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PARA LEGAL VOLUNTEERS:-



INTRODUCTION

 

During the year 2009, National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) brought out a scheme called the Para-Legal Volunteers Scheme, which aimed at imparting legal training to volunteers selected from different walks of life so as to ensure legal aid reaching all sections of people through the process of Para-Legal Volunteers Scheme; ultimately removing the barriers into access to justice. The Para-Legal Volunteers (PLVs) are expected to act as intermediaries bridging the gap between the common people and the Legal Services Institutions to remove impediments in access to justice. Ultimately, the process aims at Legal Services Institutions reaching out to the people at their doorsteps rather than people approaching such Legal Services Institutions.

With the basic knowledge in the laws and other available welfare measures and legislation, they would be able to assist their immediate neighbourhood; those who are in need of such assistance, so that a person, who is not aware of such right is not only made to understand his rights, but also will be able to have access to measures involving implementation of such rights.

 

PLVs are not only expected to impart awareness on laws and the legal system, but they must also be trained to counsel and amicably settle simple disputes between the parties at the source itself; which could save the trouble of the affected travelling all the way to the Legal Services Authority/ADR Centres. If the dispute is of such a nature, which cannot be resolved at the source with the assistance of PLVs, they could bring such parties to the Legal Services Institutions concerned,  depending upon the nature of problem.

 

DUTIES OF TRAINED PARA-LEGAL VOLUNTEERS

Para-Legal Volunteer shall educate people, especially those belonging to weaker sections of the society, to enable them to be aware of their right to live with human dignity, to enjoy all the constitutionally and statutorily guaranteed rights as also the duties and discharge of obligations as per law.

Para-Legal Volunteers shall make people aware of the nature of their disputes/issues/problems and inform them that they can approach the MLSC/ DLSA/ HCLSC/SLSA/SCLSC so as to resolve the dispute/issue/problems through these institutions.

Para-Legal Volunteers shall constantly keep a watch on transgressions of law or acts of injustice in their area of operation and bring them immediately to the notice of the MLSC through telephonic message or a written communication or in person to enable effective remedial action by the Committee.

When the PLV receives information about the arrest of a person in the locality, the PLV shall visit the Police Station and ensure that the arrested person gets legal assistance, if necessary, through the nearest legal services institutions.

The PLVs shall also ensure that the victims of crime also get proper care and attention.

Efforts shall be made by the PLVs to secure compensation for the victims of crime under the provisions of Section 357-A Cr.P.C. 

PLVs shall, with proper authorization from the DLSA/TLSC visit jails, lock-ups, psychiatric hospitals, children's homes/observation homes and shall ascertain the legal service needs of the inmates and intimate the authorities concerned about any absence noticed of basic essential necessities with special emphasis on hygiene.

PLVs shall report violations of child rights, child labour, missing children and trafficking of girl children to the nearest legal services institutions or to the child welfare committee.

Para-Legal Volunteers shall assist the DLSA/TLSC for organizing legal awareness camps in their area of operation.

Para-Legal Volunteers shall give information to the people of their locality about the legal services activities of SLSA/DLSA/TLSC/HCLSC/SCLSC and shall provide their addresses to the people so as to enable them to utilize the free services rendered by the above organizations to the eligible persons.

Para-Legal Volunteers shall generate awareness amongst people about the benefits of settlement of disputes including pre-litigation stage through Lok Adalats, Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration.

Para-Legal Volunteers shall make people aware of the benefits of inexpensive

settlement of disputes relating to Public Utility Services like P&T, Telephones, Electricity, Water Supply, Insurance and hospital services through Permanent Lok Adalat (PLA).

 

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