Women, children getting legal aid for free at NLASO

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DHAKA, May 29, 2019 (BSS/UNICEF FEATURE) – Rustom used to beat his wife
Pervin out of rage over petty things. Pervin remained mum for long, but
enough is enough. She filed a case against Rustom for torturing with Women
and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal and with family court in Cumilla
seeking divorce.

But Rustom seems to understand his mistakes and was not ready to let Pervin
go off his life. He tried to convince Pervin, when failed, both of them went
to Cumilla office of National Legal Aid Services Organization (NLASO) and by
the mediation of the official, both of them agreed to give it another chance.

They agreed to continue their conjugal life for another three months. If
both the parties fulfill their conditions accordingly in this period, Pervin
assured that she will withdraw her cases.

Such cases are becoming very common, where people, especially women are
knocking on the doors of law to get justice for free.

Government through its different organisations including National Legal Aid
Services Organization (NLASO) has provided legal assistance at its cost to 3,
00,598 people from 2009 to March, 2018.

“Of these, only NLASO has provided legal aid to 2, 01,125 people. Of those,
1, 03,154 were women, 97,442 were men and 529 were children. We have been
able to help collecting Taka 8, 35, 09,454 peacefully through mediation and
provided legal assistance to 6,915 people through pre-case and post-case
dispute resolution from July, 2015, to March, 2018,” Law Minister Anisul Huq
told BSS.

Under NLASO, people can avail free legal advice, mediation between two
parties over solvable disputes, mediation in cases sent from the court,
supplying ‘vakalatnama’ for free, appointing lawyers to carry out cases,
paying lawyers’ fee, paying honorarium to mediators, supplying copies of
verdict or order for free and paying expenses for DNA tests, among others.

The district legal aid offices give legal assistance both over criminal
and civil offences like marrying again without the permission of first wife,
torturing wife, demanding dowry or torturing for dowry, throwing acid,
trafficking, abduction, rape and illegal confinement by law enforcers.

Apart from these, the government on April 28, 2016, launched toll-free
national helpline 16430 for providing legal aid to people.

According to ministry sources, a total of 7, 885 women got legal aid over
phone by dialing the helpline till April, 2018.

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