TOPIC: LEGAL SERVICE AUTHORITY OF KERALA-A SOCIOLOGICAL ANALYSIS OF ITS BENEFICARIES IN COCHIN CITY. INTRODUCTION
Legal Service Authorities Act 1987 was enacted to constitute Legal Services Authorities providing free and competent legal services to weaker sections of the society to ensure that opportunities for securing justice were not denied to any citizen by reason of economic or other disabilities and to organize Lok Adalats to ensure that the operation of the legal system promoted justice on a basis of equal opportunity. “Access to justice” for all is the motto of the Legal Service Authorities.
Kerala Legal Service Authority (KELSA) is providing legal aid to poor, weak and the marginalized sections of the society for establishing their constitutional and legal rights. Many path breaking programmes like legal literacy classes at school and college level and for women’s self help groups “Kudumbashree” are being conducted. They have legal aid panel of senior advocates and lawyers are maintained by State Authority, HCLSC, District Legal Service Authorities, and Taluk Legal Service Committees. These Lawyers are rendering legal aid to those who are in need of legal assistance. They are also giving classes in various training programmes and school and college level literacy programmes.
The District Judges of 14 districts are officiated as Chairmen of District Legal Service Authorities(DLSA’s) and 63 Taluk Legal Service Committees are being officiated by senior most judicial officers of the respective centers for fulfilling the objectives of the Legal Service Authorities Act. In addition to this High Court Legal Service Committee under the Chairmanship of Hon’ble Mr Justice Pius C. Kuriakose is conducting regular Adalats on all working days. Permanent Lok Adalat has started functioning @ Tvm and Ekm under the Legal Service Authorities Act with respect to the Public Utility Services. By the leadership of the Executive Chairman, KELSA is marching forward to achieve the set goal of “Access to Justice for all”