Justice NV Ramana who is next in line to become the new Chief Justice of India, said that millions of Indians have no access to justice and encouraged lawyers to do more pro bono work. While speaking at an event to commemorate 25 years of the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) in Delhi, Justice Ramana stated ” Ever since we declared ourselves to be an independent nation, we found ourselves caught between the twin problems of ‘poverty’ and ‘access to justice’. The architects of modern India had debated on this issue on several national and international platforms. Sadly even after 74 years of independence, we are still discussing the same issue.”
He stated that India was the second most populous country in the world and a force to reckon with but there were millions of Indians who still did not have access to basic fundamental rights including access to justice. He therefore reminded lawyers that they have a duty towards society and requested them to listen to the voices of the weakest people and to lend a helping hand to those who could not afford legal fees.
Justice Ramana is the current Chairperson of NALSA. He pointed out the work done by NALSA during the lockdown period and stated that it was focused on developing an accessible mechanism to redress violation of rights and empower people through legal awareness.