BHUBANESWAR: The state government today decided to include nine more services for providing legal aid to resolve problems faced by people through the Odisha State Legal Services Authority (OSLSA).
Announcing this here today, law minister Pratap Jena said that the services will include different banks and financial institutions, problems faced by workers under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), getting gas connection and refill, problems faced by citizens in getting Aadhar, ration, voter identity and BPL cards, old age, widow and unemployment allowances, problems faced by customers in mobile phone and internet connection and issues relating to education, educational institutions and housing. Earlier, only six services had been included under the purview of the OSLSA.
Jena said the sphere of providing legal aid for services have been widened by the inclusion of these nine subjects.
He said that the state government as per section 22-A of the Odisha State Legal Services Authority Rules, 1997 can declare any service as essential service to protect the interest of the common citizens. Lok Adalats can now adjudicate cases related to these services.
The minister said legal assistance under these services will be provided to persons with an annual income of less Rs 2 lakh for filing and defeding cases other than in Supreme Court.
Earlier, the limit for annual income for getting legal aid was rupees one lakh, Jena said and added that the decision has been taken as per the recommendation of the OSLSA.