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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has inaugurated the Legal Aid Helpline (16430) today at the function for observing national legal aid day, and then called the helpline and asked about the services offered.

The theme of this year’s Legal Aid Day is – ‘দুঃখীর বিচার পাওয়ার অধিকার – বর্তমান সরকারের অঙ্গীকার’ (To ensure the right to receive justice by the poor is the pledge of the Govt.). “We took this initiative to ensure people at grassroots level can get legal aid,” Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said at a ceremony organized at the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh.

People whose annual income do not exceed Tk 50,000 or those with partial or no earning capacity will qualify for the free services. Besides, Freedom fighters who are unemployed or do not earn beyond Tk 75,000, recipients of the government’s elderly allowance or poor mothers with VGD (Vulnerable Group Development) cards can also receive assistance from Legal Aid.

On 26th January, 2000 the Government of Bangladesh passed the Legal Aid Services Act 2000 (LASA) to make legal aid accessible to the underprivileged and disadvantage people of the country and this Act came into force at 28th April 2000 by a Gazette notification. Therefore, the day was earmarked (28 April) as the “National Legal Aid Day” in order to enhance awareness among the people about the availability of the Government’s nationwide free legal aid facilities.

Source – bdnews24