- A study from National Law University, Delhi (NLUD) has found that people don’t have faith over the services of legal aid counsel (LAC) under the free legal aid services due to a variety of factors.
- According to the study, 75% of the surveyed beneficiaries opted for free legal aid service due to the dearth of resources to engage a private lawyer. Further, 22.6% of the beneficiaries responded that they won’t opt for free legal aid services for the second time.
- The survey found that 56% of LAC spends an average of 1 to 10 hours per week on legal aid cases. On the contrary, around 58% LAC spend on an average of 20 hours and above per week on private cases.
- Further, according to the survey, 52% of judicial officers rated the overall skill set of a private legal practitioner as of fairly good quality and that of LAC as of moderately low quality.
- The study has put forward few recommendations to improve the commitment of LACs. These include: a) giving LACs a permanent post in contrast to the current ad-hoc post, b) making honorarium for a legal aided case at par with private cases
- In 1987, the Legal Services Authorities (LSA) Act was enacted to give free and competent legal services to a person belonging to Schedule Tribe and Schedule Caste, woman, child, victim of human trafficking, differently abled person, industrial workman, and person in custody in a protective home and the poor.
- Under the Act, National Legal Service Authority (NALSA) and other legal service institutions at the State, district and taluka level were also constituted.
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