Govt provides free legal aid to over 3 lakh people


DHAKA, April 27, 2018 (BSS) – The government through its different organizations including National Legal Aid Services Organization (NLASO) has provided free legal assistance to 3,00,598 people from 2009 to March, 2018.

“Of these, only NLASO has provided legal aid to 2,01,125 people. Of the total, 1,03,154 were women, 97,442 men and 529 were children. We have been able to help collect Taka 8,35,09,454 peacefully through mediation and provided legal assistance to 6,915 people through pre-case and post-case dispute resolution from July 2015 to March 2018,” Law Minister Anisul Huq told BSS.

The minister said these ahead of the National Legal Aid Day scheduled to be observed across the country on April 28.

“Awami League government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina formulated National Legal Aid Services Act in 2000 to provide legal aid at government’s cost to people unable to pay legal expenses. The prime minister also established a statutory body named National Legal Aid Services Organization (NLASO) in the same year,” he said.

“After coming to power again in 2009, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina again took initiatives to expedite the implementation of National Legal Aid Services Act, 2000, which remained neglected during the tenure of BNP-Jamaat alliance government. Legal aid committees were formed in all 64 districts led by district and session judges. Apart from districts, legal aid committees are working in Upazila and union level. We have legal aid committee at the apex court also,” he added.

According to the Supreme Court Legal Aid Office (SCLAO), since its inception on September 8, 2015, the office has provided legal advices to 3,019 people and provided legal assistance in lodging 771 cases and conducting the trials at government’s expense till March, 2018.

Two labour law aid cells established in Dhaka and Chattagram labour courts have provided legal aid to 10,427 people till now.

Moreover, to make people aware of the available legal aid services, the government from a cabinet meeting on January 29, 2013, declared April 28 as National Legal Aid Day.

This year too, the day will be observed accordingly. This year’s slogan of the day is, “Country is moving forward through development and rule of law, the whole Bangladesh is enjoying fruits of legal aid.”