National Legal Services Authorities Act


Everyone is equal before the law. but unfortunately there are many instances where a certain section of the society does get discriminated. This can be racial or financial. To stop such differentiation based on the type of disputes, Lok Adalat is a parallel solution apart from Alternate Dispute Resolution for the resolution of the disputes set-up under National Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987.


The main motive of the act was to provide legal help to the economically weaker sections hence providing a strong legal side of justice to them through Lok Adalats. The act also ensures the opportunity for securing justice to every citizen and to ensure that the operation of the legal system promotes justice and equality. The act provides legal aid to poor, weak and marginalized section of the society for restoring their constitutional and legal rights.

There are 2 types of Lok Adalats namely Permanent and Temporary. Permanent Lok Adalats are available throughout and whenever there is a need but the temporary Lok Adalats are brought upon into existence after specific time intervals.

Concerned Authorities

There are four Authorities setup under this act which have different jurisdictions respectively. They’re as follows:

  1. National Legal Services Authority
  2. State Legal Services Authority
  3. District Legal Services Authority
  4. Taluk Legal Services Authority

As the names suggest, the authorities have been organized according to the different levels right from the Nation-wide level to Taluka level.

National Legal Services Authority: This authority handles these parameters as follows:

  1. Laying down policies and principles to make the legal services available to the public.
  2. Framing the economical schemes in the most effective way.
  3. Utilizing the funds by allocating them appropriately to other lower authorities.
  4. Taking necessary steps with respect to social justice litigation which could deal with consumer, environmental, or any other protection with respect to weaker sections.
  5. Encouraging dispute resolution through alternate dispute resolution systems.
  6. Undertaking and promoting research in the field of legal services.
  7. Monitor and evaluate implementation of legal aid programmes at specific intervals.

State Legal Services Authority: This authority handles these parameters at a State Level as follows:

  1. It is the duty of State Authority implement the policies and instructions laid down by the National Authority.
  2. Giving legal services to people falling under the respective criteria.
  3. Conducting Lok Adalats for High Court cases.
  4. Undertaking preventive and strategic legal aid programs
  5. Consulting National Authority during performance of the functions.

District Legal Services Authority: This authority handles these parameters at District Level as follows:

  1. The functions should be performed by the District Authority which are delegated by the State Authority time to time.
  2. Co-ordinating the Taluk Committee and other legal service committees in the district.
  3. Establishing Lok Adalats within the district.
  4. Performing functions fixed by State Authority.

Taluk Legal Services Authority: The functions of this authority are relatively at a narrow level:

  1. Co-ordinating legal services in the taluk level.
  2. Establishing Lok Adalats within the taluk.
  3. Performing functions assigned by Taluk Authority.


The authorities are set-up at different levels according to its competent jurisdiction. The main motive to organise the Lok Adalats is free legal aid and speedy justice to the weaker sections of the society. The act ensures that there is some uniformity in access to justice to every citizen of the society. The Lok Adalats also allows the disputed parties to take legal help from remote areas who may not have the courts’ accessibility easily. This act provides conciliation to the parties through Adalats.

Article by Mr. Saurabh Pawar in June, 2021 while interning at the Chambers of Advocate Shankarlal Raheja.

Disclaimer: The views herein are personal and while careful attention has been given to ensure that the information is accurate the author assumes no liability or responsibility for any reliance thereon. This article is merely an information-sharing activity and is not a substitute for legal advice. It must be noted that we shall not be liable for any loss or damage caused due to any reliance thereof.