Legal Aid and Empowerment initiatives launched

Minister of Law & Justice and Electronics & IT, launched of three key legal aid and empowerment initiatives of the Department of Justice – including

  1. Pro bono legal services
  2. Tele law service
  3. Nyaya Mitra scheme.

Also mentioned that the country’s legal system would be digitally transformed, as digital inclusion holds the key to the country’s march towards Digital India.

Pro bono legal Services

  • The initiative is a web based platform, through which interested lawyers can register themselves to volunteer pro bono services for the underprivileged litigants, who are unable to afford it.
  • The Department of Justice has launched the online application for this initiative on its website doj.gov.in.
  • Through this online portal, litigants from marginalised communities (including members of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, women, children, senior citizens, persons with low income and persons with disabilities) can also apply for legal aid and advice from the pro bono lawyers.
  • It is a step’ towards fulfilling the mandate of quality legal aid for all and help in fulfilling the constitutional mandate of legal aid for all.

Tele Law Service

  • Second initiative the Department of Justice and National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) are partnering with Common Service Centers (CSC)- E- Governance Service Limited for mainstreaming legal aid to the marginalized communities through the Common Service Centers (CSCs).
  • This initiative, called Tele Law is aimed at facilitating delivery of legal advice through an expert panel of lawyers stationed at the State Legal Services Authorities (SLSA).
  • The project would connect lawyers with clients through video conferencing facilities at CSCs operated by para legal volunteers.
  • For this purpose, this initiative would also play a pivotal role in empowering 1000 women para legal volunteers.
  • Using CSCs for mainstreaming legal aid services for the marginalized at the panchayat levels would ensure that legal aid reaches populations which remained untouched due to geographical challenges and/or lack of infrastructure.
  • The project would be launched across 1800 panchayats in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, North Eastern States and Jammu & Kashmir.

Nyaya Mitra scheme

  • It is a justice facilitation mechanism introduced to reduce case pendency at the district level.
  • Addressing the issue of more than 2.4 crore cases in the lower judiciary, the scheme will place a special focus on cases that are pending for over 10 years, which will be identified through the National Judicial Data Grid.
  • The program will create a Nyaya Mitra in each selected district who will be retired judicial (or executive) officer to provide legal assistance and connect litigants to CSCs, government agencies and civil society organisations.
  • The Nyaya Mitra will also responsible for referring marginalised applicants to Lok Adalats and assist in prison reforms within the region.
  • The initiative will be launched in 227 districts selected by the Department of Justice.

Source : Pib

GS II : Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections

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