Enhancing Legal Representation through Effective Legal Aid Mechanisms

The recent legal ruling has shed light on the critical need for improved legal aid mechanisms to ensure equal access to justice. The Court’s analysis delved into the challenges faced by legal aid institutions in providing competent representation, highlighting the key role of lawyers in ensuring effective legal assistance. Let’s delve deeper into the Court’s recommendations for enhancing legal representation and access to justice for all citizens.


  • Both the Trial Court and the High Court have thoroughly reviewed the evidence and material on record.
  • A meticulous examination led to the conclusion that the Petitioner should be convicted.
  • The Petitioner’s history as a habitual offender was taken into consideration.

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  • The petitioner’s counsel was appointed as amicus curiae for the petitioner in this matter.
  • This practice hinders advocates from offering commendable service as legal aid lawyers and amicus curiae.
  • The appointment was made by the Assistant Registrar of the Supreme Court on 3.12.2019.

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  • The right to legal representation must be effective and accessible to all, regardless of economic status.
  • The Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 was enacted to provide free and competent legal services to the weaker sections of society and ensure equal access to justice.
  • There is a concerning trend in the workings of legal aid institutions where advocates are not provided with necessary assistance to effectively represent their clients.
  • Legal aid institutions should provide advocates with the full record of a case for effective representation.
  • The Court is duty-bound to appoint an amicus curiae or refer the accused to the Legal Services Committee for representation if they come before the Court without legal representation.
  • The Secretary of the National Legal Services Authority must ensure that all concerned authorities under the 1987 Act make available all documents related to a matter to the legal aid counsel or amicus curiae, along with official translations.

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  • Documents to be provided to legal aid counsel include pleadings, affidavits, applications in civil proceedings, FIR, Charge Sheet, witness statements, record of trial proceedings, testimonies, and exhibits in criminal proceedings.
  • Change in status quo for better legal representation is expected.
  • Order to be served to National Legal Services Authority and State Legal Services Authorities for necessary action.
  • Special Leave Petition is dismissed.
  • Pending applications disposed of accordingly.
  • Legal aid counsel to be provided with all relevant records of the matter, including translations of vernacular documents.


Case Number: SLP(Crl) No.-000773 / 2020

Click here to read/download original judgement

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