Legal Aid and Public Interest Litigation

The nationwide network offers quick response and pro bono expertise to those who have little or no access to the justice system. Lawyers offer legal representation and advice to people who cannot afford legal representation. CIB India Trust is part of the access to justice movement.

Over the past decade, the Channel has made a critical transition from individual litigation in the lower courts to filing public interest petitions in the High Courts and in the Supreme Court. Our experience is that a decisive and professional intervention at the level of the Supreme Court can bring about changes in retrogressive state policies and bring relief to millions.

However, increased litigation in higher courts does not mean that CIB India Trust has in any way reduced its emphasis on individual cases. It is necessary for lawyers and paralegals to simultaneously be engaged in routine work, because it is through such cases that CIB India Trust learns its orientation and retains its compassion. Universal principles are often derived from simple individual cases. This is how young lawyers are trained. A judicious mix of work in the trial courts and class action petitions in the superior courts forms the complement of CIB India Trust legal work.

Broadly, CIB India Trust principle is to never turn away an indigent person, but there remain basic guidelines for litigation. Cases of employers against employees, men against women and landlords against tenants are generally not accepted. Cases of the state against the accused are never taken except in matters of rape and child sexual abuse. While some of the important public interest cases conducted by CIB India Trust are described here, the list is selective and does not include the numerous cases fought on a daily basis in district courts, family courts and at various High Courts.

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