The Fair Trial Fellowship is an initiative of Project 39A to train and mentor a group of young professionals (lawyers and social workers) to work with the State Legal Aid machinery towards ensuring fair trial for undertrial prisoners. The first batch of Fair Trial Fellows have been inducted in August 2018 for working on cases in Nagpur and Pune Central prisons and have undergone rigorous training for the same. The batch represents a group of young professionals with diverse backgrounds and experiences committed to ensuring quality legal representation for all within the criminal justice system.
Medha graduated from Symbiosis Law School, Pune in 2008 and started her career as a Corporate M&A lawyer. She subsequently did her Masters in Law from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai (TISS) in 2014. She has worked as an Access to Justice Fellow at TISS, focussing on cases of custodial deaths in Maharashtra. Before joining Project 39A, she was working with the Resource Centre for Intervention on Violence Against Women (RCI-VAW) and has been involved in establishing and monitoring government programmes for supporting women survivors of violence in the states of Bihar, Odisha and Maharashtra.
Legal Strategy Coordinator, Pune
Aditya completed his graduation in Law in 2011 and subsequently did his masters in law from NALSAR University of Law in 2013. Since then he has worked as advocate in criminal cases at various District and Sessions Courts and Subordinate trial courts in and around Pune District.
Archana P Rupwate
Legal Strategy Coordinator, Nagpur
Archana finished her B.A. in English Literature and law from Pune University. She subsequently worked as a junior lawyer at the Nashik district court. She joined Human Rights Law Network in Mumbai in 2013. For 6 years she represented victims of domestic violence, human trafficking, under-trial prisoners. Archana worked towards upholding prisoners’ right to fair trial, and counselled prisoners about their rights and legal resources at their disposal.
Finance and Administrative Coordinator
Sinjini is post graduate in MBA with specialization in Finance in year 2013. She started her professional career in 2007 in the field of Financial Management and Project Administration. She has more than 10 years of qualitative work experience in the development sector. Prior to joining Project 39A, she worked with International Centre for Research on Women (ICRW) as their Finance and Program Associate for 7 years.
Anjali Lav Amkar
Social Work Fellow
Anjali completed her post graduation in Masters in Social Work from Tilak Maharashtra Vidyapeeth, Pune. She is a postgraduate in MA (Sociology) from Mumbai University. Before joining the Fellowship, she worked with various government projects, non-profit organisations, and conducted research in different fields. She has worked as a Family Counsellor, Medical Social Worker & Project Coordinator.
Bhawana Manohar Lanjewar
Social Work Fellow
Bhawana completed her graduation in BSW from the Fule-Ambedkar College of Social Work, Gadchiroli. She completed post graduation in MSW (Social Science) from Gondwana University, Gadchiroli. She worked as a National Youth Core in Nehru Yuva kendra Gadchiroli. Before the Fellowship, she worked with various government projects, non-profit organisations and conducted research in various fields.
Gopal Ramesh Gajbhiye
Gopal graduated from Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar College of Law Deekshabhoomi, Nagpur in 2010. He subsequently completed his LLM in Labor and Industrial Law from RTM University Nagpur, and M.A in Public Policy and Governance from TISS, Hyderabad. Before joining the Fellowship he has worked in the litigation office of Advocate P.S. Sadavarte in Nagpur and assisted him on both civil and criminal cases in District and Sessions Court, Nagpur and the Bombay High Court bench at Nagpur. Gopal has also worked with the Foundation for Ecological Security as an Assistant Project Manager for the livelihood project. He is currently serving as a panel lawyer of High Court Legal Services Committee at the Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court.
Hemant Jugal Kishor Jha
Hemant graduated from G.H. Raisoni Law School, Nagpur in 2015 as a gold medalist in Administrative Law. Prior to joining Fair Trial Fellowship, he worked with Advocate Mir Nagman Ali and assisted him in Civil and cases including Criminal Appeals, Revision, cases under MCOCA, POCSO, Criminal Trials in the Bombay High Court, Nagpur Bench and trial courts in Nagpur.
Niwrutti Premsagar Meshram
Niwrutti is a graduate in law from RTM University Nagpur (2013). He subsequently did his Masters in Law from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai (TISS) in 2015. He has worked as an Access to Justice Fellow at TISS, focussing on Undertrial Prisoners in Central Prison Nagpur of Maharashtra. Before the Fellowship, he worked with Human Right Law Network, Nagpur. He serves as Panel Lawyer in the Nagpur High Court Legal Aid Committee and Nagpur District Court Legal Aid Committee, and represents Constitutional, Civil and Criminal Matters.
Prashant is a graduate in law from Shri Shivaji Law College, Parbhani, and Swami Ramanand Marathwada University, Nanded. He finished his post graduation from ILS Law College, Pune. Before joining the Fellowship Prashant was practicing advocacy at the District and Session Court in Pune under Senior Advocate Sachin Swami. Apart from criminal cases, Prashant handled Family Court cases.
Punam graduated from Shantaram Potdukhe College of Law, Chandrapur, in 2014. Prior to joining Fair Trial Fellowship, she worked in the litigation chambers of Advocate M.D. Taori where she assisted in Criminal Trials and cases on the Protection of Domestic Violence Act, Motor Accident Claim Tribunal, Land Acquisition, and also assisted in the District and Session Court, Wardha, Maharashtra. She is currently serving as a Penal Lawyer of DLSA Wardha and is also Penal Lawyer for Maharashtra State Seeds Corporation Branch.
Rahul Pralhad Surwade
Social Work Fellow
Before joining the Fair Trial Fellowship, Rahul worked with the rural development center Ujwal Prabodhani Sanstha and Ramji Bodade Trust. He has specialised in Statistical Economics as a graduate, and in urban and rural community development for his Master of Social Work."
Riolia Leo Mascarenhas
Social Work Fellow
Riolia graduated from St. Xavier's College, Mumbai in 2016, with a double majors in Psychology and Sociology. She went on to complete her Masters in Social Work in Criminology and Justice from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai in 2018. As part of fieldwork, she has worked in police stations as a student social worker, and her dissertation was based on the rehabilitation of women prisoners in Thane district.
Shashank Rameshwar Kotangale
Shashank completed his LL.B from Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar College of Law, Nagpur in 2017 . Before joining the Fellowship program, he worked in the chamber of Advocate Pradeep Wathore and assisted him in the Nagpur District and Session Court, Bombay High Court (Nagpur bench) and Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal. Shashank has practiced in Criminal Trials and Appeal matters, and has contributed in the National Lok Adalat as an assistant to a judge’s panel.
Shivkumar Ramkushal Dwivedi
Shivkumar completed his BA.,LL.B from Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar College of Law, Nagpur University in 2012. Prior to joining the Fellowship he practiced in the High Court and other District Courts of Delhi, with Senior Advocate Ajay Verma. He also worked with International Bridges to Justice as a Duty Lawyer in Tihar Jail as a pro bono Advocate, and worked in Bail and Trial matters. Subsequently he shifted to Nagpur and started his Criminal Practice practice.
Shravan Sumersing Taram
Shravan graduated from Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar College of Law, Deekshabhoomi Nagpur in 2013. Before joining the Fellowship he was working in the litigation chambers of P.B. Borawar and assisted him in Civil and Criminal matters before the District and Sessions Court, Gadhchiroli and Court of the JMFC (Kurkheda). He is currently serving as a panel member of the Taluka Legal Services Committee in Kurkheda. He has also served as a legal advisor to various Gram Sabha’s in Korchi Taluka, and has supported community based organisations for pursuing claims under Forest Rights Act, 2006.
Mr. Yashpal Nilkanthrao Manohar
Social Work Fellow
Yashpal is a graduate in BSW and postgraduate in MSW from RTM , Nagpur University, Nagpur. His experience includes work at the National Integrated Rural Development Organisation, Nagpur, as a Psychiatric Social Worker (Counsellor) for Treat Me Hospital, Nagpur, and as a Paralegal Volunteer at DLSA, Nagpur. Yashpal’s specialization lies in urban, rural and tribal community development.
Ms. Aditi S Thakkar
Social Work Fellow
Aditi completed her Masters in Social Work from Karve Institute of Social Sciences, Pune in 2016. Before joining the Fellowship as a Social Work Fellow she worked for one year as a Legal Awareness coordinator and trainer at Majlis Legal Center, Mumbai.
Mr. Ashok Dada Gaikwad
Ashok graduated from Ismailsaheb Mulla Law College, Satara in 2016. He worked in the litigation chambers of Advocate G.P. Kadam and assisted him on civil and criminal matters before the Solapur District and Session Court, Malshiras. Before joining the Fellowship, he worked in the chambers of Advocate S.M. Katkar and assisted him in matters before the Bombay High Court.
Mr. Ateek Ekbal Parkote
Ateek graduated from Dayanan College of Law, Latur, in 2016. He subsequently finishied is Masters in Criminal Law and Administration in 2018. Before joining the fellowship he worked at the Chambers of N.G. Patel and M.N. Biradr in MACP, Civil, and Criminal Matters in Latur and Udgir District and Sessions Court.
Ms. Madhura Pramod Patkar
Social Work Fellow
Madhura Patkar is a Social Work Fellow at the Fair Trial Fellowship. She completed her Masters in Social Work from IGNOU University in 2018. Before the Fellowship she worked as a Coordinator of Kankavali Taluka for two years at Nehru Yuva Kendra, and then worked as a Social Worker at District Child Protection Unit, Sindhudurg.
Neha Anil Adhav
Neha Adhav completed her law course from V P Law College, Baramati in 2014. She finished her LL.M from Savitribai Phule Pune University in 2016. Prior to joining the Fellowship, she joined senior Advocate B A Deshmukh and assisted him in his cases.
Nisha Rahul Pawar
Nisha is a law graduate from New Law Academy College from pune University. After her LL.M from Pune University, she started practice at the Pune District and Session court. Before joining the Fellowship, she worked with Senior Advocate Vivien Kandane and assisted him in criminal litigation.
Pramod Pradip Patil
Pramod graduated from Shankarrao Chavan Law College Pune in 2013. He received a master’s degree in Criminology in 2015, and has a Diploma degree in Cyber Law. Pramod practiced in the Solapur District and Session Court with senior Advocate P.M.Patil in the field of Civil, Criminal, School Tribunal and charity Commissioner. He also practiced in the Pune District and Session court with senior Advocate C.D.Dharne in Civil matters.
Santosh Subhash Pawar
Social Work Fellow
Santosh completed his BSc Computer Sciences from Vivekanand College of Sciences, Aurangabad & LL.B from Tilak Maharashtra University, Pune and MA in Social Work in Criminology and Justice from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. Before joining the Fellowship, Santosh worked with Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai as Project Officer in Criminal Justice project on De-notified Tribes community for more than two years and with ALC India, Hyderabad as Project Manager in Social Enterprise development project for vulnerable groups.
Sheetal Pramod Newaskar
Sheetal Newaskar has graduated in Law from N.B. Thakur Law college, Nasik in 2015. Subsequently she started practicing at the Nasik District and Session court. She joined senior Advocate Mahesh V. Patil and assisted him for last 2 years in criminal litigation. Her area of practicing is bail, remand, 138 NI cases.
Sumit Nanasaheb Patil
Sumit graduated from Shahaji Law College, Kolhapur and started practice in Kolhapur District and Sessions Court. He received a postgraduate Diploma in Human Rights and Values in Education, and finished his LL.M (Business Law) from Bharti Vidyapeeth Deemed University, Pune. Sumit started practice in the District and Session Court, Pune. He has nearly eight years of experience of Civil, Revenue, Consumer, Co-Operative, Labour and Criminal cases."
Trupti graduated from Shantaram Potdukhe college of law, Chandrapur in 2014. She completed her postgraduate diploma in taxation from Rashtrasant Tukdoji Maharaj Nagpur University in 2016. Prior to joining Fair Trial Fellowship, she worked in the litigation chamber of Advocate Farhat Baig where she assisted criminal trials and cases of Protection of Domestic violence Act, cases under Motor Accident Claim Tribunal. Trupti also assisted in the District and Session court, Chandrapur Maharashtra.
Udaykumar Sanjay Kulkarni
Udaykumar graduated from N.B. Thakur Law college, Nashik in 2017. Before joining the Fellowship he worked in the litigation chambers of Advocate M. Behare, and assisted him on his criminal matters before District and Session Court, Thane. He previously worked with Human Rights Law Network in Maharashtra.