News: The Law Ministry recently commemorated an event to mark the coverage of more than nine lakh beneficiaries of the government’s tele-law scheme, using common service centres (CSCs) to provide justice across the country.
- The concept of Tele-Law is to facilitate the delivery of legal advice through a panel of lawyers stationed at the State Legal Services Authorities (SALSA) and CSC.
- Tele-Law means the use of communications and information technology for the delivery of legal information and advice.
- The project initiates to connect citizens with lawyers through video conferencing facilities by the Para-Legal Volunteers stationed at identified 50,000 CSCs.
- This e-interaction between lawyers and people would be through the video-conferencing infrastructure available at the CSCs.
- Under this programme, smart technology of video conferencing, telephone/instant calling facilities available at the vast network of CSC.
- It enables anyone to seek legal advice without wasting precious time and money.
- The service is free for those who are eligible for free legal Aid as mentioned under Section 12 of the Legal Services Authority Act, 1987.
- For all others, a nominal fee is charged.
Free legal aid in India
- Article 21 of the Constitution of India states, “No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law”. Hence ensuring legal aid to everyone is necessary for ensuring substantive equality. Article 39A of the Constitution of India provides for free legal aid to the poor and weaker sections of the society, to promote justice on the basis of equal opportunity.
- Articles 14 and 22(1) also make it obligatory for the State to ensure equality before the law and a legal system that promotes justice on a basis of equal opportunity to all.