ITANAGAR, Oct 30: Over 100 gaon buras and gaon buris (GB) from 19 districts participated in an online refresher training on ‘Synergy between customary practices and formal law’, organized by the Arunachal Pradesh State Legal Services (APSLSA) on Friday, in collaboration with the union justice ministry’s justice department.
During the programme, which was hosted from the APSLSA office here, APSLSA Member Secretary Jaweplu Chai spoke about the APSLSA’s activities and the project on legal literacy for GBs of Arunachal which started in 2018.
APSLSA OSD Dani Belo spoke on the topic, ‘Village authority under Assam Frontier (Administration of Justice) Regulation (AFR), 1945’. He highlighted the importance of following the Indian law and at the same time upholding the traditional law in synergy. He also elaborated the roles and responsibilities of GBs as per the AFR, 1945.
Advocate Sunil Mow from the Itanagar permanent bench of the Gauhati High Court spoke on the Scheduled Tribes & Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, with special reference to Arunachal Pradesh.
He lamented the “encroachment on tribal lands by the forest department under the guise of reserved forest,” and implored the GBs to “protect the lands still under their control by educating themselves on the laws that protect their right to the forests they depend on for their livelihoods.”
Mow also suggested introducing provisions similar to that being offered to the tribes protected under the 5th schedule of the constitution, with regard to ownership of land and its resources.
APSLSA Member Secretary Jaweplu Chai spoke on free legal services, legal aid clinics, lok adalats, and the Arunachal Pradesh Victims Compensation Scheme, 2011.
She stated that the Arunachalees, being tribal, are entitled to free legal services “and they can avail these services through the district legal services authority and the legal aid clinics which are located in all courts of the state.”
Chai also spoke on the Arunachal Pradesh Victims Compensation Scheme, 2011, and the quantum of amounts entitled to victims, and how they can avail it.”
APSLSA project consultant, advocate Marie Riba spoke on Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, using video, slides and case studies. She began her session by sharing a short video, ‘Komal’, developed by Childline. She spoke on the difference between ‘good touch’ and ‘bad touch’ and what GBs should do on facing such a situation.
She also elaborated the different types of ‘acts’ which are considered as offences under the act.
Advocate Jumgam Jini spoke on the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005. He deliberated on different types of violence which are considered as offences under this act. He also spoke on the role of GBs on receiving such cases and how they can help the victim(s) by approaching the relevant department.
This was followed by a session on marriage registration under the Special Marriage Act, 1954, and the Arunachal Pradesh Recording of Marriage Act, 2008, by APSLSA legal aid counsel, advocate Raknu Koniya.
She spoke about the importance and benefits of marriage certificates and how to obtain them.
Most of the GBs joined the training from courts and NIC centres in their respective districts, and some joined from their homes. Paralegal volunteers and legal aid counsels provided logistic support to ensure participation of the GBs.