Aain Seva Bhawan

Odisha State Legal Services Authority

Left to Right: Sudipta Acharya, Member Secretary, Justice Jaswant Singh, Executive Chairperson, OSLSA and Smruti Ranjan Mohapatra, Deputy Secretary Standing: Srujan Saraswat, Assistant Secretary

Justice Jaswant Singh, Judge, High Court of Orissa is the Executive Chairman of the Odisha State Legal Services Authority (OSLSA) since 24th October 2021. Shri Gouri Sankar Satapathy was the Member Secretary till 18th April 2022; Shri Biswajit Mohanty till 12th September 2022. Sudipta Acharya took over as Member Secretary on 14th September 2022. The prime objective of the OSLSA is to provide free and competent legal services to the weaker sections of the society; and to

ensure that opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizen by reason of economic or other disability. OSLSA periodically organises Lok Adalats to facilitate expeditious disposal of cases. OSLSA is functioning through its state-wide network of legal services institutions in all the 30 Districts and 115 Taluks of the State.

Lok Adalats

National Lok Adalat

During the year 2022, four National Lok Adalats were held in the High Court of Orissa and in the District and other subordinate Courts, as per the Calendar of the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA). As many as 2,460 cases including motor accident claim appeals, land acquisition appeals, electricity disputes, bank matters, criminal compoundable matters and other matters were dealt with by the High Court. 241 cases involving compensation, fines and recovery of loan amount of Rs.17,99,84,000/- were settled.

Details of National Lok Adalats in the High Court

Similarly, in the District and other subordinate Courts, 1,61,276 cases were disposed of in Lok Adalats involving realisation of fines in criminal cases and award of compensation in other cases in a total sum of Rs.280,60,14,343/. Further, 33,649 pre-litigation disputes involving a sum of Rs.29,86,59,379/- as fine and compensation were settled.

Details of National Lok Adalats in the District Judiciary

District Level Lok Adalat

A District Level Lok Adalat was held at the District headquarters of Balasore, Cuttack, Khurda at Bhubaneswar and Sambalpur including Sub-divisional headquarters of Panposh (Rourkela) in the district of Sundargarh for cases under section 138 Negotiable Instruments Act, 1882 on 10th December 2022. Of 2,499 cases taken up, 453 were settled.

Permanent Lok Adalat (PUS)

At present, 22 Permanent Lok Adalats (Public Utility Services) [PLA (PUS)] established by the OSLSA Authority are functioning. 1,300 pre-litigation disputes were registered at the PLA (PUS), of which 1,235 disputes were settled.

Legal Aid

12,623 applications seeking legal aid were received. Of these, 11,405 were disposed of by OSLSA, the Odisha High Court Legal Services Committee (OHCLSC) and other field units. In 2,292 matters, Panel Advocates were engaged; in 8,219 matters counseling was offered and in 894 matters, other services including assistance was provided to the beneficiaries for availing the benefits of the schemes of both the Central and State Government.

ADR Centres and Mediation

Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) Centres are functioning in exclusive spaces earmarked for that purpose in 16 districts. In other districts, mediation cases are being taken up in the Mediation Centres are taking up in the premises of the District Legal Services Authority (DLSA).

As on 31st December, 2021, 311 cases were pending before the different District Mediation Centres for mediation. Of the 1,179 cases received during 2022, 122 were settled through successful mediation. In 678 cases mediation failed and in 287 cases, mediation could not commence. As on 31st December, 2022, 403 cases are pending for mediation.

Mediation Training Programmes for Judicial Officers

A 40-hour (5 days) Mediation Training Programme (MTP) was organised by OSLSA under the aegis of the Mediation and Conciliation Project Committee (MCPC), Supreme Court of India in two phases i.e. 1st phase from 9th to 11th April, 2022 and 2nd phase i.e. on 16th & 17th April, 2022 at the Odisha Judicial Academy (OJA), Cuttack. In the said training programme, 28 Judicial Officers nominated by the High Court of Orissa successfully underwent mediation training. Ms. Veena Ralli, Advocate & Organizing Secretary, Delhi Mediation Centre and Shri J.P. Sengh, Senior Advocate deputed by the MCPC, New Delhi conducted the training programme. A Similar MTP was organized at the OJA between 2nd and 6th June, 2022 for another 28 judicial officers. Harish Dudani, Judicial Officer, Delhi Higher Judicial Service and Ms. Nageena Jain, Advocate deputed by the MCPC, New Delhi had conducted the above training programme.

Mediation Training Session conducted by MCPC Trainers

Distribution of certificates to the participants

Awareness Programme

During the year, 3,575 Awareness Camps were organized by the DLSAs and Taluk Legal Services Committees (TLSCs) in physical and virtual mode across the State on different legal themes and welfare schemes as per the Calendar of Activities of the OSLSA. 2,30,389 persons participated in these awareness programmes.

On the occasion of International Day of Deafblindness on 27th June 2022, the Chief Justice addressed a State level workshop on the legal rights for people with disabilities organised by the Child & Women Development Society and the Orissa Association for the Blind. A documentary jointly prepared by the OSLSA and the OJA on the legal rights, laws and free legal services relating to persons with disabilities was screened on the occasion.

Victim Compensation Scheme

2138 applications under the Victim Compensation Scheme were received during the year by the DLSAs. 1,637 applications were decided and Rs.24,24,52,674/- was disbursed as compensation to the beneficiaries.

Training Programmes for Panel Lawyers and Para-legal Volunteers (PLVs)

The training module devised by NALSA was followed for training of panel lawyers of the OSLSA. During the year, 71 training programmes for panel lawyers were organised by the field units and 969 panel lawyers were given training. Similarly, 31 induction/refresher training programmes were organised for PLVs.938 PLVs were imparted training.

Nyaya Sanjog

A State-level Legal Assistance Establishment, ‘Nyaya Sanjog’ is functioning in the office of the OSLSA since 21st June, 2017 for providing multiple legal services under one roof. There is a dedicated Help Line number-1516.

During the year 628 persons approached the Nyaya Sanjog and were provided with the required legal aid, assistance and consultation.

Front Office

135 Front Offices are functioning in the DLSAs and TLSCs. During the year, 1,720 persons approached the Front Offices and 1,432 persons were provided assistance.

Jail Legal Services Clinics

87 Jail Legal Services Clinics (JLSCs) are functioning in the DLSAs and TLSCs. During the year, 12,268 inmates approached the JLSCs. 5,658 were provided with assistance.

Village Legal Aid Care and Support Centres

158 Village Legal Aid Care & Support Centres are functioning under the DLSAs and TLSCs. During the year, 6,215 persons approached these Centres and 3,503 persons were provided assistance.

Other Activities:

Help to Unorganised sector workers and Senior Citizens

During the year, 30 Unorganised sector workers were provided Registration Cards through e-Shrama Portal. Of these, 2 were provided medical treatment. Assistance was provided to 41 senior citizens.

High-Powered Committee

As per the directions of the Supreme Court of India in WP(C) No. 01/2020 in Re:Contagion of COVID-19 Virus in Prisons, a High Powered Committee (HPC) was constituted by Government of Odisha on 26th March 2020 and under the Chairmanship of the Executive Chairperson of OSLSA with the Principal Secretary Home Department & DG Prisons and Correctional Services as its Members. The HPC is dealing with the issue of decongestion of prisons.

HPC related Statistics

Organization of Jail Adalats

Based on the directions issued by the High Court in W.P(C) No.6610 of 2006 and W.P.(C) (PIL) No.3368 of 2014, Jail Adalats were conducted by the field units during the year. In these Jail Adalats, 551 cases were taken up, of which 35 were disposed of.

Setting up of an exclusive Legal Aid Clinic for the Transgender Community

As per the Regulation 3 of the National Legal Services Authority (Legal Services Clinics) Regulations, 2011 and pursuant to the minutes of the Executive Chairman, OSLSA, a Legal Aid Clinic exclusively for the transgender community was set up by the DLSA, Khurda at Bhubaneswar in association with SAATHI (a charitable trust) on 20th February 2022 at IRC Village, Nayapalli, Bhubaneswar. PLVs and Panel Lawyers engaged in this Clinic will help amicably resolve pre-litigation disputes of the persons visiting it.

Visit of 18 Civil Judge (Junior Division) of Uttarakhand

As per the direction of the Judicial Academy & Training Committee, 18 Trainee Judicial Officers of Uttarakhand being accompanied by the Director and Joint Director, Uttarakhand Judicial Academy visited Aain Seva Bhawan on 26th August 2022 under ‘the sharing of Best Practices’ Programme.

Orientation programme on ‘Forest and Wildlife Conservation Laws for the Odisha Judiciary’

An Orientation programme on ‘Forest and Wildlife Conservation Laws for the Odisha Judiciary’ was organised by OSLSA in association with the OJA and WWF-India & Traffic-India on 23rd and 24th July 2022. In the said Orientation programme, 55 Judicial Officers participated. Justice Modan B. Lokur, Judge, Former Judge Supreme Court of India spoke on the role of judiciary vis-à-vis environment laws.

Pan India Awareness and Outreach Campaign

As per instruction of NALSA and in order to commemorate the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’, the OSLSA, the DLSAs and the TLSCs organized a Pan India Awareness and Outreach programme throughout the State during the period from 31st October to 13th November 2022 on Empowerment of citizen through Legal Awareness and outreach for bridging the gap between the Legal Services Institutions and the unprivileged. 9533 Legal Literacy/Awareness Camps were organised in the villages, other areas, and different jails of the State using Legal Services Vehicles/ Mobile Vans and through digital platforms. 3,46,999 persons were made aware of the different activities undertaken by the Legal Services Institutions.

Mega Legal Services Camp

All the DLSAs (Except Bargarh & Bhadrak) in collaboration with District Administration of their districts also organised Mega Legal Services Camps on 6th November, 2022. In the said Camps, the stalls of various departments showing benefits available under the schemes of State and Central Government were set up. More than 19,000 persons had attended in the aforesaid Camps and instant benefits were provided to the above 10,000 persons.

Success Stories

Relief to the Cancer Patients and their Attendants

On being informed by the OSLSA of the pitiable conditions of the Patients and their attendants at the Acharya Harihar Cancer Hospital, Cuttack, the Secretary DLSA, Cuttack immediately sent two Para Legal Volunteers for on-the-spot-assessment. The PLVs found the patients undergoing treatment in an unhygienic & miserable environment and submitted a report.

The DLSA drew the attention of Director of Health & Family Welfare, District Administration and the authorities of the Acharya Harihar Regional Cancer Hospital and requested them to take immediate remedial measures. Accordingly, the authorities swung into action and took steps on war-footing in setting up of suitable sheds outside the main hospital as the space available in the hospital was inadequate in comparison to the inflow of the patients. The patients and their attendants were accommodated in those sheds. They also provided other facilities like drinking water and security for the patients and their attendants.

The authorities concerned assured the DLSA to take up permanent suitable measures soon to accommodate the patients in the hospital. The patients and their attendants expressed happiness over the timely intervention of the DLSA, Cuttack in mitigating their plight.

Rehabilitation of a distressed woman

One Basanti Harijan filed an application before the Secretary of DLSA, Malkangiri seeking for intervention and alleging therein that after being ill-treated by the villagers of Nuaguda and pressurized, she was forced to leave the village with her child. The Secretary, DLSA intervened the matter and successfully persuaded the villagers to amicably settle the dispute. The woman and her child were resettled at her own house by the villagers who also undertook not to harass her in future.

Timely rescue of women with mental disorder

On being informed that some women with mental disorder were moving here and there at DNK Square in front of the Circuit House of Malkangiri, in front of the BSF camp and near Kali Chowk, Balimela in the district of Malkangiri, the Secretary, DLSA, Malkangiri took stock of the situation by intervening in the matter. Apprehending the vulnerability of those women becoming victims of different crimes, the Secretary of the DLSA wrote to the Collector, Malkangiri and the DSWO, Malkangiri for their immediate rescue and rehabilitation. On intervention of the DLSA, Malkangiri those mentally ill women were rescued and rehabilitated by the District Administration at Janla, Khordha.

Providing old age pension to specially- abled widows

The Samaj dated 10th June 2022 under the caption ‘Dibynga Bidhabanku Miluni Sahayata’ where it is reported that four physically challenged widowswere not getting their old age pension despite their eligibility. Taking into consideration their financial condition, the Secretary DLSA, Nuapada took immediate steps by addressing a request letter to the Collector & District Magistrate for providing necessary assistance and by including them under Government Old age Pension Scheme. The above matter was resolved and the entire beneficiaries got their old age benefits.

Social Security Benefits for speciallyabled, cancer patients and landless women

Smt. Malati Ghadia, a merchant of village Birabrahmapur of Balesore District stated in her grievance petition addressed to the High Court, that she is a specially-abled, cancer patient and landless woman who was deprived of social security benefits. The concerned DLSA was asked to enquire into the allegation made by the woman. The Collector, Balesore was requested to personally look into her grievance. Accordingly, the Civil Supplies Officer, Balasore by letter dated 11th October 2022 submitted an action taken report and informed that a ration card was issued to Smt. Malati Ghadia and had also been provided 35 kg of rice for the months of August and September, 2022.

Helping an old woman in getting old age pension

The Sambad dated 14th September 2022 under the caption ‘Pancha Masha Hela Bhatta Ru Banchita Moti Kumbhar’ reported that an old woman Moti Kumbhar of village Khatiguda Parajabarang, Padar Panchayat under Tentulikhunti Block, was deprived of old age pension for the last five months. The Collector, Nabarangpur and the secretary DLSA, Nabarangpur were requested to take immediate action. The old woman got her old age pension for the last five months on 16th September 2022.

Restoration of happy conjugal life by Permanent and Continuous Lok Adalat

A woman filed a grievance petition against her husband regarding her family dispute which was registered as a pre-litigation dispute on 17th June 2022. The matter was placed before the Judge, P&CLA (Nabarangpur). On 17th June, 8th August, 8th and 19th September 2022 both parties appeared before the Judge for the conciliation process. Through conciliation, both agreed to settle their disputes amicably. They are stated to be leading a happy conjugal life.

Conference Hall in OSLSA