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SC Directs SLSAs To Send Complete Records Of Cases In Digital Form

The top court also directed that the concerned SLSA or the High Court Legal Services Committee must also share other relevant material and documents such as Custody Certificate disclosing the length of custody undergone by the accused.

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In a bid to ensure qualitative assistance in legal aid matters, the Supreme Court has issued directions asking the State Legal Services Authorities (SLSAs) to send complete records of the cases in digital form as and when sought.

A bench of Justices Uday Umesh Lalit and S Ravindra Bhat passed the directions while dealing with a case in which amicus curiae was not provided with the record in a criminal matter including the depositions of witnesses by the Rajasthan SLSA.

"We have generally observed similar situations of incomplete record being furnished to the learned counsel from the panel of Amicus Curiae or those engaged by the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee, which impels us to issue directions to ensure good and qualitative assistance in legal aid matters:

"As and when any legal assistance either through the panel of amicus curiae maintained by the Registry of this Court or through the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee is sought for, complete record of the case in digital form must be sent by the State Legal Services Authority or the High Court Legal Services Committee," the bench said.

The top court also directed that the concerned SLSA or the High Court Legal Services Committee must also share other relevant material and documents such as Custody Certificate disclosing the length of custody undergone by the accused.

"The State Legal Services Authority or the High Court Legal Services Committee (LSC) must thus ensure that the entire material including the record and documents as stated above are shared with the Supreme Court LSC the amicus curiae Cell in the Registry of this Court so that adequate representation on behalf of the concerned accused is facilitated," the bench said.

It further said that whenever matters are received from the SLSA or the HC LSC, the Amicus Curiae Cell in the Registry of this Court or the Supreme Court LSC must ensure that the digital version of the record is received is shared with the concerned counsel.

The apex court, in its October 8 order, directed that the copies of this order shall be sent to all the SLSA, the High Court LSC as well as the Supreme Court LSC and the National Legal Services Authority. 

(PTI)


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