‘Reverse migration will increase poverty, discrimination during pandemic’

Supreme Court Judge Justice NV Ramana has said that during COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing lockdown, there has been a rise in domestic violence and child abuse.

Supreme Court Judge Justice NV Ramana on Thursday said that reverse migration during COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing lockdown will lead to increase in poverty, inequality and discrimination. Justice Ramana, who is the next in seniority after Chief Justice of India SA Bobde, also said that during the lockdown, there has been a rise in domestic violence and child abuse.

Justice Ramana was speaking at a webinar while releasing the “Handbook of Formats: Ensuring Effective legal service”, which was organised by the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA), in the presence of chairperson of High Court Legal Services Authorities, executive chairperson of State Legal Services Authorities and member secretaries of all State Legal Services Authorities, chairperson and secretaries of District Legal Services Authorities, on June 4.

The Manipur State Legal Service Authority (MSLSA) quoted Justice Ramana in a release: “Pursuant to the lockdown, thousands of people have lost their lives and livelihood; large scale migration has taken place. The lockdown has itself creative psychological issues and violence within the family. Women have been burdened with more work; children are unable to go to schools. Adding to that working at home has also had its impact on the family life. But now we have to work with constraints. The Trial Courts have yet not started functioning. The High Court and the Supreme Court are working through videoconferencing. But in spite of the same, the Legal Services Authorities have done tremendous activities during the prevailing pandemic by adopting the latest technology”.

The SC Judge said there was a rise in the number of instances of child abuse and added that during such times when the victims cannot reach the legal fraternity, “it is imperative for us to reach them”.

 Justice Ramana pointed out that the most predominant issue during the pandemic is reverse migration. “Massive reverse migration will invariably lead to increase in poverty, inequity and discrimination,” he said.

The online release programme was participated by Ashok Kumar Jain, Member Secretary, NALSA; Alok Agarwal, Former Member Secretary, NALSA and Mr Sunil Chauhan, Director, NALSA. All guests reiterated the significance of the Handbook released on the occasion as an effective tool for management of legal services activities.

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First Published:June 6, 2020, 10:12 a.m.