National Legal Services Day 2021: History and why the day is significant for India’s legal aid system?

National Legal Services Day is observed annually in India to commemorate the enactment of the Legal Services Authorities Act 1987. 

Created On: Nov 9, 2021 11:35 IST
National Legal Services Day
National Legal Services Day

The National Legal Services Day is observed on November 9 annually in India. The Legal Services Day is celebrated to commemorate the enactment of the Legal Services Authorities Act 1987. The National Legal Services Day is significant to create awareness among people regarding various provisions under the Legal Services Authorities Act as well as the rights of the litigants.

The National Legal Service Day, apart from keeping the citizens informed, also works towards encouraging free of charge, proficient legal services to those belonging to the weaker section of the society. The National Legal Services Day provides a perfect opportunity to raise the issues and problems with the justice system of India and how it can be rectified.

National Legal Services Day History

The Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 was enacted on October 11, 1987, and the act came into effect on November 9, 1995. The National Legal Services Day was commenced by the Supreme Court of India in 1995 to assist and provide help and support to the weaker sections of the society and commemorate the enactment of the Legal Services Authorities Act.

The National Legal Services Day was established with a mandate to offer support and help to a weaker and poor group which include women, Scheduled Tribes, disabled persons, Scheduled Castes, natural calamities victims as well as human trafficking victims.

What is Legal Services Authorities Act 1987?

It is an act of the Parliament of India to enforce the provisions of Article 39 A of the Constitution. The Legal Services Authorities Act 1987 guarantees the fundamental rights to all the citizens of the country.

Article 39 A of the Constitution is related to the promotion of justice on the basis of equal opportunity by providing free legal aid to the unaffordable sections of the society like the poor and economically weaker sections.

Role of National Legal Services Authority (NALSA)

The National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) was constituted in 1995 under the authority of the Legal Services Authorities Act 1987. The authority undertook the activities including the free legal aid and advice to the needy as well as the disposal of cases through mediation and amicable settlement.

NALSA was a unique effort to minimize the backlogs of the courts in India as well as to afford access to justice for needy litigants.

Celebration of National Legal Services Day

The National Legal Service Day is observed to make the citizens of the country aware of the various provisions under the Legal Services Authorities Act and the rights of the litigants. On this day, each jurisdiction organizes legal aid camps, Lok adalats, and legal aid programmes.

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