Access to justice- Provision of legal aid

 

Progressive Milestones of Dastageer Legal Aid Center (DLAC) Baidarie

June 2014 to till April 2017

                                                                                                                                                              

Access to Justice ( A2J) for Vulnerable Population in Pakistan

Access to Justice Project is working for Vulnerable Population since 2014, Implemented by the Asia Foundation, with the aim to improve access to justice and protect human rights through the provision of cost effective, efficient legal assistance and protection for vulnerable population with special reference to survivors of Gender Based Violence (GBV), Minorities (Religious and ethnic groups), and person with Disabilities (PWDs).

Objectives

  • To develop and Implement a multi-pronged public awareness campaign that increases citizens’ knowledge of the laws protect their fundamental freedoms.
  • To strengthen the capacity of existing legal aid centers that provide legal services to those whose rights have been violated.
  • To advocate for protection measures and free and fair trial in cases pertaining to religious freedom.

 

Priority Group / Targeted Population

  •  Survivors of Gender Based Violence (GBV)
  • Minorities (Religious and ethnic groups)
  • Person with Disabilities (PWDs)

Achievements of DLAC

Table No.  1

    Legal Aid Court Cases Free of Cost

Categories Total Numbers of Cases Percentage
Gender Base Violence 69 78%
Minorities 16 18%
Persons with Disabilities 4 4%

 

Legal Aid Court Cases on Subsidized Fee

Categories Total Numbers of Cases Percentage
Gender Base Violence 05 4%

Table No. 2

Services Provided Through Toll Free Number

Purpose of Call Gender Total
Male Female
Awareness 4 20 24
Legal Advice 275 490 765
Legal Aid 45 82 127
Legal Assistance 23 37 60
Psychosocial Support 15 35 50

Table No. 3

Legal Aid / Services Provided in the Center

Purpose Of Visit Gender Total
Male Female
Awareness 6 7 13
Legal Advice 195 175 370
Legal Aid 20 30 50
Legal Assistance 4 31 35
Psychosocial

Support

9 75 84

Success Stories

Defend Innocence rights

Shabana an innocent girl of 16 years old belongs to a small village of Sambrial, with a poor family background had to face a big tragedy in her life when she wanted to get education and enjoy the charms of innocent phase of life.

Shabana’s aunt (Rukiya) came to our center and narrated the problem of her niece that was shocked to hear that Rukiya’s brother named Ahmed Ali (Shabana’s father) wanted to sale her daughter for the sake of money to an old and financially strong man.  After asking further details, her aunt told that Ahmed Ali is an addict person and divorced his wife due to the daily quarrels and fight between them. His wife was under the physical violence of his husband even children gone to upset normally; at least Ahmed Ali forcefully threw his wife out from the house.

Shabana is elder in kids so after her mother absence she put the burdens of household chores upon her shoulders, but her father wanted to misuse her daughter for the sake of money and drugs.

Shabana’s aunt came to our center on 12-01-2017 before four days of Shabana’s marriage, when Ahmed Ali had been decided the date of his daughter’s marriage. She said that Shabana is under pressure and her father is going to marry her with an old man for money. She said that due to the poverty she cannot pay the huge fees of lawyers so  want help from DLAC to stop the marriage that is injustice with Shabana’ s life.

DLAC filled the necessary documentation and after the approval of case on 19-01-2017 filled the suits against the accused (Ahmed Ali) in Sambrial court. In which petition the panel of lawyer was advised to file the petition under section 22-A, B Crpc,in Sambrial court for the presentation the applicant in case of trial comprehensively .

After almost three hearings the decision was in favor of client as per court order against her father to stop the marriage.

Shabana felt comfort and independent by the proper cooperation and legal services provided by DLAC, Sialkot. Shabana’s aunt (Rukiya) appreciated the services of DLAC that provide her niece freedom from the so called strains of selfishness and the lust of wealth.

“DLAC Baidarie not only provide charms to me but also provided decision making power to against the violated labels on innocence age on the name of so called traditions (Forced Marriage) but also provided a straight forward thought to think for the change positively in fundamental rights”

 

Shabana

 

Cut the Discrimination on Ethnic Groups of Religions

William Masih, 53 years old, Profession driver and resident of Paka Graha Sialkot.  He is a driver and is earning Rs.12000/-, facing hard to manage his expences. His family is consisting 6 persons.  He is only single person who supporting for his family. His living condition is very poor and lived in rented house.

On 21 January 2016 William Masih came to our DLAC Sialkot and said that he is living in rented house owner by Muhammad Hussain. I hardly paid rent to the owner. My house is contain in single room in which we six family member living. It condition is very low. The owner of that house started hated us because we are belong christen family. He treated us badly and some time beaten to our family member but we bear of because we can’t afford any other rented house. When we bear of his behavior he asked as to leave his house in the same time with telling that you are Christian. We can’t manage other house in short time, I said him that we will left your house in one month after arranging other rented house but he denied and insist to left the house same time. When he felt we were not leaving his rented house in quickly he blamed us difference ways.

At the end he blamed me that I did unnatural offence with his 12 year old son and also registered FIR against me in Police Station.  I told the true fact to the police station but they did not cooperate with me but also physical tortured   me and my family. Medical report was also in favor of me. I was not able to defending false case /trial and not to paid huge fees/expences of lawyers.

DLAC send his case to INP and after the approval of case DLAC handed over the case to our panel lawyer named Waseem Mehmood, who actively participated in all hearings and defend our client’s right completely in courts and even in police station. William Masih felt relax well when his case was defended by DLAC panel lawyer and DLAC Team over all follow up. After passing nine hearing dates, the case was decided in favor of William Masih.  When plaintiff felt to lose his fake case, he agreed to compromise with innocent accused William Masih and gave oath statement to the concerned court that William Masih is innocent; I registered false case / FIR against him under section 377 PPC, on the basis of suspicious and did not warn to proceed further. The court ordered the accused (William Masih) is acquitted of the charge under section 249 CrPC, on 20-07-2016.

Moreover DLAC provided him the facility of new rent house in area nearby Pakka Gara, Sialkot, with job opportunity as a driver in a private school.

DLAC not only provided him freedom in majority and protect his minor rights in our society, but also encouraged him to get justice in any case of deprivation of right.

 

“I got justice on my fundamental rights and DLAC empowered my courage to win to remove the Discrimination and non cooperation from my ethnicity in community   ”.

 

Williams Masih

 

Note: Name of beneficiaries have been changed to protect their identity.