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Role of NGOs in Para Legal Services in State of J&K

What is NGO?

Non-governmental organizations—also called non-governmental or non-government organizations—commonly referred to as NGOs, are usually non-profit and independent of governments and international governmental organizations (though often funded by governments) that are active in humanitarian, educational, health care, public policy, social, human rights, environmental, and other areas to effect changes according to their objectives. They are thus a subgroup of all organizations founded by citizens, which include clubs and other associations that provide services, benefits, and premises.

What is the role of NGO’s in Para Legal Services?

The role of NGO’s nowadays is very significant and effective. The NGO’s are coming forward to help the poor and indigent litigants, who on their own cannot afford Legal Services because of Economic, Social or other reasons. These NGO’s work in coordination with the Legal Services Institutions at the Centre, State, District or Tehsil level in order to provide free legal services to these poor and indigent litigants so that Justice can be achieved.

Section 5 of the State Legal Services Authority Act:

It says that the State Legal Services Authority has to work in coordination with other agencies and NGO’s for providing free legal services subject to the directions of the Government.

Rule 7 sub-rule (5) and (6) of the J&K State Legal Services Authority (free and competent) regulations, 2010:

Sub-rule (5): If the applicant is not covered under the categories mentioned in section 12, he or she shall be advised to seek assistance from any other body or person rendering free legal services either voluntarily or under any other scheme.

Sub-rule (6): The Legal Services Institution shall maintain a list of such agencies, institutions or persons who have expressed willingness to render free legal services.

Under these rules those NGO’s who provide free legal services to the poor and indigent person is to be added/enrolled in the list so that the applicant can reach to these NGO’s for availing free legal services, if he/she is denied free legal services under J&K State Legal Services Authority Act.

It is only because of these NGO’s (providing free legal services) that the applicants who are poor, indigent, weaker sections of the society like women and child, vulnerable people, who get represented in the court of law for agitating their grievances.

Once Martin Luther King, Junior said “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”, so if people don’t get represented in the court of law because of their economic status, it leads to injustice, and because of which these NGO’s work for helping these persons to get their grievances resolved in the court of law by providing them free legal services.

Free Legal Services includes:

1. Counsel’s Fee;
2. Court Fee;
3. Process Fee;
4. Expenses of Witness;
5. Charges for scribing of plaints and written complaints.

But it may vary from organization to organization, depending upon their capacity and resources.

It would be correct to say that in today's world these NGO's have a very important, vital and effective role in providing free legal or Para legal services to the indigent or poor people.

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