Legal Services Authorities after examining the eligibility criteria of an applicant and the existence of a prima facie case in his favour provide him counsel at State expense, pay the required Court Fee in the matter and bear all incidental expenses in connection with the case. The person to whom legal aid is provided is not called upon to spend anything on the litigation once it is supported by a Legal Services Authority.
Section 12 of the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 prescribes the criteria for giving legal services to the eligible persons. Section 12 of the Act reads as under:-
"Every person who has to file or defend a case shall be entitled to legal services under this Act 12 if that person is –
(a) a member of a Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe;
(b) a victim of trafficking in human beings or beggar as referred to in Article 23 of the Constitution;
(c) a woman or a child;
(d) a mentally ill or otherwise disabled person;
(e) a person under circumstances of undeserved want such as being a victim of a mass disaster, ethnic violence, caste atrocity, flood, drought, earthquake or industrial disaster; or
(f) an industrial workman; or
(g) in custody, including custody in a protective home within the meaning of clause (g) of section 2 of the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 (104 of 1956); or in a juvenile home within the meaning of clause; or
(j) of section 2 of the Juvenile Justice Act, 1986 (53 of 1986) or in a psychiatric hospital or psychiatric nursing home within the meaning of clause (g) of section 2 of the Mental Health Act, 1987 (14 of 1987); or
(h) in receipt of annual income of not more than rupees 1,50,000.
1. Legal Aid Counsel Scheme
2. Jail Visitor Advocates
3. Raising of Income Ceiling to avail Legal Aid Facilities
4. Competent & Quality Legal Services to the Aided Persons
5. Accreditation of Non-Governmental Organisations
6. Marriage & Family Counseling Centres
7. Free Legal Aid Centres
8. Observance of Legal Services Day
|Month||SC||ST||Women||Children||In Custody||Persons with disability||Industrial Workmen||Transgender||Victims of Trafficking in human beings or begar||Victims of Mass Disaster, Violence, Flood, Duaught, Earthquake and Industrial Disaster||General (persons whose annual income does not exceed the prescribed limit)||Others||Total|
Legal Aid Clinics are intended to provide legal relief easily accessible to the indigent and backward sections of our society. They are almost on the lines of primary health centres where a doctor and other auxiliary medical staff provide basic health care to the people situated in village areas affected with poverty and social squalor. Like the doctors rendering health services to the people of the locality in the primary health centre, a lawyer manning the legal aid clinic provides legal services to the people. The thrust is on the basic legal services like legal advice and assisting in drafting of notices, replies, applications, petitions etc. The lawyer manning the legal aid clinic will also attempt to resolve the disputes of the people in the locality, preventing the disputes from maturing into litigation. This provides the lawyer in the legal aid clinic an opportunity to understand the difficulties faced by people in the distant villages’ for access to justice. Legal aid clinics have to be manned by para-legal volunteers selected by the Legal Services Authorities and lawyers with a sense of commitment, sensibility and sensitiveness to the problems of common people.
|Year||Total No. of Application Received||Total No. of settled off.|
Up to July 2017