Slew of changes start paying dividend to Chandigarh State Legal Services Authority

March 30, 2018 06:59 PM

Punjab News Express/Y.S. RANA
CHANDIGARH: State Legal Services Authority (SLSA), Chandigarh set up two decades ago to provide free legal services to the poor or those who are not bale to afford costly justice, has taken on an unprecedented scale to reach the last man in the street. It is depicted by the swelling number of beneficiaries. From a measly 87 in 1999 to masterly 12,072 up to the end-February, 2018 the numbers of beneficiaries of the Authority continue to swell by day.
The authority has effected a slew of changes in its working by using technology that have started paying dividend. Technology has made it possible to reach maximum strata of society in the city. The authority is now viewed as a tool to empower poor to use the power of the law to advance their rights, says he.
While talking to its member secretary, Mr Mahavir Singh said that with a view to facilitating easy access to information about legal services, the authority has set up a Legal Assistance Establishment (LAE) in July, 2017. It is manned by advocates on its panel along with staff and para legal voluntters (PLVs) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on all working day. Since its set up the establishment has received 291 calls and 1114 have come for legal services up to February, 2018.
Authority has been playing the role of quasi-judicial adjudicator-cum-mediator, it has been successful in setting disputes between parties amicably and expeditiously at pre-litigation stage, thus reducing the workload of courts.
According to the official data of the authority, of 12,072 beneficiaries, the authority has provided free legal aid to 6531 in custody. Besides, 1125 Schedule Caste who was in custody also provide free legal aid. The authority has also come to the rescue of 510 children and 2554 women who were in distress have been provided free legal aid. There is no income limit in case of woman seeking legal services and in other case income limit has been increased from Rs one lakh to Rs 3 lakh.
Mr Singh further stated that with use of technology it has expanded its area of working. It not only provided legal aid but also held legal aid camps to aware the people to avail the benefits of government schemes. Besides, traffic challans, authority also organized ‘Samadhan’ where cases pertaining to execut6ion, the Hindu Marriage Act, civil suits, rent cases, criminal appeals, revision succession, MACT, labour cases, cases under Section 138 of Negotiable Instruments Act, Section 125 Cr PC were taken up. The authority also arranged special lok adalats to settle cases of bank recovery, financial institutions, matrimonial disputes and decided such cases at pre-litigation stage,” said Mr Singh.
“The authority assures best legal services to poor and needy. More and more people who are in dire need of justice should avail the benefits and services of the authority,” says he and added that the authority has 62 advocates in its panel to provide their services to the poor. He further stated that except the high court, the authority provided legal services in all other courts. In case of need arises to send the case to high court, the authority forwarded such cases to the high court for further action.

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