How to get legal help or advice

The right to legal Aid enjoys better protection in the Indian legal system, but in reality, the funds and assistance made available to civil litigants are mischievous.

Team Law Community
November 25, 2020


The right to legal Aid enjoys better protection in the Indian legal system, but in reality, the funds and assistance made available to civil litigants are mischievous. The Constitution is a brilliant example for lawyers around the world who claim that there can be no rule of law without access to legal assistance and that the state must offer legal assistance to those who are unable to obtain legal assistance. Under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987, the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) was established to provide free legal services to the weaker sections of society.

  • Free legal services, according to NASA's official website, provide free legal assistance in civil and criminal cases for those vulnerable and disadvantaged citizens. They are unable to afford a lawyer's services for prosecuting a case or legal proceedings in any court, tribunal or before an authority.
  • Article 39A of the Constitution heads about equal justice. Free legal Aid states: "The State shall ensure that, based on an equal opportunity, the operation of the legal system promotes justice and, in particular, provides free legal assistance, by effective legislation or schemes or in some other way, to ensure that opportunity to achieve justice are not denied to any person on account of economic or other disabilities." Article 39 A emphasizes that free legal service is an inalienable element of a 'reasonable, equitable and equal' process because, without it, a person with economic or other disabilities will be deprived of the ability to pursue justice.
  • Legal Aid means to provide support to those who cannot afford legal Aid and access to the justice system. Legal Aid is seen as fundamental to ensuring access to justice by ensuring equality before the law, the right to representation and the right to a fair trial.
  • Free legal assistance is one of the fundamental rights guaranteed to all of the country's citizens under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution states that 'no person shall be deprived of his or her life or personal liberty except under the procedure laid down in law.' It is, therefore, necessary to ensure legal Aid to all to ensure substantive equality as per HussainaraKhatoon v. the State of Bihar.

· According to Section 12 of the Legal Services Authorities Act, the following categories of people are entitled to free legal services —

Ø A member of a Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe;

Ø A victim of trafficking in human beings or begar as referred to in Article 23 of the Constitution;

Ø A woman or a child;

Ø A mentally ill or otherwise disabled person;

Ø A person under circumstances of undeserved want such as being a victim of a mass disaster, ethnic violence, caste atrocity, flood, drought, earthquake or industrial disaster;

Ø An industrial workman;

Ø In custody, including custody in a protective home or a juvenile home.

Ø In case of great public importance.

Ø Special cases considered deserving of legal service.  

· Free legal assistance can include representation in legal proceedings by a lawyer. Preparation of pleadings, memo of appeal, a paper book including printing and translation of documents in legal proceedings; drafting of legal documents, petition for special leave, etc. Rendering any service in that case or any other legal proceedings before any court or other authority or tribunal and advice related to any matter.

· Generally, people prefer to get legal advice for advocates both online and offline. It's like people go to lawyers who can afford advocates as per the expense, but now digitalization is like a new trend. Therefore, there are many sites which aim to provide legal advice as requested by the person such as KAANOON, ONLINE LEGAL ADVICE etc.

· The Supreme Court of India has also established the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee (SCLC) to provide free legal assistance to the needy and the Supreme Court disenfranchised. It is headed by a judge of the Indian Supreme Court and has distinguished members appointed by India's chief justice.

· The SCLSC has a jury of experienced record-breaking lawyers with a certain minimum amount of years of experience handling the Supreme Court proceedings. The SCLC also has a full-time legal specialist who offers legal advice to disadvantaged litigants on a personal visit or via the post.

How to apply:

· A individual in need of free legal services may approach the authority or committee concerned using an application which may be submitted either by submitting it in writing or by filling out the forms prepared by those authorities, specifying, in brief, the reasons for requesting legal help or may be submitted orally, in which case an officer of the legal services authority concerned or a paralegal volunteer can become assistant.

· Now, an individual can also apply online for legal assistance to any legal service institution in the country by filling out the online NALSA website legal aid application form by clicking on the 'online application' link (given below) and uploading the required documents.

Procedure After Application:

· Legal assistance is given to entitled persons via national and taluka-level legal services authorities, including NALSA, State Legal Services Authorities, District Legal Services Authorities, Taluk Legal Services Committee, Supreme Court Legal Services Committee and High Court Legal Services Committee.

· Also, once NALSA receives a request or request for legal assistance, the authority shall forward the same request to the authority concerned. After the request has been forwarded to the appropriate authority, it will be perused by the legal services institution concerned to determine what action is required on it.

· The details on the next step in the application will then be sent to the interested parties. The action taken on a received application will range from offering counselling/advice to the parties, giving them a lawyer to represent them in court, etc.


The Constitution of India, organizational structure as well as the Government does provide the requisite facilities and resources to enhance the standards and expertise of these advocates, leading to differences in court representation among the disputed parties, who are unable to get legal help.