Focus: GS II- Polity
Why in News?
The National Legal Services Day (NLSD) is celebrated on 9th November every year to spread awareness for ensuring reasonable fair and justice procedure for all citizens.
About National Legal Services Day:
- NLSD was first started by the Supreme Court of India in 1995 to provide help and support to poor and weaker sections of the society.
- Free legal services are provided in matters before Civil, Criminal and Revenue Courts, Tribunals or any other authority exercising judicial or quasi judicial functions.
- It is observed to make the citizens of the country aware of the various provisions under the Legal Services Authorities Act and the rights of the litigants. On this day, each jurisdiction organizes legal aid camps, Lok adalats, and legal aid programmes.
Objectives of Legal Services Authorities:
- Provide free legal aid and advice.
- Spread legal awareness.
- Organise lok adalats.
- Promote settlements of disputes through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Mechanisms. Various kinds of ADR mechanisms are Arbitration, Conciliation, Judicial settlement including settlement through Lok Adalat, or Mediation.
- Provide compensation to victims of crime.
Legal Services Institutions for providing Free Legal Services:
National Legal Services Authority (NALSA). It was constituted under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987. The Chief Justice of India is the Patron-in-Chief.
State Legal Services Authority. It is headed by the Chief Justice of the State High Court who is its Patron-in-Chief.
District Legal Services Authority. The District Judge of the District is its ex-officio Chairman.
Persons Eligible for Getting Free Legal Services:
- Women and children
- Members of SC/ST
- Industrial workmen
- Victims of mass disaster, violence, flood, drought, earthquake, industrial disaster.
- Disabled persons
- Persons in custody
- Those persons who have annual income of less than the amount prescribed by the respective State Government, if the case is before any court other than the Supreme Court, and less than Rs. 5 Lakhs, if the case is before the Supreme Court.
- Victims of Trafficking in Human beings or begar.