SCLSC (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – Polity)

News-CRUX-10     8th January 2024        
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Context: Supreme Court judge Justice BR Gavai has been nominated as the Chairman of the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee (SCLSC), replacing Justice Sanjiv Khanna – the seniormost judge of the top court after the Chief Justice of India (CJI).

Supreme Court Legal Services Committee (SCLSC)

  • Establishment: The Supreme Court Legal Services Committee was established under Section 3A of the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987.
  • Objective: To provide "free and competent legal services to the weaker sections of society," particularly in cases falling under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.
  • Composition of the Committee: According to Section 3A of the Act, the Central Authority, represented by the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA), is responsible for constituting the committee. 

oThe committee is comprised of a sitting Supreme Court judge, appointed as the chairman, along with other members possessing the specified experience and qualifications set by the Centre. Both the chairman and other members are nominated by the Chief Justice of India (CJI).

  • Nomination Process by the CJI: In the nomination process, the CJI plays a crucial role. The CJI not only nominates the chairman and other members of the committee but also has the authority to appoint the Secretary to the Committee. 
  • Articles 14 and 22(1): It obligatory for the State to ensure equality before the law and a legal system that promotes justice based on equal opportunity.
  • Free Legal Aid: Article 39A emphasizes the need for accessible justice, ensuring free legal aid for the poor and weaker sections of society.
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