National Legal Services Authority (NALSA)

In 1987, Legal Services Authorities Act was enacted to give a statutory base to legal aid programmes throughout the country on an uniform pattern. National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) was constituted on 5th December, 1995. A nationwide network has been envisaged under the Act for providing legal aid and assistance. National Legal Services Authority is the apex body constituted to lay down policies and principles for making legal services available under the provisions of the Act and to frame most effective and economical schemes for legal services. It also disburses funds and grants to State Legal Services Authorities and NGOs for implementing legal aid schemes and programmes. The State Legal Services Authority (SLSA), the District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) and the Taluk Legal Services Committee work under the guidance of the NALSA. It is headed by the Chief Justice of India, who is the Patron-in-Chief of the Authority.
NALSA, along with the authorities working under it provides legal services to those falling under Section 12 of the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987, who cannot acquire it themselves. After the constitution of the Central Authority and the establishment of NALSA office towards the beginning of 1998, several schemes and regulations have been envisaged and implemented by the Central Authority. These include:

  • National Legal Services Authority (Free And Competent Legal Services) Regulations, 2010
  • National Legal Services Authority (Legal Services Clinics) Regulations, 2011
  • Scheme For Para-Legal Volunteers & Module For The Orientation-Induction Training
  • Scheme For Legal Services To Disaster Victims Through Legal Services Authorities
  • NALSA (Legal Services To The Mentally Ill Persons And Persons With Mental Disabilities) Scheme, 2010
  • NALSA (Legal Services To Workers Of Unorganised Sector) Scheme, 2010
  • NALSA (Legal Services Clinics In Universities, Law Colleges And Other Institutions) Scheme, 2013

 

In 2015, NALSA introduced 7 new schemes which either superceded previously existing schemes or addressed issues that has thus far not been undertaken by the legal services authorities:

  • NALSA (Victims of Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation), 2015
  • NALSA (Legal Services to the Workers in the Unorganized Sector) Scheme, 2015
  • NALSA (Child Friendly Legal Services to Children and Their Protection) Scheme, 2015
  • NALSA (Legal Services to the Mentally Ill and Mentally Disabled Persons) Scheme, 2015
  • NALSA (Effective Implementation of Poverty Alleviation Schemes) Scheme, 2015
  • NALSA (Protection and Enforcement of Tribal Rights) Scheme, 2015

 

NATIONAL LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITY

Patron-in-Chief : Hon'ble Chief Justice of India
Executive Chairman : Hon'ble Judge, Supreme Court
Member Secretary : District Judge level Judicial Officer
Functions :
To lay down policies, guidelines and frame effective schemes to implement the Legal Services Programmes.
To undertake Social Justice Litigation.
To monitor and legal aid programmes.

To encourage settlement of disputes by way of alternate dispute resolution methods.

Supreme Court Legal Services Committee
Chairman : Hon'ble Judge, Supreme Court
Secretory : Addl. District Judge level Judicial Officer
Functions :
To administer and implement the Legal Services Programme in so far as it relates to the Supreme Court.

STATE LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITY

Patron-in-Chief : Hon'ble Chief Justices of HCs
Executive Chairman : Hon'ble Judges of High Court
Member Secretary : District Judge level Judicial Officers
Functions :
To give effect to the policy and directions of NALSA.
To provide legal services.
To conduct Lok Adalats.

High Court Legal Services Committee
Chairman : Hon'ble High Court Judge
Secretory : Addl. District Judge level Judicial Officer
Functions :
To administer and implement the Legal Services Programme as it relates to the High Courts.
To submit reports in regard to the legal services programmes to the SLSAs.

DISTRICT LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITY

Chairpersons : District Judges
Secretary : Civil Judge Rank Judicial Officers
Functions :
To perform such of the functions of SLSA as may be delegated to it by SLSA.
To organise Lok Adalats within the district.

TALUK LEGAL SERVICES COMMITTEES/SUB DIVISIONAL LEGAL SERVICES COMMITTEES

Chairman : Senior most Judicial Officer
Functions :
To coordinate the activities of legal services in the Taluk.
To organise Lok Adalat within the Taluk.

To perform such other functions as the DLSAs may assign to it.