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SC introduces Middle Income Group Scheme (Relevant for GS Prelims and Mains Paper II)

The Supreme Court has introduced Middle Income Group Scheme, (MIGS) a self-supporting scheme for providing legal services to the middle and relatively lower income groups.

Under this scheme, middle class people who cannot afford the expensive litigation in the apex court can avail the services of the society for a nominal amount.

About middle income group scheme
1. MIGS is a self-supporting scheme that will provide legal services to the middle income group citizens whose gross income does not exceed Rs.60,000 per month or Rs. 7, 50, 000 per annum.

2.  A case will be registered under the MIG Legal Aid Scheme and forwarded to Advocate-on-Record/ Senior Counsel/Arguing Counsel on the panel for their opinion. If Advocate-on-Record is satisfied that case is fit, then the society will consider that applicant is entitled to legal aid. The view expressed by Advocate-on Record will be final in determining eligibility of the applicant for obtaining the benefit under the scheme.

3. Composition of society: A society will be created with Chief Justice of India (CJI) as Patron-in-Chief. Attorney General will be its ex-officio Vice President, Solicitor General its Honorary Secretary and other senior advocates as its members.

4. Fees chargeable: As per the Supreme Court guidelines, cases can be filed before it only through Advocates On Record. A sum of Rs. 500 shall be payable to the Supreme Court Middle Income Group (MIG) Legal Aid Society as service charges. The applicant shall have to deposit the fee indicated by the secretary, which will be in accordance with the schedule attached to the scheme.

5. Responsibility of advocate: If an advocate, appointed under the scheme, is found negligent in pursuing the case entrusted to him, he will be required to return the brief together with the fee received by him from the applicant.

The society will not be responsible for the negligent conduct and the entire responsibility will be that of the advocate. The name of the Advocate will be struck off from the panel prepared under the scheme.



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