How to get Free Legal Service
What is free legal service ?  
  The Constitution promotes equal justice to all its citizens. Article 14 of the Constitution provides that the State shall not deny to any person equality before Law or equal protection of Law within the territory of India. Article-38 further envisages that the State shall strive to promote the welfare of the people by securing and protecting as effectively as it may a social order in which justice, economic and political shall inform all Institutions of national life. Free Legal Services imply rendering services at the expenses of the State to the poor & needy persons in the matter of their legal entitlements, disputes, causes etc. and also includes any service in conduct of their case or legal proceedings before any Court or other Authority and giving legal advice, under the Legal Services Authorities Act – 1987.  
Why it is needed ?  
  In view of Article -39-A of the Constitution it is the duty of the State to see that the legal system promotes justice on the basis of equal opportunity for all its citizens. It must therefore arrange to provide free legal aid to those who cannot access justice due to economic and other disabilities.  
Legal Framework  
  Parliament by its 42nd Amendment incorporated Article 39-A in the Constitution which directed Government for providing equal justice and free Legal Aid to indigent persons who are unable to fight for justice by reason of economic and other disabilities.
Accordingly the State Government vide Law Department Notification No. 8010/L dated 5.5.1981 introduced Orissa State Legal Aid and Advice Scheme under Orissa State Legal Aid and Advice Programme and constituted Orissa Legal Aid and Advice Board for providing free legal aid to the Poor. The Parliament further enacted the Legal Services Authorities Act 1987 (Act No.39 of 1987) and as per the provisions of the said Act, Legal Services Authorities/Committees have been constituted at National Level, State Level, District Level and Taluk Level besides Legal Services Committees for Supreme Court and High Courts. These Authorities/ Committees have been so constituted to provide free and competent Legal Services to Lok Adalats to secure operation of Legal System promoting Justice on basis of equal opportunity.
 
Who is entitled to free legal aid ?  
  Every person who has to file or defend a case shall be entitled to Legal services under this Act if that person is:  
  a member of the Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribes;  
  a victim of trafficking in human beings or beggar as referred to in Article 23 of the Constitution;  
  a woman or child;  
  a mentally ill or otherwise disabled person;  
 
a person under circumstances of undeserved want such as being a victim of a mass disaster, ethnic violence, caste atrocity, flood, drought, earthquake or industrial disaster; or  
  an industrial workman; or  
 
in custody, including custody in a protective home within the clause (g) of section-2 of the Immoral traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956, or in a psychiatric hospital or psychiatric nursing home within the meaning of clause (g) of section-2 of the Mental Health Act, 1987; or  
 
in receipt of annual income less than rupees 50 thousand or such other higher amount as may be prescribed by the State Government, if the case is before a Court other than the Supreme Court, and less than rupees twelve thousand or such other higher amount may be prescribed by the Central Government, if the case is before the Supreme Court.  
Concerned Department  
  Department of Law, Government of Orissa  
How to Approach ?  
  To seek Legal aid, an application in (A) form as prescribed or in a plain paper may be submitted before the State Authority, Supreme Court Committee, High Court Committee, District Authority or Taluk Committee, as the case may be. As far as income is concerned, an income certificate issued by the concerned Revenue Officer or an affidavit regarding the income has to be submitted along with the application for Legal Aid. When Legal Aid is sought for prosecution or defense of any case before any Court or Tribunal, the copies of relevant documents relating to the dispute or litigation are to be furnished along with or subsequent to the application.

For seeking any advice or counseling contact can be made to the Orissa State Authority through Help Line i.e. in Telephone No. 2307432
 
Documents to be attached  
  The copies of document relevant for the dispute or litigation, document in support of caste, income, physical incapability etc. are to be submitted along with the application for legal aid.  
Fees to be deposited  
  No fee is required.  
Period of delivery  
  As soon as possible or practicable with due regard to the nature & gravity of the petition  
Sanctioning Authority & Address  
 
  National Legal Services Authority (NALSA)
12/11, Jam Nagar House,
Shahjahan Road, New Delhi- 110011
- Member Secretary
  Orissa State Legal Services Authority (OSLSA)
S.O.- 11, B/1 & B/2
Cantonment Road, Cuttack-753001
- Member secretary
Supreme Court Legal Services Committee
109-lawyers Chamber, Post Office Wing,
Supreme Court Compound,
New Delhi-110001
- Secretary
  High Court Legal Services Committee
In the Premises of Orissa High Court,
Cuttack-753002
- Secretary
  Dist. Legal Services Authorities
(30 Districts of the State of Orissa
functioning in the Civil Court Premises)
- Secretary Concerned
  Taluk Legal Service Committees
(Civil Court premises at Sub-division/
Taluk Levels)
- Chairman concerned
 
Who to register complaints/appeal ?  
  The Secretary of the concerned Legal Services Authorities, Supreme Court Legal Services Committees, and the Chairpersons, and the Chairpersons of the Taluk legal Services Committees  
For more information contact  
 
www.oslsa.in/  
Phone No: 0671-2307432 - (Help Line)
Phone No: 0671-2307678 - (Member Secretary)
Phone No: 0671- 2304389 - (Deputy Secretary)
Phone No: 0671- 2307071 - (Office)
 
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