Entitlement to Legal Services

Section 12 : Every person who has to file or defend a case shall be entitled to legal services under this Act if that person is:-

  1. a member of a Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe;

  2. a victim of trafficking in human beings or beggar as referred to in Article 23 of the Constitution;

  3. a woman or a child;

  4. a person with disability as defined in clause (i) of Section 2 of the persons with Disabilities (Equal opportunities, protection of rights and full participation) Act, 1995 (1 of 1996);

  5. a person under circumstances of undeserved want such as being a victim of a mass disaster, ethnic violence, caste atrocity, flood, drought, earthquake or industrial disaster; or

  6. an industrial workman, or

  7. in custody, including custody in a protective home with the meaning of clause (g) of Section 2 of the Immoral Traffic (prevention) Act, 1956 (104 of 1956) or in a Juvenile home within the meaning of clause (j) of Section 2 of the Juvenile Justice Act, 1986 (53 of 1986); or in a psychiatric hospital or psychiatric nursing home within the meaning of clause (g) of Section 2 of the Mental Health Act, 1987 (14 of 1987); or

  8. in receipt of annual income less than rupees nine thousand or such other higher amount as may be prescribed by the State Government,* if the case is before a court other than the Supreme Court, and less than rupees twelve thousand or such other higher amount as may be prescribed by the Central Government, if the case is before the Supreme Court.

Amendment made by the State Authority in the rules 

The upper limit of Annual Income of a person entitling him to legal services: Every person who has to file or defend a case and whose upper limit of annual income from all sources does not exceed Rs. 1,00,000/- (Rupees One Lakh only) shall be entitled to legal services, if the case is before a court other than the Supreme Court.

Section 13 : Entitlement to Legal Services :

(1) persons who satisfy all or any of the criteria specified above shall be entitled to receive legal services provided that the concerned Authority is satisfied that such person has a prima-facie case to prosecute or to defend.

(2) An affidavit made by a person as to his income may be regarded as sufficient for making him eligible to the entitlement of legal services under this Act unless the concerned Authority has reason to disbelieve such affidavit.