The Legal Services Authorities Act 1987 has been enacted to constitute the Legal Services Authorities to provide free and competent legal services to the weaker sections of the Society to ensure that opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizen by reason of economic or other disabilities, and to organize Lok-Adalats to secure that the operation of the legal system promotes justice on the basis of equal opportunity.


          Section 3 of the Legal Services Act 1987 Provides That the Central Government shall constitute a Central Authority called the National Legal Services Authority. Further Section 6 of said Act provides constitution of State Legal Services Authority. Section 7 of the said Act, deals with Functions of The State Authority.   
  
A) Constitution/Composition of State Legal Services Authority (Section 6) 

      1)  Every State Government shall constitute a body to be called the Legal Services Authority for the State to exercise the powers and perform the functions conferred on or assigned to, a State Authority under this Act.

2) A State Authority shall consist of -

        The Chief Justice of the High Court who shall be the Patron-in-Chief; a serving or retired Judge of the High Court, to be nominated by the Governor, in consultation with the Chief Justice of the High Court, who shall be the Executive Chairman; and such number of other Members, possessing such experience and qualifications, as may be prescribed by the State Government, to be nominated by that Government in consultation with the Chief Justice of the High Court.

 3) The State Government shall, in consultation with the Chief Justice of the High Court, appoint a person belonging to the State Higher Judicial Service not lower in rank than that of a District Judge, as the Member-Secretary of the State Authority, to exercise such powers and perform such duties under the Executive Chairman of the State Authority as may be prescribed by that Government or as may be assigned to him by the Executive Chairman of that Authority;

 Provided that a person functions as Secretary of a State Legal Aid & Advice Board immediately before the date of constitution of the State Authority may be appointed as Member-Secretary of that Authority, even if he is not qualified to be appointed as such under this sub-section, for a period not exceeding five years.

 4)   The terms of office and other conditions relating thereto, of Members and the Member-Secretary of the State Authority shall be such as may be prescribed by the State Government in consultation with the Chief Justice of the High Court.

 5)   The State Authority may appoint such number of officers and other employees may be prescribed by the State Government, in consultation with the Chief Justice of the High Court, for the efficient discharge of its functions under this Act.

6) The officers and other employees of the State Authority shall be entitled to such salary and allowances and shall be subject to such other conditions of service as may be prescribed by the State Government in consultation with the Chief Justice of the High Court.

7)   The administrative expenses of the State Authority, including the salaries, allowances and pensions payable to the Member-Secretary, officers and other employees of the State Authority shall be defrayed out of the Consolidated Fund of the State.

  8) All orders and decisions of the State Authority shall be authenticated by the Member-Secretary or any other officer of the State Authority duly authorized by the Executive Chairman of the State Authority.

9)  No act or proceeding of a State Authority shall be invalid merely on the ground of the existence of any vacancy in, or any defect in the constitution of the State Authority.


B) Functions of the State Authority

According to Section 7 of Legal Services Authority Act Functions of the State Authority are as Follows

1) It shall be the duty of the State Authority to given effect to the policy and directions of the Central Authority.

2) Without prejudice to the generality of the functions referred to in sub-section (1), the State Authority shall perform all or any of the following functions, namely -

               (a) give legal service to persons who satisfy the criteria laid down under this Act.

               (b) conduct Lok Adalats, including Lok Adalats for High Court cases;

               (c) undertake preventive and strategic legal aid programmes; and

               (d) perform such other functions as the State Authority may, in consultation with the Central Authority, fix by regulations.


      According to Section 8 of the said Act, State Authority to act in co-ordination with other agencies and be subject to directions given by Central Authority.... In the discharge of its functions the State Authority shall appropriately act in co-ordination with other governmental agencies, non-governmental voluntary social service institutions, universities and other bodies engaged in the work of promoting the cause of legal services to the poor and shall also be guided by such directions as the Central Authority may give to it in writing.


 See Also....

1)  The Constitution / Composition / Organization of the National Legal Services Authority

2) Power and Functions of Central Authority under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987.

3) Difference Between Permanent Lok Adalat and Lok Adalat

4) What are Benefits of Lok Adalat ?

5) What is Lok Adalats?

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