In order to make legal aid easily accessible to the marginalized communities and citizens living in rural areas, Government of India has launched the ‘Tele-Law’ pilot project on June 11, 2017.
More Details about Tele-Law Initiative:
Union Ministry of Law and Justice has partnered with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, to provide legal aid services through its Common Service Centres (CSC) at the panchayat level across India. Ravi Shankar Prasad is the current Union Minister of Law & Justice and Electronics & IT.
- Under the first phase, the ‘Tele-Law’ scheme will be launched as a pilot across 500 CSCs in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
- The pilot project will help to understand the challenges and make necessary modifications and rectifications to the scheme before rolling it out across the country.
- A portal called ‘Tele-Law’ will be launched, to connect the citizens to legal service providers with the help of technology-enabled platforms.
- ‘Tele-Law’ will enable people to seek legal advice from a panel of lawyers sitting in state capitals through video conferencing available at the CSC.The panel of lawyers will be provided by National Legal Service Authority (NALSA).
- Moreover, law school clinics, District Legal Service Authorities, voluntary service providers and Non-Government Organisations working on legal aid and empowerment can also be connected through the CSCs anywhere and anytime, in order to strengthen access to justice for the marginalized communities.
- A fully functional monitoring and evaluation system is also being designed that will help to assess the quality of legal advice and verify ensuing benefit to those accessing it.
Role of Para Legal Volunteers:
Every CSC will engage a Para Legal Volunteer (PLV), who will be the first point of contact for the rural citizens and will help them in understanding the legal process, explain the advice given by lawyers and assist in further action required in cases as per the advice of the lawyer.
- Women PLVs will be encouraged and trained under the Scheme. One thousand women PLVs will work for mainstreaming legal aid services through the CSCs.
- Relevant training will be provided to selected PLVs, that shall help them to fulfill the responsibilities effectively.
- It is t be noted that ‘Tele-Law’ is one the three key legal aid and empowerment initiatives of the Department of Justice along with ‘Pro bono legal services’ and ‘Nyaya Mitra scheme’ that were announced in April 2017.