District Legal Empowerment Committees formed to provide free legal aid: Minister

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid Tuesday said the Law and Justice, Commission of Pakistan has constituted District Legal Empowerment Committee (DLECs) in all the districts of the country to provide free legal aid.


Speaking during question hour in the Senate, the minister said the aim of the DLECs is to provide free legal aid to deserving litigants who might otherwise be unable to obtain legal aid or assistance for protecting genuine legal rights or interests, involved in litigation, on account of limited financial resources.

He said such committees include District and Session Judge /Zilla Qazi as ex-officio Chairperson, District Coordination Officer / Deputy Commissioner/ Political Agent, member  ex-officio, Superintendent, District/ Central Jail, member ex-officio, President, District Bar Association, member ex-officio and a representative of the civil society as co-opt member.

Zahid Hamid said Rs 21.2 million with Rs 200,000 for each committee were released by the Commission Secretariat from its Access to Justice Development Fund (AJDF).

The minister said that only 40 women had taken legal aid through DLECs across the country in which 19 women in Punjab, two in Sindh, 18 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and one in Balochistan.

Zahid Hamid said the Law and Justice Commission is keen to provide free legal aid to all the poor litigants including prisoners and women prisoners who cannot afford to hire lawyers by themselves.

Furthermore, he said the efforts are being made to expedite the process of free legal aid on priority basis to the most deserving litigants with available resources in accordance with observation by Chief Justice/Chairman, Law and Justice Commission in a message to the committees.

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