Focus GS II: Government policies and Interventions
Why in News?
Recently, The Ministry of Law informed that the Tele-Law programme achieved a new milestone with 40 lakh beneficiaries across the country empowered with pre-litigation advice.
- The Tele-Law programme was launched in 2017 and falls under the Department of Justice, Ministry of Law and Justice.
- It serves as an e-interface mechanism for seeking legal advice and consultation at the pre-litigation stage, aiming to provide assistance to underprivileged individuals.
Connectivity and Access:
- The programme connects individuals in need of legal aid with Panel Lawyers through video conferencing/telephonic facilities available at Common Service Centres (CSCs) located at the panchayat level.
- The Tele-Law Mobile App also provides access to the services offered.
- Panel Lawyers are practicing advocates selected by the Department of Justice and CSC-eGovernance Services or registered on the Panel of State/District Legal Services Authority.
Eligibility and Cost:
- Legal advice is available to everyone through the Tele-Law service.
- Free legal aid under Section 12 of the LSA Act, 1987 is provided to eligible individuals, including women, children, Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe members, victims of trafficking, mentally ill and differently-abled people, victims of natural disasters/ethnic violence, workers in the unorganized sector/industrial workers, undertrials, and people from low-income groups.
- For others, a nominal fee of Rs. 30/- is charged for each consultation.
Covered Legal Matters:
- The Tele-Law service offers legal advice on various matters, including dowry, family disputes, divorce, protection from domestic violence, sexual harassment, sexual abuse, eve-teasing in the workplace, maintenance for women, children, and senior citizens, property and land rights, equal wages for males and females, maternity benefits, prevention of foeticide, and atrocities against scheduled castes/scheduled tribes and their rehabilitation.