1,000 CSCs in UP and Bihar to provide legal aid through Tele-Law scheme

The government is making legal aid easily accessible to marginalized communities in rural areas by piloting Tele-Law scheme in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar through CSCs. 
 
For Tele-Law scheme, the Ministry of Law and Justice has partnered with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), which anchors the Digital India programme, to provide legal aid services through its Common Service Centres (CSC) at the panchayat level.
In the first phase, the ‘Tele-Law’ scheme will be tested as a pilot across 500 Common service Centres (CSC) in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar to understand the challenges and make necessary corrections to the scheme before it is scaled up and rolled out across the country in a phased manner.

‘Tele-Law’ will enable people to seek legal advice from lawyers through video conferencing available at the Common Service Centres (CSC). Additionally, law school clinics, district legal service authorities, voluntary service providers and non-government organisations working on legal aid and empowerment can also be connected through the CSCs anywhere and anytime, in order to strengthen access to justice for the marginalized communities. 
 

The National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) will provide a panel of lawyers from state capitals, who will be available through video conferencing to provide legal advice and counselling to the applicants, across the 1,000 Common Service Centres (CSC). A robust monitoring and evaluation system is also being designed which will help in assessing the quality of legal advice provided and the ensuing benefit to those accessing it.

Announcing, the launch of Tele-Law, Minister for Electronics, IT, Law and Justice, Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “Tele-Law will fulfill our commitment to ensure access to justice & empowerment of the poor. The Common Services Centers and Para Legal Volunteers will offer easy legal advice to litigants in rural India making them digitally and financially inclusive.”

In addition to this, under this scheme, every Common Service Centre (CSC) will engage a Para Legal Volunteer (PLV), who will be the first point of contact for the rural citizens and will help them in understanding the legal issues, explain the advice given by lawyers and assist in further action required in cases as per the advice of the lawyer.

 
Women PLVs will be encouraged and trained under the Scheme. One thousand women PLVs will work for mainstreaming legal aid services through the CSCs. The aim is to promote women entrepreneurship and empowerment and ensure women participation. The selected PLVs will also be provided with relevant training to fulfil their responsibilities effectively.  

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