What is Tele-law service?
- Tele-law is a service that uses video conferencing facilities and telephone services to connect lawyers to litigants who need legal advice.
- This service aims to reach out to the needy, especially the marginalized and disadvantaged.
- The project connects citizens with lawyers through communications and information technology with the help of Para-Legal Volunteers stationed at identified Common Service Centers or CSCs.
Role of Para Legal Volunteer
- Para Legal Volunteer (PLV) is the first point of contact between rural citizens and lawyers providing legal aid through CSC.
- They are not lawyers, but have basic understanding of the legal process. They hear the grievances of citizens and offer appropriate support/suggestions for legal aid. They also help the citizens understand legal issues and advice given by lawyers.
- A trained PLV is available in a CSC for minimum ten days in a month under the Scheme.
- Tele Law service enables anyone to seek legal advice without wasting precious time and money.
- Legal advice is made available to everyone under Tele-Law service Advice is free of Cost to those who are eligible for free legal aid under Section 12 of Legal Services Authority Act, 1987:
- Persons belonging to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe
- Victims of Trafficking
- Mentally ill and differently abled people
- Victims of natural disaster/ethnic violence
- Workers in unorganized /industrial workers
- Under trials
- People of low income group
- For all others a nominal fee of Rs INR 30/- charged for each consultation.
- The Tele-law website can be accessed at http://tele-law.in and is available in 22 official languages.
- For easy and direct access Tele- Law Mobile Application (both Android and IoS) has also been launched in 2021 and it is presently available in 22 scheduled languages.
- Legal matters in which advice can be taken through Tele-Law service :-
- Dowry, family dispute, divorce, protection from domestic violence.
- Sexual harassment, sexual abuse, eve teasing at the workplace.
- Maintenance of women, children and senior citizens.
- Rights regarding property and land.
- Equal wages for males and females.
- Maternity benefits and prevention of foeticide.
- Prohibition of child marriage, protection of children from sexual assault, prevention of child labour and implementing right to education.
- Arrest – (F.I.R)/ process of registering the First Information Report.
- Atrocities against scheduled castes/ scheduled tribes and their rehabilitation.
Why in News?
- The Department of Justice’s Tele-Law program in collaboration with Common Service Centers (CSCs) has revolutionized access to pre-litigation advice and empowered over 46 lakh beneficiaries nationwide, with free legal advice.
- Launched in 2017, the Tele-Law service is now directly accessible through the Tele-Law Mobile App (available on Android & IOS).
What is a CSC?
- Common Service Centres (CSCs) are shops/Kiosks that deliver various government services online like public utility services, social welfare schemes, healthcare, financial, education and agriculture services, apart from a host of B2C services to citizens in rural and remote areas of the country.
- CSC is one of the mission mode projects under the Digital India Programme run by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY). There are approximately 3.19 lakh CSCs in India. CSCs are located in Gram Panchayats.
- CSCs have been trying to bridge the gaps in digital literacy and skills of rural citizens through a range of literacy initiatives focused on digital, financial and legal literacy and e-learning and skill development courses.
- Under the CSC 2.0 scheme initiated by the Ministry of Electronics & IT in 2015, at least one CSC is to be rolled out in each and every 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayats across the country.
Village Level Entrepreneur
- The CSC operator, also known as Village Level Entrepreneur (VLE), is the key stakeholder.
- The essence of the CSC scheme is that it is managed and operated by a local person whose acceptability is higher within the community she/he serves.
- The success of the Scheme depends largely on his ability, zeal and passion for setting up a sustainable social enterprise within the existing constraints of rural India.
- CSC e-Governance Services India Limited, a Special Purpose Vehicle set up by the Ministry of Electronics & IT, oversee implementation of the CSC scheme.