Legal Aid Camp

Background:

Legal Aid Camp is one of the components of legal empowerment program framed for WIP, WAR, Vulnerable, victims and survivors of trafficking and violence so that they can secure their rights and entitlements as guaranteed in our constitution as well as other provisions of law.

Objective:

Access to relevant, accurate legal information and anti-trafficking laws from the senior legal personnel and from the members of National University of Juridical Sciences Legal Aid Society, Law student of Calcutta University and from the members of Apne App Kolkata office.

Date

3rd March, 2014, 12:00-4:30 pm

Venue

12, Munshigunj Road, Kidderpore, Kolkata

Participants

119 Women and girls from Munshigunj and Topsia area along with Apne Aap staffs and NUJS LAS were present on that camp.

Activity performed

 Legal Awareness

The legal awareness is one of the important tools to empower any marginalized community through dissemination of information and creation & sharing of knowledge among community members and vulnerable groups. It will create awareness among people particularly who were forced into prostitution and for the women and girls who is under risk to be trafficked and the community people who were forcefully evicted from their residence by the government agencies violating all kind of basic human rights. It includes rights in its entire dimension like Civil and Political Rights, Economic Social Cultural Rights.

Mr. Sk. Fazul-E-Khoda Bin Mustapha, P.O. Legal started the session with the introduction of resource persons. After that Members of NUJS Legal Aid Society addressed the meeting. They told community women and girls on different laws and provisions of laws Iike Immoral Traffic(Prevention) Act-1956, New Criminal Law Amendment Act-2013, Protection of women from domestic violence act- 2005, Property rights of women, specially Hindu Succession Act- 1956 AND Hindu Women’s Right to Property Act 1937.

Taj Mohammad discussed on recent problems of community people to lodge any complaint before police and detailed procedure on it. Then he told about child marriage and its legal provisions, property rights of Muslim women as per Muslim Personal law, and their rights on divorce and its origin. He also told on right to education act and its present practice. He also told that prostituted women were the victim of circumstances. They came in prostitution to sustain their live when all other options were closed before her. The women in this business were deprived of many things in life like education and information of world beyond them. It is our duty to act jointly to end trafficking and violence against women.

Debjani Biswas told about empowering women through education and knowledge and apply that knowledge to their personal life and resist any kind of violence against women by taking strong action.

Sahana Dsgupta told about approach of apne aap to end trafficking and empowering women through knowledge including legal knowledge

It was told that the women had left their house so they needed to lean some clause of law that –

  1. No accused women could be arrested after sunset and before sunrise by the police.
  2. Woman police can arrest accused woman under Magistrate’s Order and she need to be produced to court within 24 hours of time span.
  3. Constitution of India said all were equal before law. But under special circumstances women & children were treated with special rights.
  4. It was also told that under any circumstances right to life and right to freedom couldn’t be violated under law.
  5. Women and children under 15 yrs of age couldn’t be interrogated at Police Station.
  6. Physical relation is a part of life and it’s a human practice to sustain life. But making physical relation forcefully might be referred as rape. Early constitution said the burden of proving rape lied with victim. It was told that rape as one of the heinous crime and  if any person wants to make physical relation against the woman’s consent then that would be treated as rape. But after many debate the law was amended and now the burden of proving rape lied with accused and he had prove his innocence. He had to go through all type of medical examination under provision of law. He couldn’t deny for any sorts of investigation like blood test, DNA and other laboratory or pathological tests. The amended law had relieved the victim. But the case of wife would be treated as separately.
  7. If a woman died within seven years of marriage then her family-in-laws had to prove that she hadn’t died of dowry cause.
  8. Prostitution is not illegal per se in India But if the nearby community neighbors objected of prostituted activity in the locality then government could take action accordingly. No red light area could be sustained within 200 meter of any school, college and temple.
  9. Marriage and divorced law for Hindu & Muslim were discussed. Hindu law could be amended unlike to Muslim Law as the later was framed under the direction of Hazrat Md.
  10. Hindu law said that husband had to feed his wife irrespective of all situations. Wife could demand compensation in case of divorce. But if wife had proper income unlike to her husband then no compensation could be granted under law.
  11. The property act of India said wife had been entitled with right to husband’s property. Then parents of that person had the right to his property.
  12. Lok adalat could be approached for solving small issues. The retired judges were appointed in Lok Adalat for solving petty cases. Government bore the burden of expenses for implementing law and order in the country.
  13. It was also told that every mother should admit their children to school and it is their fundamental rights to get free and compulsory education under Article 21A of our constitution and new RTE Act. They came to know government and police couldn’t evict them without providing any alternative support, though they were from red light community. This was possible because they had human rights

Some feedback from the participants:-

Ayesha Begum from Munshigunge asked about free and compulsory education and why her 4years grand son was not provided free education by government schools.Moriyam Bewa from Topsia submitted her question with relevant documents and asked about government policy to issue voter card and BPL card and why government issuing those card to all evicted people of Topsia.

Noorbanu Bibi asked about the procedure to enlist her name in RSBY list to get free medical treatment

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