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Hope For Jail Inmates As NALSA Opens Legal Assistance Establishments (LAEs) Across The Country

Prabhati Nayak Mishra
30 Jun 2017 2:44 PM GMT
Hope For Jail Inmates As NALSA Opens Legal Assistance Establishments (LAEs) Across The Country
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The LAE is the brainchild of Supreme Court judge Justice Dipak Misra, who is also the Executive Chairman of NALSA.

To provide legal aid to jail inmates and their pairokar (family members), the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) has set up legal assistance establishments (LAEs) all across the country. They will also be known as Nyara Sahyog, Naya Sampark and Nyaya Samadhan.

The LAE is the brainchild of Supreme Court judge Justice Dipak Misra, also the executive chairman of NALSA.

Justice Misra will succeed Chief Justice of India JS Khehar, who will demit the office on August 28.

“No under trial or prisoner shall remain without legal aid. He must be aware of all things about his case. Some convicts are not in a position to engage lawyer for their cases. The jail authority can arrange a lawyer to speak to an inmate at the LAE,” Justice Misra said.

“Every case has a human face. I can say every grievance has a human face and the grievance must be lawfully tenable,” he said, while explaining how the LAEs will function at each state legal services authority.

The relatives or pairokar of the inmates can also avail the benefits of the centre.

They need not go all the way to jail to meet the prisoner. Through video conference, a relative or a pairokar can talk to the inmate and discuss the case against him.

A panel of lawyers and para-legal volunteers will provide legal assistance to the undertrials, convicts lodged in jails and also the relatives.

At present, 13 LAEs are operational, including national capital Delhi, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Bihar.

As per the data available from the Delhi Legal Services Authority, 530 persons visited Nyaya Sanyog till June 20, 2017. Out of them, 488 sought legal aid and general information, and nine came to know about their cases.

NALSA also launched a Web Application for free Legal Services to prisoners, and the Legal Services Management System developed through the NIC.

Through the Web Application, the information regarding legal representation of individual prison inmates will be fed by the State Legal Services Authorities and District Legal Services Authorities.

The software will, therefore, be able to generate reports showing total number of inmates, number of inmates unrepresented, number of inmates represented by legal services lawyers, and number of inmates represented by private lawyers.

Further, the Information is capable of being sorted State-wise, District-wise and jail-wise. Reports can also be generated by entering the period of incarceration, which will in turn generate information with regard to prisoners eligible for bail under Section 436-A Cr.P.C.

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