This article is prepared by Arshi Hayat Gangohi.
Supreme Court Middle Income Group Legal Aid Society offered legal Aid to the middle income group citizens whose gross income is not exceeding Rs. 60,000/- p.m or Rs.7,50,000/.
This scheme is known as “SUPREME COURT MIDDLE INCOME GROUP LEGAL AID SCHEME”.
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE SOCIETY
The scheme is self-supporting and the first Executive Committee contribute the initial capital of the scheme.
Chief justice of India is the patron of chief of this executive committee and the under the Rules and Regulations of the Society, the Chief Justice of India nominate a sitting judge of the Supreme Court as the President and the Attorney General of India is the Ex-Officio Vice President of the Society.
Nine Members of the Executive Committee including the Secretary and the Treasurer are the members of the Executive Committee for a period of three years. The Hon’ble Chief Justice of India in consultation with the President of the Society can nominate the Secretary and the Treasurer of the Society from amongst the members of the Executive Committee.
PANEL OF ADVOCATES
Panel of Advocated includes advocates and Advocate-On-Record. There should be one Advocate who know the regional language in which the work is conducted in the court below. This panel provide the legal aid to desirous persons who wants to avail free legal Aid under this Scheme. The panel Advocates abide by the terms and conditions of the Scheme upon assignment of a case under the Scheme.
The applicant may indicate any 3 names both in relation to the Advocate-On-Record or the arguing Counsel or the Senior Counsel as the case may be in the order of preference from out of the panel maintained by Society.
The Society would attempt to honour the choice indicated. However, the final right to assign the papers of the applicant under the Scheme to any Advocate-On-Record or the arguing Counsel or Senior Counsel will remain with the Supreme Court Middle Income Group Legal Aid Society.
PROCEDURE TO APPLY FOR LEGAL AID UNDER THIS SCHEME
- The Scheme applicable for case intended to be filed in Supreme Court.
- The rates of fee payable to an Advocate or to a Senior Advocate (if engaged at the request of the litigant) will be such as indicated in the Schedule appended to this Scheme as applicable from time to time. (see schedule at the end)
- Every person who desires to avail the services of an Advocate empanelled under the Scheme will have to approach the Secretary of the Scheme by filing an application in the prescribed form annexed hereto along with the relevant documents.
- As soon as the papers are received they would be assigned to the Advocate-On-Record of the choice indicated by an applicant upon his request under the scheme. In case the learned Advocate after perusing them opines that this is not a fit case for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court, then the applicant will not be entitled to get the benefit of the Scheme.
- Upon such as endorsement being made either upon the case papers or in any accompanying letter, the Supreme Court Middle Income Group Legal Aid Society shall return the papers forthwith to the applicant and deduct a sum of Rs.750/- only towards service charges.
- The balance amount of service charges and the amounts which may have been deposited by the applicant with the Committee towards appropriation as fee and all expenses in the conduct of the case will be refunded.
- If the learned Advocate-On-Record after examining the matter is satisfied that it is a fit case to be proceeded with, then the Middle Income Group Legal Aid Society will proceed to take the view that an applicant is entitled to legal aid. The view expressed by the Learned Advocate-On-Record will be final in so far as the eligibility of the applicant for obtaining the benefit of the Scheme is concerned.
- Any intending litigant desirous of availing the benefit of the Scheme shall have to fill up the form prescribed and accept all the terms and conditions contained therein. The proforma shall also contain a schedule of fee and expenses.
- A sum of Rs.500/- shall be payable to the Supreme Court Middle Income Group Legal Aid Society (SCMIGLAS) as service charges.
- The schedule shall indicate the fee payable for various items of work and shall also indicate the Court fees and the approximate expenses for preparation of the Court record. The applicant shall have to deposit the fee indicated by the Secretary, which will be in accordance with the schedule attached to the Scheme.
- Secretary, will register the case under the MIG Legal Aid Scheme and proceed to forward the papers to the Advocate-On-Record/Arguing Counsel/Senior Counsel on the panel for opinion.
- In relation to the approximate expenses for preparation of the Court record, the Secretary will upon a perusal of the papers determine as to what would be the approximate amount necessary for the purpose of such preparation of the Court record, and in accordance with the schedule indicate the same to the applicant.
- At the time of handling over the case papers, the applicant will have to make payment of the estimated fee, expenses that are indicated by the Secretary as well as a sum of Rs.750/-.
- The amount indicated by the Secretary on the basis of the estimate details shall be deposited by the applicant in cash or by way of a Bank Draft. In the event of the learned Advocate taking the view that the case is not fit one for an appeal to the Supreme Court, then the entire amount after deduction Rs.750/- towards minimum service charges of the Committee shall be refunded to the applicant by way of cheque.
- The initial expenses for printing of forms and other office expenses would be borne by initial corpus of the Scheme.
Documents required from the litigants in approaching the Supreme Court
The applicants are required to submit the applications forms to the MIG Society alongwith full documentations. For instance,
- if he / she seeks to file an appeal against the order of the High Court, he/ she is required to submit a certified copy of the order of the High Court, Petition copy filed by him/her in the High Court, copies of the Lower Court judgements/order and other relevant documents. If these are in a language other than English, then translated copies.
- On the assigning of a case to an Advocate under the Scheme the intending litigant will be directed to deposit with the Society the fee and expenses as per schedule as assessed by the Secretary. The payment to the Advocate or the service charges payable to the Scheme as stated in the schedule shall be in cash or bank draft.
COMPLAINT AGAINST THE ADVOCATE
Once the case is assigned to an Advocate it is the responsibility of the Advocate to deal with the matter as he/she deems fit in the interest of the client and the Advocate is required to communicate directly with the litigant and the Society will not monitor assignment and final disposal of the matter. However, the Society will intercede upon the receipt of a complaint in writing.
After a complaint is received by the Society from the litigant and/ or the concerned Advocate against the litigant / Advocate then the Committee after enquiry may take such action as is deemed fit and necessary.
If the Advocate who is appointed under the Scheme is found negligent in the conduct of the case entrusted to him, then he will be required to return the brief together with the fee which may have been received by him from the applicant under the Scheme.
The Society would not be responsible for the negligent conduct of the case but the entire responsibility will that be of the Advocate vis-a-vis the client. The name of the Advocate would however, be struck off from the panel prepared under the Scheme.
You can approach this society thorough this email address- [email protected]
Some High court also started this scheme for those who intends to file case in these High courts. For instance, Allahabad High Court and Patna High Court have this society.
LEGAL AID SECTION
This section of the lawmatics is started to provide every information to avail free legal aid in India and the procedure of every institution, organization, department, society, who provide free legal aid.
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