Social Action Litigation

By virtue of Section 4(d) of the Legal Services Authorities Act, the National Legal Services Authority has to take necessary steps by way of social justice litigation with any matter of special concern to the weaker sections of the society.

So far, NALSA has initiated the following social action litigations in the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India :-

(1) W.P.(C) No. 133/2012 for the protection of fundamental rights of the abandoned and destitute women/widows in Vrindavan and to prevent the abandonment of aged and destitute women/widows by their children/relatives.

(2) W.P.(C) No. 400/2012 was initiated for protection of rights of the transgender community. The landmark judgment in the case of NALSA vs. Union of India (2014) 5 SCC 438 recognizes transgenders to be the third gender amongst other guidelines to the government.

(3) W.P.(C) No. 212/2013 on the environmental issue of illegal sand mining.

NALSA is participating in the following cases, though it is not a party in the cases :-

(a) W.P. (C) No. 75/2012 Bachpan Bachao Andolan Vs. Union of India which relates to the matter of missing children, wherein it has been directed by the Hon’ble Court to depute Para Legal Volunteers (PLVs) recruited by the Legal Services Authorities at all police stations to keep track of missing children reports, amongst other directions.

(b) W.P. (C) No. 473/2005 Sampurna Behrua Vs. Union of India which relates to juveniles in conflict with the law. NALSA has developed a training module for legal services lawyers and Probation Officers in the Juvenile Justice Boards as per the directions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the present case.

(c) Crl. Appeal No. 135/2010 Budhadev Karmaskar Vs. State of West Bengal which relates to the murder of a sex worker, wherein the Hon’ble Court considered the issue of rehabilitation of sex workers and their children.

(d) W.P. (C) No. 56/2004 Prajwala Vs. Union of India. This case has been decided by the Supreme Court. The decision includes directions to the Ministry of Home Affairs to set up an Organized Crime Investigative Agency for suggesting the necessary changes in the existing system like strengthening the Victim Protection Protocol for the rescue, re-rescue and post rescue stages of rehabilitation of commercially and sexually exploited women and children etc.

(e) Suo Moto W.P. (C) No. 406/2013 – RE: Inhuman Conditions in 1382 Prisons wherein the Director, NALSA has been appointed as the Nodal officer to assist the court and to deal with the issues that have arisen.