Pune Sets A New Standard: Railway Station Gets ‘Free Legal Services And Mediation Clinic’

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Pune, 22nd June 2023: Pune witnessed a significant milestone in the fight against child labour and support for economically weaker sections (EWS) with the recent inauguration of the pioneering ‘Free Legal Services and Mediation Clinic’ at the Pune railway station. This groundbreaking initiative marks the first-ever legal facility of its kind at a railway station in the country and is strategically located to cater to the numerous travelers passing through.

The Department of Labour, Central Warehousing Corporation, and representatives of the International Labour Organization collaborated with the guidance of the chief district and sessions judge and chairman of the District Legal Services Authority, Pune, to jointly organize a special seven-day campaign. The campaign aimed to rescue and rehabilitate child laborers, showcasing the dedication of various entities in addressing this pressing issue.

During the clinic’s inauguration, Secretary of the District Legal Services Authority (DLSA), Sonal S Patil, underscored the importance of similar initiatives to provide legal aid to the economically disadvantaged. Patil emphasized the significance of resolving disputes through peaceful means and stressed that the clinic’s primary objective is to offer legal assistance and guidance to individuals who are unaware of where to seek help.

Speaking with Mirror, Patil stated, “This initiative not only empowers those in need of legal assistance but also highlights the importance of peaceful dispute resolution.” The clinic at Pune station will prove particularly beneficial for individuals accused under IPC section 379 (theft), as they can receive free legal representation and bail support.

In addition to legal aid, the DLSA has established a mediation clinic at the station to address both pre-litigation and post-litigation cases, providing immediate assistance to passengers requiring legal support. Furthermore, the DLSA plans to extend legal aid under Section 12 of the Legal Service Authority Act, 1997.

Patil stressed the importance of raising public awareness about the newly established center and urged the Railway Authority to make announcements and inform passengers about the available services. Currently, the temporary clinic operates from the child helpline booth, but efforts are underway to secure an office room specifically dedicated to their operations.

The provision of legal aid and support in such a prominent public space emphasizes the belief that justice and assistance should be accessible to all, irrespective of their circumstances.


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