The Department of Justice, Ministry of Law and Justice commemorated the milestone of crossing 9 lakh beneficiaries under its Tele-Law programme recently.
What is Tele-Law?
- Tele-Law means the use of communications and information technology for the delivery of legal information and advice.
- This e-interaction between lawyers and people would be through the video-conferencing infrastructure available at the CSCs.
- The concept of Tele-Law is to facilitate delivery of legal advice through a panel of lawyers stationed at the state Legal Services Authorities (SALSA) and CSC.
About Tele-Law programme
- The Tele-Law initiative was launched on April 20, 2017 in collaboration with The Department of Justice, Ministry of Law and Justice & the Ministry of Electronics & IT (MeitY) with an aim to provide legal advice in the villages through CSCs.
- A Pilot project started in 1800 CSCs in 11 States in UP, Bihar, North Eastern States and UT of Jammu and Kashmir.
- The programme connects the disadvantaged and needy seeking legal advice from Panel Lawyers through the e-interface platform available in Common Service Centres(CSC).
- The Department of Justice has partnered with NALSA and CSC e-Governance Service India Limited(of MeitY) for mainstreaming legal aid to the marginalised communities through Common Services Center (CSC).
- In 2019, 115 Aspirational Districts were added taking the number of CSCs to 29,860.
- As of 2021, Tele-Law is operational in 633 districts in 34 States/UTs covering 50,000 CSCs.
- To ensure seamless penetration in remote geographical hinterlands for better beneficiary coverage, the Department of Justice has also developed Tele-Law Mobile App for PLVs.
- Under this programme, smart technology of video conferencing, telephone /instant calling facilities are available at the vast network of Common Service Centres at the Panchayat level.
- A dedicated website on Tele-Law is maintained by the Department of Justice which has been designed with support from CSC eGovernance and has been translated into 22 languages.
- Tele-law programme’s success is dependent on the working of field functionaries comprising Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLEs), Para Legal Volunteers (PLVs), State Coordinators and Panel Lawyers.
- Tele-Law is rightly moving in the direction of legal empowerment and in connecting the last mile through technology which is well documented in the booklet “Voices of the Beneficiaries”.
- Integrating smart technology through tele and video conferencing, Tele Law has mainstreamed legal aid to the marginalized by connecting them with a dedicated pool of Panel Lawyers either free of cost if so entitled or at nominal fees.
- This medium was extensively used by common citizens for asserting their rights and entitlements during the Covid Pandemic.
- Tele Law service enables anyone to seek legal advice without wasting precious time and money.
- The service is free for those who are eligible for free legal Aid as mentioned under Section 12 of Legal Services Authority Act, 1987.
- For all others a nominal fee of INR 30 Rs is charged.