SC sentences Mallya to four months in jail
- July 12, 2022
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
SC sentences Mallya to four months in jail
Section : Judiciary
Context: The Supreme Court, on Monday, sentenced fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya to four months in jail for committing contempt of court.
The bench said the fine shall be deposited in the apex court registry within four weeks and upon such deposit, the amount shall be made over to the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee.
As per Article 39-A of the Indian Constitution, the State shall secure that the operation of the legal system promotes justice on the 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 disabilities.
Supreme Court Legal Services Committee, is an effort to provide legal aid and assistance to the marginalized and weaker sections of the Society.
Supreme Court is the last Court of Justice in the country.
The aim of providing free legal aid to the people at large would have remained unaccomplished, if this right was unavailable to the masses for approaching the highest Court of Justice – the Supreme Court.
With a purpose of providing free legal aid to the persons (eligible under Section 12 of Legal Service Authorities Act, 1987), (hereinafter referred to as Act for brevity) Supreme Court Legal Services Committee (hereinafter referred to as SCLSC for brevity) was constituted, to approach Hon’ble Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court Legal Services Committee, has been constituted under Section 3A of the Act, for providing free and competent Legal Services to the weaker sections of the Society in the cases which fall under the jurisdiction of Hon’ble Supreme Court of India.
The Committee consists of –
A sitting Judge of Hon’ble Supreme Court, who is the Chairman and 9 members nominated by Hon’ble the Chief Justice of India.
The National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) has been constituted under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 to provide free Legal Services to the weaker sections of the society and to organize Lok Adalats for amicable settlement of disputes.
Hon’ble Mr. Justice N. V. Ramana, The Chief Justice of India is the Patron-in-Chief. NALSA is housed at Supreme Court of India, Tilak Marg, New Delhi, Delhi(110001).
In every State, State Legal Services Authority has been constituted to give effect to the policies and directions of the NALSA and to give free legal services to the people and conduct Lok Adalats in the State. The State Legal Services Authority is headed by Hon’ble the Chief Justice of the respective High Court who is the Patron-in-Chief of the State Legal Services Authority.
In every District, District Legal Services Authority has been constituted to implement Legal Services Programmes in the District. The District Legal Services Authority is situated in the District Courts Complex in every District and chaired by the District Judge of the respective district.
Taluk Legal Services Committees are also constituted for each of the Taluk or Mandal or for group of Taluk or Mandals to coordinate the activities of legal services in the Taluk and to organise Lok Adalats. Every Taluk Legal Services Committee is headed by a senior Civil Judge operating within the jurisdiction of the Committee who is its ex-officio Chairman
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:-Every person who has to file or defend a case shall be entitled to legal services under this Act if that person is –
- A member of a Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe;
- A victim of trafficking in human beings or begar as referred to in Article 23 of the Constitution;
- A woman or a child;
- A mentally ill or otherwise disabled person;
- 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.
- An industrial workman;
- In custody, including custody in a protective home within the meaning of clause
- Of section 2 of the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 (104 of 1956); or in a juvenile home within the meaning of clause
- 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
- 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).
According to section 2(1) (a) of the Act, legal aid can be provided to a person for a ‘case’ which includes a suit or any proceeding before a court. Section 2(1) (aaa) defines the ‘court’ as a civil, criminal or revenue court and includes any tribunal or any other authority constituted under any law for the time being in force, to exercise judicial or quasi-judicial functions. As per section 2(1)(c) ‘legal service’ includes the rendering of any service in the conduct of any case or other legal proceeding before any court or other authority or tribunal and the giving of advice on any legal matter.
Legal Services Authorities after examining the eligibility criteria of an applicant and the existence of a prima facie case in his favour provide him counsel at State expense, pay the required Court Fee in the matter and bear all incidental expenses in connection with the case. The person to whom legal aid is provided is not called upon to spend anything on the litigation once it is supported by a Legal Services Authority.
After the constitution of the Central Authority and the establishment of NALSA office towards the beginning of 1998, following schemes and measures have been envisaged and implemented by the Central Authority:-
- Establishing Permanent and Continuous Lok Adalats in all the Districts in the country for disposal of pending matters as well as disputes at pre-litigative stage;
- Establishing separate Permanent & Continuous Lok Adalats for Govt. Departments, Statutory Authorities and Public Sector Undertakings for disposal of pending cases as well as disputes at pre-litigative stage;
- Accreditation of NGOs for Legal Literacy and Legal Awareness campaign;
- Appointment of “Legal Aid Counsel” in all the Courts of Magistrates in the country;
- Disposal of cases through Lok Adalats on old pattern;
- Publicity to Legal Aid Schemes and programmes to make people aware about legal aid facilities;
- Emphasis on competent and quality legal services to the aided persons;
- Legal aid facilities in jails;
- Setting up of Counseling and Conciliation Centers in all the Districts in the country;
- Sensitisation of Judicial Officers in regard to Legal Services Schemes and programmes;
- Publication of “Nyaya Deep“, the official newsletter of NALSA;
- Enhancement of Income Ceiling to Rs.1,25,000/- p.a. for legal aid before Supreme Court of India and to Rs.1,00,000/- p.a. for legal aid upto High Courts; and
- Steps for framing rules for refund of court fees and execution of Awards passed by Lok Adalats.