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.