South 24 Parganas is an important district of West Bengal. The district is famous for the delta region called the Sundarban, which is a tourist spot that witnesses people from all over the world. The tiger sanctuary is popular all over the world.
The district is surrounded by North 24 Paraganas to the north, Haora to the North West, Purba Medinipur the west, Bay of Bengal to the south, and to the north east is North 24 Parganas and to the east is Bangladesh. The head quarter is in Alipore.Official reports of 2011 say that the population of the district was 8,153,176 out of which the male population was 4,182,758 and the female population was 3,970,418. The sex ratio in the district was 949 girls per 1000 boys. The literacy of the district in 2011 was 78.57 percent and the male literacy rate was 85 percent, while the female 72.
The legal system of our country presupposes that all citizens have equal access to means of legal redress. By virtue of our constitutional provisions and several judicial pronouncements, inexpensive and expeditious justice is a basic human right. But, in practice, legal services of all kinds have gone to the highest bidders. Wealthy persons and big Corporations receive the highest quality legal service. So, it is felt that there should be a system of administration of justice of which the poorest are able to take advantage. Equal access to the law for the rich and the poor alike is essential for the maintenance of the rule of law. It is, therefore, essential to provide adequate legal advice and representation to all those, threatened as to their life, liberty, property or reputation, who are not able to pay for it.
So, with a view to redeem our constitutional pledge underlying Art. 14, 19, 21 & 39A for securing equality, life & liberty, social and economic justice the highest law making authority of our country enacted the benevolent Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 constituting the National Legal Services Authority as Central Authority with the Chief Justice of India as its patron in chief. The Act came in to operation on 9.11.1995.
By virtue of the said enactment the Legal Services Authorities at National, State, District and Taluka / Sub-Division level have been constituted viz., - (1) The National Legal Services Authority (NALSA), (2) State Legal Services Authority (SALSA), (3) District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) and (4) Sub-Divisional Legal Services Committee or Taluka Legal Services Committee (SDLSC / TLSC).
The District Legal Services Authority, South 24 Parganas is one of the District Authorities among the 19 District Authorities in West Bengal. The District & Sessions Judge is the ex-officio Chairman of DLSA, and he is assisted by the Secretary, DLSA in this eleemosynary public duty. Presently, Smt. Chaitali Chatterjee Das (a member of the West Bengal Higher Judicial Service) is the Chairman of DLSA, South 24 Parganas whereas Sri Subhra Kanti Dhar (a member of the West Bengal Judicial Service), its full time secretary.
The D.L.S.A, South 24-Parganas is overzealous to empower the rural people who are occupying 82% of the total population of this district and a considerable portion of whom are disadvantaged by reason of economic or other disabilities as well as lack of education, absolutely zero legal awareness, lack of transport, school, college, hospital facility, etc. Education is the key tool and perhaps the only way to empower people to live with dignity and honour and as such, the Legal Services Institutions are working hard in getting those people educated at least on some basics of various social legislations to enable them to deal with their day to day problems by adopting suitable measure recognised under law either through adversarial court proceedings or by alternative dispute resolution mechanism. In this work of spreading legal literacy upon them, the D.L.S.A., South 24-Parganas is coordinated by the Sub-divisional Legal Services Committees (SDLSCs) situate at Baruipur, Diamond Harbour, Kakdwip and Alipore Sadar, each functioning under the chairmanship of the senior most Additional District & Sessions Judge of the Station.