Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 has been framed to the pursuit of justice and object of making justice accessible to the poorest and weakest section of citizens of India and in order to fulfill the constitutional promise held out under Article 39A of the Constitution of India.
The State Legal Services Authority has, therefore, being constituted with effect from 23rd day of April, 1998 through a Gazette Notification under No. 3536-J dated 22.4.1998. The State Legal Services Authority started functioning from the month of August, 1998 and prior to the rules and regulations were framed under the Chairmanship of the retired Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court Sri Mukul Gopal Mukherjee as the Executive Chairman and the guidance of the Hon'ble Patron-in-Chief, the Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court.
The State Legal Services Authority is a product of Legal Services Authority Act, 1987 which has entrusted the Judiciary with the solemn duty 'to provide free and competent legal services to the weaker sections of the society' and in order "to ensure that opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizens by reason of economic or other disabilities and to arrange Lok Adalats to secure that the operation of the legal system promotes justice on a basis of equal opportunity".
The District Legal Services Authorities in the 18 districts of West Bengal have been constituted with effect from 15th day of July, 1998. Subsequently another district was created by separating Midnapore District West and East Midnapore. The District Judge has been made the Chairman, one of the Civil Judges of senior division rank has appointed as Secretary of the District Authority which also consists of other 15 distinguished persons of the society including District Magistrate, Superintendent of Police, Government Pleader, Public Prosecutor, Chief Medical Officer, Sabhadhipati and others.
There are 59 Sub-Divisions in the state of West Bengal where Sub-Divisional (Taluk) Legal Services Committees are functioning under the Chairmanship of the senior most Judicial Officer of the Sub-Division. Now The State Legal Services Authority is functioning at 2 & 3, Kiran Sankar Roy Road, 1st Floor, City Civil Court Building, Kolkata - 700 001.