When you apply for legal aid, you will require the following documents at the minimum:
- A proof of identification: Aadhar Card is most commonly accepted, but you can ask if your State’s authority accepts other proofs.
- An affidavit proving you are eligible for legal aid. For example, if you are claiming you are eligible because your income is below the level specified, then you will have to give an affidavit of your income, as proof.
Apart from the two documents given above, please ask your nearest Legal Authority Office for more details on the documents required, as the procedure varies across states.
You can apply for free legal aid in four ways:
- Online (Through the Website)
- Online (By Email)
- In-person (In Writing)
- In-person (Orally/Speaking directly to the authorities)
Online Procedure (Through the Website)
Step 1: You should log in on the National Legal Services Authority’s website here.
Step 2: You should fill in all the required details, which have been divided into six parts: Legal Aid Application, Legal Aid, Personal Details, Legal Aid Details, Case Details and Attach Document. For detailed instructions on filling the form, please see here.
Step 3: Once you have filled out the form, and attached the required documents as per your case, click on “Submit”.
Step 4: You can track the status of your application here.
Online Procedure (By Email)
You can send your application online to this email address. If you choose this option, ensure you add the necessary details, such as your name, gender, residential address, employment status, nationality, whether SC/ST (with proof in support), income per month (with affidavit), the case for which legal aid is required, reason for seeking legal aid, etc.
In-Person Procedure (In Writing)
Step 1: You should go to the front office of the nearest Legal Services Authority. You can approach NALSA anytime between Monday and Friday – from 9:30 am to 6 pm. The address of NALSA is 12/11, Jam Nagar House, New Delhi-110011. The other Legal Services Authorities in your state, district or taluk can also be approached within their office hours at their addresses which can be checked on their respective websites. You can access the website of your state’s Legal Services Authority through the list given here.
Step 2: You should fill up the ready-made form/application form that is available. You can also find this form online. For example, for Delhi, you can access the form here. You can also make an application in writing on a simple piece of paper with the necessary details such as your name, gender, residential address, employment status, nationality, whether SC/ST (with proof in support), income per month (with affidavit), the case for which legal aid is required, reason for seeking legal aid, etc.
Step 3: You should submit the filled-out form/application at either the authority physically, or post the application to the authority. They will guide you on the next steps to take, clarification or other documents required.
In-Person Procedure (Orally)
It is also possible to make your application orally – a paralegal volunteer or an officer will assist you in such cases at the front office of the legal service authority.
Once your application has been accepted, it will be processed and you will receive confirmation about whether or not you will receive legal aid.