Legal Resource Centre Launched

Moneylife Foundation launches its third free helpline, after Insurance and Railways, covering 10 areas of interest to individuals

India’s legal system and an activist judiciary is probably the key to its vibrant democracy. However, laws are always complex and technical. New laws have come in following two decades of liberalisation. Besides, our legal system is slow, expensive and complicated. People are always looking for legal help—relating to financial and consumer products and services—as also guidance on how to use Right to Information (RTI) or file public interest litigation (PIL), etc.

To help them, Moneylife Foundation launched its Legal Resource Centre (LRC) on 21st February. The LRC was inaugurated by former Miss World Yukta Mookhey in the presence of a packed audience where distinguished lawyers, accountants and activists were present.  
In her brief but pointed remarks,

Ms Mookhey said: “We often feel wronged or cheated and believe that a legal course of action would get us redress. But you often end up meeting a lawyer or a doctor or somebody who’s going to wrong you further.” “We should rather ask ourselves: Do I really want to get into litigation? Do I really want to fight against something or do I really want to put my energy, all my emotional charge into something else that I believe in,” said Ms Mookhey, who has been involved in a tough divorce battle. “Those who want to fight legal battles should also know that letting go is also a great act. So, I would really want to suggest that emotional counselling should be among the various things being offered at Moneylife Foundation’s LRC! There are some great lawyers doing fantastic work and there are really some genuine human beings who are trying to improve the world. I really hope and do pray that Legal Resource Centre and Moneylife Foundation will bring about that change.”

The LRC will help the ordinary individual to navigate the redress systems put in place by a plethora of independent regulators (SEBI, IRDA, banking ombudsman, insurance ombudsman, electricity regulators, etc) and self-regulatory organisations (stock exchanges), which often have their own quasi-judicial complaints handling and arbitration systems. It will also help consumers to draft effective complaints and guide them on how to argue their case in consumer courts.

The LRC will be specifically useful in dealing with the Companies Act 2013 which has, for the first time, created a provision for filing class action suits. Since this is a new area, people need help to come together to build an effective case. Even NGOs need help on these matters. For instance, a large global NGO sought Moneylife’s help in filing complaints about false disclosures by a listed company regarding its coal reserves.  

The LRC will help people with RTI, public interest litigation (PIL), the draconian Information Technology Act, etc. Please see the ad on the next page to know the areas LRC will cover. Please do use the LRC, spread the word and write to us about how we can improve.

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