Focus: GS II: Polity and Governance
Why in News?
Recently, under the Department of Justice’s (Ministry of Law and Justice) Nyaya Bandhu, Pro Bono Club, ICFAI Law School, The ICFAI University, Tripura, in association with District Legal Services Authority West Tripura, organized a Door-to-Door Legal Aid Campaign.
District Legal Services Authority (DLSA)
- The District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) is an institution established under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987.
- It operates at the district level and aims to provide free legal aid and services to the weaker sections of society, ensuring equal access to justice regardless of economic or other disabilities.
Role and Composition:
- DLSA is a statutory body responsible for the effective implementation and monitoring of legal aid programs within the district.
- It is constituted in consultation with the Chief Justice of the High Court and comprises various members with prescribed qualifications and experience.
Provision of Free Legal Services:
- Article 39-A of the Constitution of India addresses the provision of free legal services to citizens who are unable to afford the expenses of legal representation.
- DLSA plays a crucial role in ensuring the availability of legal aid to such individuals and also appoints lawyers to assist defendants in their legal proceedings.
Composition of DLSA:
- The State Government, in consultation with the Chief Justice of the High Court, constitutes the District Legal Services Authority.
- The chairman of the DLSA is the district judge, while other members with specific qualifications and experience are nominated by the government.
- The Secretary of the District Authority is a person from the State Judicial Service, not below the rank of a Subordinate Judge or Civil Judge posted at the district seat.
- The Member Secretary of the District Authority is the Assistant Commissioner of the concerned district.
Salaries and Conditions:
- The officers and employees of the District Legal Services Authority are entitled to receive salaries, allowances, and other conditions of service as prescribed by the State Government in consultation with the Chief Justice of the High Court.