News-CRUX-10     29th December 2023        

Context: Recently, the President of India nominated Justice Sanjiv Khanna, the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court, as the Executive Chairperson of the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA).

National Legal Services Authority (NALSA)

  • About: It has been established under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987, with the aim of providing free legal services to the weaker sections of society and organizing Lok Adalats for amicable dispute resolution.
  • Objective: It is the expeditious disposal of cases, thereby alleviating the burden on the judiciary.
  • Structure: The Chief Justice of India serves as the patron-in-chief of NALSA, while the second senior most judge of the Supreme Court of India assumes the role of the Executive Chairman.
  • State and High Court Legal Services Authorities: In each State, a State Legal Services Authority and in every High Court, a High Court Legal Services Committee has been constituted to implement NALSA's policies and directions.
  • District Level Formation: District Legal Services Authorities and Taluk Legal Services Committees are established in districts and taluks, respectively, to execute NALSA's policies, provide free legal services, and conduct Lok Adalats.
  • Article 39A: State must ensure that the legal system operates to promote justice based on equal opportunity. 
  • Articles 14 and 22(1): It impose an obligation on the State to guarantee equality before the law. They emphasize the necessity for a legal system that fosters justice on the principle of equal opportunity for all citizens.