Now we come to another Statute and that is The legal services authorities comes into picture to provide free and competent legal services to the weaker section of the society, to ensure that opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizen by reason of economic or other disabilities.
The National Legal services Authority at the National level, The State Legal services Authority in each State and The District Legal services Authority in each of the districts has been constituted under this Act; The State Govt.
may constitute Taluka Legal services Authority in each of the Taluka of the district. The Supreme Court Legal services Committee and The High Court Legal services committee in each State have also been constituted.
The Authorities are chaired by Chief Justice of India, Chief Justice of the High Courts and other senior Advocates.
ENTITLEMENT TO LEGAL SERVICES. Criteria for giving legal services. -Every person who has to file or defend a case shall be entitled to legal services under this Act 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 women 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; (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 (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 less than rupees nine thousand or such other higher amount as may be prescribed by the State Government, if the case is before a court other than the Supreme Court, and less than rupees twelve thousand or such other higher amount as may be prescribed by the Central Government, if the case is before the Supreme Court.] (Rules have already been amended to enhance this income ceiling).
A Person who satisfies any of the criteria specified in section 12 shall be entitled to receive legal services provided that the concerned Authority is satisfied that such person has a prima facie case to prosecute or to defend.
An affidavit made by a person as to his income may be regarded as sufficient for making him eligible to the entitlement of legal services under this Act unless the concerned Authority has reason to disbelieve such affidavit.
Addresses of District Legal Services may be obtained from High Court Legal Services Authorities situated at High Court.
National Legal Services Authority [NALSA]
Member Secretary,12/11 Jamnagar House,Shahjahan Rd,New Delhi-110011. Phone- 011-23386176, 23382778; Fax- 011-23382121.