NLS students help women prisoners

Students of the premier National Law School India University are extending legal assistance to the inmates of Parappana Agrahara Central Prison, and have helped more than 25 women prisoners till now.

The students are part of a legal cell set up at the jail. The prison department officials, encouraged by the cell’s success at the Parappana Agrahara prison, are planning to establish similar cells at all prisons in the state.

Prison officials said that majority of prisoners are from economically weaker sections and cannot afford to hire legal counsel. They identify such inmates and hand over their case files to NLS students, who argue the cases for free.

Parappana Agrahara prison superintendent Krishna Kumar told Deccan Chroncile: “We go for rounds every Monday. If any inmate requests us for legal assistance, we pass on their case to the law students, who then become their legal advisers.”

Apart from providing legal assistance, the legal cell also helps prisoners pay up the fines levied on them by the courts which could help them get out of jail. Many NGOs, private companies and individuals are coming forward to assist the prison department and help prisoners, Mr Kumar said.

ADGP (Prisons) K.V. Gagandeep said, “NGOs help those inmates who have completed their terms but cannot get out because of their inability to pay the fines. Though it is not a big amount, for the inmates it is a great help.”

The legal cell is functioning at the Parappana Agrahara Central Jail for the last one year. Considering its success, the prison department is planning to extend it to all prisons across the state. Recently, a legal cell was inaugurated at the prison in Mandya.

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