National Legal Services Authority (Legal Services to Senior Citizens) Scheme 2016

This 2016 legislation makes it a legal obligation to strengthen the legal aid and representation of senior citizens at the national, state, district and taluka levels. It ensures access to various Governmental Schemes and programmes to senior citizens, ensures authorities and institutions such as the Tribunals and the Appellate Tribunals establishes old age homes.


Any citizen of India who is aged 60 years and above

A tribunal is constituted as per Section 7 and Section 19 of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 for setting up one or more Tribunals for each sub-division and for establishing Old Age Homes for Indigent Senior Citizens i.e. senior citizens.

Plan of Action

Legal Service Clinics

The State Legal Services Authority (SLA) will set up Legal Service Clinics (LSC) at every Tribunal and Appellate Tribunal established under the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act 2007, and also in old age homes. They ensure that trained Para Legal Volunteers (PLVs) are available in these Legal Service Clinics to assist the senior citizens through all the procedures required. The LSC will be governed by the NALSA (2011).The SLAs and DLSAs will ensure students of the LSCs set up in colleges and universities visit old age homes to provide help to the senior citizens. The LSCs also facilitate the widows and senior citizens in getting pensionary benefits and other entitlements.

What is NALSA

The National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) has been constituted under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 to provide free Legal Services to the weaker sections of the society and to organize Lok Adalats for amicable settlement of disputes.

What is Legal Service Authority

Legal Services Authorities are statutory bodies constituted in the states of India for providing free legal services for the citizens.

What is a Legal Service Clinic (LSC)

A legal clinic is a law school program providing hands-on-legal experience to law school students and services to various clients. A legal clinic or law clinic is a nonprofit law practice serving the public interest

What is SLA?

State Legal Services Authority has been constituted to give effect to the policies and directions of the NALSA and to give free legal services to the people and conduct Lok Adalats in every State.

What is DLSA

District Legal Services Authority has been constituted to implement Legal Services Programmes in every District.

Legal Representation

All senior citizens who are entitled to legal aid under Section 12 of LSA Act 1987 will be provided legal aid on priority basis. SLAs will ensure that the senior citizens are taken through the procedural wrangles with zero discomfort. The DLSA and Taluka will ensure that at least three panel lawyers are designated as Legal Service Officers for this scheme and the SLAs will provide training to them. The PLVs will act as the middlemen between seniors citizen who are unable to access the Legal Service Institutions and the Legal Service Institutions.

Identification of Issues Affecting Senior Citizens

The SLAs and DLSAs will ensure to identify the core issues which affect the senior citizens in certain areas and deal with them accordingly. The issues faced maybe common or unique in nature. The SLAs and DLSAs will seek for solutions for the same. The SLAs and DLSAs should set up self help groups of senior citizens to encourage community support and to reduce a sense of dependency on the part of the senior citizens.

Implementation of Various Schemes

The SLAs will take necessary steps to spread awareness about the policies, schemes and programmes to the senior citizens and the government functionaries. They will also ensure that this information is prominently displayed in old age homes, hospitals and other places often visited by senior citizens. The SLAs shall develop effective coordination with all the governmental bodies or functionaries, non-governmental and other organizations concerning the welfare of senior citizens, to ensure that the benefit of the schemes that exists for them reaches them.