Justice dept working on legal literacy, MIB scotches reports of new channel

NEW DELHI: Even as the Department of Justice is working with the human resource development and ministry of information and broadcasting to create a pool of shorts and documentaries to increase awareness about legal literacy, there is no plan to launch a separate television channel for this purpose.

An MIB source told that it had not been approached by the law ministry for any separate channel. A Doordarshan source also confirmed that it had informed the department of justice that films on legal literacy were being regularly telecast on its national, news and regional channels.

A law ministry source confirmed that any pool of films would be shown on DD, but details are yet to be worked out.

The aim of the department of justice is to increase legal empowerment of the marginalised communities through increased awareness amongst the people about their rights and entitlements. For this purpose, the department proposes to widely disseminate awareness of rights and duties through the medium of TV which it says “has been an effective medium for education and awareness and for reaching out to maximum number of people.”

The department noted that it has been seen that short films as a medium of increasing awareness have a larger impact as they are useful for semi-literate and illiterate masses.

The aim is to create a pool of short films/ documentaries on socio-legal issues which will then be broadcast in partnership. Due credits will be given to the ministry/department or agency which has developed the video content.

Meanwhile, the department is also organising a Legal Literacy Video Contest 2017 for which entries have been invited from civil societies, individuals, and educational institutes. The themes are: Child Rights; Women Rights; Rights of Persons with Special Needs; Rights of Undertrial persons; Fundamental Duties; Welfare of socially and economically backward classes of society and persons under circumstances of caste atrocity; ethnic violence; Juvenile Justice and Forest and Indigenous Communities.

The department will also felicitate the efforts of civil society, individuals and academic institutions working in the area of legal aid and empowerment of the marginalised communities by announcing awards for short films/documentaries under these categories.

The details to submit entries for awards by civil society, individuals, and educational institutions under the Legal Literacy Video Contest 2017 are available on the department's website. The last date for submission of entries is 27 March 2017.

The Department of Justice has been allocated the function of legal aid to poor; administration of justice access to justice delivery and judicial reforms under Allocation of Business Rules 1961. Towards this mandate the Department of Justice is implementing these two projects on Access to Justice for Marginalised in seventeen States of India which include Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, eight States of North East and Jammu and Kashmir.

Both the Projects aim at strengthening access to justice for the marginalized - particularly women, scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, minorities, senior citizens, undertrial prisoners - by supporting strategies and initiatives that seek to address the barriers they face as well as to improve the institutional capacities of key justice service providers, to enable them to effectively serve the poor and disadvantaged.

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