Free Legal Aid and Justice Essay Sample

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Introduction of TOPIC

Providing assistance to people to access the justice system is one of the key functions of every welfare state. It is very essential to the State to provide legal assistance to the people who are otherwise unable to access the court and law. The very basic reason behind the incorporation and establishing of this idea is that no one would have been denied justice due to his poverty or economical backwardness. India attained the independence and became a republic by adopting a separate written constitution in which all and every functions and liabilities of the State is clearly established. As stated in the Constitution it’s the duty of the State to provide legal assistance to the poor and needy people who are helpless before the law.

The Free Legal aid is thus inevitable to ensure the ‘Equality before the law’, ‘right to counsel’ and ‘right to a fair trial’. The government ready to provide the legal aid to all who are eligible. But providing the Legal Aid cannot be done and is not possible without any demand or seeking from the people. So to attain free legal aid, it is essential for the people to be aware of the existence of the same. The government has done more things to impart the awareness of free legal aid. But how far all those were reached the public is still a question to be tested. The social, cultural, economic and geographical disparity among the people plays a major and crucial role on the attainment of the thing available in the society. Thus the system of free legal aid is not an exception to this general principle as the people living in metropolitan may have more opportunities to access the free legal aid and to be aware of the same. Taking this into consideration the non doctrinal work has been initiated.

OBJECTIVES
1.To find out the awareness among the public about the free legal-aid in Metropolitan and Non-metropolitan; 2.To find out how far the free legal-aid has reached the public in Metropolitan and Non-metropolitan; 3.To root out the reasons behind the inequality of reaching the free legal-aid; 4.To create awareness among the people about the free legal-aid.

FORMULATION OF PROBLEM
One of the primary functions of the State is to settle disputes by rendering justice without any bias. The economical position of the individual is a major factor to access the judiciary of the State. But the economical or geographical factor would not be a reason for unavailability of the justice. In other words, no one should be denied justice merely on the ground of his economical position. Hence it is the duty of the State to provide assistance to access the legal system not only to render justice but also to maintain the faith of public on the judiciary. This was the reason behind the birth of free legal-aid. Thus the system of free-legal aid is a gift given by the State to its subjects. But on implementing/providing, it must be available to all the citizens equally without any kind of disparities.

The success rate of free legal-aid depends upon the awareness among the public and equal opportunities of the same. Metropolitans, as well developed and deep cornered by all, has more number of opportunities and the people living in these circumstances may have little more knowledge and extra sensitive on these types of facilities provided by the State, comparing with those living in Non-Metropolitans. Here the problem is, whether the Metro people are comparatively more aware (of free legal-aid) than the people of Non-Metros? Whether the availability (of free legal-aid) is far higher in the Metros comparing with the Non-Metros? If so, is this a fair one? Then what would be a remedy to cure this? HYPOTHESIS

The system of free legal-aid is reaching the people living in metropolitan cities rather than the people living in non-metropolitan cities. In this socio-legal research, the below stated hypothesis are formulated to test- 1.Free legal-aid and knowledge are associated.

2.Awareness and involvement are associated.
3.Area and assessment are associated.

CHAPTER II
Legal Provisions relating to Free Legal-Aid
Any kind of activities done by the State must be enabled with appropriate legal provisions. In other words legal arrangements are mandatory to provide assistance or privileges in justice system. The legal provisions for the free legal aid can be traced from the parent law of the land, the Constitution itself. Article 14 and 22(1) of the constitution make it obligatory for the State to ensure equality before law and a legal system which promotes justice on the basis of equal opportunity to all. However the importance of free legal aid was felt only after the 1970s. In the year 1942, a major amendment took place in the Constitution of India. By that amendment, the Article 39A was inserted into the Chapter IV of the Constitution viz., the Directive Principles of State Policies, which reads as follows: Equal justice and free legal aid-

“The 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 disabilities.”

Then the Criminal Procedure Code 1973 deals about the free legal aid in section 304 as follows:
“The accused is not represented by a pleader, and where it appears to the court that the accused has not sufficient means to engage a pleader, the court shall assign a pleader for his defence at the expense of the State.” Then in the year 1987, the Government of India enacted separate Act for the purposes of the free legal aid only. That Act known as, the Legal services authority Act, 1987 which came into force from 9th November 1995. The objectives of the Act was, to establish a nationwide uniform network for pro

viding free and competent legal services to the weaker sections of the society on the basis of equal

opportunity. The National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) has been constituted under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 to monitor and evaluate implementation of legal services available under the Act. In every State, a State Legal Services Authority and in every High Court, a High Court Legal Services Committee has been constituted.

District Legal Services Authorities and Taluka Legal Services Committees have been constituted in the Districts and most of the Talukas in order to give effect to the policies and directions of the NALSA and to provide free legal services to the people and conduct Lok Adalats in the State. The State Legal Services Authorities are chaired by Hon’ble Chief Justice of the respective Districts and the Taluk a Legal Services Committees are chaired by the Judicial Officers at the Taluka Level. Supreme Court Legal Services Committee has been constituted to administer and implement the legal services program in so far as it relates to the Supreme Court of India. Moreover to this the apex court of India, the Supreme Court has ruled about the free legal aid in many cases by which it has given various measures and suggestions in respect of the free legal aid which has binding nature and can be cited as precedents. The important among those are as follows- “The constitutional duty to provide legal aid arises from the time the accused is produced before the Magistrate for the first time and continuous whenever he is produced for remand.” – Khatri II vs. State of Bihar, (1981), 1SCC; 1981 SCC (Cri) 228;

“A person entitled to appeal against his/her sentence has the right to ask for a counsel, to prepare and argue the appeal.” -Madav Hayavadanrao Hoskot vs. State of Maharashtra (1978) 3 SCC544;

“The police must inform the nearest legal aid committee about the arrest of a person immediately after such arrest.” -Sheela Barse vs. State of Maharashtra Thus it has become mandatory on the part of the State to provide free legal aid to the poor and needy people of the society.

CHAPTER III
Knowledge

Free legal-aid and knowledge are associated:
The knowledge of the people is one of the basic reasons to avail or access the opportunities. The success of the system of free legal aid depends upon the knowledge of the people. Here people living in metros might have more knowledge than that of their counterparts on the non-metros which forms part on the difference in the success rate of free legal-aid on the both part. Thus knowledge of the people plays a vital role in the utilization of the free legal-aid.

In this socio – legal Research the questionnaire has been distributed among the public both in Metropolitan and Non-metropolitan and their responses were collected and interpreted respectively. To access the knowledge there are five questions framed in the said questionnaire. Out of 100 respondents 60 are from the Metropolitan and the remaining 40 are from the Non-Metropolitan. Participation of Metropolitan and Non-Metropolitan qualified

The responses regarding free legal-aid in Metropolitan and Non-Metropolitan can be seen in the chart given below:

In this survey, the above chart explains the percentage of knowledge about the free legal-aid. In Metropolitan, the higher knowledge is 36% and lower knowledge is 24% amounting to the total of 60% whereas in Non-Metropolitan, the higher knowledge people is 23% and lower knowledge is 17% amounting to the total of 40%.

CONTINGENCY TABLE

Free legal-aid and knowledge|Higher knowledge|Lower knowledge|Total| Metropolitan|36|24|60|
Non-Metropolitan|23|17|40|
Total|59|41|100|

EXPECTED VALUE

E = (Row total for the row of that cell) X
(Colum total for the column of that cell)
Grand Total

1. Metropolitan Higher knowledge59X60/100=35.40
Lower knowledge 41X60/100=24.60

2. Non-MetropolitanHigher knowledge59X40/100=23.60
Lower knowledge41X40/100=16.40

Calculation of X2
Groups|Observed|Expected|(O-E)|(O-E)2|(O-E)2 / E|
MetropolitanHigher K|36|35.40|1.40|1.96|0.0553|
Lower K|24|24.60|-0.60|0.36|0.0146|
Non-MetropolitanHigher K|23|23.60|-0.60|0.36|0.0152|
Lower K|17|16.40|1.40|1.96|0.1195|
Total|100|100|||0.2046|

X2 = E (O-E)2 / E=0. 2046

Therefore degrees of freedom in this case
R = No. of rows=(r-1) (c-1)
C = No. of column=(2-1) (2-1)
=1 X 1 = 1

This Table value of X2 value for 1 Degrees of Freedom at 5% level of significance is 3.841. The Calculated value of X2 is 0.2046 is much less than this Table value. So, the Result of Experiment supports the Hypothesis.

CHAPTER IV
Involvement
Awareness and Involvement are associated:
In this socio – legal Research 100 Respondents are selected and the questions are administered to them. There are five questions test the awareness of the respondents. Out of 100 respondents 60 respondents are in Metropolitan and 40 are from Non-Metropolitan areas. Participation of Metropolitan and Non-Metropolitan qualified

Out of 100 respondents, part 1 denotes metropolitan who constitute 40% and part 2 denotes Non-Metropolitan who constitutes 60%.

The responses regarding awareness in Metropolitan and Non-Metropolitan can be seen in the chart given below:

In this survey, the above chart explains the percentage of Involvement about the awareness. In Metropolitan, the higher Involvement is 33% and lower Involvement is 27% amounting to the total of 60% whereas in Non-Metropolitan, the higher Involvement people are 24% and lower Involvement is 16% amounting to the total of 40%.

CONTINGENCY TABLE
Awareness and Involvement |Higher Involvement|Lower Involvement|Total| Metropolitan|33|27|60|
Non-Metropolitan|24|16|40|
Total|57|43|100|

EXPECTED VALUE

E = (Row total for the row of that cell) X
(Colum total for the column of that cell)
Grand Total

1. Metropolitan Higher Involvement57X60/100=34.20
Lower Involvement 43X60/100=25.80

2. Non-MetropolitanHigher Involvement57X40/100=22.80
Lower Involvement43X40/100=17.20

Calculation of X2
Groups|Observed|Expected|(O-E)|(O-E)2|(O-E)2 / E|
MetropolitanHigher I|33|34.20|-1.20|1.44|0.0421|
Lower I|27|25.80| 2.80|7.84|0.3038|
Non-MetropolitanHigher I|24|22.80|2.80|7.84|0.3438|
Lower I|16|17.20|-1.20|1.44|0.0837|
Total|100|100|||0.7734|

X2 = E (O-E)2 / E=0.7734

Therefore degrees of freedom in this case
R = No. of rows=(r-1) (c-1)
C = No. of column=(2-1) (2-1)
=1 X 1 = 1

This Table value of X2value for 1 Degree of Freedom at 5% level of significance is 3.841. The Calculated value of X2 is 0.7734 is much less than this Table value. So, the Result of Experiment supports the Hypothesis.

CHAPTER V
Assessment

Area and Assessment are associated:
In this socio – legal Research 100 Respondents are selected and the questions are administered to them. There are five questions to test the Area of the reapondents. Out of 100 respondents 60 respondents are in Metropolitan and 40 are from Non-Metropolitan areas.

Participation of Metropolitan and Non-Metropolitan qualified

Out of 100 respondents, part 1 denotes Metropolitan who constitute 40% and part 2 denotes Non-Metropolitan who constitute 60%.

The responses regarding Area in Metropolitan and Non-Metropolitan can be seen in the chart given below:

In this survey, the above chart explains the percentage of Assessment about the area. In Metropolitan, the higher Assessment is 32% and lower Assessment is 28% amounting to the total of 60% whereas in Non-Metropolitan, the higher Assessment people are 19% and lower Assessment is 21% amounting to the total of 40%.

CONTINGENCY TABLE

Area and Assessment |Higher Assessment|Lower Assessment|Total| Metropolitan|32|28|60|
Non-Metropolitan|19|21|40|
Total|51|49|100|

EXPECTED VALUE

E = (Row total for the row of that cell) X
(Colum total for the column of that cell)
Grand Total

1. Metropolitan Higher Assessment 51X60/100=30.60
Lower Assessment 49X60/100=29.40 2. Non-MetropolitanHigher Assessment51X40/100=20.40
Lower Assessment49X40/100=19.60

Calculation of X2
Groups|Observed|Expected|(O-E)|(O-E)2|(O-E)2 / E|
MetropolitanHigher A|32|30.60|2.60|6.76|0.2209|
Lower A|28|29.40| -1.40|1.96|0.0666|
Non-MetropolitanHigher A|19|20.40|-1.40|1.96|0.0960|
Lower A|21|19.60|2.60|6.76|0.3448|
Total|100|100|||0.7283|

X2 = E (O-E)2 / E=0.7283

Therefore degrees of freedom in this case
R = No. of rows=(r-1) (c-1)
C = No. of column=(2-1) (2-1)
=1 X 1 = 1

This Table value of X2 value for 1 Degree of Freedom at 5% level of significance is 3.841. The Calculated value of X2 is 0.7283 is much less than this Table value. So, the Result of Experiment supports the Hypothesis.

CHAPTER VI

Conclusion

In the present situation the free legal-aid is an effective and inevitable tool to render justice to all classes of people which is a constitutional goal and a duty of the State. Thus the free legal-aid has become an inalienable right of the eligible people. The Non-doctrinal research has been initiated to find out, the awareness and success rate of the free legal-aid based on the area of the people residing, in other words, to find out whether the area plays any role in attaining the free legal-aid or not. From the outcome of this research we can come to a conclusion that the system of free legal-aid is more popular and more successful in Metropolitan than that of Non-metropolitan, because of the awareness and knowledge of the respective people. It’s my experience on the course of my research program that many people in Non-metropolitan areas asked me, ‘what is actually Lok adalat?’, whether there is really an authority? (NALSA)’ and ‘is it possible to have a free legal aid at courts?’, whereas Metro people are free and relax while filling the questionnaires I’ve given and they’ve crossed me in some places such as on the questions regarding ‘Lok adalat’ and ‘National legal services authority’. Thus there are still more number of people in Non-metropolitan without such basic awareness. Its not only on the part of the State but also on their own.

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