Justice Verma committee receives 60,000 suggestions from the citizens
The National Advisory Council (NAC) headed by Ms Sonia Gandhi has hailed the Justice Verma committee report. An all-party meeting has been called to discuss Justice Verma panel report by the government. Nearly 60,000 suggestions were received by Justice Verma committee from citizens across the country. The NAC member and RTI activist Aruna Roy has said that such an enthusiastic response from the citizens is an indicator of the strong desire of the people to suggest institutional reforms.
Section 4 of the Right to Information (RTI) Act mandates that the government should involve the people in the law making process but an institutional mechanism has yet not been evolved to ensure the same. In a letter to Ms Gandhi, Roy has raised the issue and pointed to the necessity to institutionalise the pre-legislative consultation process which is yet to take place because of the resolve of the department of personnel and training to consult only 85 government departments and not the public at large.
Recalling that the consultation process adopted by the NAC led to people friendly laws like Right to Information Act and National Employment Guarantee Act, she has demanded for the passage of the grievance redress law.
In a participatory democracy, should an institutionalized platform for pre-legislative consultation, not be created for the citizens to voice their opinions? Would the involvement of citizens in framing laws lead to better laws?