Training prog under A2JNE&JK conducted

HAPOLI, Oct 28: Fifty-three gaon burahs and gaon buris of Lower Subansiri district attended a two-day training programme on the customary laws of the state and general laws, under the ‘Access to Justice, Northeast and Jammu & Kashmir (A2JNE&JK)’ initiative, conducted here by the Arunachal Pradesh State Legal Services Authority (APSLSA) in collaboration with the union justice department.
Addressing the participants, DC Chukhu Takar underscored the role of the GBs in settling cases and maintaining social harmony under the customary laws, and advised them to make fair decisions, without being influenced.
APSLSA Member Secretary Budi Habung, advocate Tanyang Tado, legal aid counsels Jumgam Jini and Nani Modi, Hong HGB Tilling Duri, and Dutta GB Yachang Tacho were the resource persons.
The A2JNE&JK initiative aims at providing facilities and ‘access to justice’ platforms at the grassroots level, and to offer opportunities for securing justice. The project aims to train nearly 400 GBs across the state, which is being divided into six parts, with three to four districts clubbed together at a central location such as Tawang, Itanagar, Aalo, Pasighat, Tezu and Ziro.
Providing legal literacy to the GBs would help them to understand the basic formal laws of the country, and this in turn would help them in settling disputes in consonance with the formal justice delivery system, and in spreading awareness about the rule of law at the village level.
On the first day of the training, on 26 October, Habung enumerated the role and responsibilities of the GBs under the Assam Frontier Regulation Act, 1945. He presented an overview of the customary court and the judicial hierarchy in Arunachal, and highlighted the proceedings of civil and criminal cases.
Tado highlighted the Scheduled Tribes & Other Traditional Forest Dweller Act, 2006, and other forest laws and land holding system. Jini spoke on the government schemes with reference to Arunachal, and on how to get information about various schemes through the RTI Act.
Modi spoke on Right to Education, and Duri on the history and the current context of the Bulyang (village council) system of the Apatani tribe.
On the second day, Habung made a presentation on free legal aid, lok adalat, victim compensation, etc, and Tacho spoke on the traditional village council of the Apatanis and the GB institution, and made a proposal to revive both the institutions.
Tado spoke on various aspects of the criminal justice system and the role of the GBs in assisting the police and the administration.
The programme also featured a panel discussion, during which the GBs spoke about the challenges faced by the Bulyang. They made several proposals, such as maintaining a list of disputes to be taken up by the GBs; initiating a system of formal registration of cases and recordkeeping under the customary laws; and incorporating the GBs’ court in the hierarchy of the formal judicial system.
The resource persons cleared several doubts and answered queries during the interactive session.