful completion of the project, all the LSC students members were also provided with an internship certificate to that effect.

The GNLU-LSC wishes to continue to achieve similar milestones further.

Dehgram Visit: A SEWA-LSC collaboration.

By Sakshi Sharma ( With inputs from Abhishek Vyas and Ankita Dinker)

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On 3rd September 2016, a few members of the Legal Services Committee were in for some social work with the added bonus of being able to come across practical problems faced by the village dwellers that are perpetually seeking solutions to them

Abhishek Vyas, Ankita Dinker, Nancy Joshi and Saumya Rawal undertook a trip to Dehgram, a municipality in the district of Gandhinagar to interact with the residents especially women. This trip and the subsequent interaction was organized by the famous NGO “SEWA” with assistance from our legal aid clinic.

For those unaware, SEWA in itself embodies a movement and aims at redressing the grievances of poor and self employed women. Self Employment Women’s Association, is a registered trade union from 1972 which caters to women working in unorganized sector and that primarily constitute the unprotected labour force. SEWA through its work and objectives aims at achieving self reliance and full employment of self employed women workers to make them autonomous, self sufficient and empower them both economically and in terms of decision making ability.

sewa-2

This specific evening at Dehgram turned out to be quite eventful where the LSC was involved with SEWA in order to understand and assist the local women with their problems and provide legal aid. An activity like this not only exposed the members to what are the problems faced but on also how most people are unaware of their rights, how they can receive legal assistance and subsequent relief.

The problems of the women present in the crowd were primarily based on personal laws or were property disputes. Amongst those mentioned some were forceful occupancy of land of others, fraudulent possession of land, cruelty by in laws and domestic violence, abandonment by husband while some others involved acquisition of land by the government and lack of electricity.

An opportunity like this raised an important question on how we as students can give back to the society or how many of us, upon completion of our education will actually be willing to help those in need rather than criticizing the government for failing to address the issues of the poor. After all, change begins from within.

Regular gatherings of women are organized by SEWA to carry forward its initiative. The interactive session by LSC was conducted during one such gathering organized at Dehgam. The recorded data will be transferred to the Legal aid cell for further research, so that meaningful follow-ups can be provided.

This activity was an eye opener in true sense and the members of GNLU-LSC were extremely elated on getting this privilege. It is our aim to serve the society and initiatives like these only keep the momentum going

Blood Donation Camp: Come, Be a hero on July 15th, 2016!

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The finest gesture one can make is to save life by donating Blood.

Following the same belief, The Legal Services Committee at the Gujarat National Law University is organizing a Blood Donation Camp on the 15th July 2016 on the campus premises. After a string of successful activities including the immensely impressive “1st National Inter-Linking Legal Services Committee Annual Forum on “Access to Legal Services” (October 3rd-4th)” the GNLU LSC is back in full swing for the year 2016-2017 and what better than a start with its flagship event, THE BLOOD DONATION CAMP.

For the uninitiated ,it has been a GNLU tradition and most importantly an LSC tradition to organize blood donation camps every year in the University Campus.

The University has been following the same for the past 8 years when the first Blood Donation Camp was held in the year 2008 on the occasion of the Foundation Day of the Gujarat National Law University. Ever since it has become a regular practice to hold Blood donation camps annually, which has witnessed overwhelming participation from students and staff alike .

The previous year witnessed one of the most successful Blood Donation camps in the History of Gujarat National Law University. Over 235 people turned up for participation out of which 170 could successfully donate.
This exemplary effort on the part of the members of the Legal Services Committee under the Student Convener Mr. Akshay Kharbanda received immense admiration within the university and also gained widespread media coverage in the print media and several online platforms ( Read the coverage by popular website LAWCTOPUS on the Blood Donation)
Hence, continuing with the tradition the GNLU-LSC is organizing the 9th edition of its hugely successful flagship event in participation with the Indian Red Cross Society, Ahmedabad Chapter.

Important Details

Date: 15th July 2016, Friday

Time: 12:30 pm- 5:30 pm

Venue: Legal History Museum, (Room below the library) Administrative Block, GNLU

In case of any queries or questions, please feel free to contact any of the following:

Akshay Kharbanda (+91-9586883240)

Vishwajeet Singh (+91-9537793879)

Yukti Trivedi (+91-9429782026)

Kaazvin Kapadia (+91-9978800656)

We sincerely request all the Students of GNLU and nearby Colleges in Ahmedabad or Gandhinagar to participate in this noble cause and do their bit for the society.

The blood is red gold in time of saving a life.

Share a little; care a little – Donate Blood.

International Women’s Day: Pledge for Parity.

women's day

“One day I will..”, as the Google doodle whistles, the theme of 2016 International Women’s day happens to be “Pledge for Parity”.

The World Economic Forum had predicted in 2014 that it will take until 2095 to achieve global gender parity. In the next year it was estimated that a slow down was deemed in the already slow rate of progress and that gender equality wouldn’t isolate itself from the world totally until 2133.

8th March, also known as UN Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace, is registered all over the world as International Women’s day. Today is a public holiday in countries such as Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Moldona and Ukraine.

History

The first International Women’s day was celebrated on March19, 1911, because it commemorated the day that the Prussian king promised to introduce votes for women in 1848. The promise gave hope for equality but it was a promise that he failed to keep. The date was moved to March 8 in 1913.

The UN drew global attention to women’s concerns in 1975 by calling for an International Women’s day. It also convened the first conference on women in Mexico city that year.
Mahatma Gandhi  said,” Intellectually, mentally and spiritually, woman is equivalent to a male and she can participate in every activity“.

Evidently, the International Women’s day logo is in purple and white and features the symbol of Venus, which is also the symbol of being female.

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Highlights of the International Women’s day 2016 
The 2016 theme for International Women’s day is ” Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step it up for Gender Equality.”

The motto being implementation of the new Sustainable Development Deals. Around the world, UN women has been organizing International Women’s day events in more than 40 countries, including a cycle rally in New Delhi on March 6.

“We have shattered so many glass ceilings we created a carpet of shards. Now we are sweeping away from the assumptions and bias of the past so women can advance across new frontiers” says UN Secretary General, Ban-Ki-Moon, in his message of 2016 event.

Enthusiastically, women all over the world celebrate today as a day of Equality and Respect, as a day to acknowledge their roles as mother, daughter and many more, as a day of enhancing the social structure and ensuring Gender Parity.

Happy International Women’s day!