In a country like India, a large section of people, who are bereft of sufficient resources, are perceived as ineffective, socially as well as economically. The way, to empower them, is to revamp the socio economic structure radically. Such a radical change can be brought about, through free legal services programmes. These programmes are informative, and are aimed at educating those deprived of resources. The Supreme Court Legal Services Committee, is one of the main arms, of this initiative.
In this era of digitalization, it is essential to create a medium, which can act as an interface, between the legal aid seekers, and legal institutions. The website being launched by the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee, is inter alia, aimed at using this medium, to enable the underprivileged, to understand their legal rights, by seeking pointed information, about definite legal issues. Those who believe that their rights have been infringed, can be guided by this medium to understand, whether there is a legal solution to their grievance, without having to adopt litigation at all (through alternate means of dispute redressal). Those, who are inclined to initiate litigation, can use this medium, to file their cases. Those already in the litigation can be updated with the status of their cases, without having to travel to the Court premises, or the advocate's office.
For an institution such as Supreme Court, which is not easily accessible and affordable, the website being launched by the SCLSC, will help in bringing about a radical change, and would revolutionize the manner in which legal aid seekers, will be able to avail legal services.
I congratulate the team of the SCLSC which has taken this initiative, and wish them success, and hope that the website achieves the desired results.
Executive Chairman NALSA
Hon'ble Mr. Justice Ranjan Gogoi
As is well known that Supreme Court Legal Services Committee (SCLSC) has been providing easy and inexpensive access to the Supreme Court and giving legal advice to the litigants and in tune with the technology all the information relating to the SCLSC is available on their website.
In order to make their website more transparent and litigant-friendly, SCLSC has introduced certain new features, which, I am sure, will help the litigants and the lawyers alike. The dissemination of this information will definitely make people aware and help them to avail legal aid which enables a litigant to have access to justice.
Executive Chairman SCLSC
Hon'ble Mr. Justice Madan B. Lokur
Access to Justice is a Supreme guarantee endowed upon mankind. It is the bedrock on which any civil society rests and for a Rule of Law abiding civilisation, access to Justice for all is a sine qua non. The Legal Services Authority Act, 1987, and the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee (SCLSC) constituted thereunder seeks to achieve the above goal.
Persons eligible ( for example- the members of Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribes, women, child, victim of human trafficking, persons with disability, lower income groups etc.) who are in need of legal assistance to prosecute or defend a cause before the Hon'ble Supreme Court can approach the SCLSC. The appropriate cases that qualify the stipulated criterion are then assigned to our empanelled Advocates-on-Record – competent and honest professionals at the Bar. They represent the litigant free of cost before the Hon'ble Supreme Court. The SCLSC ensures that all exercises – core or ancillary relating to vetting and drafting of documents and arguments before the Hon'ble Court are undertaken by the Advocates on the panel. Should the need arise, the SCLSC may even request Senior Advocates' for their services and assistance, as well. The SCLSC also offers free legal advice irrespective of whether the eligibility criterion is met or not.
The citizens as litigants have reposed their faith in SCLSC time and again, and in fact, lately, a significant growth has been observed in the number of applicants approaching the SCLSC seeking legal aid. I earnestly believe that the response received by SCLSC has been very encouraging which has further motivated us to keep treading this path.
In order to do full justice to all expectations, SCLSC is wholly committed, by evolving new mechanisms, to provide quick and easy access to justice. In this process, SCLSC has lately introduced short messaging system service, for providing quick information to the applicants. SCLSC is also diligently working on the idea of making status of applications filed before the SCLSC, available online, for easy accessibility by applicants.
Process to apply for free legal aid, through SCLSC, for approaching the Supreme Court, has been made easy and uncomplicated which is reflected in the SCLSC website too. Website of SCLSC is not only user-friendly and informative, but also aesthetically pleasing. Every effort has been made to make the website communicative, meaningful and user friendly.
As the Chairman of the Committee, I assure that a common man in need of legal aid and assistance must not despair. He can repose his faith in the Committee; this faith is our driving force. I assure that we are committed to the cause of Justice and shall strive to make Justice as accessible to him as it is to the ones in higher echelons.