Tele-Law through CSCs To Mainstream Legal Aid in Rural India

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  • In its effort to make legal aid easily accessible to the marginalized communities and citizens living in rural areas, the Government of India has launched the ‘Tele-Law’.
  • The Ministry of Law and Justice partnered with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), which anchors the Digital India programme, to provide legal aid services through its Common Service Centres (CSC) at the panchayat level, spread across the country.
  • In the first phase, the ‘Tele-Law’ scheme will be tested as a pilot across 500 Common service Centres (CSC) in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar to understand the challenges and make necessary corrections to the scheme before it is scaled up and rolled out across the country in a phased manner.
  • Under the scheme, a portal called ‘Tele-Law’ will be launched, which will be available across the Common Service Centre (CSC) network.
  • This will connect the citizens to legal service providers with the help of technology enabled platforms.
  • ‘Tele-Law’ will enable people to seek legal advice from lawyers through video conferencing available at the Common Service Centres (CSC).
  • Additionally, 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.
  • The National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) will provide a panel of lawyers from State capitals, who will be available through video conferencing to provide legal advice and counselling to the applicants, across the 1000 Common Service Centres (CSC).
  • A robust monitoring and evaluation system is also being designed which will help in assessing the quality of legal advice provided and the ensuing benefit to those accessing it.
  • This scheme comes as a continuation to the Access to Justice Project for Marginalized Persons which is being implemented by Department of Justice and United Nation Development Programme (UNDP).
  • The Access to Justice Project partnered with CSC-E-governance Services India Limited to mainstream legal literacy through common service centres in Jharkhand (10 CSCs in 3 districts) and then through 500 CSCs across 11 districts in Rajasthan. 

Source:PIB