Article 39A of the Constitution of India define legal aid. It means give free legal services to the poor and needy people who can not afford the service of a lawyer for the conduct of the case in any court. Legal aid ensure that no one is deprived of professional advice and help because of lake of fund. The main object of the legal aid is to provide equal justice to the poor people. Legal aid should be available to the poor and illiterate who can not access to courts. One need not be a litigant to seek aid by means of legal aid.
Importance of Legal aid :- Constitution of India Give importance to rule of law. It is a part of basic structure of the constitution of India and also natural justice. Free legal aid to the poor and illiterate People has been held to be necessary of the rule of law. The provision of Legal aid are based on humanitarian considerations and the main. Free legal aid is beneficial to the poor persons and has been instituted with the noble purpose.
Case :- In Suk Das V/S Union Territory of Arunachal Pradesh
In this case held that the need of the creating the legal awareness to the poor as the don’t know their rights in India most of people are living in rural areas are illiterates and they are not aware of the rights. Even literate people do not know what are the rights under the law. It is the absence of legal awareness they are not approaching a lawyer of consultation and advise. That’s why promotion of legal literacy has always been recognized as one of the principal items of the program of the legal aid movement in the country.
Who are entitled for free Legal Aid :- Those persons who have annual income of less than the amount prescribed by the state government , if the case is before any court other than the supreme court and less than Rs. 5 lakhs, if the case is before the supreme court are eligible for free legal aid. A member of a scheduled caste or scheduled tribe, A victim of trafficking in human beings or beggar as referred to in Article 23 0f the constitution, A women or child, A mentally ill or disabled person, An industrial workman, A victim of a mass disaster ethnic violence, caste atrocity, flood, drought, earthquake or industrial disaster, they all are entitled to free legal aid.
Legal aid is not a charity and bounty, but it is an obligation of the state and right of the citizens of the India. The prime object of the state should be equal justice for all. The legal aid movement has not achieved its goal. There is a wide gap between the goal set. The major obstacle to the legal aid movement in India is the lack of legal awareness. People are still not aware of their basic rights due to which the legal aid movement has not achieved good yet.