Hrishikesh Datar's web portal aims at bringing legal solutions close with just a click of your mouse.

India's population has always had a rather disproportionate tryst with its resources. Pretty much everyday, you hear rants about torturously endless procedures — the long queues at the banks to the impossibility of getting a doctor's appointment at convenience. The process is an unpleasant experience and is no compensation for the average result, thereafter.

On the brighter side though, things are improving since the invention of the Internet. Electricity, telephone and banking transactions have a smooth functioning online system. Now this extends to the exclusive arena of law as well.

Online access

Hrishikesh Datar, an alumnus of the National Law School, Bangalore, founded vakilsearch.com (with technical help from Karthik Kolli from IIT-Madras and Tech Garuda, a boutique IT firm in Chennai) following an interaction at IIM-Bangalore that addressed the need for a comprehensive portal to address legal needs.

After productive apprenticeships with big names such as Arun Jaitley, P.S. Raman, Siddharth Aggarwal and P.B. Balaji, Hrishikesh started building a basic form of the website in August after initial research.

“Anyone who has ever had a tryst with the law, however brief, knows how complicated the entire process is. First you need to look long and hard to find the right lawyer. When you finally do, you need to visit his/her office every time you need even basic legal assistance. vakilsearch.com locks horns with this problem directly. You can finish simple legal tasks without leaving your desk. Renting a house, office or shop? Need to write your will? Did a cheque issued to you bounce? Fill an interactive and easy-to-use questionnaire and your rental agreement, will or even legal notice comes sailing to you in a nice, sealed envelope.”

Accessibility

While the goal is to address the needs of the common man, how does it hope to tackle the reach factor of the Internet; since the less privileged need more help and support from the law. A well researched reply comes: “India has 81 million Internet-enabled homes and a significant percentage of those are broadband-enabled homes. So we will be reaching out to a fairly large number of people from day one.” However, Hrishikesh is realistic enough to point that it will definitely be difficult to reach the tea vendor or the small scale shop keeper. But hopefully there will be a way to deal with that in the near future.

Certainly, the urban middle class continues to be the target of modern entrepreneurship ventures. We are dependent on the law multiple times and often have to tackle a highly ‘complex and expensive system.' This is one earnest attempt at making the operation affordable, pleasant and minimal.

Niharika is a III Year B.A. Literature student at Stella Maris College.

How it helps?

Queries: It addresses simple questions concerning the law and eases the gap between the law and the common man. Fee per query: Rs.149.

Just call: ‘Bringing Lawyers to you' is another service where one can schedule a telephone conversation with a lawyer to discuss any problem; this does not entail a service charge.