The 4-member team from Nalsar, comprising Rohan Singh, Neharika Malik, Sanjhi Jain and Prabhat Kumar, has scooped the pot, winning the Bar Council of India moot for the first time in Nalsar history.
Contrary to all predictions, the 4-member team from Nalsar has scooped the pot, winning the Bar Council moot for the first time in Nalsar history. The team, comprising Rohan Singh, Neharika Malik, Sanjhi Jain and Prabhat Kumar, defeated ILS, Pune in the final round to take home the coveted title. The moot was organised this year by the Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar.
The Bar Council moot is considered amongst the toughest, and most prestigious, moots in India. Neharika Malik, speaking to Bar & Bench, was simultaneously ecstatic and disbelieving at having won the moot. "It hasn't sunk in yet," she admitted, but added, "It's a great, great feeling to have won the moot that has always been, for Nalsar, the 'unwinnable' one."
Nalsar proved to be the dark horse in the competition, with most observers expecting former winners NLSIU, Bangalore, to take the prize, yet again. In fact, Professor Dayananda Murthy, GNLU faculty co-ordinator of the competition, had previously told Bar & Bench, "I cannot say who the favourites of the competition are, but going by the past 4 years, you can say NLSIU Bangalore, NLU Jodhpur and NLIU Bhopal." Ironically, none of these teams made it to the semi-final round. The Nalsar team faced NUJS in the semi-finals, while ILS was up against NUALS, Cochin.
Neharika Malik was also adjudged the Best Female Oralist in the final rounds, while the prize for Best Male Oralist went to Rohan Singh. The winners get a scholarship from the Bar Council of India Trust of Rs. 1,000 per month for a period of one year.
Best Oralist prizes were awarded at the end of each of the four rounds of the competition. The Best Oralist in the knock-out round was Krishna Prasad from NLSIU, Bangalore. Bhargav Joshi of NUJS bagged the title in the quarterfinal, while Charuhas from ILS, Pune was adjudged the Best Oralist in the semi-finals.
The teams were given less than a month in which to submit eight memorials: one petitioner and respondent memorial for each of the four problems released for the four rounds of the moot. "It was really hard, especially because of the short time period given to us," says Neharika Malik. Unlike most other moot court competitions, the Bar Council moot does not award a prize for Best Memorial, instead adding memorial marks to the cumulative total score.
Ashish Chandra, part of the organizing committee from GNLU, told Bar & Bench, "Organizing the moot was a real challenge as the Moot Court Committee got only around 20-25 days to organize the competition; [the challenge was compounded by] the fact that the college was closed and students were interning. However we still managed to organize a successful BCI competition."
The final rounds, held in Hotel Cambay, were presided over by Justices Akil Kureshi and Ravi Tripathi of the Gujarat High Court, Ashok Kumar Deb, Managing Trustee of the Bar Council of India (BCI) Trust, SNP Sinha, the Chairman of the BCI and Shobhalata Udapudi, the Dean of academic affairs at GNLU. Jharkhand Chief Justice Gyan Sudha Mishra presided over the awards ceremony and presented the award to the Nalsar team.