A team of lawyers creates an “RTI cell” to make legal resources easily accessible to the public
India is a democratic country where the government is “of the people, for the people and by the people”. For it to work properly, checks and balances are needed to facilitate the same.
Because government is directly accountable to the public, the public has the right to question its effectiveness. One way to do this is through the Right to Information Act which was passed in 2005. The legislation allows Indian citizens to request necessary information from a public authority, and it must be answered within 48 time.
However, the process has its limitations. If filing a complaint is relatively simple, the consequences are a source of headaches. From government laxity to pending cases, it can frustrate the public.
Another problem is its accessibility. Few people may be aware of the methods involved. In light of this, a team of lawyers took the initiative to make legal resources easily accessible and raise awareness of public rights.
The RTI cell
A lawyer turned entrepreneur named Ramanuj Mukherjee created a fledgling startup called “LawSikho”. Under this, the RTI cell started in March 2021 to facilitate the otherwise cumbersome procedure for the public.
In conversation with The logical IndianMukherjee says, “We specifically created the RTI cell because of the difficulty of the process of filing one. We hope we can help people not be so intimidated by the process, which in turn will lead filing more RTI overtime.”
Neeraj Salodkar leads the cell and a team of lawyers and law students. The website will soon be launched. “We deliberately chose Instagram as a means of communication because most millennials are there and can contact us directly,” says Ramanuj Mukherjee.
“Eternal vigilance is the price of democracy”
From the filing of the RTI to the consultation, the group does it free of charge. Some of their resources include RTI legal articles, updates, landmark judgments, and other similar enticements. The applicant will provide the details to the team, after which the ITR will be filed. Once they receive a response, they will be notified of the next step.
The team aims to disseminate information about the law to young people in the most millennial way possible. “We are also planning to launch a law course. It would be offered at minimal cost so that more people would join and master their skills under the law as mentioned above,” Mukherjee continues. The logical Indian.
Since its launch, the Cell has done a remarkable job of bringing the law to the people. “We have filed more than 500 RTI applications in various fields such as human and animal rights, environment, information technology, etc.,” says Mukherjee. Additionally, the team plans to use various RTIs to file petitions with the Supreme Court and High Court. He adds: “We have written a research paper on judicial vacation culture and digital infrastructure regarding the law.”
Overall, the end goal of Cellule RTI is to make people aware of their legal rights. Ramanuj Mukherjee concludes: “We hope that our efforts will bear fruit and that more and more people will become aware of their right to information. Our end goal is to educate citizens about their rights, challenge the government, keep them on their toes, and develop an army of awakened citizens who cherish and uphold the values of democracy.”
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