NALSA renders over 1.2 million legal aid this year

Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad appreciates efforts of legal services institutions and the workforce

Published - December 24, 2018 02:05 am IST - New Delhi

Over 1.2 million legal aid and advice have been rendered by the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) to various people across the country this year alone.

One-third of the total legal aid (4.46 lakh), provided by State Legal Services Authorities (SLSAs) and District Legal Services Authorities (DLSAs) under NALSA, went towards victims of mass disaster violence, flood, draught, earthquake and industrial disaster.

NALSA Director Sunil Chauhan said that over 1.97 lakh free legal aid and assistance were provided to women, another 1.3 lakh to people in custody, and 1.13 lakh to those who fall under the weaker sections category.

Mr. Chauhan said over 1.5 lakh legal aid were also extended to people from the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe community.

To compliment the efforts done by various SLSAs, DLSAs, panel lawyers, and para legal volunteers (PLV), NALSA held a commendation ceremony in Delhi on December 15, in collaboration with the Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA).

Union Minister of Law and Justice, and Electronics and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad, who presided over as the chief guest for the programme, appreciated the efforts of the legal services institutions and its workforce.

Impact assessment study

Supreme Court judge and NALSA Executive Chairman Justice Madan B. Lokur said NALSA will now have impact assessment study of all legal services activities. He stressed on the need to have competent and professional workforce to render quality legal services.

Supreme Court judge Justice A.K. Sikri said the legal services institutions have evolved from merely providing legal aid to the needy to facilitating ‘access to justice for all’.

Delhi High Court Chief Justice Rajendra Menon stated that in order to bring law to the doorsteps of the common people, there must be a radical change in the thinking of the elite, intellectuals and the legal community in particular.

Delhi High Court judge Justice S. Ravindra Bhatt said that access to justice would be meaningless unless and until each and every individual can avail their rights under the judicial system.

B.V. Sagar from Andhra Pradesh was awarded the national best PLV for helping people in need by connecting them to various beneficial schemes, stopping several child marriages and other social works.

Advocate Rajesh Kumar won the national best panel lawyer award spearheading plea bargaining campaign in jails, and starting legal literacy clubs in colleges in Punjab.

Haryana’s SLSA and Pathanamthitta’s DLSA were respectively awarded the best in their category for outstanding work.

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