Legal Services Current Affairs - 2019
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The Ministry of Law and Justice has launched the ‘Tele-Law’ initiative in collaboration with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to provide legal aid services to the marginalized communities and citizens living in rural areas through the Common Service Centres (CSC) at the panchayat level, spread across the country.
‘Tele Law initiative would help people to seek legal advice from lawyers with the help of video conferencing facility available at the Common Service Centres (CSC). Apart from the lawyers, law school clinics, District Legal Service Authorities, voluntary service providers and Non-Government Organisations working on legal aid and empowerment can also be connected through the CSCs.
In the initial phase, the initiative will be tested as a pilot project across 500 Common Service Centres (CSC) in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. In this phase, challenges to the initiative would be identified and necessary corrections would be made and would eventually be rolled out across the country in a phased manner.
A new portal called ‘Tele Law’ will be made available across the CSC network to connect the citizens to legal service providers with the help of technology-enabled platforms. The initiative would strengthen access to justice for the marginalized communities.
The government will also put in place a robust monitoring and evaluation system to assess the quality of the legal advice delivered to the people.
Under the initiative, a Para Legal Volunteer (PLV), would be employed in each CSC. The volunteer would serve as the first point of contact for the marginalized communities in the rural areas who will help them understand the legal issues, explain the advice given by lawyers and assist in further action as per the advice of the lawyer.
Around 1000 women Para Legal Volunteers will also be trained under this initiative to provide legal aid services through the CSCs. This is expected to promote women entrepreneurship and empowerment.
Further, the National Legal Service Authority (NALSA) will also provide a panel of lawyers who will provide advice from the state capitals to the applicants in the CSCs through video conferencing.
Tags: Government Schemes • Insights • Legal Aid • Legal Services • Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology • Ministry of Law and Justice • NALSA • National • National Legal Service Authority
The Supreme Court has introduced Middle Income Group Scheme, (MIGS) a self-supporting scheme for providing legal services to the middle and relatively lower income groups.
Under this scheme, middle class people who cannot afford the expensive litigation in the apex can avail the services of the society for a nominal amount.
- MIGS is a self-supporting scheme that will provide legal services to the middle income group citizens whose gross income does not exceed Rs.60, 000 per month or Rs. 7, 50, 000 per annum.
- A case will be registered under the MIG Legal Aid Scheme and forwarded to Advocate-on-Record/ Senior Counsel/Arguing Counsel on the panel for their opinion.
- If Advocate-on-Record is satisfied that case is fit, then the society will consider that applicant is entitled to legal aid.
- The view expressed by Advocate-on Record will be final in determining eligibility of the applicant for obtaining the benefit under the scheme.
- A society will be created with Chief Justice of India (CJI) as Patron-in-Chief. Attorney General will be its ex-officio Vice President, Solicitor General its Honorary Secretary and other senior advocates as its members.
- If an advocate, appointed under the scheme, is found negligent in pursuing the case entrusted to him, he will be required to return the brief together with the fee received by him from the applicant.
- The society will not be responsible for the negligent conduct and the entire responsibility will be that of the advocate. The name of the Advocate will be struck off from the panel prepared under the scheme.