Legal services are not just to provide legal aid to citizens but also to educate the weaker sections about the benefits available to them under various schemes, a Supreme Court judge said today. Announcing a new 'Legal Services Camp Module' for the entire country, Justice Ranjan Gogoi, who is also the executive chairman of National Legal Services Authority (NALSA), said legal services are not limited to legal aid to citizens and it also includes educating the weaker section of the society of the benefits available to them under various schemes. "Access to justice is our motto and people think that the services of legal service authorities are limited to providing legal aid to citizens.
Legal service is not solely legal aid by providing lawyers. "To give a man his due as per law. This is how I look at legal services. Whatever a man is entitled under law and to ensure what is due to him as per law, is legal service," he said. The NALSA chief also announced the opening of around 3,200 legal literacy clubs in government schools across the country. The judge pointed to the provision under the Legal Services Authority Act, 1987, calling for taking appropriate measures for spreading legal literacy and awareness among people and educate the weaker sections about their rights and benefits under various legislations. He said the NALSA theme song will be played in cinema halls across the country for 30 days starting January 26. As per the new legal services camp module, the camps would be set up to focus on connecting people with their entitlements under various central and state sponsored welfare schemes or legislations, Justice Gogoi said. He said that his home state, Assam has already conducted one such camp and the next is scheduled at a Rewa village in Madhya Pradesh this month. The judge said at the Rewa camp, 200 beneficiaries would be provided with prosthetic limbs, sponsored by a Jaipur-based organisation free of cost. Besides this, the module includes digitisation of around 700 legal services clinics in jails and installation of nearly 1250 LED monitors in court complexes spreading awareness about the schemes provided by NALSA.
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