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Plea in Bombay high court for accessible judicial system for poor and marginalised

By Dilip Bobb

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With many courts having introduced tight restrictions on number and type of cases they can handle, the hardest hit will be the poor and those unable to afford proper legal help. With the severe reduction in number of cases the courts can hear in a given day, the most affected are the poor litigants who cannot afford any inordinate delays. Now, a group of Senior Advocates have written to the Bombay High Court, requesting that an accessible alternate justice system be set up, particularly for poor and marginalized, during the nationwide lockdown. The senior advocates, who include Mihir Desai, Gayatri Singh, Janak Dwakadas Anil Antukar and Rajani Iyer, have appealled to the Bombay High Court that, in view of the unprecedented circumstances, the Senior Advocates have made the following requests regarding litigants who are from the poorer sections of society:

– Modalities of affirming petitions be modified to dispense with the personal presence of the petitioner to sign and affirm the Petition.

– The modalities of filing Petitions be modified to allow for e-filings.

– The hearing of the petitions be undertaken regularly, through video-conferencing.

– Grievances of poor and marginalized be given priority.

The letter ends by stating: “It is asserted that a delay in setting up an accessible justice system reduces the chances of the poor and the marginalized to obtain sustainable and requisite orders and reliefs against the State so as to gain access to life saving civic amenities.

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