Interview with Ms. Kaushiki Mishra, President of Legal Aid Clinic, Galgotias University, Greater Noida

Interview with Ms. Kaushiki Mishra, President of Legal Aid Clinic, Galgotias University, Greater Noida

Interview with Ms. Kaushiki Mishra, President of Legal Aid Clinic, Galgotias University, Greater Noida

1. Tell me about yourself/your organization in brief.
I’m a fourth year law student, presently pursuing my integrated law degree from Galgotias University. I belong to the state of Bihar and aspire to be involved with the sphere of judiciary.

2. What is the importance of study of Socio-Legal issues in legal field?
The field of socio-legal study explores issues from both social and legal angles. It explains how laws operate and affect the society for which they are made and what discrepancies can arise in their functioning. In order to get a clear picture of any society, its socio-legal issues need to be studied from the core.

3. Tell me about your initiatives in legal aid & awareness field as a law student.
I joined Legal Aid Clinic, Galgotias University as a volunteer member and attained the position of President, Legal Aid Clinic gradually. Over the years, I’ve been part of various awareness drives and outreach campaigns conducted in and around Delhi NCR on topics ranging from road safety and child rights to making legal terminologies more understandable.

4. Tell me your students’/team’s/associates’ etc. initiatives in legal aid, awareness, socio-legal issues.
Legal Aid Clinic, Galgotias University has taken various endeavours to promote the concept of legal aid. Under the guidance of Ms. Namita Singh Malik, Dean, School of Law, Galgotias University and our respected faculty members along with the enduring support of the student members, we’ve ensured a widespread legal assistance program. Furthermore, the institution has been closely associated with DLSA, Gautam Budh Nagar in its various initiatives.

5. What is the role of higher judiciary in legal aid & awareness in India?
Our Constitution provides for an independent and impartial judiciary and the courts are given the power to protect and safeguard the rights of people irrespective of their financial status. The aim of the Constitution is to provide justice to all and the directive principles are in its integral part.
The judiciary has significantly contributed by compelling and guiding the legislative to come up with suitable legislation to bring justice to the doorstep of the weakest sections of the society. Public Interest Litigation is one of the examples of how Indian Judiciary has played the role of the vanguard of the rights of Indian citizens, especially for the poor.

6. What is the role of Government in legal aid & awareness in India?
Legislature does the task of making laws but their proper implementation is to be ensured by the Government at all levels. The law for providing legal aid has been passed but it’ll be effective only when the people are aware about it and can make use of it when needed. That’s when the Government comes in play.
In a country as vast as India, laws are made and amended again and again but it’s the work of the Government to ensure that these laws are accessible to people for whom they were made.

7. What are your views on present situation of legal aid and awareness initiatives in India?
Post the passing of Legal Services Authority Act, 1987, India has taken considerable steps in the direction of legal aid. People associated with the legal field have realized its importance like the founder of ProBono India did.
Government has made efforts regarding legal awareness but it needs to work more on the ground level, making the weaker sections feel a sense of faith and security in the legal system.

8. What are your views on effectiveness of Legal Service Authority Act, 1987?
The Act has been effective regarding the motive for which it was constituted. The National Legal Services Authority which was established by Justice R.N. Mishra, was an important contribution to the implementation of the Act.
It has well-established the concept of legal aid but proper and timely access to justice for all needs to be ensured. Also, the existence of law isn’t enough if people don’t know about it. So, the concerned authorities must take required steps in this direction.

9. What are your views on present situation of Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in India?
PILs are filed for the protection of public interest. It is a potent tool to ensure that justice is served to all sections of the society. Since the time it was introduced, it has been responsible for some landmark judgments such as legalising passive euthanasia, allowing women in Sabarimala temples and many more.
In my viewpoint, PIL is an evolving concept and will account for some remarkable changes in the future.

10. What advise you would like to give to the future Advocates/Professors/Scholars with regards to socio-legal issues, legal aid and awareness initiatives?
I would advise them to engage in pro-bono driven works alongside their usual profession. Law holds the power to make the society a better place and the people associated with the field should strive to work for the same.

11. Message to ProBono India.
They are doing a commendable job by working towards fulfilling their core motive. Praiseworthy initiative taken by Mr. Kalpeshkumar Gupta and the organisation. Would love to be associated with ProBono India someday.

Interview taken by Shivangi Agarwal, Intern at Pro Bono India and 1st year Law student at Galgotias University, Greater Noida
Date: - 20 April, 2023
Place: - Greater Noida