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By LL News|Email the author|Jul 14,2013
CHENNAI: To give a fillip to free legal service movement in the country, top judges today mooted giving bonus points for advocates and subordinate judicial officers.

While Justice A K Patnaik, who is chairman of the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee, said certain credit points could be accumulated in favour of advocates providing free legal aid, while considering them for senior advocate positions, Justice P Sathasivam, executive chairman of the National Legal Services Authority, went a step further and said subordinate judicial officers active in organising lok adalats should be given due credit in their annual confidential reports.

The judges were speaking at the 11th All India Meet of State Legal Services Authorities in Chennai on Saturday.

Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir, while acknowledging the need to attract good lawyers as panel advocates and the need to pay them decent remuneration, said the legal services movement was much more than mere filing of cases and fighting on behalf of socially and economically marginalised people. He said organising legal awareness and aid camps, mediation and conciliation efforts too form the constitutional mandate of legal service authorities.

Noting that identifying social problems and issues, and then making efforts to remedy them are part of the authorities` responsibility, he cited the case concerning the Vrindavan widows, which was first identified by legal aid personnel and brought to the knowledge of the apex court which then passed a series of orders.

Justice R K Agrawal, acting chief justice of the Madras high court, and Justice Elipe Dharma Rao, who is the executive chairman of the Tamil Nadu State Legal Services Authority, and other senior judges also participated in the meeting.

Source : TOI