Legal Aid Information


 Any person desiring legal aid or advice may make an application addressed to the Member Secretary/Secretary of the authority/Committee. If the applicant is illiterate or not in a position to fill in the particulars required in the application, the Member Secretary or any other officer of the Committee or any legal practitioner, whose name appears on the panel of the Authority or Committee, as the case may be shall gather the necessary particulars from the applicant and prepare the application on his behalf and after reading it out and explaining it to him, obtain his signatures or thumb impression on it. The application shall be accompanied by an affidavit containing the brief facts of the case and where the applicant is a person as stipulated in Section 129h) of the Act, not being one covered under any other clauses of that Section, the affidavit shall also state the details of the properties possessed by him and his income from all sources.  


Section 12 of the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 prescribes the criteria for giving legal services to the eligible persons. Section 12 of the Act reads as under:-  

"12.Every person who has to file or defend a case shall be entitled to legal services under  this Act if that person is –

A) A member of a Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe;
B) A victim of trafficking in human beings or begar as referred to in Article 23 of the Constitution;
A woman or a child;
mentally ill or otherwise disabled person;
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; or
an industrial workman; or
G) I
n custody, including custody in a protective home within the meaning of clause
H) of section 2 of the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 (104 of 1956); or in a juvenile home within the meaning of clause
of section 2 of the Juvenile Justice Act, 1986 (53 of 1986) or in a psychiatric hospital or psychiatric nursing home within the meaning of clause (g) of section 2 of the Mental Health Act, 1987 (14 of 1987);or
In receipt of annual income less than rupees One Lac or such other higher amount as may be prescribed by the State Govt., if the case is before a court other than the Supreme Court, and less than rupees twelve thousand or such other higher amount as may be prescribed by the Central Govt., if the case is before the Supreme Court."

Scrutiny and evaluation of the application for free legal services.
A) The Committee shall scrutinise and evaluate the application and decide whether the applicant is entitled to the legal services or not within a period of eight weeks from the date of receipt of the application. 
B) If the applicant is not covered under the categories mentioned in section 12, he or she shall be advised to seek assistance from any other body or person rendering free legal services either voluntarily or under any other scheme.   


The Committee may either on its own motion or otherwise withdraw legal   service granted to any aided person in the following circumstances, namely:-

  • In the event of it being found that the aided person was possessed of sufficient means or that he obtained legal service by misrepresentation or fraud;
  • In the event of any material change in the circumstances of the aided person;
  • In the event of any misconduct negligence on the part of the aided person in the course of receiving legal service;
  • In the event of the aided person not co-operating with the Committee or with the legal service advocate assigned by the Committee;
  • In the event of the aided person engaging a legal practitioner other than the one assigned by the Committee;
  • In the event of death of the aided person except in the case of civil proceedings where the right or liability survives;
  • In the event of the application for legal service or the matter in question is found to be an abuse of the process of law or of legal service:  Provided that legal service shall not be withdrawn without giving due notice  there of to the aided person or to his legal representatives in the event of his death, to show cause as to why the legal service should not be withdrawn. (2)  Where the legal services are withdrawn on the grounds set out in clause (9)  above, the Committee shall be entitled to recover from the aided person the  amount of legal service granted to him.


  1. On receipt of an application for legal service mentioned in Regulation 15, the Secretary shall first cause the eligibility of the applicant as per the provisions of the Act read with the rules, examined and determined. 
  2. If the applicant satisfies the eligibility criteria, the Secretary shall proceed to examine the merit of his application. For examining the merits of the application, the Secretary may take the assistance of legal services advocates or other advocates willing to provide free legal advice. The Secretary shall not be precluded from seeking more than one opinion if any particular case requires in-depth examination.  
  3. In case the applicant satisfies the eligibility criteria and also has merit in his application, the Secretary shall proceed to decide the mode of legal service. 
  4. An application for the grant of legal services in any matter if it not found fit, may be rejected, for the reasons to be recorded in writing, by the Secretary. 
  5. The applicant whose applications for grant of legal services has been rejected may prefer an appeal before the Chairman for a decision.
  6. In case of refusal for the grant of legal services, the Secretary shall inform the applicant in writing of such refusal.  

 Duty of Aided person   

  1. A person seeking legal service shall comply with any requisition or direction that may be made upon him by the Secretary of the Committee or any of its members from the date the application for legal service is made till he enjoys the legal service granted to him.
  2.  Every such person shall execute an undertaking in the form annexed hereto that in the event of the court passing a decree or order in his favor awarding costs to him or other monetary benefit or advantage, to repay by way of reimbursement to the Committee all costs, charges and expenses incurred by the Committee in giving him legal service. For effecting such reimbursement, he shall authorize the Secretary of the Committee. The costs, charges and expenses so recovered shall be credited to the Fund of the Committee.
  3. Every aided person or his representative shall attend the office of the Committee as and when required by the Committee or by the legal service advocate rendering legal aid to him and shall furnish full and true information and shall make full disclosure to the legal service advocate concerned and shall attend the court, as and when required, at his own expense.