Re-examining the Delivery of Legal Aid in Mumbai

Vandita Morarka


A welfare state stresses that no one should be deprived of legal justice. Legal aid was first established in England and Wales as part of the postwar effort to create a welfare state for those too poor to afford basic services. India that claims to be a welfare state seeks to provide necessary legal aid service to the poor, to the helpless, to an individual unable to bear expenses to start and continue a legal battle for legal justice. Legal Aid in India is governed by the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 and various related regulations and State based legislations. A combination of governmental and nongovernmental efforts work towards increasing the incidence of legal aid. This paper analyses how the lack of awareness and a negative perception of legal aid in Mumbai has created a service delivery problem that needs intensive policy driven corrective measures for ensuring access to justice. The paper recommends solutions towards building a more robust legal aid delivery system.

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