Introduction to NALSA:-
Towards fulfilling the Preambular promise of securing to all the citizens, Justice – social, economic and political, Article 39 A of the Constitution of India provides for free legal aid to the poor and weaker sections of the society, to promote justice on the basis of equal opportunity. Articles 14 and 22(1) of the Constitution also make it obligatory for the State to ensure equality before law. In 1987, the Legal Services Authorities Act was enacted by the Parliament, 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 National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) has been constituted under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 to provide free Legal Services to the weaker sections of the society. The Chief Justice of India is the Patron-in-Chief and the Senior most Hon'ble Judge, Supreme Court of India is the Executive Chairman of the Authority. Presently, NALSA is housed at 12/11, Jam Nagar House, New Delhi-110011.
Public awareness, equal opportunity and deliverable justice are the cornerstones on which the edifice of NALSA is based. The principal objective of NALSA is to provide free and competent legal services to the weaker sections of the society and to ensure that opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizen by reason of economic or other disabilities, and to organize Lok Adalats for amicable settlement of disputes. Apart from the abovementioned, functions of NALSA include spreading legal literacy and awareness, undertaking social justice litigations etc.
With the aim of reaching out to the diverse milieu of people belonging to different socio-economic, cultural and political backgrounds, 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. 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.
Introduction to DLSA:-
The Legal Service Authority is creating legal awareness, legal aid and settlement of disputes through amicable setlement before Lok adalath and Mediation are the main aims and functions of the Authority. Legal awareness programmes are taken up for empowerment of legal knowledge to all the Citizens in general to the weaker sections of the society in particular. Various activities are taken up to reach the vulnerable sections of the society such as SC/ST, Women and Children, Industrial Laborers etc.,
The Legal service Authority provides legal aid by way of providing services of able efficient Advocates, any person, who fulfills the criteria is entitled for the legal aid. The Legal Service Authority is functioning in the name of DLSA at District level.
District Authority besides organizing Lok Adalats within the district, has to perform such functions as are assigned to it by the State Legal Services Authority.
Lok Adalaths are organized by the District Legal Services Authority, conciliation is arranged between the parties to the litigation to come to an amicable settlement before the Lok Adalth and such settlement reached before Lok Adalath becomes a record having equal status as that of a Judgment/Decree of the Court.
'Lok Adalath' is being conducted on 2nd Saturday of every month regularly and 'National Lok Adalth' is being conducted on 2nd Saturday Bi-monthly. Pending cases are being referred to Lok Adalath for settlement from the regular Courts. Pre Litigation cases pertaining to service provider matters are also taken up for settlement in Lok Adalth.
Taluk Legal Service Committee(TLSC):-
Taluk Legal Service Committees functioning in the state at present that have been created & constituted by State Authority in terms of S.10 of the Act. Each Taluk Committee comprises the Senior Subordinate Judge of the concerned Taluk as its chairman and Sub Divisional Magistrate, Dy Superintend of police, Tehsildar, Block Development Officer, Panchayat officer and President Taluk Bar Association as its ex-office members. The Naib Tehsildar of the concerned Taluk acts as the Member Secretary of the Taluk Committee. Taluk Legal Services Committee has to coordinate the activities of legal services in the Taluk, organize lok adalats within the Taluk and perform such other functional as the District Legal Service Authority (DLSA) assigns to it.
Benefeciaries of Free Legal Aid:-
The following categories of persons are entitled to free legal service in terms of S.12 of the SLSA Act
(i) A member of a Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe;
(ii) A victim of trafficking in human being or beggar as referred to in article 23 of the Constitution;
(iii) A Woman or Child;
(iv) A mentally ill or otherwise disabled person;
(v) 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
(vi) An industrial workman;
(vii) In custody, including custody in protective home within the meaning of clause (g) of section 2 of the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 or in a psychiatric hospital or psychiatric nursing home within the meaning of clause(g) of section 2 of the Mental Health Act, 1987; or
(viii) A person whose yearly income is less than Rs . 25,000/- if the case is before a court other than Supreme Court and less than Rs 50,000/-. if the case is before the Supreme Court;
Modes of Providing Legal Services:-
Following are the modes of providing the free legal services,
(i) By payment of court fee, process fee, expenses of witnesses, preparation of the paper book, lawyers fee and all other charges payable or incurred in connection with any legal proceeding;
(ii) Through representation by a legal practitioner in legal proceedings;
(iiI) By supplying certified copies of judgment, orders, notes or evidence and other documents in legal proceedings
(iv) By drafting , Copying, Printing of legal documents;
(v) By giving legal advice on any legal matter;
(vi) Through meditation centers or family counseling Centers;
Present Judicial Officers Details.
Name of the Judicial Officers
V. Ananthan, M.Com., B L.,
Secretary, District Legal Services Authority, Karur.