Incarcerated women often have to face graver prejudices, stigma and discrimination, which makes their rehabilitation a tough challenge, Chief Justice of India NV Ramana said on Wednesday, taking note of the plight of women prisoners.
“As a welfare state, we are obligated to provide women prisoners with programs and services that enable them to effectively reintegrate into the society, on an equal basis with men,” the Chief Justice added.
The remarks came during the Chief Justice’s keynote address at the 32nd Central Authority Meeting of NALSA (National Legal Services Authority). He also expressed pleasure to see the report on rehabilitation of women prisoners, which was among the agenda items for deliberation.
The Chief Justice further provided certain measures for reintegration of women prisoners into the society such as, “non-discriminatory access to education and vocational training, dignified and remunerated work”.
Appreciating the work of the Legal Services Authorities during the recently organised Lok Adalat on September 11, the Chief Justice congratulated the legal services authorities for disposing more than 29.5 lakh cases across 33 States and Union Territories of the country.
Chief Justice Ramana also laid emphasis upon increasing “access to justice” and stated that “although much has been spoken about increasing access to justice, the question remains as to how to ensure effective and substantive access to justice to all classes of people and how to meet these gaps.”
The meeting was co-chaired by Justice UU Lalit, Executive Chairman, NALSA. Justice Lalit highlighted the issue of overcrowding of prisons and stressed upon the need to take immediate steps in such direction. He also pointed out that due to the pandemic restrictions, the schools are shut and the children living in juvenile homes, observational homes and children homes are in unimaginable situation, wherein only one video monitor is not sufficient to impart basic education to children of different age groups.
Justice Lalit also stressed upon the need to utilise the talent and services of law students, who can bridge the gap and can reach grassroot level of the society by adopting three or four talukas of each district across the country.