Credit points mooted for legal aid

Published: 21st April 2013 07:50 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st April 2013 07:50 AM   |  A+A-

Top legal luminaries on Saturday expressed concern over the quality of legal services offered by legal service authorities in the states to the poor and suggested a point-based system for legal aid work to woo quality advocates.

Speaking at the 11th All India Meet of State Legal Services Authorities organized by Tamil Nadu State Legal Services Authority here on Saturday, Supreme Court judge and executive chairman of National Legal Services Authority Chairman P Sathasivam and Supreme Court Judge and chairman of Supreme Court Legal Services Committee A K Patnaik expressed concern over the quality of legal aid to poor and suggested offering credit points to lawyers. 

“These credit points should be taken into account in the promotion of advocates. This will transform the legal profession, which is totally money-minded and the focus is only on higher fee,” Patnaik said.

Sathasivam said that the quality of services offered by legal service authorities in the states should be ensured through periodic review of their performance.

“There is a need to increase their payments besides incentives should be promoted for offering services to legal services authority. He also suggested that judicial officers who involve in Lok Adalats should be given bonus points and this should be recorded in their annual confidentiality report (ACR).

Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir highlighted financial constraints in providing fees to quality lawyers to take up legal aid. However, he cited an example of NALSA taking up a case relating to the plight of widows of Mathura and Brindavan.

“This was a social cause. We did not have to give fees,” he said while adding that NALSA should not only focus on fighting the cases in the court but also taking up the social issues.


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