JUDICIAL CONTRIBUTION IN JOURNEY OF LEGAL AID IN INDIA
The concept of seeking justice cannot be combined with the value of the dollar. Money has no role in seeking justice.
-Justice Blackmun in Jackson v Bish
Legal Aid refers to providing free legal services to the poor and needy who cannot seek the services of a lawyer or conduct legal proceedings before any court, tribunal or any authority to conduct a case. Legal aid is the method adopted to ensure that no one is deprived of professional advice and assistance due to lack of funds. Therefore, the main objective is to provide equal justice that is made available to the poor, downtrodden and weaker sections of the society. In this regard, Justice PN Bhagwati rightly observed that:
“Legal aid means providing a system in society so that the administration of justice is easily accessible to the missionary and not out of the reach of those who have to resort to it for the enforcement of it by law, the poor and illiterate courts Should be able to contact and their ignorance and poverty should not be an obstacle in the way of obtaining justice from the courts. Legal aid should be available to the poor and illiterate who do not have access to the courts. Seeking assistance through legal aid There is no need for a litigator. “
Therefore, legal aid is to be provided for the poor and the needy, a system of government money is provided for those who cannot afford the cost of litigation. Legal aid seeks to ensure that the constitutional pledge is fulfilled in its letter and spirit and equal justice is available to the poor, downtrodden and weaker sections of society. It is worth mentioning that the Constitution of India provides that the State shall secure that the operation of the legal system promotes justice on an equal opportunity basis, and in particular, by appropriate legislation or schemes or in any form, free Will provide legal assistance. In other ways, to ensure that no citizen is denied the opportunity to gain justice due to economic or other disability. The Constitution of India also makes it mandatory for the state to ensure equality before the law and the legal system promoting justice on the basis of equal opportunity for all.
Free Legal Aid in India:
The positive contribution of the judiciary gave the Supreme Court of India a huge opportunity to vigorously proclaim the rights of the poor and ineligible in the Hussainara Khatoon judgment, where the petitioner brought to the notice of the Supreme Court that most of the under-trails had already been punished by the very He was convicted without any further delay. The court was delayed due to the inability of the individuals involved to offer legal advice to defend and the main reason behind their inability was their poverty. Thus, in this case, the court stated that Article 39-Aemphasized that free legal service was fair, impartial and just ‘an unqualified element of the process’ and that the right to free legal legal services contained in the guarantee of Article 21 Was.
Years later, in the case of Khatri v. State of Bihar, the court answered the question of the right of free legal aid to poor or ineligible accused, who are incompetent for attractive lawyers. It is presumed that the state is constitutionally obliged to provide such assistance, not only at the stage of trial, but also when they first appear before the magistrate or come on remand from time to time and as such The authority of cannot be denied on the basis of financial constraints or administrative inefficiency or that the accused did not ask for it. The Magistrate and the Sessions Judge should inform the accused of such rights.
The right to exempt legal services is an essential, fair, and essential component of due process for a person accused of a crime and must be enshrined in the Article 21 guarantee and the state is under a constitutional mandate to provide a lawyer An accused person if the circumstances of the case and justice are required. States cannot avoid this obligation by pleading financial or administrative incompetence or any of the aggrieved prisoners have not asked for any legal aid. In
Suk Das v. Union Territory of Arunachal Pradesh, Justice P.N. Bhagwati emphasized the need to create legal awareness to the poor as they do not know their rights especially the right to free legal aid and further observed that most of the people in India are living in rural areas and are illiterate and not aware Are violations of the rights given to them by law. Even literate people do not know what their rights and rights are under the law. This is the absence of legal awareness. They are not contacting a lawyer for consultation and advice. Furthermore, due to their ignorance and illiteracy, they cannot be self-sufficient and cannot even help themselves.
Author: Nishtha .,
Trinity institute of professional studies