“Tele-law”, a scheme under which 1,000 trained volunteers will assist residents of rural areas in reaching legal experts via video conferencing, was launched on Sunday.
The assistance will be given from 500 Common Service Centres in the first phase, where a Para Legal Volunteer (PLV) — the first point of contact for the villagers — will connect the villagers to lawyers located elsewhere in the state after understanding their cases, an official statement from the Law and Justice Ministry said.
The scheme, a joint effort of the Law and Justice and Electronics and Information Technology Ministries, will also impart training to 1,000 women to act as PLVs.
“The aim is to promote women entrepreneurship and empowerment and ensure women participation. The selected PLVs will also be provided with relevant training to fulfil their responsibilities effectively,” said the statement.
Ravi Shankar Prasad, who heads both ministries, said “Tele-Law” will fulfil their commitment to ensure access to justice and empowerment of the poor.
“The Common Services Centres and Para Legal Volunteers will offer easy legal advice to litigants in rural India making them digitally and financially inclusive,” he said.
The scheme will be launched across 500 centres in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar on a pilot basis at the panchayat-level in the first phase and will be rolled out on national-level soon.
PLVs, at the village centre, will not only help the applicant but also track the progress of the applicants’ cases and grievances and maintain a record. CSCs can also be connected to law school clinics, District Legal Service Authorities, voluntary service providers and NGOs working on legal aid.
This scheme comes as a continuation to the Access to Justice Project for Marginalised Persons which is being implemented by the Department of Law and Justice, and the United Nation Development Programme.