National Legal Aid Services Day Thursday

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National Legal Aid Services Day will be observed on Thursday with a view to ensuring rule of law and justice for everyone.

The Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs has taken elaborate programme marking the day.

The theme of this year is “Take legal assistance free of cost, Sheikh Hasina’s government is giving this assurance (Bina Kharche Nin Ainee Sahayata, Sheikh Hasina’s sarkar dichchhe Ai Nishchayata)’.

On the eve of the day, President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina gave separate messages highlighting importance of the day.

In observance of the day, different programmes, including discussion meeting, rally, legal aid fair, client-lawyers joint meeting, best panel lawyers’ award distribution, publication of supplement, photography exhibition will be organized across the country. The Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs will organize a rally in the city at 10am tomorrow. Secretary of the ministry Md Golam Sarwar will lead the rally. A discussion will be held at Judicial Administration Training Institute at 10.30am tomorrow.

“In most of the cases, the hardcore poor are usually being deprived of their constitutional right of getting legal support and that’s why the government has formulated ‘National Legal Aid Services Act in 2000’ to ensure legal assistance to the poor people,” said the president in his message.

“I believe that celebration of the National Legal Aid Services Day will play an important role to ensure the access of all to the legal aid services programme introduced by the government,” he added.

The government’s legal assistance service programmes have important role in establishing justice as well as socio-economic development and achieving ‘Vision – 2041’, he said, adding that the success of the legal aid services depends on integrated approach of all concerned organizations including judges, lawyers, NGO workers, human rights workers and development partner organizations.

The president urged all concerned, especially those involved in legal system to take strong and effective steps to settle cases under the legal aid service quickly.

In her message, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman ensured people’s fundamental and legal rights through the constitution in 1972. “But the rule of law and fundamental human rights were jeopardized in the country after the assassination of the father of the nation in 1975,” she added.

After 1975, the BNP-Jamaat alliance government carried out widespread killing and repression, and resisted the path of fair trial and that’s why people were deprived of their right of getting legal support, said the PM in her message.

“We are working to implement ‘access to the right of justice’. The government has formulated ‘National Legal Aid Services Act in 2000’ so that insolvent and poor people are not deprived of their right of getting legal support,” said Sheikh Hasina.

She said poor and helpless people are given legal services at free of cost. District legal aid offices are working as the central point of ‘alternative dispute settlement’ to settle disputes locally, which has been playing important role to reduce case backlog in courts, she said, adding that people are given legal assistances even during Covid-19 pandemic through digital system.

Bangladesh has already got final recommendation for becoming a developing nation and the government wants to turn Bangladesh into a developed country by 2041, she said, adding that for this reason, the country needs to ensure rule of law at all levels of the society.