Mizoram State Legal Services Authority.
The Mizoram State Legal Services Authority is a Statutory and Autonomous Body created under the Legal Services Authorities Act 1987 (as amended from time to time) to exercise and perform the functions conferred on, or assigned to it by the National Legal Services Authority or under the Act
Constitution of State Legal Services Authority:
- The Chief Justice of the High Court who shall be the Patron – in –Chief
- A serving Judge of the High Court who shall be the Executive -Chairman
- Other members to be nominated by the Government in consultation with the Chief Justice of the High Court.
- A member of the State Judicial Service not below the rank of a District Judge who shall be the Member Secretary.
District Legal Services Authorities are established in the districts of Aizawl, Lunglei, Saiha, Champhai, Kolasib, Mamit, Serchhip and Lawngtlai which perform functions assingned to by the State Legal Services Authority or under the Act. .
Constitution of District Legal Services Authorities:
§ The District Judge who shall be Chairman
§ Other members to be nominated by the State Government in consultation with the Chief Justice of the High Court.
§ A member of the State Judicial Service not below the rank of a Civil Judge who shall be the Member Secretary.
ACTIVITIES OF LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITY
To provide free competent, effective and comprehensive legal services to persons mentioned in section 12 of Legal Services to Authorities Act, 1987.
To organize Lok Adalats for settlement of pending cases as well as disputes which have not been brought before the court thereby avoiding costs delays and ensuring speedy justice overcoming Legal technicalities
Spreading legal awareness amongst litigating public and public at large on various issues of social and legal importance.
Rendering free Legal aid to the prisoners and under trials.
The Legal Services Authority provides free legal services to :
- A member of a Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe.
- A victim of trafficking in human beings or beggar as referred to in Article 23 of the constitution.
- A woman or a child ;
- A person with disabilities
- A person under circumstances of undeserved want such as being a victim of natural calamities, mass disaster, ethnic violence, caste atrocity or industrial disaster.
- an industrial workman
- Persons in custody
- A person whose income is within the provisions of the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987.
Subject matter in which Legal Services may be provided :
- All cases of a civil nature such as property dispute, matrimonial and custody matters, labour or service matter, consumer disputes etc.
- All cases involving criminal offences
Cases where legal aid cannot be availed.
- Malicious prosecution
- A person charged with contempt of court proceedings or perjury
- Proceedings relating to election.
- Proceedings in respect of economic offences and offences against social laws, such as complaints against untouchables or caste basis or prejudices.
There are two kinds of Lok Adalats viz (1) Lok Adalat organized under Section 19 of Legal Services Authorities Act 1987 and and (2) Permanent Lok Adalat under Section 22B of Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987.
Cases that can be taken at Lok Adalat organized under section 19 of Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987:
- Any case pending before any court and the parties thereof agree or one of the parties thereof makes an application to the Court/Tribunal (MACT etc) for referring any matter of civil nature and if such court is prima facie satisfied that there are chances of such settlement may transfer the case to Lok Adalat.
- Any matter where a party makes an application to the State/District authority for referring the matter to Lok Adalat. The authority shall however give a reasonable opportunity of being heard to the other parties and if both the parties thereof agree, the case may be referred to Lok Adalat
- Every Lok Adalat shall, while determining any references before it shall proceed to dispose of the matter expeditiously and attempt to arrive at a compromised guided by the principles of natural justice, equity and fair play.
- Every award of the Lok Adalat shall be deemed to be a decree of a Civil Court.
Permanent Lok Adalat under section 22B of Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987.
One Permanent Lok Adalat is established at Aizawl for Aizawl Judicial District and one at Lunglei for Lunglei Judicial District for settlement of disputes in respect of Public Utility Services.
Public Utility Service means:
- Transport service for the carriage of passengers or goods by air, road or water; or
- Postal, telegraph or telephone service; or
- Supply of power, light or water to the public by any establishment; or
- System of public conservancy or sanitation; or
- Service in hospital or dispensary; or
- Insurance policy
And includes any service which the Central Government or the State Government may in the public interest, by notification, declare to be a public utility service
Permanent Lok Adalat shall not have jurisdiction:
a)In respect of any matter relating to an offence not compoundable.
b)In the matter where the value of the property in dispute exceeds rupees Ten Lakhs (now 1 crore..)
Legal Literacy & Awareness Camps:
- Legal awareness camps and legal literacy class have the twin objectives of demystifying law and make people aware of their rights and duties enshrined in the laws.
- Legal awareness camps and legal literacy classes are conducted on regular basis giving emphasis to rights of women, children disabled persons and senior citizens.