Eligibility for Legal Aid

Last updated on Apr 8, 2022

If you want legal aid, you will need to go to a legal service authority. Once you approach the authority, they will check:


  • Whether you are eligible for legal aid. 

You are eligible based on two criteria:  – either based on who you are or as per the income you get. You only need to qualify for one of these criterias to be eligible for receiving legal aid.


  • Genuine nature of your case

After checking whether you are eligible for legal aid, the authority will then check  if you have a genuine case to prosecute or to defend1. This discretion lies with the authorities and they will take the final call on whether your case itself requires legal aid. There is no bar as to which kind of cases you can apply and not apply for. 


However, if certain conditions are fulfilled, your legal aid may be withdrawn. 


Persons who can apply for legal aid

The following persons can apply for legal aid irrespective of their income:(( Section 12,  Legal Services Authority Act, 1987)) :

  • A member of the scheduled castes or tribes;
  • A victim of human trafficking or a beggar;
  • Any disabled person, including persons who are mentally disabled(( Section 7 (4) (c), Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.));
  • A woman or child;
  • A victim of mass disaster, ethnic violence, caste atrocity, flood, drought, earthquake, industrial disaster and other cases of undeserved want;
  • An industrial workman;
  • Those in custody, including protective custody(( Section 2 (g), Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956.)), juvenile home(( The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.)), psychiatric hospital or psychiatric nursing home;(( Section (g) of Section 2 of the Mental Health Act, 1987.))
  • Any person facing a charge which might result in imprisonment(( Khatri II Vs. State of Bihar, (1981) 1SCC.)) 


Maximum Income Earned

A person receiving an annual income less than the amount as mentioned below((  FAQs, National Legal Service Authority, https://nalsa.gov.in/faqs.)) can apply for legal aid within their own State:

State Income Ceiling Limit
Andhra Pradesh Rs. 3,00,000/- 
Arunachal Pradesh Rs. 1,00,000/-
Assam Rs. 3, 00, 000/-
Bihar Rs. 1,50,000/-
Chhattisgarh Rs. 1,50,000/-
Goa Rs.3,00,000/-
Gujarat Rs.1,00,000/-
Haryana Rs. 3,00,000/-
Himachal Pradesh Rs. 3,00,000/-
Jammu & Kashmir Rs. 1,00,000/-
Jharkhand Rs. 3,00,000
Karnataka Rs. 1,00,000
Kerala Rs. 300,000
Madhya Pradesh Rs. 1,00,000
Maharashtra Rs. 3,00,000
Manipur Rs. 3,00,000
Meghalaya Rs. 1,00,000
Mizoram Rs. 25,000
Nagaland Rs. 1,00,000
Odisha Rs.3,00,000
Punjab Rs. 3,00,000
Rajasthan Rs. 1,50,000
Sikkim Rs. 3,00,000
Telangana Rs.1,00,000
Tamil Nadu Rs. 3,00,000
Tripura Rs. 1,50,000            
Uttar Pradesh Rs. 1,00,000
Uttarakhand Rs. 3,00,000
West Bengal Rs. 1,00,000
Andaman & Nicobar Islands Rs.3,00,000


Rs. 3,00,000


Dadra  & Nagar Haveli  Rs. 15,000
Daman & Diu Rs. 1,00,000
Lakshadweep Rs. 9,000
Delhi General – 1,00,000

Transgender – 2,00,000

Senior Citizen – 2,00,000

Puducherry Rs. 1,00,000

To prove your income, you can submit an affidavit as proof of income to the authorities. This affidavit will be scrutinized by the authorities and the discretion to allow your application lies with the authority.(( Section 13(2), Legal Services Authority Act, 1987.)) To make an affidavit, take the help of a lawyer.

  1. Section 13,  Legal Services Authority Act, 1987. []

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Related Resources

How to Apply for Legal Aid?

While applying for legal aid, you will require at least proof of identification and an affidavit proving you are eligible for legal aid.

Guide on Applying for Legal Aid

The Nyaaya Guide on Applying for Legal Aid helps citizens understand how to obtain legal services free-of-cost from Legal Services Authorities in India.

What is Free Legal Aid?

Free legal aid means providing legal services, free of cost, to certain sections of the society like a beggar, differently-abled person, etc., as and when required. This does not mean that anyone can go and ask for legal aid. You have to be eligible to apply for it.

Denial/Withdrawal of Legal Aid Services

After you fill out your application for legal aid, it can be denied or accepted. It can also be withdrawn at a later stage after the application has been accepted and legal aid has been provided.

Where do you go for Legal Aid

You can approach the State Legal Services Authorities, District Legal Services Authorities, Supreme Court Legal Services Committees and the High Court Legal Services Committees for applying for legal aid.

Legal Services

Legal services are any service with respect to a case or any other legal proceeding before any Court, authority or tribunal. Getting legal advice is also a part of legal service.