Constitution And Legal Aid
Every community on our planet has its own struggles, among them India. However, the poverty that exists in this country is something that isn't present anywhere else in the world. The majority of the individuals here are poor and uneducated. Even if they come to understand their rights as human beings, they have no opportunity to invoke legal action because, at most, they can afford to hire a group of legal professionals-something that can cost a fortune. The government tried to rectify this issue with Article 39-A by putting into place an addendum by way of the 42nd Amendment in 1976.
The right to free legal aid is supported under Articles 39A and 21 of the Indian constitution, with Article 21 stating that no person will be deprived of their life or personal liberty except by due process of law. Further, Article 39-A directs the state to guarantee that all citizens have access to professional legal representation regardless of their financial status.
The right to get justice begins at the point when a person is victimized due to an unlawful act.
In order to ensure that justice is done, people should have the right to be heard in court. The concept of a fair trial is often talked about in various ways. One of the most crucial factors that should be taken into account is the right to have access to legal representation. In a country like India, where there are many people who are not literate, access to legal aid is essential for ensuring that justice is done. We live in a world where natural justice is revered.
In a system of fair trials, all people are guaranteed an opportunity to defend themselves. Natural justice encompasses that very concept, as it guarantees everyone the right to be represented by someone who is familiar with the law.
One of the biggest problems in a country like India is illiteracy. As we already know, ignorantia juris non excusat, which is Latin for "ignorance of law, excuses no one." In India, where most people are not able to read and write and are still in the process of trying to gain an education from the government or from their local town schools, it's imperative that every citizen be represented by a lawyer who knows the law.
The problem is that many people greatly lack funds when it comes time to pay a lawyer for his expertise. This, unfortunately, results in missed opportunities for individuals whose cases could be won with the help of an attorney during trial proceedings. By virtue of professional ethics, advocates are supposed to take up the matter of anyone seeking their assistance without considering how much they are going to be paid or what the merit involved in the matter is. Yet, in this era where all ethics and virtues have been undervalued, no one can expect that advocates are any exception. Thus, nowadays, the motto of most professionals is to earn money.
Free legal aid, in the sense we mean it here, is the provision of services by lawyers on a pro bono basis for those who cannot afford legal representation. This is an important aspect of criminal law in India, where section 304(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPc), 1973 gives every citizen a statutory right to free legal services by a lawyer or group of lawyers if they are found guilty and unable to pay a fine.
The relevant provisions are contained in Article 39-A of the Constitution, which says that principles such as equal justice and free legal aid must be followed by any court set up in India. This right has been confirmed many times by several judges, including Justices V. R. Krishna Iyer and Bhagwati, working under the notion of judicial activism. As an advocate for and for the legal aid system in India, Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer (Judge of the Indian Supreme Court) has made a tremendous contribution as an advocate for and to the legal aid system in India.
In his report titled "Processionals Justice to the Poor", he goes into detail about actually giving justice to those who are poor, giving them access and rights to what only a legal aid lawyer can provide for all those desperately in need of help, guidance, or representation when navigating the judicial system. In 1971, Justice Bhagwati predicted that the future of legal aid would allow judges to more directly play an active role in criminal trials, altering the adversarial process for defendants and providing for the necessary equality between wealthy and poor citizens.
Due to a constitutional mandate, courts in India are required to offer free legal aid and thus have the power to go about awarding compensation for those who may have been subject to injustice. Other than having this right enshrined in law, people who need such help can seek representation through the Legal Services Authorities Act 1987, while lower courts are equipped with ten free services as well as free food and drinks according to Supreme Court guidelines. Although these initiatives date back over two decades ago now, the crucial role played by legal counsel in ensuring right-to-life has only served to grow over time.