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India Tele-Law touches a new milestone with 400K beneficiaries

Tele-Law reached a new milestone at the end of October with 400,000 beneficiaries receiving legal advice under this through Common Service Centres(CSCs ). Since the launch of the programme, a total of 195,000 recipients were logged in the last fiscal year, ending in March 2000. In a substantial increase, during the first seven months of this financial year, over 205,000 advisories have already been enabled.

Embarking on the “Digital India Vision” of the Government of India, the Department of Justice has harnessed emerging and indigenous digital platforms to accelerate and make access to justice a reality for all. To meet this objective, the tele-Law programme was launched to address cases at a pre-litigation stage. The Department of Justice partnered with NALSA and CSC e-Governance Service India Limited for mainstreaming legal aid to the marginalised communities through Common Services Centers (CSC).

Image credit: www.tele-law.in/static/csc-e-governance

CSC e-Governance Services India Limited, a Special Purpose Vehicle, has been set up by the Ministry of Electronics & IT under the Companies Act, 1956 to oversee the implementation of the CSC scheme. CSC Special Purpose Vehicle (CSC SPV) provides a centralised collaborative framework for delivery of services to citizens through CSCs, besides ensuring systemic viability and sustainability of the Scheme.

The Common Services Centers provide the last mile access to various e-governance services through digital connectivity to translate the dream of Digital India into a reality. A pan-India network, CSCs offer access to e-services, delivering essential government and public utility services, social welfare schemes, financial inclusion services, health care and agriculture services, apart from a host of B2C services. CSCs have also been trying to bridge the gaps in digital literacy and skills of rural citizens through a range of literacy initiatives focused on digital, financial and legal literacy and e-learning and skill development courses.

Per the initiative, tele-Law means the use of communications and information technology for the delivery of legal information and advice. This e-interaction between lawyers and people would be through the video-conferencing infrastructure available at the CSCs.

Under this programme, smart technology of video conferencing and telephone/instant calling facilities available in the vast network of Common Service Centres at the Panchayat level is being used to connect the indigent, down-trodden, vulnerable, unreached groups and communities with the Panel Lawyers for seeking timely and valuable legal advice.

Image credit: www.tele-law.in/static/overview-tele-law

India’s tele-Law programme is designed is to facilitate the delivery of legal advice through a panel of lawyers stationed at states’ Legal Services Authorities (SALSA) and CSC. The project connects citizens with lawyers through video conferencing facilities by the Para-Legal Volunteers stationed at identified 1800 panchayats.

Specifically designed to facilitate early detection, intervention and prevention of the legal problems, the tele-Law service is proactively outreached to groups and communities through a cadre of frontline volunteers provided by NALSA and CSC- e Gov. These grassroots groups have been additionally equipped with a mobile application to pre-register and schedule appointments of applicants during their field activity.

A dedicated pool of lawyers has been empanelled to provide continued legal advice and consultation to the beneficiaries. Enriching IEC has been uploaded on its public portal that may be accessed on https://www.tele-law.in. A separate Dashboard has been developed for capturing real-time data and the nature of advice rendered. In order to ensure district-level granularity in the near future, data is also being pushed to the PMO Prayas Portal.

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