‘Many arrested persons unaware of their rights’

‘Many arrested persons unaware of their rights’
Justice Hukato Swu launching hoardings and pamphlets. (NP)
Correspondent Kohima, Sep25 (NPN) | Publish Date: 9/25/2020 12:41:06 PM IST

Judge Gauhati High Court, Kohima Bench, Justice Hukato Swu said that many arrested persons were unaware of their rights and as a result of the ignorance, their rights were violated.

He was delivering the keynote address at the launching of 2nd phase for implementation of Protocol for early access to justice at pre-arrest, arrest and remand stage by Nagaland State Legal Services Authority (NSLSA) at Judges Bungalow, Friday.

Pointing out that many accused persons are not given the opportunity to have access to lawyers, Swu said that distributing pamphlets to accused persons within the vicinity of police station at an early stage of arrest was crucial. 

He appraised that a female accused had the right to not be arrested before sunrise and after sunset or to be arrested only in the presence of female police personnel. However, Swu lamented that these were often ignored and violated. 

He said that many citizens are not aware of the availability of free legal aid and in respect to rights of tribal persons legal aid is provided for free in police stations.

The Judge also launched hoardings and pamphlets to be put up across 87 police stations in the state enumerating the rights of arrested persons, rights of female arrestees and rights to free legal aid including contact details for legal aid and assistance. 

Delivering welcome address, NSLSA project coordinator Cherry Ovung said that access to justice was important during the early stages of the criminal process because it ensured protection of rights of people when they were most vulnerable and thus strengthening the criminal justice system.

She said that launching of the protocol would ensure legal aid was provided not only in the trial stage but from the beginning even before the arrest is made. Member secretary NSLSA, N. Longshithung Ezung delivered the vote of thanks.

It may be noted that protocol is in line with the National Legal Services Authority’s 31st Central Authority meeting resolution to implement a framework for providing legal assistance at pre-arrest, arrest and remand stage by all state legal services authorities. 

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