Under Section 2(1)(c) of the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 (hereinafter referred to as ‘the said Act’), “Legal Service” includes the rendering of any service in the conduct of any case or other legal proceeding before any court or other authority or tribunal and the giving of advice on any legal matter; To provide free and competent legal services to the weaker section of the society was the basic object of enacting the aforesaid Act. Justice - social, economic and political, is our constitutional pledge enshrined in the preamble of our Constitution. The incorporation of Article 39-A in the Directive Principles of State Policy in the year 1976, enjoined upon the State to ensure justice on the basis of equal opportunity by providing free legal aid.
The assumption of our legal system is that all citizens have equal access to means of legal redress. Access to inexpensive and expeditious justice is a basic human right. But, in practice, legal services of all kinds have gone to the highest bidders. Wealthy persons and large corporations receive the highest quality advice. There should be a system of administration of justice of which the poorest are able to take advantage. Equal access to the law for the rich and the poor alike is essential for the maintenance of the rule of law. It is, therefore, essential to provide adequate legal advice and representation to all those, threatened as to their life, liberty, property or reputation, who are not able to pay for it.
Legal aid is required in many forms and at various stages, for obtaining guidance, for resolving disputes in Courts, tribunals or other authorities. It has manifold facets. The explosion in population, the vast changes brought about by scientific, technological and other developments, and the all round enlarged field of human activity reflected in modern society, and the consequent increase in litigation in Courts and other forums demand that the service of competent persons with expertise in law is required in many stages and at different forums or levels and should be made available.
Free legal aid undoubtedly is beneficial to poor people and has been instituted with the noble purpose. But our Governments has failed to provide free legal aid to all the needy persons and there comes the need for NGOs like ours who can help the needy and poor persons in providing legal help.