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Indian Polity

National Legal Services Day

  • 09 Nov 2018
  • 4 min read

The National Legal Services Day is celebrated on 9th November to spread awareness for ensuring reasonable fair and justice procedure for all citizens.

  • National Legal Services Day (NLSD) was first started by Supreme Court of India in 1995 to provide help and support to poor and weaker sections of the society.
  • Free legal services are provided in matters before Civil, Criminal and Revenue Courts, Tribunals or any other authority exercising judicial or quasi judicial functions.
  • Objectives of Legal Services Authorities are:
    • Provide free legal aid and advice.
    • Spread legal awareness.
    • Organise lok adalats.
    • Promote settlements of disputes through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Mechanisms. Various kinds of ADR mechanisms are Arbitration, Conciliation, Judicial settlement including settlement through Lok Adalat, or Mediation.
    • Provide compensation to victims of crime.
  • Persons Eligible for Free Legal Services:
    • Women and Children
    • Persons with disability
    • Member of Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribes
    • Industrial Workmen
    • Persons in custody
    • Victims of natural disasters, ethnic/caste violence, industrial disaster
    • Victims of Human Trafficking or Begar
    • Persons with an annual income of less than Rs. 1,00,000/- or as notified by the Central/State Governments.
  • Legal Services Institutions for providing Free Legal Services:
    • National Level : National Legal Services Authority
    • State Level : State Legal Services Authority. It is headed by the Chief Justice of the State High Court who is its Patron-in-Chief. A serving or retired Judge of the High Court is nominated as its Executive Chairman.
    • District Level : District Legal Services Authority. The District Judge of the District is its ex-officio Chairman.
    • Taluka/ Sub-Division Level : Taluka/ Sub-Divisional Legal Services Committee. It is headed by a senior Civil Judge.
    • High Court : High Court Legal Services Committee
    • Supreme Court: Supreme Court Legal Services Committee
  • In carrying out all these responsibilities, NALSA works in close coordination with the various State Legal Services Authorities, District Legal Services Authorities and other agencies for a regular exchange of relevant information, monitoring and updating on the implementation and progress of the various schemes in vogue and fostering a strategic and coordinated approach to ensure smooth and streamlined functioning of the various agencies and stakeholders.

National Legal Services Authority

  • The National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) was constituted under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 which came into force on 9th November, 1995 to establish a nationwide uniform network for providing free and competent legal services to the weaker sections of the society.
  • The Chief Justice of India is the Patron-in-Chief and the second senior most Judge of Supreme Court of India is the Executive Chairman of the Authority.
  • Article 39 A of the Constitution provides for free legal aid to the poor and weaker sections of the society, to promote justice on the basis of equal opportunity. Article 14 and Article 22 (1), obligates State to ensure equality before law.
  • It can be noted that the role played by NALSA and its networks is very much relevant to achieving the Sustainable Development Goal-16 , which seeks to "Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels".
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