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Legal Aid Centre records 574 clients in one year

KULIYAPITIYA: The Legal Aid Commission’s Kuliyapitiya Centre has given legal advice to 574 clients during the first 10 months sine the Centre was opened last October.

One hundred and twenty one disputes that sought legal instructions had been directed to the courts and the other 453 disputes were settled amicably.

Only those whose monthly income below Rs. 6,000 can seek legal aid from the Commission. Such persons should direct his or her case to the Centre. The Attorney-at-law in charge of the Centre instructs him or her on how to proceed with the issue. If the dispute could not be settled amicably an application will be issued to the client.

The applicant will be directed to one of the 30 panel of Attorneys of the Centre. The fee of the lawyer will be paid by the Commission. That would differ on category and gravity of the litigation or cause of action.

The categories are as follows. Maintenance, divorce, land disputes, partition disputes, money recovery, bail applications, rent issues, accidents, crimes, ejectments, labour disputes and public interest litigations.

In case of divorce and maintenance cases the Commission grants aid only to women. In land and partition cases only the respondent will get the aid. Only victims will get legal aid in connection with accidents and crimes. In labour and rent disputes cases the aggrieved party will get the legal aid from the Commission.

Attorney-at-Law in charge of Kuliyapitiya Legal Aid Centre Chamika Muthunayaka told the Daily News that the Centre had given aid to 48 maintenance cases, 19 divorce cases, 14 accident cases and 11 criminal cases.

Legal aid was given to six bail applications, five money recovery cases, four land disputes, three rent dispute and one ejectment and one public interest litigations.

“The scheme relieves the burden of litigants,” Muthunayaka added.

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