Today In History 9th November 1995 Legal Services Authorities Act is observed in India

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Held on 9th November every year Legal Services Day is observed every year in India in November. It is observed to lay emphasis on legal literacy and increase legal awareness amongst the masses especially those who live in far off areas and where literacy and more importantly Legal Literacy is lacking. NALSA which stands for National Legal Services Authority formed the foundation for Legal Services Day. It is celebrated on 9th of November because it was on this day in 1995 that Legal Services Authorities Act was enforced. Almost all the State Legal Services Authorities are identifying suitable and trustworthy NGOs through whom legal literacy campaign may be taken to tribal, backward and far-flung areas in the country. The effort is to publicise legal aid schemes so that the target group, for whom Legal Services Authorities Act has provided for free legal aid, may come to know about the same and approach the concerned legal services functionaries.

Since 1952, the Govt. of India also started addressing to the question of legal aid for the poor in various conferences of Law Ministers and Law Commissions. In 1960, some guidelines were drawn by the Govt. for legal aid schemes. In different states legal aid schemes were floated through Legal Aid Boards, Societies and Law Departments.

In 1980, a Committee at the national level was constituted to oversee and supervise legal aid programmes throughout the country under the Chairmanship of Hon. Mr. Justice P.N. Bhagwati then a Judge of the Supreme Court of India. This Committee came to be known as CILAS (Committee for Implementing Legal Aid Schemes) and started monitoring legal aid activities throughout the country. The introduction of Lok Adalats added a new chapter to the justice dispensation system of this country and succeeded in providing a supplementary forum to the litigants for conciliatory settlement of their disputes. In 1987 Legal Services Authorities Act was enacted to give a statutory base to legal aid programmes throughout the country on a uniform pattern.
This Act was finally enforced on 9th of November, 1995 after certain amendments were introduced therein by the Amendment Act of 1994. Hon. Mr. Justice R.N. Mishra the then Chief Justice of India played a key role in the enforcement of the Act.

National Legal Services Authority was constituted on 5th December, 1995. His Lordship Hon. Dr. Justice A.S. Anand, Judge, Supreme Court of India took over as the Executive Chairman of National Legal Services Authority on 17the July, 1997. Soon after assuming the office, His Lordship initiated steps for making the National Legal Services Authority functional. The first Member Secretary of the authority joined in December, 1997 and by January, 1998 the other officers and staff were also appointed.

By February, 1998 the office of National Legal Services Authority became properly functional for the first time. In October, 1998, His Lordship Hon. Dr. Justice A.S. Anand assumed the Office of the Chief Justice of India and thus became the Patron-in-Chief of National Legal Services Authority. His Lordship Hon. Mr. Justice S.P. Bharucha, the senior-most Judge of the Supreme Court of India assumed the office of the Executive Chairman, National Legal Services Authority.

In pursuance of the call given by His Lordship Hon. Dr. Justice A.S. Anand, the Chief Justice of India in the First Annual Meet, 9th of November is celebrated every year by all Legal Services Authorities inn India. Various activities undertaken by NALSA include issuing Press Releases in almost all the leading newspapers in the country in English, Hindi and regional languages to convey to the public salient provisions of the Legal Services Authorities Act, the important schemes introduced by NALSA for providing legal aid and the utility of Lok Adalats, so that people should know about the facilities being provided by Legal Services Authorities throughout the country. State Legal Services Authorities all over the country organise Lok Adalats, legal literacy camps and undertake legal awareness campaign to make people aware of their legal rights.

. Almost all the State Legal Services Authorities are identifying suitable and trustworthy NGOs through whom legal literacy campaign may be taken to tribal, backward and far-flung areas in the country. The effort is to publicise legal aid schemes so that the target group, for whom Legal Services Authorities Act has provided for free legal aid, may come to know about the same and approach the concerned legal services functionaries.

Since 1952, the Govt. of India also started addressing to the question of legal aid for the poor in various conferences of Law Ministers and Law Commissions. In 1960, some guidelines were drawn by the Govt. for legal aid schemes. In different states legal aid schemes were floated through Legal Aid Boards, Societies and Law Departments. In 1980, a Committee at the national level was constituted to oversee and supervise legal aid programmes throughout the country under the Chairmanship of Hon. Mr. Justice P.N. Bhagwati then a Judge of the Supreme Court of India. This Committee came to be known as CILAS (Committee for Implementing Legal Aid Schemes) and started monitoring legal aid activities throughout the country. The introduction of Lok Adalats added a new chapter to the justice dispensation system of this country and succeeded in providing a supplementary forum to the litigants for conciliatory settlement of their disputes. In 1987 Legal Services Authorities Act was enacted to give a statutory base to legal aid programmes throughout the country on a uniform pattern. This Act was finally enforced on 9th of November, 1995 after certain amendments were introduced therein by the Amendment Act of 1994. Hon. Mr. Justice R.N. Mishra the then Chief Justice of India played a key role in the enforcement of the Act.

National Legal Services Authority was constituted on 5th December, 1995. His Lordship Hon. Dr. Justice A.S. Anand, Judge, Supreme Court of India took over as the Executive Chairman of National Legal Services Authority on 17the July, 1997. Soon after assuming the office, His Lordship initiated steps for making the National Legal Services Authority functional. The first Member Secretary of the authority joined in December, 1997 and by January, 1998 the other officers and staff were also appointed. By February, 1998 the office of National Legal Services Authority became properly functional for the first time. In October, 1998, His Lordship Hon. Dr. Justice A.S. Anand assumed the Office of the Chief Justice of India and thus became the Patron-in-Chief of National Legal Services Authority. His Lordship Hon. Mr. Justice S.P. Bharucha, the senior-most Judge of the Supreme Court of India assumed the office of the Executive Chairman, National Legal Services Authority.

In pursuance of the call given by His Lordship Hon. Dr. Justice A.S. Anand, the Chief Justice of India in the First Annual Meet, 9th of November is celebrated every year by all Legal Services Authorities inn India. Various activities undertaken by NALSA include issuing Press Releases in almost all the leading newspapers in the country in English, Hindi and regional languages to convey to the public salient provisions of the Legal Services Authorities Act, the important schemes introduced by NALSA for providing legal aid and the utility of Lok Adalats, so that people should know about the facilities being provided by Legal Services Authorities throughout the country. State Legal Services Authorities all over the country organise Lok Adalats, legal literacy camps and undertake legal awareness campaign to make people aware of their legal rights.