ILS Legal Aid Centre

  1. Aims & Objective
    The establishment of ILS Legal Aid Centre seeks to impart Clinical Legal Education and social-legal services to the needy and poor segments of the community. It is necessary to expose law students to the practical aspects of the legal field as study of law is a professional course; the Legal Aid Centre aims at fulfilling this purpose and alongside provides a platform to serve the poor and needy.
  2. About ILS Legal Aid Centre
    ILS Law College was the pioneer in establishing a Legal Aid Centre at the college, as early as 1976. The ultimate purpose of it is to harbor a place of innovation and experimentation for the development of effective approaches to the legal education and rendering services. In addition to its desirability as a tool of learning, it was also targeted towards its use for betterment of the disadvantaged, ILS wanted to make legal education community responsive and socially relevant. The Legal Aid Centre is working in this direction for the last 43 years with commitment and dedication, and has earned a great reputation for its work.
  3. Composition Faculty Coordinators
    The faculty actively participates and promotes the activities at the Centre. Their contribution is highly noteworthy. Faculty members participating in Legal Aid Activities in the academic year 2018-19 are- Principal Vaijayanti Joshi, Dr. Suvarna Nilakh, Dr. Deepa Paturkar, Dr. Tejaswini Malegaonkar, Dr. Nitish Nawsagaray, Mr. Santosh Jaybhay, Dr. Kamlakar Waghmare, Mr. Dnyaneshwar Kendre, Dr. Shaila Daware, Ms. Swati Kulkarni, Ms. Rajalaxmi Joshi, Dr. Banu Vasudevan, Ms. Swati Kulkarni, Ms. Swatee Yogessh, Ms. Isha Saxena, Ms. Anagha Limbale, Mr. Ashish Pawar, Ms. Arati Tayde, Ms. Sujata Tikande, Ms. Sampada Kangane, Mr. Rohit Bokil and Ms. Bhavna Wanare.
  4. Student Co-ordinators
    A team of student co-ordinators is quintessential for the functioning of the ILS Legal Aid Centre. This years student coordinators are:- Swapnil Falke, Apurva Shelke, Mayur Avhad, Mallika Joshi, Poorva Sharma, Suganshi Ropia, (all V B.A.LL.B.), Satyajit Landage, Sagar Varma, Swapnil Suryawanshi, Suryakant Surwase (all IV B.A.LL.B.), Ashwini Sanap (III B.A.LL.B) and Mihir Beradia (II B.A.LL.B.).
  5. Accomplishments
    It can be said with satisfaction though not with complacency, that the hard work of the teachers and the students, and their commitment to the cause of poor people and to legal education has sustained this activity continuously for the last 43 years and helped acquire worldwide recognition. This is evident from the fact that the Sri Lankan delegation considered ILS Legal Aid Program as one of the model programs to be followed in Sri Lanka. Foreign scholars like Prof. Bloch, Prof. Clark D. Cunningham included observations on ILS Clinical Legal Education Program in their research studies. Prof. Jane Schukoskee thought it worthwhile to study ILS Legal Aid Program in her proposal for Fulbright Scholarship.
    The Legal Aid Centre’s activities have proved instrumental in achieving the 3rd Edition of National Conference on Human Rights &Gender Justice- Knowledge Steez Award of Excellence for Contribution in Social Justice and Legal Aid, 2018.
  6. Services
    The ILS Legal Aid Centre aims at providing legal aid to varied spectra of the community. We provide free legal aid to the sections of society which are entitled for free legal services enlisted under Section 12 of the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987.

      • Legal Literacy Programs
        Indian community is generally illiterate in the matters of information about law. If we desire to create a just social order legal awareness is indispensable. ILS has been conducting literacy programs in its neighborhood for the last four decades.
        Legal Literacy programs are conducted with the help of social organizations, social workers, Gram Panchayats, village Sarpanch, School Managements, Mahila Mandals, Rotary Clubs, etc. The target group is villages, farmers, slum dwellers, women, school children, social workers, school teachers, laborers etc. The programs are generally need based and information about law which will be most relevant to a target group is given to them. Their queries are answered and they are requested to contact the Centre for advice/support if they need it.
        Lectures, discussions, posters, literacy material, street-plays are used as methods of communication. Street-play is the most effective manner of communication. It is a living experience of law and is well appreciated by all. The camps consisted of student and teacher’s presentations on relevant issues like Domestic Violence, Dowry Prohibition, Child Sexual Abuse, Writing will, etc. The sessions are made interactive and reactive to needs of villagers. The experience is proved to be enriching for the students and the attending villagers.
      • Legal Aid Clinic
        The Legal Aid Centre runs its clinic at ILS Law College, six days a week. Legal grievances of a wide variety like domestic violence, divorce, dowry prohibition, cruelty, land acquisition, etc. are addressed here. The Clinic is run in a tandem of students and teachers, with both in attendance. The Clients are those who cannot afford legal fees. The same is settled free of cost at the Clinic.
      • Dispute Resolution
        Whenever a party approaches the Centre with a complaint against another person, the Centre calls the opponent and after hearing both the sides tries to settle the matter amicably or compromise/ negotiations/ conciliations are tried. In cases of failure, litigation support is given in to poor clients. Generally, the cases are referred to the alumni of the colleges practicing in various courts.
      • Legal Advice
        Advice in legal matters is given to all who approach the Centre, i.e. how to make a will, how to file RTI, how to approach Consumer Forum, etc.
      • Lok Adalats
        Lok Adalats under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 have been introduced to reduce the burden on judiciary by taking initiative involving small causes and smaller crimes cases like insurance, motor vehicles, labor and industrial disputes, etc.
        Through the Legal Aid Center, students of the college are given an opportunity to participate in Lok Adalats held at the Pune District Court and Bombay High Court. They are also able to actively take part in the proceedings of the Lok Adalats by way of reading cases and observing the sessions.
        The students of the Legal Aid Center also participated in a Disability Certificate Drive conducted by the Pune District Legal Aid Authority.
        This Drive was intended to award disability certificates to persons who were rendered disabled had to file for insurance claims. This was done under the vigilance of Hon’ble Principle District Judge of Pune District Court Shri S.M. Modak, Member Secretary Pune District Legal Aid Authority Shri S. R. Anturkar and Adv. Ganu. A team of expert doctors from Sancheti Hospital and Sasoon Hospital were present. Nearly 500 certificates were distributed in this Drive.
      • Para legal activities
        The Legal Aid Centre undertakes, “Train the Trainers Program”. Grass-root level social worker, barefoot lawyers, police, etc. are given training in substantive as well as procedural laws.
      • Other activities
        The Legal Aid Clinic through ILS Law College also participates in other activities for widening its students’ practical knowledge. Visit to Yerwada Jail, Orphanage in Yavat, etc. are held annually and are open to active student- teacher participation.
    • Associations with Community Leaders
      The ILS Legal Aid Centre has collaborations with following organizations for providing legal aid:-

      1. Deepgraha Society – Marketyard and Tadiwala Road
      2. Karve Institute for Social Sciences – Karvenagar
      3. Kagad Kach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat
      4. Green Tara Foundation
    • Research
      One of the objects of the Centre is to make students learn how the law operates and the limitations of law and legal system. This is done by undertaking research with the help of the students. Some ongoing research projects conducted by students are –

      • Access to Legal Aid
        (Student Coordinator- Suganshi Ropia)
        The researchers aim to study and understand the hindrances that keep people from accessing justice and legal aid and to see to what extent the purpose of Article 39-A of the Constitution of India has been fulfilled. The researchers will assess the situation on the ground level by analysing cases coming to the Legal Aid Clinic at the ILS Legal Aid Centre in addition to studying the existing research on the same. This project primarily aims at questioning status quo in the current climate surrounding legal aid and exploring new tools in improving access to justice for all.
      • Right to Education for Waste Pickers Children.
        (Student Coordinator- Shloka Kumar)
        In August – September 2018, a team of 10 students carried out a project in association with KKPKP (Kagad Kach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat – a Trade Union for Waste Pickers), with respect to the Right to Education Act, 2009. Many waste-pickers’ children have been enrolled in private schools through a provision in the Act which mandates free and compulsory education to all children from 6-14 years of age. 25% of seats in all schools, except unaided minority institutions, are to be reserved for children from economically weaker sections of the society, and all aspects relating to education are supposed to be free.
        The project involved data collection from families as to the actual implementation of the Act. The team went to slums in Aundh, Gokhalenagar, Hadapsar, Yeshwantnagar, Laxminagar, Shivajinagar, Kondhwa, Fulenagar, and Pimpri Chinchwad. Data regarding personal information of the children and their parents, and information regarding the schools and the amount charged for items like books, uniforms, stationary, transport, extra-curriculars, annual/sports days, picnics etc was collected, along with photographs of the bills. It was a great experience doing field work at the grassroots, saddening and heartening at the same time. The data is to be used as evidence for a pending PIL that has been filed in the High Court of Maharashtra.
      • Need for Environmental Impact Assessment for Development of Wetlands
        (Student Coordinator- Sneha Sharma)
        The students of the ILS legal aid Centre are working on a research project on the effects of apparent beautification and restoration of Pashan lake, home to many migratory birds and rare freshwater aquatic plants by the PMC. Focus will be on how the PMC was irresponsible with the development project and instead of developing the wetland as a wetland, they destroyed its ecosystem with the beautification. Extensive research will be done and statistics will be collected for finding out the impact and consequences of these steps on the aquatic life and migratory birds in the wetland. Legal duty of the PMC with regards to conducting a proper environmental impact assessment before taking up such projects will be scrutinized. Finally, an RTI will be filed with the PMC or other designated government offices to take measures to correct the ecosystem and stop the beautification in any other lake by PMC without proper Environmental Impact Assessment.
    • Publications: The centre also prepares the legal literacy material on various issues of law. It is generally in Marathi/ English and also in the form of posters. We invite student participations by holding competitions and awarding prizes for literacy material and posters. Our literacy topics cover a wide ambit of social laws and aim at educating people regarding their basic and fundamental rights. Some of the topics are:
      1. Domestic Violence Act, 2005
      2. PCPNDT Act
      3. Noise Pollution Rules
      4. Dowry Prohibition Act, 2005
      5. Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act, 2012
      6. Testamentary and Intestate Succession
      7. Land Laws (Maharashtra)
      8. Senior Citizens Act
      9. Laws relating to Drugs and Narcotics
      10. Right to Information
      11. Child Rights
      12. Criminal Procedure Code
      13. Rights of Persons with Disability
      14. Consumer Protection Laws
      15. Jat Panchayat Act
      16. Anti-Superstition and Black Magic Prevention Act
      17. Overview of our Work
    • Legal Aid Camps are conducted by the Centre on a regular basis. The camps are divided as follows-
      • School Camps
        Students of the Legal Aid Center visit schools in and around Pune to take sessions on legal literacy for school children. Topics covered range from child abuse, right to education, drugs and narcotics awareness, social media and cyber crime, etc. Language is no barrier as sessions are taken in English, Hindi and Marathi.
        Till date, the Center has successfully held camps in (no. of schools), including Panditrao Agashe Secondary English Medium School, Ramchandra Rathi Marathi Medium School, Balveer Hutatma Sirishkumar Madhyamik Vidyalaya, Savitribai Phule Prashala, Vasantdada Patil Madhyamik Vidyaniketan, etc. .
        Use of visual aids and posters is encouraged and students prepare skits and performances to connect better with their young audience. Separate time is allotted for a question and answer session with the students.
      • College Camps
        Students of the legal aid center also take sessions in various colleges in and around Pune. The topics discussed here range from domestic violence, dowry prohibition, drugs and alcohol awareness, child abuse, cyber crime, intellectual property rights, etc. Till date, successful camps have been held SP College, SNDT College, IMDR College, MMCC College, etc. The students engage in discussion with their audience and have lively, interactive sessions.
      • Village Camps
        Students of the legal aid center take legal literacy camps in villages around Pune city. The topics discussed in these camps are pertinent to the living situation in villages and range from dowry prohibition, domestic violence, land laws of Maharashtra, laws regarding sex determination of a baby, Right to Information, etc. These camps are held in regional languages like Marathi and Hindi. Many camps have also been conducted with the dual purpose of spreading legal literacy and holding legal aid clinic to address other legal grievances of the audience.
        Interactive sessions with lots of questions and answers are held and legal literacy reading material is also distributed in languages best understood in that region.
        Till date successful village camps have been held in more than (no of villages) including Somatwadi, Sonwadi, Dehu, Kashti, Padegaon, Kanhur Mesai, Kondhanpur etc.
    • Contact Us
      ILS Legal Aid Center,
      ILS Law College
      Law College Road (Chiplunkar Road),
      Shivajinagar, Pune,
      Maharashtra 411004
      Ph. (020) 25656775
      E-mail:- ils.legalaid@ilslaw.in