From a correspondent
Silchar, August 19: Citizens’ Rights Preservation Committee (CRPC) has strongly condemned the statements made by Tarun Gogoi, Chief Minister of Assam, and Rockybul Hussain, minister of Panchayat and Rural Development, Agriculture, Horticulture and Food Processing, and Parliamentary Affairs, that the alleged illegal migrants should take legal recourse themselves devoid of any state government aid.
Speaking on the issue, Sadhan Purkayastha, general secretary of the Committee, told media, the comments made by Tarun Gogoi and Rockybul Hussain that the victims of foreigners issue particularly the Bengali speaking community should arrange their legal aid and support themselves to appeal for justice in the higher courts is totally unconstitutiol. A majority of those who have been implicated and issued summons are of limited fincial means and belong to weaker sections of the society. The stance taken by the state government is against the prevailing laws of the country.
He further said that according to Article 39 A of the Constitution, it is the duty of the state to see that the legal system provides justice on the basis of equal opportunity to all its citizens. It is the responsibility of the state to provide free legal aid to those who cannot access justice due to economic and other social disadvantages. Members of the Committee said that Article 39 A lays stress upon the legal justice, to put it simply the directive requires the state to provide free legal aid to the citizens so that justice is not denied to anyone merely because of one’s economic or other social disparity.
The Supreme Court of India has emphasized that legal assistance to a poor or any accused, who is facing trial, is a constitutiol imperative mandatory not only by Article 39 A but also by Article 14 and 21. It is to be noted that Article 14 provides the right of ‘equality before law’ and Article 21 gives the right of ‘protection of life and persol liberty’. The Committee opined that a majority of those who are receiving legal notices cannot even afford two square meals a day, let alone fight for justice as they are totally ignorant of the judicial system. Under such circumstances, they are not in a position to bear the legal expenditure to prove their tiolity in spite of being genuine Indian citizens.
The members pointed out that it is the duty of the state government to provide all sorts of help including legal aid, so that those accused of being illegal migrants can appeal in the higher courts for justice. The members also urged upon the Centre to intervene into the matter and take appropriate steps to protect the rights and privileges of the helpless citizens of the country. Nripendra Chandra Saha, President, and Bidhayak Das Purkayastha, general secretary, were among the members of CRPC present on the occasion.