The government has set up the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) under the Legal Services Authorities (LSA) Act, 1987, to provide free and competent legal services to the weaker sections of society as covered under Section 12 of the Act.
“For this purpose, the legal services institutions have been set up from the Taluk Court level to the Supreme Court. 7.45 lakh people have been provided with free legal services from April 2023 to September 2023, and more than 4.02 crore cases (pending in courts and disputes at the pre-litigation stage) have been settled through Lok Adalats from April 2023 to September 2023,” as per a press release from the Ministry of Law and Justice.
“The government extends all support to strengthen the legal services authorities and institutions in the form of grants-in-aid. Funds under grant-in-aid are allocated and released to NALSA by the government every year,” the release added.
Further, a scheme on Access to Justice titled “Designing Innovative Solutions for Holistic Access to Justice in India” is implemented by the Government of India, which aims to strengthen pre-litigation advice and consultation through Tele-Law, ensure a pan-India dispensation framework to deliver pro bono legal services through the Nyaya Bandhu (Pro Bono Legal Services) programme, and empower citizens through the Pan India Legal Literacy and Legal Awareness Programme.

“The scheme embeds the use of technology and developing contextualised IEC (Information, Education, and Communication) material in regional and local dialects to support its intervention and to achieve easy accessibility of legal services to the poor and weaker sections of society,” the release added.
The Tele-Law service seeks to connect the beneficiary with the lawyer via tele/video conferencing facilities available at the Common Service Centres and through the Tele-Law Citizens Mobile Application. As on November 30th, 2023, Tele-Law services are available across 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayats in 766 districts across 36 States and UTs and have rendered legal advice to 60,23,222 beneficiaries, which includes women, children, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, etc.
“The Nyaya Bandhu platform enables seamless connect on the Nyaya Bandhu Application (available on Android and iOS) between interested pro bono advocates and registered beneficiaries entitled for free legal aid under Section 12 of the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987,” the release stated.
As on November 30th, 2023, there are 10,629 pro bono advocates, and 89 law schools have constituted pro bono clubs to facilitate the culture of pro bono among law students. All these services under the scheme are provided free of cost to all citizens of the weaker sections of society.
“This information was given by the Minister of State (independent charge) for the Ministry of Law and Justice, the Minister of State in the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, and the Minister of State for the Ministry of Culture, Arjun Ram Meghwal, in a written reply in Lok Sabha today,” the release stated. (ANI)