Free legal aid to poor a reality in Uttar Pradesh | lucknow | Hindustan Times
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Free legal aid to poor a reality in Uttar Pradesh

In what may be termed as the beginning of a new era of free legal aid to marginalised people in Uttar Pradesh, the front desk and main office of UPSLSA started functioning from the premises of the Allahabad high court.

lucknow Updated: Dec 05, 2017 14:42 IST
Jitendra Sarin
Panel advocates of the UP State Legal Services Authority (UPSLSA) will provide free legal advice to the people from the new offices.
Panel advocates of the UP State Legal Services Authority (UPSLSA) will provide free legal advice to the people from the new offices.

In what may be termed as the beginning of a new era of free legal aid to marginalised people in Uttar Pradesh, the front desk and main office of UPSLSA started functioning from the premises of the Allahabad high court.

Panel advocates of the UP State Legal Services Authority (UPSLSA) will provide free legal advice to the people from the new offices.

Women, children, members of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (SC/ST), victims of human trafficking, people affected by natural calamities and communal violence, anyone in police custody and a person whose annual income is less than Rs 1 lakh will be eligible to get free legal aid.

Chief justice DB Bhosale is the patron-in-chief while senior judge justice Arun Tandon is the executive chairman of the UPSLSA.

Facilities like video conferencing for prisoners to enable them to talk to their lawyer and family members will start from the main office in a fortnight.

The lawyers in UPSLSA panel will visit jails in the state to ensure that basic necessities like clean water, food and sanitation are provided to prisoners.

A detailed prison report will be prepared by the lawyers to highlight the real condition of prisons and prisoners in the state.

During their visits, the lawyers will also spread legal awareness among prisoners about their basic as well as legal rights. In case any prisoner wants to file an appeal against his conviction or bail application for his release but is not in a position to engage any lawyer, UPSLSA will provided services of a lawyer to him.

The objective of the facility is to provide free legal services to the weaker sections of the society to ensure that opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizen due to economic or other disabilities.

According to prison report, 2015, there are five central jail, 57 district jail and one women’s jail in UP.

These jails are overcrowded with the occupancy rate of 168.8. This means that if a jail has a capacity of 100 prisoners, it has on an average 168.8 inmates.

According to 2015 report, there were 62,669 under trial and 25,917 convicted prisoners in jails. Out of total prisoners, 29.2% were convicted while 70.6% were under trial.