1. Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987
  2. National Legal Services Authority (NALSA)
    1. Free legal services to weaker sections
    2. To organize Lok Adalats
    3. State Legal Authorities have been set up under the act to provide legal services to weaker sections and constitute Lok Adalats
    4. These are headed by respective HC Chief Justices
    5. At district level, District Legal Services Authority has been set up as well. Chaired by respective district judges. Taluk level also
    6. Relevant articles are: Article 39-A, 14, and 22(1)
    7. Persons covered under NALSA for legal aid:
      1. SC/ST
        1. Woman or child
        2. Victim of trafficking or begar
        3. Mentally ill or disabled person
        4. Victim of mass disaster, genocide, violence (ethnic), caste atrocity, drought, earthquake, industrial disaster
        5. An industrial workman
        6. In Custody or in Juvenile home
        7. Pychriatic (Mental health act)
        8. Annual Income <Rs. 1 lakh
      2. Services can be availed from:
        1. Supreme Court Legal Services Committee
        2. State Legal Services Authority
        3. High Court Legal Services Committee
        4. District legal Services authority
  1. Lok Adalats:
  1. Lok Adalats are statutory forum for conciliatory settlement of legal disputes.
  2. Diputes pending in any court of law or at pre-litigation stage can be settled here.
  3. It has been given status of a civil court and also marriage disputes, land disputes, partition/property disputes, labour disputes and also “compoundable criminal”
  4. First held in Gujarat in 1982.
  5. Its awards are enforceable, binding, and final as no appeal lies before any court against them.
  6. Held by District authority, State authority, High court legal services committee, Supreme Court Legal services committee, Taluk legal services committee.
  7. Presided over by retired judges, social activists, or members of the legal profession.
  8. Permanent and Continuous Lok Adalats are being established in all the Districts in the country.
  9. NALSA has been providing and shall continue to provide funds to State Legal Services Authorities for the implementation of the Legal Aid Schemes and Programmes but the infrastructure has to be provided by the State Govts.
  10. Separate Permanent and Continuous Lok Adalats in Govt. Departments are aimed at amicably settling pending cases as well as the matters at pre-litigative stage between Govt. Departments and general public so that the inflow of litigation to regular Courts is reduced.
  11. In so many Govt. bodies these Lok Adalats have become functional. In Delhi Permanent Lok Adalats have been established in Delhi Vidyut Board, Delhi Development Authority, Municipal Corpn. Of Delhi, MTNL and General Insurance Corpn.
  12. These Lok Adalats are becoming popular day-by-day and it is expected that very soon a large number of disputes between public and statutory authorities would start getting settled at pre-litigative stage itself saving the parties from unnecessary expense and litigational inconvenience.
  1. Gram Nyaylayas
    1. Established by Gram Nyaylayas Act 2008
    2. Each GN is a court of judicial magistrate of the first class and its presiding officer (Nyayadhikari) is appointed by the State government in consultation with High court.
    3. Established for EVERY panchayat at the intermediate level or a group of contiguous panchayats at the intermediate level
    4. The judges are strictly judicial officers.
    5. They all draw the same salary and derive the same powers as First class magistrates working under High courts.

It is a mobile court and exercises powers of both criminal and civil courts as well.