Gujarat High Court Acting Chief Justice Inaugurates Legal Aid Defense Counsel System Offices In 11 Districts

Athira Prasad

11 April 2023 4:34 AM GMT

  • Gujarat High Court Acting Chief Justice Inaugurates Legal Aid Defense Counsel System Offices In 11 Districts

    Acting Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court Justice A. J. Desai on Monday virtually inaugurated the offices of the Legal Aid Defense Counsel System in 11 districts of the state.With this Gujarat became the third state in the country, after Kerala and Jharkhand, in which the Legal Aid Defense Counsel System has become functional in all 32 District Headquarters. The 11 districts where the...

    Acting Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court Justice A. J. Desai on Monday virtually inaugurated the offices of the Legal Aid Defense Counsel System in 11 districts of the state.

    With this Gujarat became the third state in the country, after Kerala and Jharkhand, in which the Legal Aid Defense Counsel System has become functional in all 32 District Headquarters.  

    The 11 districts where the Legal Aid Defense Counsel System was inaugurated are  Ahmedabad (Rural), Banaskantha at Palanpur, Bhavnagar, Gandhinagar, Jamnagar, Junagadh, Kheda at Nadiad, Mehsana, Rajkot, Surat, Vadodara and 2 Legal Services Committees at City Civil Court, Ahmedabad and Metropolitan Magistrate Court, Ahmedabad.

    The Legal Aid Defense Counsel System (LADCS) is a mechanism which substitutes the existing Assigned Counsel System of delivery of Legal Aid for providing free & competent legal aid to needy litigants in criminal cases, the Gujarat Legal Services Authority (GLSA) said in a press release.

    As a way to provide quality legal services in a more professional way, NALSA framed the Legal Aid Defense Counsel System involving a full-time engagement of lawyers with a support system and the said unit deals exclusively with legal aid work in criminal matters either in the district or at the headquarters. Initially, it was confined to cases before Sessions, but now it has been expanded to Magistrate Courts with lawyers engaged not allowed to take any private cases.

    The office of Legal Aid Defense Counsel is based on a 3-layer system consisting of Chief Legal Aid Defense Counsel, Deputy Legal Aid Defense Counsel and Assistant Legal Aid Defense Counsel who will be paid remuneration towards the services rendered by them.

    According to the GLSA, the system would increase the availability and accessibility of Legal Aid Defense Counsel, effective and efficient representation by them, timely and effective client consultation, enhance responsiveness leading to updating of legal aid seekers, and ensure accountability on the part of legal aid providers.

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