India Law News: A bench comprising of CJI SH Kapadia and Justices Swatanter Kumar and KS Radhakrishnan has expressed utter displeasure in the way some lawyers empanelled by the legal aid committee are working. The SC on Monday threatened that the members who do not show up for their clients would be “removed from the panel”.
The bench has asked the apex court registry office to look into the piling complaints and prepare a report to be submitted to the CJI. The report will include the steps required for a formal discharge of the lawyers employed by the legal aid committee.
Under the sponsorship of the National Legal Aid Services Authority (NALSA), each court comprises of a legal aid committee that primarily “helps” poor litigants or party to a proceeding. The assistance includes providing them with lawyers and other legal help.
The SC aired their views after an advocate of the legal aid panel failed to appear during the hearing of Shamli Devi. The matter was related to the allotment of plots in Salt Lake, Kolkata. Followed by the incident, the bench made an observation that a general lack of seriousness was seen in other benches as well. The bench retorted, “Time has come to take notice of panel advocates not appearing in cases entrusted to them.”
It should be remembered that the Law Ministry on July 22 earmarked a Rs.14,000 crore package which will be rolled out in coming five years to improve the abysmal condition of over 16,000 trial courts across India. Out of this package, Rs 200 crore will be spent to help poor litigants with better legal aid.