Governance, Indian Polity & Constitution
Context: Recently the Chief Justice of Telangana High Court said that newly introduced system of Legal Aid Defense Counsel System (LADCS) should help under-trial prisoners belong to marginalised and weaker sections of the society.
About the Legal Aid Defence Counsel System:
- It will provide free legal assistance to the accused in custody and the defendants in criminal cases in line with the public defence system.
- It would come to the rescue of the needy, for and distressed persons in the State.
- A team of select lawyers will fight cases for the defendants for free, on the lines of the office of public prosecutors.
- The LADCS lawyers will receive monthly salary and would not handle other cases.
- The legal aid is being offered at pre-arrest, remand, trial and appellate stages in criminal matters to the accused or convicts coming under section 12 of the Legal Services Act-1987.
About National Legal Services Authority:
- Constituted under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987.
- While the Chief Justice of India is the Patron-in-Chief, the second senior most judge of the Supreme Court of India is the executive chairperson of the Authority.
- In every State, State Legal Services Authority has been constituted to give effect to the policies and directions of the NALSA and to give free legal services to the people and conduct Lok Adalats in the State.
- The State Legal Services Authority is headed by Hon’ble the Chief Justice of the respective High Court.
- Article 39A of the Constitution of India provides that State shall secure that the operation of the legal system promotes justice on a basis of equal opportunity, and shall in particular, provide free legal aid, by suitable legislation or schemes or in any other way, to ensure that opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizen by reason of economic or other disability.
- Articles 14 and 22(1) also make it obligatory for the State to ensure equality before law and a legal system which promotes justice on a basis of equal opportunity to all.
Objectives of Legal Services Authorities:
- Provide free legal aid and advice.
- Spread legal awareness.
- Organize Lok Adalats.
- Promote settlements of disputes through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Mechanisms. Various kinds of ADR mechanisms are Arbitration, Conciliation, Judicial settlement including settlement through Lok Adalat, or Mediation.
- Provide compensation to victims of crime.
Source: The Hindu
Previous Year Questions
Q.1) Consider the following statements:
- Pursuant to the report of H.N. Sanyal Committee, the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 was passed.
- The Constitution of India empowers the Supreme Court and the High Courts to punish for contempt of themselves.
- The Constitution of India defines Civil Contempt and Criminal Contempt.
- In India, the Parliament is vested with the powers to make laws on Contempt of Court.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct? (2022)
- 1 and 2 only
- 1, 2 and 4 only
- 3 and 4 only
- 3 only
Q.2) With reference to India, consider the following statements:
- Judicial custody means an accused is in the custody of the concerned magistrate and such accused is locked up in police station, not in jail.
- During judicial custody, the police officer in charge of the case is not allowed to interrogate the suspect without the approval of the court.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
- 1 only
- 2 only
- Both 1 and 2
- Neither 1 nor 2
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