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.
- Presently, tele-law programme is operational in 633 districts (including 115 aspirational districts) across all the States and Union Territories using a network of 50,000 CSCs.
- 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 Government through its Tele-Law initiative provides pre-litigation advice and consultation to the citizens through a cadre of Panel Lawyers via telephone or video conferencing facilities available at the Common Service Centers (CSC) and through Citizens’ Tele-Law Mobile Application.
- So far 914 Panel Lawyers have been on-boarded under Tele-Law.
- Also, in order to maximize the benefits of Tele-Law to reach to the vulnerable sections of society, law students in particular and students in general are motivated to volunteer and register as Para legal Volunteers (PLVs) on the Citizens’ Tele-Law Mobile App.