Access to Legal Aid: A step towards Justice


The right to legal aid gets more prominent insurance in the Indian legal system; however, practically speaking the assets and help made accessible to common defendants is paltry. The Indian Constitution is a brilliant illustration for the lawyers around the globe who contend that there can be no standard of law without access to legal help, and along these lines, it is the officeholder of the state to give legal help to the individuals who can't manage the cost of it.

To get justice isn't the respectability of the person who is rich, yet everybody independent of his societal position equally merits it. For a feeble destitute individual Legal Aid Centre goes about as a device to overcome any barrier of financial inequality and empowers him to get justice. Legal Aid Centre likewise improves the standard of law in a specific culture as the productivity and ampleness of legal organizations and instruments requests so. The provisions of legal aid ensure equal status and equal access to justice.

Importance of the role played by Legal Aid Centre

In the event that a person with a potential case can't get legal aid, there are two potential outcomes. The primary is that the case is dropped - that is a position forswearing of justice and a blotch on the standard of law. The second is that the case is sought after, during which case it'll be sought after wastefully, and can take up unquestionably a greater amount of the court staff's time and of the appointed authority's time all through the court.

The case of Hussainara Khatoon v. State of Bihar[1] exhibits the injustices that can be brought about by postpones inferable from the absence of legal representation. The case included detainees who had been in confinement without trial for a more drawn out period than they would have been convicted and condemned. Their cases had been postponed in light of the fact that they couldn't acquire legal assistance.

The provisions of legal aid ensure equal status and equal access to justice. Legal Aid likewise helps in satisfying the established objective set up by each advanced constitution wherein equal laws or equality under the steady gaze of law is ensured and this must be guaranteed by methods for giving equal occasions to profiting the advantages of such laws. By giving legal aid to the most unfortunate of poor, we pull these people to the degree of democratic living which further fortifies our majority rule government. This current system of legal aid is definitely not a recently conceived idea yet it is the item achieved after long consideration and back and it has now become a component of government assistance state. In the event that we intently look, at that point, this guideline is developed on the bedrock of significant ideas, equality, and equal insurance of laws.

Statutory Provisions of Legal Aid

· Article 21, 22(1), 39A of the Indian Constitution and the Entry 3 provided in the State List and Entry 11 in the Concurrent List of the Indian Constitution, 1949

· Section 11A, 11B, 12 of Legal Services Authority Act, 1987

· Section 304 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973

· Section 6, 9A of the Advocates Act, 1961

What a legal aid lawyer can do to empower her/his client

· Apply for bail in an early and opportune way.

· Guarantee that all legal protections are accessible to the needy client as a component of fair strategy and a fair trial.

· Give compelling representation at the hour of police confinement and capture and during first creation and use Section 167 and the law under it to oppose remand to either authority or contend for release, in fit cases.

· Sympathize with the needy client.

· Providing vital guidance to the client and their family members.

· Utilize legal provisions and statute to contend for discharge on close to personal bonds.

· Perceive that the legal representation of the needy client is in furtherance of the constitutional mandate under Article 39A.

· Perceive that legal aid isn't free service – state is paying for it and the needy client additionally brings about concealed costs.

Some of the landmark judgments on Access to Legal Aid while providing justice to all

Ramchandra Nivrutty Mulak vs. The State of Maharashtra[2], the case with a situation where the charged(accused) was unrepresented and a situation where the charged was represented to and therefore the lawyer attempted to drag out his appearance and didn't attend trial remain on an equal balance.

Section 304, CrPC alongside Article 21 of Indian Constitution must be perused together in soul and not simply on a basic level. Thusly, during a circumstance like this, there is a weight projected on the courts to advise the charged either to draw in another lawyer or to teach him that he's qualified for nothing legal aid on the off chance that he so wants. Or then again, the trial stands vitiated.

Sheela Barse v. State of Maharashtra[3], the Court coordinated that the police must illuminate the closest Legal Aid Committee when a capture is made and therefore the individual is taken to the lock-up. Also, the Legal Aid Committee should find some way to provide legal assistance to the captured individual at state cost, given such an individual is keen to acknowledge legal assistance.

R.D. Upadhyay & Ors. vs. State of A.P. & Ors.[4], the court laid some guidelines related with reference to the eating regimen of mother and kid, labour in jail, pregnant ladies in jail, food, garments, clinical consideration, and schooling. The State Legal Services Authorities will take important measures to sometimes review correctional facilities to screen that the headings with reference to youngsters and moms are agreed to in letter and soul.

Hussainara Khatoon & ors vs. Home secretary[5], State of Bihar, the Court held that the proper to free legal aid may be a basic component of 'sensible, fair, and just' methodology. Without it, an individual experiencing monetary or different incapacity would be denied the open door for creating sure about justice. Thusly, the government needs to give under-trial detainees a lawyer at its own personal cost to form an application for bail.

Suggestions on enhancing Legal Aid Awareness/Access for the purpose of delivering Justice:

1) Local bodies like gram panchayat should also be engaged in spreading the legal awareness at local area levels.

2) Mandatory participation or visit of law students to a Lok Adalat and the legal aid clinic in their curriculum.

3) There should be a provision made for the commitment of cash within the legal aid funds and such commitments should tend some tax exception.

4) Social responsibility of every legal firm and legal practitioner should be recognised as a part of compulsory social service.

5) More and more use of Alternate Dispute Resolution as this being a preventive method is better than any other remedial method.

6) NGO's should also be involved to increase its awareness.

7) Promotion of Legal Aid/Advise by law students.

8) There ought to be a different enlistment for the unit of lawful legal aid lawyers.

9) There should be Legal Aid even for the small local areas which can be done so even by Law Schools.

10) A Lok Adalat should be made competent to require cognizance of a case where even one among the 2 opposing parties facing a court trial opts for a choice through Lok Adalat.


Without structural reform, access to justice will remain or progressively become, past the range of a great many people. What's more, for those daring, frantic or silly enough to prosecute their own personal claims the odds of their cases being resolved on the benefits after a full and fair hearing are not high, while the cost of hearing their claim and protections will be higher than would be the situation if legal assistance were moderate.

It should likewise be borne at the top of the priority list that delivering access to justice requires the courts to deliver right result for example judgments that we can be sensibly sure are right, in an opportune way and at proportionate cost. Therefore, access to legal aid among many others important factors ensure to attain that.

[1] Hussainara Khatoon v. State of Bihar, 1979 SCR (3) 532. [2] Cr. Appeal no. 487 of 2008. [3] AIR 1983 SC 378. [4] AIR 2006 SC 1946. [5] AIR 1979 SC 1369.

The author of this post is Rudrabhishek Chauhan (a student at School of Law, Galgotias University) and Sneha Chauhan (a student at Amity University, Lucknow)

The views expressed in this article belong to the author/s and do not necessarily reflect those of the JEC Blog. We welcome comments and contributions to this blog – please comment below.

#legalaid #justice

10 views0 comments