Legal Services Authority brings improvement in working of legal authorities in Chandigarh

Y.S.Rana | July 18, 2019 03:34 PM

CHANDIGARH: Devolve of certain legal powers to the District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) has brought effectiveness and improvement in the working of the legal authorities in Chandigarh, says Mahavir Singh, member secretary, State Legal Services Authority (SLSA), Chandigarh.

While talking to thi reporter, he said that it had been decided to devolve certain legal powers in matters of selection of panel of advocates and assess of victim compensation to District Legal Services Authority (DLSA).  Though the matter has been approved in the annual general meeting (AGM) held in February last yet it could not be implemented till June due to fulfilment of some formalities.
He further stated that after creating the post of Secretary, DLSA it has been provided necessary infrastructure and staff. The authority is headed by District and Session judge. Divulging about the area of operation, Mr Singh said that so far the legal awareness area operation, both the authorities held camps jointly. Under the new format, in matter of providing free legal aids, the DLSA was authorised to take up cases pertained up to district courts and has been assigned the work of selection of panel of advocates including prepared the roaster of advocates on daily basis.
For this purpose DLSA has formed a separate committee headed by district and session judge which has been authorized to empanel advocates. Jail clinics and juvenile cases are now dealt by the DLSA, states Mr Singh.  At present, both the authorities have panel of 122 advocates.  
On the other, the SLSA has been providing free legal aids in such cases those fell between high court and district court such as cases pertained to labour court, debt recovery, consumer court, railway tribunal, CAT and cases of statuary bodies, stated Mr Singh.     

Singh further revealed that under Victim Compensation Scheme, the secretary, DLSA assessed the compensation as per schedule and the amount of compensation was disbursed by the SLSA. If any one has objections about the compensation assessment, he/she can file an appeal before the member secretary, SLSA. Now victim compensation fund come to SLSA account and it disburses compensation to victims, says Mr Singh. Earlier, this fund was sent to deputy commissioner’s office and it was found that delay in disbursing compensation cropped up. Last financial year, the amount is being sent to SLSA account. it was given Rs 3 crore under this scheme last year.

On an average 130 to 150 cases come to legal authorities for legal aids per month and of these maximum number of cases related to custody.  The government has provided additional funds to them enabled the authority to increase legal aids to the marginalized and empowered them to access justice, said he.

Singh also admitted that the system has been successful in bring down the pressure on SLSA and with distribution of works between two authorities encouraging resolution of disputes speedily and hassle-free.

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