The Jharkhand Unit based in Ranchi, was established in the year 2007 against the backdrop of rampant atrocities against the backward and vulnerable communities i.e. the Scheduled Tribe, Scheduled Caste, Dalits and other backward classes including women and children in general at the hands of State authorities, Private Authorities, basically being exploited at the hands of anybody and everybody. Over the years, the Unit has successfully spread throughout the State of Jharkhand having a network of Advocates and Activists in over 17 Districts, but that does not stop them from marking their presence and voicing the common man concerns and fighting the atrocities and exploitation in the remaining 7 districts. Of the many areas of concern the group of the Advocates and Activists have been continuously working in the matters and issues regarding of Land Acquisition, Forest Rights, Pathalgadi, Environmental Degradation, Transgender Rights, Mob Lynching, Acid Attacks, Human Trafficking, Custodial Deaths, Sexual Assault, POCSO, Domestic Violence, Prisoners rights.
District Lawyers Program
Jharkhand State Unit has flourished under the District Lawyer Program, which has
a network of Advocates and Activists in the 17 Districts who work pro bono, not
only in their own districts but cover and address issues in the whole 24
districts. The desired outcome, the issues do not cease in the Block and
District level, because of the pressure but are taken up and fought in the
State level only advancing the state of human rights in Jharkhand. To know
about our District Network. Click here
1. Persecution of Caste and Religious minorities: Focus areas include matters of mob lynching, police excesses, incarceration based on false accusations or for petty offences.
2. Criminal Justice: Providing legal aid to prisoners (Pathalgadi), particularly hailing from backward section of the society, juveniles.
3. Disability Rights: We provide legal aid to the especially abled people, and also make them and their families aware of their rights under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, and make legal intervention wherever necessary and required.
4. Environmental Justice: Matters pertaining to acquiring lands in the name of development and disturbing the ecosystem, and in the process also displacing several villages.
5. Land Rights/Tribal Rights: Focus areas include matters like, Forest Rights, help the tribals and other forest dwellers from filing for ‘pattas’ to acquiring land under the said pattas. Provide legal aid, to the displaced communities in the name of ‘development’ and big projects. Land Acquisition (Adani Power Plant- Mandal Dam)
6. Women Justice: Focus areas include matters like sexual harassment, domestic violence, acid attacks, gender equality.
7. Reproductive Rights: Protecting the Reproductive Rights of women mainly the under privileged and also the minor rape victims (the rights of women whose rights over their own bodies were violated)
8. Transgender Rights: We provide support and legal aid to the transgender persons who face discrimination and harassment at the hands of not only the State authorities but also the common man.
9. Health Rights: Work on getting basic medical facilities in the remote villages, where even the district-towns lack medical facilities.
10. Poverty-Starvation deaths.
11. Caste Atrocities.
The cases mentioned are indicative of the kind of cases the Unit undertook and several other cases that were filed on the same issue have not been mentioned individually.
2013-2014 The huge network of 22 Advocates spread across the 24 districts of the State, facilitated in filing 180 cases in total in the current year, out of which 131 were criminal cases alone, with matters like bail of the innocent tribal people who were falsely implicated in the case mostly in land matters or petty offences or for being leftists (Naxalites). One such PIL before the Jharkhand High Court was Gulab Chandra Prajapati vs. State of Jharkhand, filed for the release of the under trial prisoners who had served half the sentence during the on going trial and for the welfare and rehabilitation of the women who are serving their sentences and have their young children with them in the prison. Another PIL before the Jharkhand High Court was Gopinath Ghosh vs. State of Jharkhand filed
Several PILs were filed to combat the other violations rampant in the state including human trafficking (Gopinath Ghosh vs State of Jharkhand filed after a fact finding on missing young girls from Murhu in Khunti district for fixing state accountability on trafficking of girls, their rehabilitation and inquiry by CBI in all instances of human trafficking), environmental degradation caused by mining companies (Suresh Oraon vs UOI challenging the pollution of Damodar river by coal mining companies), for the safety and benifit of vulnerable children (Jago Foundation vs State of Jharkhand for strict implementation of POCSO Act after it was revealed that of the 40 registered cases of child sexual abuse only 7 cases were registered under POCSO Act reflecting poor implementation and Diya Seva Sansthan vs State of Jharkhand for strict implementation of Child Marriage Prohibition Act as the state records a very high number of child marriages), for the welfare of unorganized labour (National Domestic Workers Welfare Trust vs State of Jharkhand for implementation of unorganised worker Social Security Act of 2008), and against atrocities on Dalits and Tribals by the state, police, and politically backed anti-social groups alike (Ramvilas Sahu vs State of Jharkhand filed after a fact finding conducted in Kesipara for investigation and compensation of villagers whose houses were demolished and burnt by antisocial elements with police protection and Kanhai Singh vs State of Jharkhand filed to restrain the government from constructing a helipad in a school playground of Barawahdih in Latehar which is a conflict area, proposed helipad would have been used for transporting armed machinery to combat villagers). The unit conducted 11 critical fact findings which laid grounds for litigation on the rights abuses that were brought to light (On Latehar encounter by CRPF and use of villagers as human shields-a war crime- by the CRPF in an area where landmines had been planted, to recover bodies of dead CRPF constables as a result of cross firing between CRPF constables and suspected Maoists, on denial of basic amenities in several villages of Saranda forest area in Chaibasa district, on displacement in Lalpania village in Bokaro district, on water contamination due to fluoride in Godda district, and Chlorine gas leakage in Garwa district among others). On the advocacy front, several workshops on human rights were organized (attended by over 400 students) and Legal Clinics were set up in colleges in Ranchi.
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