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Tele-law service to be expanded across the country: Law Min

Tele-law service to be expanded across the country: Law Min

New Delhi, Feb 19 (PTI) Giving push to 'Digital India', Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad Tuesday announced that 'tele-law' -- an online legal advice and consultation service, especially for people living in far-flung areas, will be expanded across the country, and directed officials to begin work on it. At present, the service from the government is available across 11 states -- Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir and all Northeastern states -- through Common Service Centres (CSCs). The law and justice minister Tuesday also launched a mobile app for the 'tele-law' service and its dashboard (to monitor the usage of the app), along with an app Nyaya Bandhu for pro bono legal services, at an event held at the Vigyan Bhawan here. "Digital India is an initiative to create an inclusive India and bridge the divide between the digital haves and digital have-nots. It is an attempt to transform India through the power of technology," Prasad said. CSC e-Governance Services India's CEO Dinesh Tyagi said the pilot project of 'tele-law' service was launched in 2017. Till January this year, it has resulted in enabling legal advice to 49,192 beneficiaries that include 36,526 (women), 7049 (SC) and 13970 (ST) in the 11 states, the ministry said. Prasad said, there are 3.19 lakh CSCs across the country out of which 2.15 lakh are in gram panchayats. "Nearly 50,000 people have already benefited from the service from various states... And, today I am announcing that it will be expanded to rest of the country," he said, and directed officials to begin work on it. Through 'tele-law', people in search of legal advice in the remotest corners of the country are connected to lawyers anywhere through video conferencing. This e-interaction between lawyers and people is made though video-conferencing infrastructure available at CSCs. The Law Ministry officials said, the online legal advice and consultation service is to benefit people living in far-flung and remote corners of the country, and the mobile application has been developed to connect Para Legal Volunteers (PLVs) with people through Village Level entrepreneur (VLEs) at the CSC. "The app will enable PLVs to perform on field preregistration of cases with a facility to seek appointment from a lawyer on preferred date and time, in coordination with VLEs. The application will benefit 73,000 PLVs of National Legal Service Authority (NLSA) and State Legal Services Authorities (SLSAs) in the country who will be associated under 'tele-law' service," the ministry said in a statement. On the Nyaya Bandhu app, Prasad cautioned that selection must be made judiciously to bring such lawyers on board, who genuinely wish to work pro bono and "not to seek publicity". The minister also shared that the number of rural BPOs running in the country has increased to 258. The places include, Guwahati, Patna, Kanpur and Barielly, he said. PTI KND RCJ