Moneylife Foundation on Friday launched “Legal Resource Centre” (LRC) to provide information, advice and preliminary guidance to a person needing legal help or planning legal action. The LRC was launched by former Miss World Yukta Mookhey in an event at Mumbai that was attended by several prominent experts and activists.
Offering to help and guide people through Moneylife Foundation’s Legal Resource Centre, Ms Mookhey in her short but extremely wise speech, pointed out “Through the last two years I have dealt with the law pretty close and have interacted with probably a dozen lawyers. The first question I am asked is ‘Do you really want to get into litigation?’ And I understand where they are coming from. It is probably part of their training to evaluate the client.”
“I believe that it is important to ask this question to oneself. We often feel wronged or cheated and believe that a legal course of action will be right. But when you are coming from a feeling being wronged, you going to end up meeting a lawyer or a doctor or somebody who’s intend going to wrong you further,” pointed out Ms Mookhey.
“We should rather ask ourselves: ‘Do I really want to get into litigation? Do we really want to fight against something or do I really want to put my energy, all my emotional charge into something else that I rather believe in,” said Ms Mookhey who has been involved in a tough divorce battle.
“I felt that had I been in different time and place I could have dealt with my personal life situation very differently. I may feel I am right and I need to prove that I am right and the law says this are my rights and this what I should get and this is what has been done wrongly etc. But those who want to fight legal battles also should know that letting go is also a great act. So, I would really want to suggest among the various things being offered at Moneylife Foundation LRC, one of the things which must always be offered is emotional counselling!”
“I have gone through a very painful experience but I wouldn’t want to blame the legal system because there are some great lawyers and great people are doing fantastic work and there are really some genuine human being who are trying to uplift humanity and take us to a better future and I really hope and do pray that Legal Resource Centre and Moneylife Foundation will bring that change from 2014.”
Advocate Jamshed Mistry, Yukta Mookhey’s lawyer in her legal battles, has been, for a long time, passionate about the idea of setting up a Legal Resource Centre. He said, “The idea of having the Legal Resource Centre that occurred not only to me but few others as well. This was in 2008, when we had the horrible terrorist attack in Mumbai on 26/11. At that time we found there was no easy availability of accurate legal information. Of course, the state has legal resources, but what about an ordinary citizen? And so this is how MLF-LRC shaped up. The other point is, let’s have better informed clients, they are so much easier and better to deal with.”
Focus on 10 Areas
While the Moneylife Foundation Legal Resource Centre would provide free help in 10 areas, the centre will not offer legal advice. It will provide essential, first-level guidance. All registered members of Moneylife Foundation can seek help in the following areas…
1. Guidance for filing complaints with financial regulators & stock exchanges
2. Guidance for filing consumer complaints
3. Guidance on filing Class Action Suits under new companies Act
4. Guidance on filing Public Interest Litigation
5. Guidance to Whistleblowers
6. Guidance on filing complaints & consequences in Sexual Harassment cases
7. Guidance Wills, transmission of assets etc.
8. Guidance on filing RTI effectively and handling the appeals process
9. Property, conveyance, cooperative society related issues, registration, stamp duty etc.
10. Basic legal research of different kinds especially pertaining to new legislation where there is no case laws in India.
Speaking on the occasion, Shailesh Gandhi, former Central Information Commissioner and Right to Information (RTI) activist, said, “The MLF-LRC will make changes in the lives of many who do not access to legal system, lawyers and forums.”
Sandeep Ohri, who has been active in pioneering the switchover of power from Reliance Infrastructure to Tata Power in Mumbai, expressed that the MLF-LRC should put out some sample case, so that people can understand what exactly they would get here. “Sometimes people come with huge or wrong expectations. Therefore it is important for the MLF-LRC to state clearly what exactly people would get,” he said.
Environmentalist and Mumbai’s foremost and veteran anti-noise activist Sumaira Abdulali also offered her support and help to all those seeking guidance on environmental issues through MLF-LRC.
Apart from the Legal Resource Centre Helpline, Moneylife Foundation runs other helplines to assist Moneylifers and the common man namely Insurance Helpline, Mutual Fund Helpline, Samir Zaveri Railway Helpline, Credit Helpline and Disha Counselling Centre for loan-related issues.