When can the legal services be
                                                         of a person immediately after such...
About CHRI
Whom to approach for free legal                       The applicant has the right to appeal
                   ...
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Free Legal Aid

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Free Legal Aid

  1. 1. When can the legal services be of a person immediately after such Legal Aid implies giving free legal services Who is entitled to free legal withdrawn? arrest. to the poor and needy who cannot afford aid? the services of a lawyer for the conduct The legal services committee can with —(Sheela Barse, V. State of Maharashtra) Any person, who is: of a case or a legal proceeding in any draw the services if, The Magistrates and sessions judges l court, tribunal or before an authority. l the aid is obtained through s a member of the scheduled must inform every accused who misrepresentation or fraud; castes or tribes; Right to Legal Aid: appears before them and who is not l any material change occurs in the s poor (with an annual income of not l It is the duty of the State to see that represented by a lawyer on account circumstances of the aided person; more than Rs.50000/- for cases the legal system promotes justice on of his poverty or indigence that he is l there is misconduct, misbehavior or in the Supreme Cour t and the basis of equal opportunity for all entitled to free legal services at the negligence on the part of the aided Rs.25000/- in other courts); its citizens. It must therefore arrange cost of the State. person; s a victim of trafficking in human to provide free legal aid to those who l the aided person does not cooperate beings or beggar; Failure to provide legal aid to an l cannot access justice due to with the allotted advocate; s disabled, including mentally indigent accused, unless it was economic and other disabilities. l the aided persons appoints another disabled; refused, would vitiate the trial. It might —(Art.39 A of the Constitution of India) legal practitioner; s a woman or child; even result in setting aside a l the aided person dies, except in civil If the accused does not have l conviction and sentence. s a victim of mass disaster, ethnic cases; sufficient means to engage a lawyer, —(Suk Das Vs. Union Territory of violence, caste atrocity, flood, l the proceedings amount to misusing Arunachal Pradesh (1986) 2 SCC 401; the court must provide one for the drought, earth quake, industrial the process of law or of legal service. 1986 SCC (Cri) 166) defense of the accused at the disaster and other cases of expense of the state. undeserved want; Services offered by the Legal Cases for which legal aid is —(Sec. 304, Criminal Procedure Code) Services Authority: not available s an industrial workman; s in custody, including protective l Payment of court and other process fee; s Cases in respect of defamation, The Constitutional duty to provide l custody; l Charges for preparing, drafting and malicious prosecution, contempt legal aid arises from the time the filing of any legal proceedings; of court, perjury etc. s facing a charge which might result accused is produced before the l Charges of a legal practitioner or legal in imprisonment; s Proceedings relating to election; Magistrate for the first time and advisor; —(Khatri II Vs. State of Bihar, continues whenever he is produced s Cases where the fine imposed is l Costs of obtaining decrees, (1981) 1SCC); and for remand. not more than Rs.50/-; unable to engage a lawyer and judgments, orders or any other s —(Khatri II Vs. State of Bihar, (1981) 1SCC; s Economic offences and offences secure legal services on account 1981 SCC (Cri) 228; 1981 Cri. LJ 470) documents in a legal proceeding; against social laws; of reasons such as pover ty, l Costs of paper work, including s Cases where the person seeking A person entitled to appeal against l indigence, and incommunicado printing, translation etc. legal aid is not directly concerned his/her sentence has the right to ask situation; with the proceedings and whose When can Legal ser vices be for a counsel, to prepare and argue interests will not be affected, if not rejected? the appeal. In addition to the above, legal represented properly. —(Madav Hayavadanrao Hoskot Vs. State of service may be granted: If the applicant Maharastra (1978)3 SCC 544) (Art. 142 of - has adequate means to access in cases of great public the Constitution r/w 21 and 39A) I Recovery of the Aid: justice; importance; Where legal services are withdrawn, the Duties of the Police and the Courts: - does not fulfill the eligibility criteria; special cases considered I Committee is empowered to recover the - has no merits in his application l The police must inform the nearest deserving of legal services. cost of legal services granted. requiring legal action. Legal Aid Committee about the arrest
  2. 2. About CHRI Whom to approach for free legal The applicant has the right to appeal l aid? before the chairman for a decision The Commonwealth Human Rights Police and You against such rejection. The person who needs free legal aid can Initiative (CHRI) is an international, approach the Legal Services Authority at independent non-profit organisation Know Your Rights Duties of the aided person: any level- national, state, district or taluq. headquartered in India. Its objectives are The aided person must: The request can be made to: to promote the practical realisation of l comply with directions given by the - the Senior Civil judge nominated as human rights in the Commonwealth. Secretary of the Legal Services the chairperson of the Mandal/Taluq CHRI educates on human rights issues Authority; Legal Services Authority; and advocates for greater adherence to l attend the office of the committee or - the Secretary, District Legal Services human rights standards. Court as well as of the advocate Authority at the district level; assigned, as when required; - the Secretary, High Court Legal Presently it is working in the following l furnish full and true information to the Services Committee at the state level; areas: advocate rendering legal service; and - the Secretary, Supreme Court Legal J Police Reforms l not pay any fee or expenses to the Services Committee at the higher advocate rendering legal service. J level; Prison Reforms J - the member secretary of the state Human Rights Commissions J legal services authority; Right to Information Lok Adalats J - the magistrate before whom s/he is Human Rights Advocacy Lok Adalats are judicial bodies set up J produced; or Constitutionalism for the purpose of facilitating peaceful J - the custodial authorities, if under Biennial Report to the Commonwealth resolution of disputes between the detention. heads of Government meeting on litigating parties. They have the powers Human Rights Issues. of an ordinary civil court, like How to Approach? summoning, examining evidence etc. - A written application can be made to the concerned authority (See Annexure Its orders are like any court orders, but I for proforma of the application form) the parties cannot appeal against such - Where the person cannot read or orders. Lok Adalats can resolve all write, the legal services authority will matters, except criminal cases that record his/her statement along with are non-compoundable. thumb impression. Such a statement Either one or both the parties to is treated as an application. litigation can make an application to - The person who claims legal aid has the court for transferring the case to a to file an affidavit of his income. Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative lok adalat. N-8, Second Floor, Green Park (Main) Steps involved in the process: New Delhi-110016, India Where no compromise or settlement Phone : 91-11-26864678, 26850523, 26528152 l The eligibility criteria and the merits is made by the lok adalat, such a case Fax : 91-11-2686 4688 of the case are examined. is transferred to the court and that E-mail : chriall@nda.vsnl.net.in l If the application for legal aid is rejected, court deals with the litigation from the Website : http://www.humanrightsinitiative.org reasons shall be duly recorded and stage the lok adalat had reached. also informed to the applicant. Prepared by : Aravinda Kosaraju

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