IN INDIA WOMEN ARE ENTITLED TO FREE LEGAL AID/LEGAL SERVICES IRRESPECTIVE OF THEIR FINANCIAL STATUS

Updated: May 17


With the Forty-second Amendment of constitution of India, Article 39A came into force, which delivers free legal aid to the poor and weaker sections of the society and ensures justice is delivered to all.


Since it is obligatory for the State to ensure equality before law and make a legal system which promotes justice based on equal opportunity to all, as per Article 14 and 22(1) of the Constitution of India. The parliament enacted the Legal Services Authorities Act in the year 1987 which came into force on 9th November 1995 to establish a uniform network for providing free and competent legal services to the weaker section all over the nation. Under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987, the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) has been constituted to check and evaluate implementation of legal aid programs and to lay down policies and principles for making legal services available to needy under the above said Act.


Chapter IV of the Legal Services Authority Act deals with the persons entitled for legal services under the Act. Section 12(c) of the Legal Services Authorities Act says “Every person who has to file or defend a case shall be entitled to legal services under this Act if that person is: -

(a) A member of a Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe.

(b) A victim of trafficking in human beings or beggar as referred to in Article 23 of the Constitution.

(c) A WOMAN or a child.


A woman is entitled for free legal aid irrespective of her income or financial status. A woman is eligible to apply for free legal aid by virtue of Section 12(c) of the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987. Whereas, any other person wants to avail the free legal services should have less income in receipt, fixed by their respective state government. The income Ceiling Limit (Per Annum) as per Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana government is Rs. 3,00,000/-.


Under the Legal Services Authorities Act all the female victims, for instance female rape victims, have the right to get free legal aid or help from the Legal Services Authority who must arrange a lawyer for her.


With help of this right, a woman who is a homemaker, having no source of income (which is very common in India that a housewife or homemaker do not get any salary) can approach the court in order to get protection against domestic violence or other offences against her body or mind, as the state will help by providing all the legal services free of cost.


All the court proceedings including right to maintenance, right to custody of children, right to live in the same house, etc. can be pleaded with the help of legal services authority of the concerned area.

How to avail the remedy of free legal services


There are offices of State Legal Services Authority in every State and in every High Court there is High Court Legal Services Committee. In Districts and most of the Taluks there are District Legal Services Authorities, Taluk Legal Services Committees are constituted to give effect to the directions and policies of the National Legal Services Authority and to give free legal services to people and conduct State Lok Adalats.


A person can apply for such legal aid depending upon their territorial and subject matter jurisdiction of the case, through an application either online or offline to front office of the above institutions physically, or by post.


Address of the offices for obtaining free legal services of States are listed below: -


Punjab


1. Amritsar

Address: District Legal Services Authority, New Court Complex, Ajnala Road, Amritsar, 143001. Contact Number: +91-183-2220205

2. Hoshiarpur

Address: District Legal Services Authority, Court Complex, Hoshiarpur, Pin Code- 146001

Contact Number: +91-1882-224114


3. Jalandhar

Address: District Legal Services Authority, New Judicial Court Complex, Jallandhar, Pin Code 144001

Contact Number: +91-181-2235775


4. Kapurthala

Address: District Legal Services Authority, District Court Complex, Kapurthala, Pin Code -144601

Contact Number: +91-1822-297213


5. Ludhiana

Address: District Legal Services Authority, Judicial Court Complex, Ludhiana, Pin Code -141001

Contact Number: +91-161-2400051


6. S.A.S Nagar (Mohali)

Address: District Legal Services Authority, Judicial Court Complex, S.A.S. Nagar (Mohali)

Contact Number: +91-172-2219170


U.T. Chandigarh


1. Address: State legal Services Authority, Additional Deluxe Building, Ground Floor, Sector 9-D, U.T. Chandigarh.


2. Address: District Legal Services Authority, ADR Building, District Courts, Sector 43, Chandigarh.

Contact Number: +91-172-2742999


3. High Court of Punjab and Haryana

Address: Punjab and Haryana High Court, Capitol Complex, Sector 1, Chandigarh, 160001

Contact Number: +0172-2718223, +0172-2718338


Haryana


1.Gurgaon

Address: District And Sessions Court, Rajiv Chowk, near Mini Secretariat, Shaheed Sukhdev Block, Shanti Nagar, Shivaji Nagar, Sector 11, Gurugram, Haryana 122001

Contact Number: +0124 2221501


2. Hisar

Address: District & Sessions Court, Hisar Haryana 125001

Contact Number: +01662-270078


3. Rohtak

Address: District Court, DLF Colony, Rohtak, Haryana 124001

Contact Number: +01262-268643


4. Kurukshetra

Address: District Court, Sector 10, Kurukshetra, Haryana, 136118

Contact Number: +01744-221224