People of Meghalaya don't approach court: HC judge

Meghalaya High Court Justice T.N.K Singh Saturday said that the people of the state do not go to court much.

"In Meghalaya, not many people come to the court with their grievances. Maybe they do not expect to get immediate remedy from the court. This is a major area of concern and should be addressed," he said.

Singh was speaking at the launch of the newsletter of the Meghalaya State Legal Services Authority and the legal services clinic of the Shillong Law College. The newsletter was launched by Supreme Court Justice Madan Bhimarao Lokur.

However, Singh stressed the need to organise seminars on issues related to administration of justice, especially for marginalised and underprivileged sections of society.

Though Meghalaya is a state governed under the Sixth Schedule (provisions as to administration of tribal areas), having various customary laws and practices, the Meghalaya High Court Justice said all customs are not law.

"Administration of justice in the past was carried out by traditional heads, but times have changed. However, we should not forget these customary practices while applying the law," he said.

Exhorting law students to play a vital role in spreading legal awareness among the disadvantaged sections to increase their access to justice, Supreme Court Justice Madan Bhimarao Lokur stressed on the importance of legal aid, legal services and legal literacy.

"Para legal volunteers like law students can make people aware about their rights, duties and responsibilities," Lokur said.

Meghalaya High Court Chief Justice P.C. Pant stressed on the need to introduce legal topics in the curriculum from the matriculation stage.