Golaghat, Jan. 27: The District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) has set up three legal aid clinics in three sub-divisions of the district recently.
These clinics are intended to work on the lines of primary health centres, with the objective to ensure that those living in villages and far-flung areas benefit from legal service institutions.
The clinics were opened in Negheriting Grant, Rangamati and Rajapukhuri villages in Golaghat, Bokakhat and Dhansiri sub-division respectively.
The move to open these clinics came after M.A. Ali, member secretary of the Assam State Legal Services authority, wrote to the legal services chairman mentioning that the executive chairman of the national legal services authority had proposed to set up legal aid clinics in one village of every sub-division of the state by January 24.
Each clinic will have two paralegal volunteers and one panel lawyer of the DLSA, Aliís letter said.
Besides providing assistance in filing and drafting application forms and petitions to avail benefits of government schemes, the para-legal volunteers will also help villagers interact with government offices for mandatory and statutory requirements like payment of taxes and renewal of ration cards and voter identity cards.
The legal aid clinics will also try to settle disputes relating to domestic problems, property rights and rights of inheritance through alternative dispute resolution techniques like lok adalats, conciliation and mediation.
Pradyut Madhab Dutta, a panel lawyer of the DLSA, said these clinics would act as a bridge between marginalised people and legal service institutions.
The DLSA will keep a close watch over the legal aid clinics and monitor their activities. The records kept in the clinics shall be verified at least once a month by the authority.
The DLSA may spend up to Rs 1,00,000 per year for each clinic and if the volume of work in any particular legal aid clinic demands for a higher spending, the state legal service authority may provide for more funds.