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National Commission for Women

  • IAS NEXT, Lucknow
  • 31, Mar 2022
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In a move to make legal aid more accessible for women, the National Commission for Women (NCW) in collaboration with Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA) has launched a legal aid clinic which will act as a single-window facility for resolving grievances of women by offering them free legal assistance.

  • NCW is also planning to set up similar legal services clinics in other State Commissions for Women.

About the legal aid clinic:

Under the new legal aid clinic, counseling will be provided for walk-in complainants, women in distress will be given legal assistance, advice and information on various schemes of the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA)/ DSLSA, assistance in mahila jansunwai, free legal aid, hearings in matrimonial cases and other complaints registered with the Commission will be provided among other services.

About NCW:

  • Set up in 1992 under the National commission Act.
  • It was established to review the constitutional and legal safeguards for women.
  • It enjoys all the powers of a civil court.

Presentation of Reports:

It table reports to the central government, every year and at such other times as the commission may deem fit, reports upon the working of those safeguards.

Suo motu notice:

It looks into complaints, and takes Suo Motto notice of matters relating to – deprivation of women’s rights, Non-implementation of the laws and Non-compliance of the policy decisions guaranteeing the welfare for women society.

Major limitations of National Commission for Women making it toothless:

  1. The NCW is only recommendatory and has no power to enforce its decisions.
  2. Commission lacks constitutional status, and thus has no legal powers to summon police officers or witnesses.
  3. It has no power to take legal actions against the Internal Complaint Committees that prevent grievance redressal of women facing harassment.
  4. Financial assistance provided to the Commission is very less to cater to its needs.
  5. It does not have the power to choose its own members. The power selecting members is vested with the Union government leading to political interference at various levels.