Legal aid in India is governed by the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987, and related regulations and laws framed by states. Article 39A directs the State to ensure that the operation of the legal system promotes justice on a basis of equal opportunity and shall, in particular, provide free legal aid by suitable legislation or schemes or in any other way, to ensure that opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizen due to economic or other disabilities. Those eligible for free legal aid include members belonging to SC/ST categories, people affected by natural calamities, women and children, handicapped people, people in custody, those having an annual income of less than Rs. 1 lakh, victims of human trafficking, the mentally disabled and victims of ethnic violence and caste atrocities.
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