Pune is a sprawling city in the western Indian state of Maharashtra. It was once the base of the Peshwas (prime ministers) of the Maratha Empire, which lasted from 1674 to 1818. It’s known for the grand Aga Khan Palace, built in 1892 and now a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, whose ashes are preserved in the garden. The 8th-century Pataleshwar Cave Temple is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva.
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History of Legal Movement in India
Legal Aid Movement in India – Its Development and Present Status
Article 39A of the Constitution of India provides that State shall secure that the operation of the legal system promotes justice on a basis of equal opportunity, and shall in particular, provide free legal aid, by suitable legislation or schemes or in any other way, to ensure that opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizen by reason of economic or other disability. Articles 14 and 22(1) also make it obligatory for the State to ensure equality before law and a legal system which promotes justice on a basis of equal opportunity to all. Legal aid strives to ensure that constitutional pledge is fulfilled in its letter and spirit and equal justice is made available to the poor, downtrodden and weaker sections of the society.
The earliest Legal Aid movement appears to be of the year 1851 when some enactment was introduced in France for providing legal assistance to the indigent. In Britain, the history of the organized efforts on the part of the State to provide legal services to the poor and needy dates back to 1944, when Lord Chancellor, Viscount Simon appointed Rushcliffe Committee to enquire about the facilities existing in England and Wales for giving legal advice to the poor and to make recommendations as appear to be desirable for ensuring that persons in need of legal advice are provided the same by the State. Since 1952, the Govt. of India also started addressing to the question of legal aid for the poor in various conferences of Law Ministers and Law Commissions. In 1960, some guidelines were drawn by the Govt. for legal aid schemes. In different states legal aid schemes were floated through Legal Aid Boards, Societies and Law Departments. In 1980, a Committee at the national level was constituted to oversee and supervise legal aid programs throughout the country under the Chairmanship of Hon. Mr. Justice P.N. Bhagwati then a Judge of the Supreme Court of India. This Committee came to be known as CILAS (Committee for Implementing Legal Aid Schemes) and started monitoring legal aid activities throughout the country. The introduction of Lok Adalats added a new chapter to the justice dispensation system of this country and succeeded in providing a supplementary forum to the litigants for conciliatory settlement of their disputes. In 1987 Legal Services Authorities Act was enacted to give a statutory base to legal aid programs throughout the country on a uniform pattern. This Act was finally enforced on 9th of November, 1995 after certain amendments were introduced therein by the Amendment Act of 1994. Hon. Mr. Justice R.N. Mishra the then Chief Justice of India played a key role in the enforcement of the Act.
Section 12 of the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 prescribes the criteria for giving legal services to the eligible persons. Section 12 of the Act reads as under:-
12.Every person who has to file or defend a case shall be entitled to legal services under this Act if that person is –
(a) a member of a Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe;
(b) a victim of trafficking in human beings or beggar as referred to in Article 23 of the Constitution;
(c) a woman or a child;
(d) a mentally ill or otherwise disabled person;
(e) a person under circumstances of undeserved want such as being a victim of a mass disaster, ethnic violence, caste atrocity, flood, drought, earthquake or industrial disaster; or
(f) an industrial workman; or
(g) in custody, including custody in a protective home within the meaning of clause (g) of section 2 of the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 (104 of 1956); or in a juvenile home within the meaning of clause
(j) of section 2 of the Juvenile Justice Act, 1986 (53 of 1986) or in a psychiatric hospital or psychiatric nursing home within the meaning of clause (g) of section 2 of the Mental Health Act, 1987 (14 of 1987); or
(h) in receipt of annual income less than rupees nine thousand or such other higher amount as may be prescribed by the State Govt., if the case is before a court other than the Supreme Court, and less than rupees twelve thousand or such other higher amount as may be prescribed by the Central Govt., if the case is before the Supreme Court.”
(Rules have already been amended to enhance this income ceiling).
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