For the first time in the history of Lok Adalats, a transgender Neelmani Tiwari and an acid attack victim Kamar Jahan, sat as associate members at its New Delhi District benches.
This achievement adds another feather to the already loaded cap of Acting Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court, Justice Gita Mittal, under whose guidance several such initiatives have been taken up in the subordinate as well as higher judiciary.
In September this year, the Delhi High Court had offered jobs to five acid attack victims and a transgender person after their plight was brought to the notice of the Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal, who is also the Patron-in- Chief/ Executive Chairperson of the Delhi State Legal Services Authority.
The National Lok Adalat, conducted by the Delhi State Legal Services Authority today, witnessed the unprecedented move, wherein Tiwari and Jahan, along with the Presiding Officer Sushant Changotra and Judicial Officer Namrata Aggarwal, disposed of matters of civil nature and cases under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act.
Neelmani Tiwari has a Masters in Social Work degree and works with an NGO ‘Basera’. She stated that it was an overwhelming experience for her, which presented her an opportunity to contribute to the justice delivery system. She further stated that it was like a dream come true for her.
Kamar Jahan, who is a graduate and is working at the Delhi High Court, also stated that it was a unique experience for her to be a part of the National Lok Adalat bench.
The Delhi State Legal Services Authority, in its press release, mentioned that,
“Significantly they belong to the marginalised sections of the society and this is a step towards creating an inclusive society. The idea to include them in Lok Adalat benches is to ensure the empowerment of these sections of the society and to send the message that they can contribute equally in every sphere of national life.”
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