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The legal services authorities act, 1987

THE LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITIES ACT, 1987
CONTENTS
CHAPTER I
PRELIMINARY
CHAPTER II
THE NATIONAL LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITY
CHAPTER III
STATE LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITY
file:///D|/Created by Skorydov/THE LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITIES ACT, 1987.htm (1 of 34) [7/21/2001 11:00:22 AM] CHAPTER IV
ENTITLEMENT TO LEGAL SERVICES
CHAPTER V
FINANCE, ACCOUNTS AND AUDIT
file:///D|/Created by Skorydov/THE LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITIES ACT, 1987.htm (2 of 34) [7/21/2001 11:00:22 AM] CHAPTER VI
LOK ADALATS
CHAPTER VII
MISCELLANEOUS
file:///D|/Created by Skorydov/THE LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITIES ACT, 1987.htm (3 of 34) [7/21/2001 11:00:22 AM] THE LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITIES ACT, 1987
(39 of 1987)
[11th October 1987]
An Act to constitute legal services authorities to provide free and competent legal Service to the weakersections of the society to ensure that opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizen byreason of economic or other disabilities, and to or ganise Lok Adalats to secure that the operation of thelegal system promotes justice on a basis of equal opportunity.
BE it enacted by Parliament in the Thirty-eighth Year of the Republic of India as follows: - CHAPTER I
PRELIMINARY
file:///D|/Created by Skorydov/THE LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITIES ACT, 1987.htm (4 of 34) [7/21/2001 11:00:22 AM] 1. Short tile, extent and commencement. -
(1) This Act may be called the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987.
(2) It extends to the whole of India, except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
(3) It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification, appoint; and
different dates1 may be appointed for different provisions of this Act and for different States, and any
reference to commencement in any provision of this Act in relation to any State shall be construed as a
reference to the commencement of that provision in that State.
1. Except Chapter III this Act came into force on 9th November 1995 vide S.O. 893 (E), dated 9thNovember 1995.
Chapter III came into force in the State of Sikkim on 9th November 1995 vide S.O. 919 (E), dated 9thNovember 1995.
Chapter III came into force in the State of Rajasthan on 20th November 1995 vide S.O. 942 (E), dated20th November 1995.
Chapter III came into force in the State of Andhra Pradesh on 28thNovember, 1995 vide S.O. 941(E),dated 28th November 1996.
Chapter III came into force, on 14th February 1996 vide S.O. 136(E), dated 14th February 1996.
Chapter III came into force in the State of Punjab on 4th March 1996 vide S.O. 171(E), dated 4th March1996.
Chapter III came into force in the State of Orissa on 15th May 1996 vide S.O. 348 (E), dated 15th May1996. file:///D|/Created by Skorydov/THE LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITIES ACT, 1987.htm (5 of 34) [7/21/2001 11:00:22 AM] Chapter III came into force in the State of West Bengal on 1stJuly, 1996 Vide 1st July 1996.
Chapter III came into force on the State of Uttar Pradesh on 5th July 1996 vide S.O. 584(E), dated 21stAugust 1996.
Chapter III came into force in the State of Madhya Pradesh on 2lst August, 1996vide S.O. 584(E), anddated 2lst August 1996.
Chapter III came into force in the Bihar on 24th September 1996 vide S.O. 658(E), dated 24th September1996.
2. Definitions.
(1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires, 1[(a) “Case” includes a suit or any proceeding before a court; (aa) “Central Authority” means the National Legal Services Authority constituted under section 3; (aaa) “Court” means a civil criminal or revenue court and includes any tribunal or any other authorityconstituted under any law for the time being in force, to exercise judicial or quasi-Judicial functions;] (b) “District Authority” means a District Legal Services Authority constituted under section 9; 2[(bb) “High Court-Legal Services Committee” means a High Court Legal Services Committeeconstituted under section 8A;] (c) “Legal service” includes the rendering of any service in the conduct of any case or other legalproceeding before any court or other authority or tribunal and the giving of advice on any legal matter; file:///D|/Created by Skorydov/THE LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITIES ACT, 1987.htm (6 of 34) [7/21/2001 11:00:22 AM] (d) “Lok Adalat” means a Lok Adalat organised under Chapter VI; (e) “Notification” means a notification published in the Official Gazette; (f) “Prescribed” means prescribed by rules made under this Act; 2[(ff) “Regulations” means regulations made under this Act;] (g) “Scheme” means any scheme framed by the Central Authority, a State Authority or a DistrictAuthority for the purpose of giving effect to any of the provisions of this Act; (h) “State Authority” means a State Legal Services Authority constituted under section 6; (i) “State Government” includes the administrator of a Union Territory appointed by the Presidentunder Article 239 of the Constitution.
2(j) “Supreme Court Legal Services Committee” means the Supreme Court Legal Services Committeeconstituted under section 3A; (k) “Taluk Legal Services Committee” means a Taluk Legal Services Committee constituted undersection 11A.] (2) Any reference in this Act to any other enactment or any provision thereof shall, in relation to anarea in which such enactment or provision is not in force, be construed as a reference to thecorresponding law or the relevant provision of the corresponding law, if any, in force in that area.
1. Subs. by Act 59 of 1994, sec. 2, for clause (a).
CHAPTER II
file:///D|/Created by Skorydov/THE LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITIES ACT, 1987.htm (7 of 34) [7/21/2001 11:00:23 AM] THE NATIONAL LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITY
1[3. Constitution of the National Legal Services Authority:
(1) The Central Government shall constitute a body to be called the National Legal ServicesAuthority to exercise the powers and perform the functions conferred on, or assigned to, the CentralAuthority under this Act.
(2) The Central Authority shall consist of- (a) The Chief Justice of India who shall be the Patron-in-Chief, (b) A serving or retired Judge of the Supreme Court to be nominated by the President, in consultationwith the Chief Justice of India, who shall be the Executive Chairman; and (c) Such number of other members, possessing such experience and qualifications, as may prescribedby the Central Government, to be nominated by that Government in consultation with the Chief Justiceof India.
(3) The Central Government shall, in consultation with the Chief Justice of India, appoint a person tobe the Member-Secretary of the Central Authority, possessing such experience and qualifications as maybe prescribed by that Government, to exercise such powers and perform such duties under the ExecutiveChairman of the Central Authority as may be prescribed by that Government or as may be assigned tohim by the Executive Chairman of that Authority.
(4) The terms of office and other conditions relating thereto, of members and the Member-Secretaryof the Central Authority shall be such as may be prescribed by the Central Government in consultationwith the Chief Justice of India.
(5) The Central Authority may appoint such number of officers and other employees as may beprescribed by the Central Government, in consultation with the Chief Justice of India, for the efficientdischarge of its functions under this Act.
file:///D|/Created by Skorydov/THE LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITIES ACT, 1987.htm (8 of 34) [7/21/2001 11:00:23 AM] (6) The officers and other employees of the Central Authority shall be entitled to such salary andallowances and shall be subject to such other conditions of service as may be prescribed by the CentralGovernment in consultation with the Chief Justice of India.
(7) The administrative expenses of the Central Authority, including the salaries, allowances andpensions payable to the Member-Secretary, officers and other employees of the Central Authority, shallbe defrayed out of the Consolidated Fund of India.
(8) All orders and decisions of the Central Authority shall be authenticated by the Member-Secretaryor any other officer of the Central Authority duly authorised by the Executive Chairman of thatAuthority.
(9) No act or proceeding of the Central Authority shall be invalid merely on the ground of theexistence of any vacancy in, or any defect in the constitution of, the Central Authority.
3A. Supreme Court Legal Services Committee. –
(1) The Central Authority shall constitute a committee to be called the Supreme Court Legal ServicesCommittee for the purpose of exercising such powers and performing such functions as may bedetermined by regulations made by the Central Authority.
(a) A sitting Judge of the Supreme Court who shall be the Chairman; and (b) Such number of other members possessing such experience and qualifications as may beprescribed by the Central Government, to be nominated by the Chief Justice of India.
(3) The Chief Justice of India shall appoint a person to be the Secretary to the Committee, possessingsuch experience and qualifications as may be prescribed by the Central Government.
file:///D|/Created by Skorydov/THE LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITIES ACT, 1987.htm (9 of 34) [7/21/2001 11:00:23 AM] (4) The terms of office and other conditions relating thereto, of the members and Secretary of theCommittee shall be such as may be determined by regulations made by the Central Authority.
(5) The Committee may appoint such number of officers and other employees as may be prescribedby the Central Government, in consultation with the Chief Justice of India, for the efficient discharge ofits functions.
(6) The officers and other employees of the Committee shall be entitled to such salary and allowancesand shall be subject to such other conditions of service as may be prescribed by the Central Governmentin consultation with the Chief Justice of India.
4. Functions of the Central Authority. -The Central Authority shall 1[***] perform all or any of
the following functions, namely: -
(a) Lay down policies and principles for making legal services available under the provisions, of thisAct; (b) Frame the most effective and economical schemes for the purpose of making legal servicesavailable under the provisions of this Act; (c) Utilise the funds at its disposal and make appropriate allocations of funds to the State Authoritiesand District Authorities; (d) Take necessary steps by way of social justice litigation with regard to consumer protection,environmental protection or any other matter of special concern to the weaker sections, of the society andfor this purpose, give training to social workers in legal skills; (e) Organise legal aid camps, especially in rural areas, slums or labour colonies with the dual purposeof educating the weaker sections of the society as to their rights as well as encouraging the settlement ofdisputes through Lok Adalats; (f) Encourage the settlement of disputes by way of negotiations, arbitration and conciliation; file:///D|/Created by Skorydov/THE LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITIES ACT, 1987.htm (10 of 34) [7/21/2001 11:00:23 AM] (g) Undertake and promote research in the field of legal services with special reference to the needfor such services among the poor; (h) To do all things necessary for the purpose of ensuring commitment to the fundamental duties ofcitizens under Part IVA of the Constitution; (i) Monitor and evaluate implementation of the legal aid programmes at periodic intervals andprovide for independent evaluation of programmes and schemes implemented in whole or in part byfunds provided under this Act; 2[(j) Provide grants-in-aid for specific schemes to various voluntary social service institutions and the
State and District Authorities, from out of the amounts placed at its disposal for the implementation of
legal services schemes under the provisions of this Act;]
(k) Develop, in consultation with the Bar Council of India, programmes for clinical legal educationand promote guidance and supervise the establishment and working of legal services clinics inuniversities, law colleges and other institutions; (l) Take appropriate measures for spreading legal literacy and legal awareness amongst the peopleand, in particular, to educate weaker sections of the society about the rights benefits and privilegesguaranteed by social welfare legislations and other enactments as well as administrative programmes andmeasures; (m) Make special efforts to enlist the support of voluntary social welfare institutions, working at thegrass-root level, particularly among the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, women and ruraland urban labour; and (n) Coordinate and monitor the functioning of 3[State Authorities, District Authorities, Supreme
Court Legal Services Committee, High Court Legal Services Committees, Taluk Legal Services
Committees and voluntary social service institutions] and other legal services organisations and give
general directions for the proper implementation of the legal services programmes.
1. The words, "subject to the general directions of the Central Government" omitted by Act 59 of1994, sec. 4.
file:///D|/Created by Skorydov/THE LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITIES ACT, 1987.htm (11 of 34) [7/21/2001 11:00:23 AM] 2. Subs. by Act 59 of 1994, sec. 4 (ii).
3. Subs. for the words” State and District Authorities and other voluntary social institutions,” by Act59 of l994, sec. 4.
5. Central Authority to work in coordination with other agencies. -In the discharge of its
functions under this Act, the Central Authority shall, wherever appropriate, act in coordination with other
governmental and nongovernmental agencies, universities and others engaged in the work of promoting
the cause of legal services to the poor.
CHAPTER III
STATE LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITY
1[6. Constitution of State Legal Services Authority: -
(1) Every State Government shall constitute a body to be called the Legal Services Authority for theState to exercise the powers and perform the functions conferred on, or assigned to, a State Authorityunder this Act.
(a) The Chief Justice of the High Court who shall be the Patron-in-Chief; (b) A serving or retired Judge of the High Court, to be nominated by the Governor, in consultationwith the Chief Justice of the High Court, who shall be the Executive Chairman; and (c) Such number of other members, possessing such experience and qualifications as may beprescribed by the State Government, to be nominated by that Government in consultation with the ChiefJustice of the High Court.
(3) The State Government shall, in consultation with the Chief Justice of the High Court, appoint aperson belonging to the State Higher Judicial Service, not lower in rank than that of a District Judge, as file:///D|/Created by Skorydov/THE LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITIES ACT, 1987.htm (12 of 34) [7/21/2001 11:00:23 AM] the Member-Secretary of the State Authority, to exercise such powers and perform such duties under theExecutive Chairman of the State Authority as may be prescribed by that Government or as may beassigned to him by the Executive Chairman of that Authority: Provided that a person functioning as Secretary of a State Legal Aid and Advice Board immediatelybefore the date of constitution of the State Authority may be appointed as Member-Secretary of thatAuthority, even if he is not qualified to be appointed as such under this sub-section, for a period notexceeding five years.
(4) The terms of office and other conditions relating thereto, of members and the Member-Secretaryof the State Authority shall be such as may be prescribed by the State Government in consultation withthe Chief Justice of the High Court.
(5) The State Authority may appoint such number of officers and other employees as may beprescribed by the State Government, in consultation with the Chief Justice of the High Court, for theefficient discharge of its functions under this Act.
(6) The officers and other employees of the State Authority shall be entitled to such salary andallowances and shall be subject to such other conditions of service as may be prescribed by the StateGovernment in consultation with the Chief Justice of the High Court.
(7) The administrative expenses of the State Authority, including the salaries, allowances andpensions payable to the Member-Secretary, officers and other employees of the State Authority shall bedefrayed out of the Consolidated Fund of the State.
(8) All orders and decisions of the State Authority shall be authenticated by the Member Secretary orany other officer of the State Authority duly authorised by the Executive Chairman of the StateAuthority.
(9) No act or proceeding of a State Authority shall be invalid merely on the ground of the existenceof any vacancy in, or any defect in the constitution of, the State Authority.] file:///D|/Created by Skorydov/THE LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITIES ACT, 1987.htm (13 of 34) [7/21/2001 11:00:23 AM] 7. Functions of the State Authority. -
(1) It shall be the duty of the State Authority to give effect to the policy and directions of the CentralAuthority.
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the functions referred to in sub-section (1), the StateAuthority 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 1[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 2 [CentralAuthority,] fix by regulations.
1 Subs. for the words “Lok Adalats” by Act 59 of 1994, sec. 6.
2. Subs. for the words “Central Government” by Act 59 of 1994, sec. 6.
1[8. State Authority to act in coordination with other agencies etc., and be subject to directions
given by Central Authority
. -In the discharge of its functions the State Authority shall appropriately act
in coordination with other governmental agencies, nongovernmental 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.
1. Subs. for sections 8 and 9 by Act 59 of 1994, sec. 7.
8A. High Court Legal Services Committee. –
(1) The State Authority shall constitute a Committee to be called the High Court Legal Services file:///D|/Created by Skorydov/THE LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITIES ACT, 1987.htm (14 of 34) [7/21/2001 11:00:23 AM] Committee for every High Court, for the purpose of exercising such powers and performing suchfunctions as may be determined by regulations made by the State Authority.
(a) A sitting Judge of the High Court who shall be the Chairman; and (b) Such number of other as may be determined by regulations made by the State Authority, To be nominated by the Chief Justice of the High Court.
(3) The Chief Justice of the High Court shall appoint a Secretary to the Committee possessing suchexperience and qualifications as may be prescribed by the State Government.
(4) The terms of office and other conditions relating thereto, of the members and Secretary of theCommittee shall be such as may be determined by regulations made by the State Authority.
(5) The Committee may appoint such number of officers and other employees as may be prescribedby the State Government in consultation with the Chief Justice of the High Court for the efficientdischarge of its functions.
(6) The officers and other employees of the Committee shall be entitled to such salary and allowancesand shall be subject to such other conditions of service as may be prescribed by the State Government inconsultation with the Chief Justice of the High Court.
9. District Legal Services Authority. -
(1) The State Government shall, in consultation with the Chief Justice of the High Court, constitute abody to be called the District Legal Services Authority for every District in the State to exercise thepowers and perform the functions conferred on, or assigned to, the District Authority under this Act.
(2) A District Authority shall consist of- file:///D|/Created by Skorydov/THE LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITIES ACT, 1987.htm (15 of 34) [7/21/2001 11:00:23 AM] (a) The District Judge who shall be its Chairman; and (b) Such number of other members, possessing such experience and qualifications, as may beprescribed by the State Government, to be nominated by that Government in consultation with the ChiefJustice of the High Court.
(3) The State Authority shall, in consultation with the Chairman of the District Authority, appoint aperson belonging to the State Judicial Service not lower in rank than that of a Subordinate Judge or CivilJudge posted at the seat of the District Judiciary as Secretary of the District Authority to exercise suchpowers and perform such duties under the Chairman of that Committee as may be assigned to him bysuch Chairman.
(4) The terms of office and other conditions relating thereto, of members and Secretary of the DistrictAuthority shall be such as may be determined by regulations made by the State Authority in consultationwith the Chief Justice of the High Court.
(5) The District Authority may appoint such number of officers and other employees as may beprescribed by the State Government in consultation with the Chief Justice of the High Court for theefficient discharge of its functions.
(6) The officers and other employees of the District Authority shall be entitled to such salary andallowances and shall be subject to such other conditions of service as may be prescribed by the StateGovernment in consultation with the Chief Justice of the High Court.
(7) The administrative expenses of every District Authority, including the salaries, allowances andpensions payable to the Secretary, officers and other employees of the District Authority shall bedefrayed out of the Consolidated Fund of the State.
(8) All orders and decisions of the District Authority shall be authenticated by the Secretary or by anyother officer of the District Authority duly authorised by the Chairman of that Authority.
(9) No act or proceeding of a District Authority shall be invalid merely on the ground of the existenceof any vacancy in, or any defect in the Constitution of, the District Authority.] file:///D|/Created by Skorydov/THE LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITIES ACT, 1987.htm (16 of 34) [7/21/2001 11:00:23 AM] 10. Functions of District Authority. -
(1) It shall be the duty of every District Authority to perform such of the functions of the StateAuthority in the District as may be delegated to it from time to time by the State Authority.
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the functions referred to in sub-section (1), the DistrictAuthority may perform all or any of the following functions, namely: - 1[(a) Co-ordinate the activities of the Taluk Legal Services Committee and other Legal Services in the
District];
(b) Organise Lok Adalats within the District; and (c) Perform such other functions as the State Authority may 2[***] fix by regulations.
1. Subs. by Act 59 of l994, sec. 8 (i).
2. The words, "in consultation with the State Government," omitted by Act 59 of 1994, sec. 8.
11. District Authority to act in coordination with other agencies and be subject to directions
given by the Central Authority, etc
.-In the discharge of its functions under this Act, the District
Authority shall, wherever appropriate, act in coordination with other governmental and nongovernmental
institutions, universities and others 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 or the State Authority may give
to it in writing.
1[11A. Taluk Legal Services Committee: -
(1) The State Authority may constitute a Committee, to be called the Taluk Legal ServicesCommittee, for each taluk or manual or for group of taluks or manuals.
file:///D|/Created by Skorydov/THE LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITIES ACT, 1987.htm (17 of 34) [7/21/2001 11:00:23 AM] (a) The Senior Civil Judge operating within the jurisdiction of the Committee who shall be the exofficio Chairman; and (b) Such number of other members, possessing such experience and qualifications, as may beprescribed by the State Government, to be nominated by that Government in consultation with the ChiefJustice of the High Court.
(3) The Committee may appoint such number of officers and other employees as may be prescribedby the State Government in consultation with the Chief Justice of the High Court for the efficientdischarge of its functions.
(4) The officers and other employees of the Committee shall be entitled to such salary and allowancesand shall be subject to such other conditions of service as may be prescribed by the State Government inconsultation with the Chief Justice of the High Court.
(5) The administrative expenses of the Committee shall be defrayed out of the District Legal AidFund by the District Authority.
11B. Functions of Taluk Legal Services Committee. -The Taluk Legal Services Committee may
perform all or any of the following functions, namely: -
(a) Coordinate the activities of legal services in the taluk (b) Organise Lok Adalats within the taluk; and (c) Perform such other functions as the District Authority may assign to it.] CHAPTER IV
file:///D|/Created by Skorydov/THE LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITIES ACT, 1987.htm (18 of 34) [7/21/2001 11:00:23 AM] ENTITLEMENT TO LEGAL SERVICES
12. Criteria for giving legal services. -Every person who has to file or defend a case shall be entitled
to legal services under this Act if that person, is-
(a) A member of a Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe; (b) A victim of trafficking in human beings or beggar as referred to in Article 23 of the Constitution; (d) A mentally ill or otherwise disabled person; (e) A person under circumstances of undeserved want such as being a victim of a mass disaster,ethnic violence, caste atrocity, flood, drought, earthquake or industrial disaster; or (g) In custody, including custody in a protective home within the meaning of clause (g) of section 2of the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 (104 of 1956), or in a juvenile home within the meaningof clause (j) of section 2 of the Juvenile Justice Act, 1986 (53 of 1986), or in a psychiatric hospital orpsychiatric nursing home within the meaning of clause (g) of section 2 of the Mental Health Act, 1987(14 of 1987); or 1[(h) in receipt of annual income less than rupees nine thousand or such other higher amount as may be
prescribed by the State Government, if the case is before a court other than the Supreme Court, and less
than rupees twelve thousand or such other higher amount as may be prescribed by the Central
Government, if the case is before the Supreme Court.]
1. Subs. by Act 59 of 1994, sec. 10.
file:///D|/Created by Skorydov/THE LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITIES ACT, 1987.htm (19 of 34) [7/21/2001 11:00:23 AM] 13. Entitlement to Legal Services: -
(1) Poison who satisfy all or any of the criteria specified in section 12 shall be entitled to receivelegal services provided that the concerned Authority is satisfied that such person has a prima facie case toprosecute or to defend.
(2) An affidavit made by a person as to his income may be regarded as sufficient for making himeligible to the entitlement of legal services under this Act unless the concerned Authority has reason todisbelieve such affidavit.
CHAPTER V
FINANCE, ACCOUNTS AND AUDIT
14. Grants by the Central Government. -The Central Government shall, after due appropriation
made by Parliament by law in this behalf, pay to the Central Authority, by way of grants, such sums of
money as the Central Government may think fit for being utilised for the purposes of this Act.
15. National Legal Aid Fund. -
(1) The Central Authority shall establish a fund to be called the National Legal Aid Fund and thereshall be credited thereto- (a) All sums of money given as grants by the Central Government under section 14; (b) Any grants or donations that may be made to the Central Authority by any other person for thepurposes of this Act; (c) Any amount received by the Central Authority under the orders of any court or from any othersource.
(2) The National Legal Aid Fund shall be applied for meeting- file:///D|/Created by Skorydov/THE LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITIES ACT, 1987.htm (20 of 34) [7/21/2001 11:00:23 AM] (a) The cost of legal services provided under this Act including grants made to State Authorities; 1[(b) The cost of legal services provided by the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee; (c) Any other expenses which are required to be met by the Central Authority.] 1. Subs. by Act 59 of 1994, sec. 11.
16. State Legal Aid Fund:-
(1) A State Authority shall establish a fund to be called the State Legal Aid Fund and there shall becredited thereto- (a) All sums of money paid to it or any grants made by the Central Authority for the purposes of thisAct; (b) Any grants or donations that may be made to the State Authority by the State Government or byany person for the purposes of this Act; (c) Any other amount received by the State Authority under the orders of any court or from any othersource.
(2) A State Legal Aid Fund shall be applied for meeting- (a) The cost of functions referred to in section 7; 1[(b) The cost of legal services provided by the High Court Legal Services Committees; file:///D|/Created by Skorydov/THE LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITIES ACT, 1987.htm (21 of 34) [7/21/2001 11:00:23 AM] (c) Any other expenses which are required to be met by the State Authority.] 1. Subs. by Act 59 of 1994, see. 12.
17. District Legal Aid Fund. -
(1) Every District Authority shall establish a fund to be called the District Legal Aid Fund and thereshall be credited thereto- (a) All sums of money paid or any grants made by the State Authority to the District Authority for thepurposes of this Act; 1[(b) Any grants or donations that may be made to the District Authority by any person, with the priorapproval of the State Authority, for the purposes of this Act.] (c) Any other amount received by the District Authority under the orders of any court or from anyother source.
(2) A District Legal Aid Fund shall be applied for meeting- (a) The cost of functions referred to in section 10 2[and 11 B]; (b) Any other expenses which are required to be met by the District Authority.
1. Subs. by Act 59 of 1994, sec. 13.
2. Ins. by Act 59 of 1994, sec. 13.
18. Accounts and audit. -
(1) The Central Authority, State Authority or the District Authority (hereinafter referred to in this file:///D|/Created by Skorydov/THE LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITIES ACT, 1987.htm (22 of 34) [7/21/2001 11:00:23 AM] section as ‘the Authority’), as the case may be, shall maintain proper accounts and other relevant recordsand prepare an annual statement of accounts including the income and expenditure account and thebalance-sheet in such form and in such manner as may be prescribed by the Central Government inconsultation with the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India.
(2) The accounts of the Authorities shall be audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General of Indiaat such intervals as may be specified by him and any expenditure incurred in connection with such auditshall be payable by the Authority concerned to the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India.
(3) The Comptroller and Auditor-General of India and any other person appointed by him inconnection with the auditing of the accounts of an Authority under this Act shall have the same rightsand privileges and Authority in connection with such audit as the Comptroller and Auditor-General ofIndia has in connection with the auditing of the Government accounts and, in particular, shall have theright to demand the production of books, accounts, connected vouchers and other documents and papersand to inspect any of the offices of the Authorities under this Act.
(4) The accounts of the Authorities, as certified by the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India orany other person appointed by him in this behalf together with the audit report thereon, shall beforwarded annually by the Authorities to the Central Government or the State Governments as the casemay be.
1[(5) The Central Government shall cause the accounts and the audit report received by it undersub-section (4) to be laid, as soon as may be after they are received, before each House of Parliament.
(6) The State Government shall cause the accounts and the audit report received by it undersub-section (4) to be laid, as soon as may be after they are received, before the State Legislature.] 1. Ins. by Act 59 of 1994, sec. 14.
CHAPTER VI
LOK ADALATS
1[19. Organisation of Lok Adalats: -
file:///D|/Created by Skorydov/THE LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITIES ACT, 1987.htm (23 of 34) [7/21/2001 11:00:23 AM] (1) Every State Authority or District Authority or the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee orevery High Court Legal Services Committee or, as the case may be, Taluk Legal Services Committeemay organise Lok Adalats at such intervals and places and for exercising such jurisdiction and for suchareas as it thinks fit.
(2) Every Lok Adalat organised for an area shall consist of such number of- (a) Serving or retired judicial officers; and (b) Other persons, of the area as may be specified by the State Authority or the District Authority orthe Supreme Court Legal Services Committee or the High Court Legal Services Committee, or as thecase may be, the Taluk Legal Services Committee, organising such Lok Adalat.
(3) The experience and qualifications of other persons referred to in clause (b) of sub-section (2) forLok Adalats organised by the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee shall be such as may beprescribed by the Central Government in consultation with the Chief Justice of India.
(4) The experience and qualifications of other persons referred to in clause (b) of subsection (2) forLok Adalats other than referred to in sub-section (3) shall be such as may be prescribed by the StateGovernment in consultation with the Chief Justice of the High Court.
(5) A Lok Adalat shall have jurisdiction to determine and to arrive at a compromise or settlementbetween the parties to a dispute in respect of- (ii) Any matter, which is falling within the jurisdiction of, and is not brought before, any court forwhich the Lok Adalat is organised: Provided that the Lok Adalat shall have no jurisdiction in respect of any case or matter relating to anoffence not compoundable under any law.
1. Subs. for sections 19 and 20 by Act 59 of 1994, sec. 15.
file:///D|/Created by Skorydov/THE LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITIES ACT, 1987.htm (24 of 34) [7/21/2001 11:00:23 AM] 20. Cognizance of cases by Lok Adalats.
(1) Where in any case referred to in clause (i) of sub-section (5) of section 19; - (b) One of the parties thereof makes an application to the court, for referring the case to the Lok Adalat for settlement and if such court is prima facie satisfied that thereare chances of such settlement; or (ii) The court is satisfied that the matter is an appropriate one to be taken cognizance of by the LokAdalat, the court shall refer the case to the Lok Adalat: Provided that no case shall be referred to the Lok Adalat under sub-clause (b) of clause (i) or clause (ii)by such court except after giving a reasonable opportunity of being heard to the parties.
(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, the Authority orCommittee organising the Lok Adalat under sub-section (1) of section 19 may, on receipt of anapplication from any one of the parties to any matter referred to in clause (ii) of sub-section (5) of section19 that such matter needs to be determined by a Lok Adalat, refer such matter to the Lok Adalat, fordetermination: Provided that no matter shall be referred to the Lok Adalat except after giving a reasonable opportunityof being heard to the other party.
(3) Where any case is referred to a Lok Adalat under sub-section (1) or where a reference has beenmade to it under sub-section (2), the Lok Adalat shall proceed to dispose of the case or matter and arriveat a compromise or settlement between the parties.
file:///D|/Created by Skorydov/THE LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITIES ACT, 1987.htm (25 of 34) [7/21/2001 11:00:23 AM] (4) Every Lok Adalat shall, while determining any reference before it under this Act, act with utmost expedition to arrive at a compromise or settlement between the parties and shall be guided by theprinciples of justice, equity, fair play and other legal principles.
(5) Where no award is made by the Lok Adalat on the ground that no compromise or settlementcould be arrived at between the parties, the record of the case shall be returned by it to the court, fromwhich the reference has been received under sub-section (1) for disposal in accordance with law.
(6) Where no award is made by the Lok Adalat on the ground that no compromise or settlement couldbe arrived at between the parties, in a matter referred to in sub-section (2), that Lok Adalat shall advicethe parties to seek remedy in a court.
(7) Where the record of the case is returned under sub-section (5) to the Court, such court shallproceed to deal with such case from the stage, which was reached before such reference undersub-section (l)].
21. Award of Lok Adalat. –
1[(1) Every award of the Lok Adalat shall be deemed to be a decree of a civil court or, as the case may
be, an order of any other court and where a compromise or settlement has been arrived at, by a Lok
Adalat in a case referred to it under sub-section (I) of section 20, the court-fee paid in such case shall be
refunded in the manner provided under the Court Fees Act, (7 of 1870).]
(2) Every award made by a Lok Adalat shall be final and binding on all the parties to the dispute, andno appeal shall lie to any court against the award.
1. Subs. by Act 59 of 1994, sec. 16.
22. Powers of Lok Adalats. -
(1) The Lok Adalat shall, for the purposes of holding any determination under this Act, have thesame powers as are vested in a civil court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908) whiletrying a suit in respect of the following matters, namely: - file:///D|/Created by Skorydov/THE LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITIES ACT, 1987.htm (26 of 34) [7/21/2001 11:00:23 AM] (a) The summoning and enforcing the attendance of any witness and examining him on oath; (b) The discovery and production of any document; (c) The reception of evidence on affidavits; (d) The requisitioning of any public record or document or copy of such record or document fromany court or office; and (e) Such other matters as may be prescribed.
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the powers contained in sub-section (1), every Lok Adalatshall have the requisite powers to specify its own procedure for the determination of any dispute comingbefore it.
(3) All proceedings before a Lok Adalat shall be deemed to be judicial proceedings within themeaning of sections 193, 219 and 228 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) and every Lok Adalat shallbe deemed to be a civil court for the purpose of section 195 and Chapter XXVI of the Code of CriminalProcedure, 1973 (2 of 1974).
CHAPTER VII
MISCELLANEOUS
1[23. Members and staff of Authorities Committees and Lok Adalats to be public servants: -The
members including Member-Secretary or, as the case may be, Secretary of the Central Authority, the
State Authorities, the District Authorities, the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee, High Court
Legal Services Committees, Taluk Legal Services Committees and officers and other employees of such
Authorities, Committees and the members of the Lok Adalats shall be deemed to be public servants
within the meaning of section 21 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860)
1. Subs. for sections 23 and 24 by Act 59 of 1994, sec. 17.
file:///D|/Created by Skorydov/THE LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITIES ACT, 1987.htm (27 of 34) [7/21/2001 11:00:23 AM] 24. Protection of action taken in good faith. -No suit, prosecution or other legal proceeding shall lie
against-
(a) The Central Government or the State Government; (b) The Patron-in-Chief, Executive Chairman, members of, Member-Secretary or officers or otheremployees of the Central Authority; (c) Patron-in-Chief, Executive Chairman, member, Member-Secretary or officers or other employeesof the State Authority; (d) Chairman, Secretary, members or officers or other employees of the Supreme Court LegalServices Committee, High Court Legal Services Committees, Taluk Legal Services Committees or theDistrict Authority; or (e) Any other person authorised by any of the Patron-in-Chief, Executive Chairman, Chairman,member, Member-Secretary referred to in sub-clauses (b) to (d), For anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done under the provisions of this Act or anyrule or regulation made thereunder.] 25. Act to have overriding effect. -The Provisions of this Act shall have effect notwithstanding
anything inconsistent therewith contained in any other law for the time being in force or in any
instrument having effect by virtue of any law other than this Act.
26. Power to remove difficulties. –
(1) If any difficulty arises in giving effect to the provisions of this Act, the Central Government may,by order published in the Official Gazette, make such provisions not inconsistent with the provisions ofthis Act as appear to it to be necessary or expedient for removing the difficulty: Provided that no such order shall be made after the expiry of a period of two years from the date onwhich this Act receives the assent of the President.
file:///D|/Created by Skorydov/THE LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITIES ACT, 1987.htm (28 of 34) [7/21/2001 11:00:23 AM] (2) Every order made under this section shall, as soon as may be after it is made, be laid before eachHouse of Parliament.
1[27. Power of Central Government to make rules. –
(1) The Central Government in consultation with the Chief Justice of India may, by notification,make rules to carry out the provisions of this Act.
(2) In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such rules mayprovide for all or any of the following matters, namely: - (a) The number, experience and qualifications of other members of the Central Authority underclause (c) of sub-section (2) of section 3; (b) The experience and qualifications of the Member-Secretary of the Central Authority and hispowers and functions under sub-section (3) of section 3; (c) The terms of office and other conditions relating thereto, of members and Member Secretary ofthe Central Authority under sub-section (4) of section 3; (d) The number of officers and other employees of the Central Authority under subsection (5) ofsection 3; (e) The conditions of service and the salary and allowances of officers and other employees of theCentral Authority under sub-section (6) of section 3; (f) The number, experience and qualifications of members of the Supreme Court Legal ServicesCommittee under clause (b) of sub-section (2) of section 3A.
(g) The experience and qualifications of Secretary of the Supreme Court Legal Services Committeeunder sub-section (3) of section 3A.
file:///D|/Created by Skorydov/THE LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITIES ACT, 1987.htm (29 of 34) [7/21/2001 11:00:23 AM] (h) The number of officers and other employees of the Supreme Court Legal Services Committeeunder sub-section (5) of section 3A and the conditions of service and the salary and allowances payableto them under sub-section (6) of that section; (i) The upper limit of annual income of a person entitling him to legal services under clause (h) ofsection 12, if the case is before the Supreme Court; The manner in which the accounts of the Central Authority, the State Authority or the District Authorityshall be maintained under section 18; (k) The experience and qualifications of other persons of the Lok Adalats organised by the SupremeCourt Legal Services Committee specified in sub-section (3) of section 19; (l) Other matters under clause (e) of sub-section (1) of section 22; (m) Any other matter which is to be, or may be, prescribed.] 1. Subs. for sections 27, 28 and 29 by Act 59 of 1994, sec. 18.
28. Power of State Government to make rules. -
(1) The State Government in consultation with the Chief Justice of the High Court may, bynotification, make rules to carry out the provisions of this Act.
(2) In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing powers, such rules mayprovide for all or any of the following matters, namely: - (a) The number, experience and qualifications of other members of the State Authority under clause(c) of sub-section (2) of section 6; file:///D|/Created by Skorydov/THE LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITIES ACT, 1987.htm (30 of 34) [7/21/2001 11:00:23 AM] (b) The powers and functions of the Member-Secretary of the State Authority under sub-section (3)of section 6; (c) The terms of office and other conditions relating thereto, of members and Member Secretary ofthe State Authority under sub-section (4) of section 6: (d) The number of officers and other employees of the State Authority under subsection (5) of section6; (e) The conditions of service and the salary and allowances of officers and other employees of theState Authority under sub-section (6) of section 6; (f) The experience and qualifications of Secretary of the High Court Legal Services Committee undersub-section (3) of section 8A; (g) The number of officers and other employees of the High Court Legal Services Committee undersub-section (5) of section 8A and the conditions of service and the salary and allowances payable to themunder sub-section (6) of that section; (h) The number, experience and qualifications of members of the District Authority under clause (b)of sub-section (2) of section 9; (i) The number of officers and other employees of the District Authority under subsection (5) ofsection 9; (j) The conditions of service and the salary and allowances of the officers and other employees of theDistrict Authority under sub-section (6) of section 9; (k) The number, experience and qualifications of members of the Taluk Legal Services Committeeunder clause (b) of sub-section 12) of section 11A; (1) The number of officers and other employees of the Taluk Legal Services Committee undersub-section (3) of section 11A; file:///D|/Created by Skorydov/THE LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITIES ACT, 1987.htm (31 of 34) [7/21/2001 11:00:23 AM] (m) The conditions of service and the salary and allowances of officers and other employees of theTaluk Legal Services Committee under sub-section (4) of section 11A; (n) The upper limit of annual income of a person entitling him to legal services under clause (h) ofsection 12, if the case is before a court, other than the Supreme Court; (o) The experience and qualifications of other persons of the Lok Adalats other than referred to insub-section (4) of section 19; (p) Any other matter which is to be, or may be, prescribed.
29. Power of Central Authority to make regulations.
(1) The Central Authority may, by notification, make regulations not inconsistent with the provisionsof this Act and the rules made thereunder, to provide for all matters for which provision is necessary orexpedient for the purposes of giving effect to the provisions of this Act.
(2) In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such regulations mayprovide for all or any of the following matters, namely: - (a) The powers and functions of the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee under sub-section (1)of section 3A; (b) The terms of office and other conditions relating thereto, of the members and Secretary of theSupreme Court Legal Services Committee under sub-section (4) of section 3A; 29A. Power of State Authority to make regulations.-
(1) The State Authority may, by notification, make regulations not inconsistent with the provisions ofthis Act and the rules made thereunder, to provide for all matters for which provision is necessary orexpedient for the purposes of giving effect to the provisions of this Act.
file:///D|/Created by Skorydov/THE LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITIES ACT, 1987.htm (32 of 34) [7/21/2001 11:00:23 AM] (2) In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such regulations mayprovide for all or any of the following matters, namely: - (a) The other functions to be performed by the State Authority under clause (d) of subsection (2) ofsection 7; (b) The powers and functions of the High Court Legal Services Committee under subsection (1) ofsection 8A; (c) The number, experience and qualifications of members of the High Court Legal ServicesCommittee under clause (b) of sub-section (2) of section 8A; (d) The terms of office and other conditions relating thereto, of the members and Secretary of theHigh Court Legal Services Committee under sub-section (4) of section 8A; (e) The terms of office and other conditions relating thereto, of the members and Secretary of theDistrict Authority under sub-section (4) of section 9; (f) The number, experience and qualifications of members of the High Court Legal ServicesCommittee under clause (b) of sub-section (2) of section 8A; (g) Other functions to be performed by the District Authority under clause (c) of subsection (2) ofsection 10; (h) The terms of office and other conditions relating thereto, of members and Secretary of the TalukLegal Services Committee under sub-section (3) of section 11A.] 30. Laying of rules and regulations. -
(1) Every rule made under this Act by the Central Government and every regulation made by theCentral Authority thereunder shall be laid, as soon as may be after it is made, before each House of file:///D|/Created by Skorydov/THE LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITIES ACT, 1987.htm (33 of 34) [7/21/2001 11:00:23 AM] Parliament, while it is in session, for a total period of thirty days which may be comprised in one sessionor in two or more successive sessions, and if, before the expiry of the session immediately following thesession or the successive sessions aforesaid, both Houses agree in making any modification in the rule orregulation, or both Houses agree that the rule or regulation should not be made, the rule or regulationshall thereafter have effect only in such modified form or be of no effect, as the case may be; so,however, that any such modification or annulment shall be without prejudice to the validity of anythingpreviously done under that rule or regulation.
(2) Every rule made under this Act by a State Government and every regulation made by a StateAuthority thereunder shall be laid, as soon as may be after it is made, before the State Legislature.
file:///D|/Created by Skorydov/THE LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITIES ACT, 1987.htm (34 of 34) [7/21/2001 11:00:23 AM]

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