Pursuant to the Article 39 A of the Constitution, free and competent Legal Services are being provided in the State to the eligible persons of the poor downtrodden and weaker sections of the Society.The provision of Legal Services is to secure that the operation of the Legal System promotes justice on a basis of equal opportunity, to provide free legal aid to ensure that opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizen by reason of economic or other disabilities. Accordingly the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 (Act No.39 of 1987) came into force on 09-09-1995. As per Sec. 12 of the said Act, the following categories of persons are entitled for free and competent legal services from the legal services institutions.
a). a member of a Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe;
b). a victim of trafficking in human being or beggar as referred to in Article 23 of the Constitution;
c). a woman or a child;
d). a person with disability as defined in clause (i) of Section 2 of the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995.
e). a person under circumstances of undeserved want such as being a victim of a mass disaster, ethnic violence, caste atrocity, flood, drought, earthquake or industrial disaster; or
f). an industrial workman; or
in custody, including custody in a protective home within the meaning of Clause(g) of Section 2 of the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956(104 of 1956) or in a juvenile home within the meaning of Clause(j) of Section 2 of the Juvenile Justice Act, 1986 (53 of 1986) or in a psychiatric hospital or psychiatric nursing home within the meaning of Clause (g) of Section 2 of the Mental Health Act, 1987 (14 of 1987); or
the persons whose annual income does not exceed Rs. 1,00,000/- are also entitled for legal services if they does not come under any of the above categories.
The persons entitled for Legal Services can avail the legal Services in the following modes of Regulation 25 of A.P. State Legal Services Authority Regulations 1996:-
a). legal advice by a legal practitioner on the list of legal practitioners maintained by the Taluk Committee, the District Authority and the High Court Committee, or of any voluntary organization sponsored and encouraged by the State Authority.
b). Legal Services in the form of----
c). representation of an entitled person by a legal practitioner on the list in the legal proceedings;
d). payment to the entitled person or on his behalf-
e). of Court fee;
f). of process fee and expenses of witnesses;
g). of charges for preparation of paper books, including charges for Printing and translation of documents;
h). of charges for the supply of certified copies of judgment, decrees, orders and other documents;
i). of any amount on any other account in any legal proceedings.
The entitled persons can avail legal services to file cases on their behalf or to defend themselves before themselves in the cases filed against them before any Court. The person seeking legal aid can apply for legal services in the following proforma to any of the legal services institutions where they need legal service.