Free Legal Aid Current Affairs - 2019
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President Ram Nath Kovind has nominated Justice SA Bobde of the Supreme Court as Executive Chairman of National Legal Services Authority (NALSA). The post is currently held by Justice AK Sikri who is due to retire on 6th March.
National Legal Services Authority (NALSA)
The National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) is a statutory body constituted under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 to provide free Legal Services to the weaker sections of the society.
NALSA fulfils the provisions under the Article 39A of the constitution which provides for free legal aid to the poor and weaker sections of the society, to promote justice on the basis of equal opportunity.
The Chief Justice of India is the Patron-in-Chief and the Senior most Judge of the Supreme Court of India is the Executive Chairman of the Authority.
Objectives of NALSA
- To legally empower the marginalized and excluded groups of the society by providing effective legal representation, legal literacy and awareness and bridging the gap between the legally available benefits and the entitled beneficiaries.
- To strengthen the system of Lok Adalats and other Alternate Dispute Resolution mechanisms in order to provide for the informal, quick, inexpensive and effective resolution of disputes and minimize the load of adjudication on the overburdened judiciary.
NALSA identifies specific categories of the marginalized and excluded groups from the diverse populace of the country and formulates various schemes for the implementation of preventive and strategic legal service programmes to be undertaken and implemented by the Legal Services Authorities at the various levels.
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 fostering a strategic and coordinated approach to ensure smooth and streamlined functioning of the various agencies and stakeholders.
Tags: Alternate Dispute Resolution • Article 39A • Chief Justice of India • Free Legal Aid • justice SA Bobde • Legal Services Authorities Act 1987 • Lok Adalats • NALSA • National Legal Services Authority • Statutory Body
NALSA has launched a web application for free Legal Services to Prisoners at the conference held at Indian Law Institute, New Delhi. The Conference saw the participation of Member Secretaries and administrative officers of 18 State Legal Services Authorities. The Legal Services Management System has been developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC).
The State Legal Services Authorities and District Legal Services Authorities will feed into the web application the data for each individual prison inmate in the jails within their jurisdiction. The feeds will have details regarding the representation of prisoners through a counsel in the court.
The software will also help in generating reports showing the total number of inmates, the number of inmates unrepresented, the number of inmates represented by legal services lawyers and the number of inmates represented by private lawyers. All these information can be generated State wise, District wise and also with respect to each jail. The software is also capable of generating information with regard to prisoners eligible for bail under Section 436-A Cr.P.C.
The web application will help in making the legal services system more transparent. It would be useful for all the concerned authorities to monitor the grant of legal aid to the prisoners in order to make sure that all prisoners are represented right from their first day in the court.
NALSA provides for free legal aid inter-alia to all persons in custody. It has been constituted under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987. It provides services of free legal aid in civil and criminal matters for the poor and marginalised people who cannot afford the services of a lawyer in any court or tribunal. Its aim is to ensure that opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizen by reasons of economic or other disabilities. NALSA also identifies specific categories of marginalised and excluded groups and formulates various schemes for implementation of legal service programmes. It also organises Lok Adalats for amicable settlement of disputes.