Legal aid counsel system offices opened in 16 Telangana districts
Hyderabad, Feb 6: Offices of Legal Aid Defence Counsel System (LADCS) were inaugurated in 16 districts of Telangana on Monday.
Telangana High Court's Chief Justice and Patron-in-Chief, Telangana State Legal Services Authority Justice, Ujjal Bhuyan, and Telangana State Legal Services Authority Executive Chairman, Justice P. Naveen Rao, virtually inaugurated the offices from the High Court.
The Chief Justice stated that the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987, was framed by the Parliament in terms of the mandate of the Constitution to provide free legal aid to entitled and marginalised sections of the society.
At present, 14 Chief Legal Aid Defence Counsel, 14 Deputy Legal Aid Defence Counsel, and 20 Assistant Legal Aid Defence Counsel are appointed to the offices of LADCS in Telangana.
Chief Justice Bhuyan noted that the majority of the prisoners are undertrial prisoners and belong to marginalised and weaker sections of the society.
He expressed that the new system of LADCS will help the needy, poor and distressed to have access to justice in a more effective manner. He said this would be expanded to other districts in future.
The offices have been inaugurated in Adilabad, Karimnagar, Bhadradri-Kothagudem, Hanumakonda, Jangaon, Mahabubnagar, Nagarkurnool, Nalgonda, Nizamabad, Peddapalli, Sangareddy, Siddipet, Suryapet, Vikarabad, Warangal and Yadadri-Bhuvanagiri.
Justice Naveen Rao said that Legal Services Authorities are providing legal services/ legal aid to the accused/convicts who are in custody or otherwise falling within the eligibility criteria as specified under Section 12 of the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987. Legal services/legal aid is also being provided at pre-arrest, remand, trial, and appellate stages in criminal matters.
The judge stated that the new Legal Aid Defence Counsel System involves full time engagement of lawyers with suitable support systems and deals exclusively with the legal aid work in criminal matters in the district headquarters, where it is situated.