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Rules, Regulations




Supreme Court Legal Services Committee Regulations, 1996

(Vide G.S.R.33369E), DATED 26TH July, 1996 published in the Gazette of India,,S.3(ii) dated 26.7.1996)

In exercise of the powers conferred by Section 29 of the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987, the Central Authority hereby makes the following regulations, namely:-

1. :: Short Title & Commencement :: 11. :: Application for legal services ::
2. :: Definitions :: 12. :: Disposal of applications ::
3. :: General effect of vesting :: 13. :: Modes of Legal Services ::
4. :: The term of office & other conditions relating thereto of the members of the Committee :: 14. :: Legal Services not to be provided in certain cases ::
5. :: Powers and functions of the Committee  :: 15. :: Legal Services may be granted in certain cases  ::
6. :: Functions and powers of the Chairman  :: 16. :: Honorarium payable to legal service advocate ::
7. :: Terms & conditions of service of the Secretary :: 17. :: Duties of aided person  ::
8. :: Functions & powers of the Secretary :: 18. :: Withdrawal of legal services ::
9. :: Meetings of the Committee  :: 19. :: Affidavit ::
10. :: Funds, audit & accounts of the Committee ::  







Meetings of the Committee
  1. The committee shall meet at least once in three months on such date, and at such place as the Chairman may direct.

  2. The Chairman shall preside over the meetings of the Committee and in the absence of the Chairman, a person chosen by the members present from amongst themselves shall preside over the meetings of the Committee.

  3. The minutes of the proceedings of each meeting shall be truly and faithfully maintained by the Secretary and such minutes shall be open to inspection at all reasonable times by the members of the Committee. A copy of the minutes shall, as soon as may be, after the meeting, be forwarded to the Executive Chairman of the Central Authority.

  4. The quorum for the meeting shall be four including the Chairman.

  5. All questions which come up before any meeting of the Committee shall be decided by a majority of votes of the members present and voting, and in case of a tie, the Chairman or the person presiding shall have the right to exercise a second or casting vote.TOP

10. Funds, audit and accounts of the Committee:-
  1. The Committee shall maintain a Fund to be called Supreme Court Legal Services Committee Fund to which shall be credited.,-

    1. such amounts as may be allocated and granted to it by the Central Authority;

    2. all such amounts received by the Committee by way of donations;

    3. all such amounts by way of costs, charges and expenses recovered from the persons to whom legal service is provided or the opposite party.

  2. All the amounts credited to the said Fund, shall be deposited in a nationalised bank.

    Explanation:- In the sub-regulation “nationalised bank” means a corresponding new bank as defined in the Banking Companies (Acquisition and Transfer of Undertakings) Act, 1970 and the Banking Companies (Acquisitions and Transfer on Undertakings) Act, 1980.

  3. For the purpose of meetings incidental minor charges, such as Court-fee stamps and expenditure necessary for obtaining copies of documents etc; a permanent advance of Rupees two thousand five hundred shall be placed at the disposal of the Secretary of the Committee.

  4. All expenditure on legal service, accommodation and staff of the Committee as also expenditure necessary for carrying out the various functions of the Committee shall be met out of the Funds of the Committee and in accordance with the prior approval of the Chairman.

  5. The funds of the Committee may be utilised for meeting the expense incurred on or incidental to travels undertaken by the Chairman or other members of the Committee or the Secretary in connection with legal services activities. The travelling allowance and the dearness allowance payable to the Chairman, the ex-officio members and the Secretary shall be such as to which they are entitled by virtue of their respective Officers held.

  6. The Secretary of the Committee and one member of the Committee designated by the Chairman for this purpose shall jointly operate the bank accounts of the Committee in accordance with the directions of the Chairman.

  7. The Committee shall cause to be kept and maintained true and correct accounts of all receipts and disbursements and furnish quarterly returns to the Central Authority.

  8. The accounts of the Committee shall be audited annually by a qualified Auditor and submitted to the Central Authority.TOP

11. Application for legal services
  1. Any person deserving legal service for bringing or defending any action in the Supreme Court may make an application in writing in that behalf. However, if the applicant is illiterate or is not in a position to write, the Secretary or an officer of the Committee shall record his verbal submissions and obtain his thumb impression/signature on the record and such record will be treated as his application.

  2. The Committee shall maintain a register of applications wherein all applications for legal service shall be entered and registered date wise and the action taken on such applications shall be noted against the entry relating to such applications.TOP

12. Disposal of applications
  1. On receipt of an application for legal service mentioned in Regulations 11, the Secretary shall first cause the eligibility of the applicant as per the provisions of the Act read with rules, examined and determined.

  2. If the applicant satisfies the eligibility criteria, the Secretary shall proceed to examine the merit of his application. For examining the merits of the application, the Secretary may take the assistance of legal services advocates or other advocates willing to provide free legal advice. The Secretary may also take the advice of the Legal Service Counsel-cum-Consultant employed by the Committee. The Secretary shall not be precluded from seeking more than one opinion if any particular case requires in-depth examination.

  3. In case the applicant satisfies the eligibility criterion and also has merit in his application, the Secretary shall proceed to decide the mode of legal service.

  4. An application for the grant of legal services in any matter if it is not found fit may be rejected, for the reasons to be recorded in writing, by the Secretary.

  5. In case of refusal for the grant of legal services, the Secretary shall inform the applicant in writing of such refusal.

  6. The applicant whose application for grant of legal services has been rejected may prefer an appeal before the Chairman for a decision.TOP

13. Modes of Legal Services -

Legal Services to be provided may include any one or more of the following:-

  1. payment of court-fees, process fees and all other charges payable or incurred in connection with any legal proceedings;

  2. charges for drafting, preparing and filling of any legal proceedings and representation by a legal practitioner in legal proceedings;

  3. cost of obtaining and supply of certified copies of judgments, orders and other documents in legal proceedings;

  4. cost of preparation of paper book (including paper, printing and translation of documents) in legal proceedings and expenses incidental thereto.TOP


14. Legal Services not to be provided in certain cases -

Legal services shall not be given in the following cases, namely:-

  1. Proceedings wholly or partly in respect of -

    1. defamations; or

    2. malicious prosecution; or

    3. a person charged with contempt of court proceedings; and

    4. perjury.

  2. Proceedings relating to any election

  3. Proceedings incidental to any proceedings referred to in sub-regulations (1) And (2).

  4. Proceedings in respect of offences where the fine imposed is not more than Rs.50/-

  5. Proceedings in respect of economic offences and offences against social laws, such as, the Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955, and the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 unless in such cases the aid is sought by the victim:

    Provided that the Chairman may in an appropriate case grant legal services even in such proceedings.

  6. Where a person seeking legal services,-

    1. is a concerned with the proceedings only in a representative or official capacity; or

    2. if a formal party to the proceedings, not materially concerned in the outcome of the proceedings and his interests are not likely to be prejudiced on account of the absence of proper representation.TOP

15. Legal Services may be granted in certain cases -

Irrespective of the means test, legal service may be granted -

  1. in cases of great public importance; or

  2. in a special case, reasons for which to be recorded in writing, is considered otherwise deserving of legal services.TOP


16. Honorarium payable to legal service advocate -
  1. The legal service advocate shall be paid such honorarium as may be fixed by the Committee.

  2. No legal service advocate to whom any case is assigned either for legal advice or for legal services shall receive any fee or remuneration whether in cash or in kind or any other advantage, monetary or otherwise, from the aided person or from any other person on his behalf.

  3. The legal service advocate who has completed his assignment, shall submit a statement showing the honorarium due to him together with the report of the work done in connection with the legal proceeding conducted by him on behalf of the aided person, to the Secretary of the Committee, who shall, after due scrutiny sanctions the fee and expenses payable to him. It will, however, be open to the legal service advocate to waive the honorarium wholly or partially. In case of any dispute on the quantum payable to the legal service advocate, the matter shall be placed before the Chairman for decision.TOP

17. Duties of aided person -
  1. A person seeking legal services shall comply with any requisition or direction that may be made upon him by the Secretary of the Committee or any of its members from the date the application for legal services is made till he enjoys the legal services granted to him.

  2. Every such person shall execute an undertaking in the form annexed hereto that in the event of the court passing a decree or order in his favour awarding costs to him or other monetary benefit or advantage, to repay by way of reimbursement to the Committee all costs, charges and expenses incurred by the Committee in giving him legal service. For effecting such reimbursement, he shall authorise the Secretary of the Committee. The costs, charges and expenses so recovered shall be credited to the Fund of the Committee.

  3. Every aided person or his representative shall attend the office of the Committee as and when required by the Committee or by the legal service advocate rendering legal aid to him and shall furnish full and true information and shall make full disclosure to the legal service advocate concerned and shall attend the court, as and when required, at his own expense.TOP

18. Withdrawal of legal services
  1. The Committee may either on its own motion or otherwise withdraw legal services granted to any aided person in the following circumstances, namely:-

    1. in the event of it being found that the aided person was possessed of sufficient means or that he obtained legal service by misrepresentation or fraud;

    2. in the event of any material change in the circumstances of the aided person;

    3. in the event of any misconduct, misdemeanor or negligence on the part of the aided person in the course of receiving legal service;

    4. in the event of the aided person not co-operating with the Committee or with the legal service advocate assigned by the Committee;

    5. in the event of the aided person engaging a legal practitioner other than the one assigned by the Committee;

    6. in the event of death of the aided person, except in the case of civil proceedings where the right or liability survives;

    7. in the event of the application for legal service or the matter in question is found to be an abuse of the process of law or of legal services:

      Provided that legal service shall not be withdrawn without giving due notice thereof to the aided person or to his legal representatives in the event of his death, to show cause as to why the legal service should not be withdrawn.

  2. Where the legal services are withdrawn on the grounds set out in clause (a) of sub-regulation (1) above, the Committee shall be entitled to recover from the aided person the amount of legal service granted to him.TOP

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