Five national law universities set up legal aid clinic; initiative aims to draft appeals on behalf of those excluded from Assam NRC

  • Five National Law Universities of India have come together to set up a legal aid clinic to provide assistance to persons excluded from the Assam NRC

  • Parichay will assist lawyers in drafting appeals, conduct research on pertinent questions of the law and document the functioning of Foreigners' Tribunals

  • Over 19 lakh people have been excluded from the final NRC which was published on 31 August

Five national law universities of India have come together to set up a legal aid clinic to provide assistance to persons excluded from the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, Live Law reported.

 Five national law universities set up legal aid clinic; initiative aims to draft appeals on behalf of those excluded from Assam NRC

File image of an NRC center in Assam. PTI

Over 19 lakh people were excluded from the final NRC which was published on 31 August.

The legal aid clinic Parichay has been set up as a collaboration between Assam's National Law University and Judicial Academy, West Bengal National University of Juridical Science Kolkata, Hyderabad's NALSAR University of Law, Delhi's National Law University, and Odisha's National Law University, in order to assist lawyers in drafting appeals on behalf of litigants.

Under the initiative, volunteers across the country will collaborate with civil society to provide legal aid to those excluded from the final Assam NRC and assist in training lawyers and paralegals.

Founded by Anup Surendranath, assistant professor of law at at Delhi's National Law University, M Mohsin Alam Bhat, professor of law at Jindal Global Law School and Darshana Mitra, a lawyer and researcher based in Kolkata, Parichay will also also conduct legal research, especially on questions of citizenship, and document the functioning of the Foreigners' Tribunals (FTs), which have been set up to hear the appeals against exclusion from the NRC.

“After the NRC, absence of effective legal aid would mean that many persons would be rendered stateless without due process. An innovative collaboration like Parichay is essential to prevent such a humanitarian crisis,” said Faizan Mustafa, vice-chancellor of NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad.

Parichay will be headquartered in Guwahati, and will work with teams of student volunteers across the country, a press release issued said.

In addition to the existing 100 FTs,  the Assam government on 27 September issued a notification setting up 200 more appellate FTs. The appeal against exclusion from the NRC must be filed in the quasi-judicial tribunals within 120 days of the publication of the final NRC.

Updated Date: Oct 01, 2019 20:04:14 IST