Aman Kanooni Sahayata Kendra

Aman is also running a Legal Aid Cell called Kanooni Sahayta Kendra in Jehanabad Town. The centre provides legal assistance to vulnerable and marginalized people who are caught up in legal conflicts and cannot afford expensive and and sometime exploitative legal services. Several hundred such cases have been handled by the Kendra. Majority of the clients of the Kendra are the victims of caste related or domestic violence. Presently the Kendra is fighting cases of NREGA workers for the payment of their dues against the government.

UNDER the Indian Constitution after independence, law and the judicial system were entrusted with the task of adjudication of disputes and determination of rights. This was done as a progressive measure to prevent individuals and groups from settling their grievances, disputes and other issues through personal acts, invariably violent and leading to generations of bloody and vengeful battles.

However for the legal system to obtain the desired result, accessibility of law was a precondition. Increasingly the marginalized, weak and oppressed segments found themselves unable to access the legal machinery both due to economic and social disadvantages. This was sought to be remedied by the judiciary in the 1980’s through a Public Interest Litigation as well as the creation of a national level statutory legal aid service. However due to a range of reasons the latter scheme was unable to achieve it’s full potential and soon became ineffective. It no longer was able to provide a real option for the marginalised to access the law. It was in this context that the KSK was established.

The KSK is located at Fida Hussain Road, Jehanabad, Bihar. It functions as a unit of AMAN Trust. It provides legal aid to certain specific categories of persons and is not a general legal aid centre as envisaged by the Legal Services Authority Act. This is in keeping with the objective and vision of AMAN.

Jehanabad has had a long history of caste and class massacres, and as we were able to identify a group of lawyers willing to provide legal services, KSK was established in Jehanabad.

It is understood that if the weak and oppressed are systematically and continually deprived of their rights and subjected to atrocities then endless spirals of violence are bound to reign supreme. The KSK aims to provide the vulnerable and weaker sections and groups with an access to law to enable them to realise their right, redress wrongs, resolve disputes through the legal system rather than through recourse to violent means.

1. Legal Aaid / Litigation

The KSK offers free legal support to poor, oppressed and vulnerable sections of society on a range of issues. These include women’s rights, dalits’ (SC/ST/OBC) rights, workers’ rights (e.g., demand for wages), police atrocities, consumer protection (life & health related), motor accident claims, and other instances where a case of injustice against poor/oppressed is made out. An informatory flyer with relevant contact details in Hindi and in English is available for distribution.

Sometimes due to a range of circumstances disputes are settled out-of-court and consequently cases are not pursued by the complainant. While the case might stand disposed-off on court records, understanding the cycles of domestic violence it is likely that the complainant-woman will be vulnerable to violence in the future also. Keeping this in mind KSK is committed to monitor such cases by way of follow-up visits, at least two in three months, after the out-of-court settlement. This is to ensure the clients’ safety and well being.

2. Legal Awareness / Workshops

2.1 Capacity-building of members

Tabular information of workshops organised by Aman for the KSK members is as follows:

 Issue/s Resource Persons Participants / Beneficiaries
Understanding Gender s PURWA, women’s NGO in Patna  KSK Advocates
National training on Human rights, Criminal law, Communalism, Dalit rights and Globalisation N.B. Organised by India Center fro Human Rights and Law, Mumbai. KSK participants supported by Aman. (Amidst many more from other organisations) 2 Advocates from the KSK: Deorani and LP Nath.
 Caste and legal experiences  Ms. Vimal Thorat, Prof., IGNOU and Valji Bhai Patel, Ahmedabad 9 advocates, 1 staff, and 2 guests from KSK, J’bad + 2 from Bihar Dalit Vikas Samiti (BDVS) Patna
 Legal awareness  District Magistrate, J’bad, SP, J’bad, DJ + ADJ’s J’bad, and KSK Advocates  About 500 local women, plus men
Women and law KSK Advocates Local wome
Women and law KSK Advocates Local women
Women and law KSK Advocates Local women
Women and law KSK Advocates Local women
Women and law KSK Advocates: AK Roy, Deorani, Khair Khan, Naimuddin, RN Sagar Local women
Int. Human Rights day (10 th Dec.) commemorated. Legal issues of Women, Dalits, Police excesses. KSK Advocates: Khair Khan, Naimuddin, AK Rai, RN Sagar, and Deorani 225 local people, including 178 women.

The KSK operates out of AMAN’s office on Fida Hussain Road, Jehanabad. It is led by Adv Deorani who takes regular assistance from other lawyers of the district.