National Legal Services Day is observed annually on November 9 across India to commemorate the enactment of the Indian Legal Services Authorities Act 1987. The Supreme Court of India started to observe the 1st National Legal Services Day in 1995.
Aim of the Day
i.The primary aim of the day is to spread legal awareness among people, ie., about various provisions under the Legal Services Authorities Act 1987 and the rights of the litigants.
ii.In order to ensure justice for all, the day also aims to provide free legal aid and advice to the people of poor and weaker sections.
National Legal Services Authority(NALSA):
The National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) was constituted under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987. It is headquartered in New Delhi, India.
- To provide free Legal Services to the weaker sections of the society
- To organize Lok Adalats(one of the alternative dispute redressal mechanisms) to resolve the disputes in a peaceful manner.
- To speedily dispose of cases and reduce the burden of the judiciary.
Patron-in-Chief & Executive Chairman of the authority
i.The Chief Justice of India serves as the Patron-in-Chief of NALSA.
ii.The position of Executive Chairman of the authority will be served by the second senior most Judge of the Supreme Court of India.
Patron-in-Chief of NALSA– Mr. Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde, the Chief Justice of India
Executive Chairman– Mr. Justice N. V. Ramana, Judge, Supreme Court of India
State Legal Services Authority
i.State Legal Services Authority has been constituted in every state to give effect to the policies and directions of the NALSA and free legal services to the people and conduct Lok Adalats in the State.
ii.The Chief Justice of the respective High Court heads( Patron-in-Chief) of the State Legal Services Authority
What is Lok Adalat?
Lok Adalat is a forum where disputes/cases pending in the court of law or at the pre-litigation stage are settled/ compromised in a peaceful manner. Statutory status has been given to Lok Adalats under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987.
Cases to be Referred to Lok Adalat:
- Any case that is pending before any court
- Any of the disputes that has not been brought before any court and is expected to be filed before the court.
Note- Any matter related to an offence not covered under the law shall not be settled in the Lok Adalat.