NALSA - National Legal Services Authority of India [UPSC Notes]

The National Legal Services Authority of India, also known as NALSA, is an organization of the Government of India that provides legal services. Indian Polity is an important topic for the IAS Exam and is included under the GS-II section of the UPSC Syllabus. Candidates can also download the notes PDF at the end of this article. 

For UPSC aspirants, it is important to know which ministry, committees and boards/authorities deal with what issues and concerns as this can be asked in the UPSC Prelims exam. It is also important to know these details because it helps in understanding how the government machinery works in India.

For the latest information about government initiatives, policies and announcements, visit the PIB Summary and Analysis page!!!

In addition, the following links will help candidates further in their exam preparation:

National Legal Services Authority of India (NALSA)

Constituted under the Legal Services Authorities Act of 1987, the National Legal Services Authority of India was established to create a nationwide network uniform in nature that would provide competent legal services to the weaker sections of the society at no cost. The Authority came into force only in November 1995.

The Supreme Court of India first started the ‘National Legal Services Day’ in 1995.

  • Another function of NALSA is to organize Lok Adalats for a quick resolution of the cases.
  • The Patron-in-chief is the Chief Justice of India.
  • The Executive Chairman of the Authority is the second senior-most judge of the SC.
  • At the state level, the State Legal Services Authority has been constituted to give effect to the policies of NALSA at the state level, and also to conduct Lok Adalats in the states. NALSA provides funds for the State Legal Services Authority for the implementation of the various legal aids and programmes.
  • At the district level also, the District Legal Services Authority has been established.
  • Taluk Legal Services Committees are also constituted for each of the Taluk or Mandal or for a 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.

Click here to learn more about the removal and appointment of the Judges of the Supreme Court of India.

Objectives of NALSA

The prime objective of NALSA is speedy disposal of cases and reducing the burden of the judiciary. Other objectives can be listed as follows:

  • Spreading Legal Awareness
  • Organizing Lok Adalats
  • Promoting dispute settlements
  • Providing the victims of crime with compensation

NALSA Eligibility Criteria for Free Legal Services

Article 39 A of the Constitution of India provides for free legal aid to the poor and weaker sections of the society, to promote justice on the basis of equal opportunity. Article 14 and Article 22 (1), obligate the State to ensure equality before the law. To receive those services, the person acquiring them should fall under the following categories:

People with disability Women and children
People who are members of SC & ST communities Victims of poverty (beggars) and human trafficking
Industrial workmen  People under custody
People who are victims of natural disasters, caste or ethnic violence, etc. People with an annual income lower than 1 lakh 

NALSA UPSC Notes:- Download PDF Here

Relevant Links

For more preparation materials and other articles that will help you in the IAS Exam, refer to the links given in the table below:

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