NALSA campaign

In commemoration of India’s 75th year as a Republic, the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) came up with a Pan-India Campaign, “Restoring the Youth,” aimed at identifying juveniles in prisons and providing them with essential legal assistance.

The campaign, launched by Justice Sanjiv Khanna, Judge, Supreme Court of India, and Executive Chairman, NALSA, will be from 25-01-2024 to 27-02-2024. Its primary objective is to identify individuals currently incarcerated who were potentially minors at the time of the offense, assisting them in filing necessary applications for claiming juvenility before the appropriate court and facilitating their transfer to Childcare Institutions in identified cases.

Despite significant legal frameworks for the care and protection of children in conflict with law, the challenge of ensuring access to justice persists. The campaign responds to a plea received by NALSA from a convict undergoing life imprisonment, claiming to have been a minor at the time of arrest in 2003.

The virtual launch event was attended by Executive Chairpersons, Member Secretaries, and other officials from all State Legal Services Authorities.

Ms. Santosh Snehi Mann, Member Secretary, NALSA, highlighted the progress made in the last two decades while acknowledging persistent concerns.

While inaugurating the launch, Justice Khanna emphasized that “Criminals are made by circumstances. No one is born a criminal. The path towards criminality is often a result and consequence of experiences and circumstances mostly shaped by neglect, external influences or lack of guidance”.

“Restoring the Youth” is a call to action, aligning with the principles of justice and the safeguarding of children’s rights, marking a significant step towards a more humane and developmentally appropriate treatment of juvenile offenders.

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