Speaking at the National Convention on 'Law, Justice and the Common Man’ on Saturday, Sonia Gandhi, focused on justice for the common man and sought lawyers to front the nation building exercise. The convention also kicked off the Congress' outreach programme to connect with lawyers across country at the grassroots.
Speaking at the National Convention on 'Law, Justice and the Common Man’ on Saturday, Sonia Gandhi, President of the Congress Party kept the focus on justice for the ‘aam admi’ (common man) and sought lawyers to front the nation building exercise. “Lawyers have always been at the forefront of public debate and action. Our freedom movement saw the participation of some of the finest legal luminaries we have known. Over the decades, your fraternity has played a crucial role in the process of nation building and I have no doubt that it will continue to do so in the future,” she said.
The convention also kicked off the Congress' outreach programme to connect with lawyers across country at the grassroots. Speaking to Bar & Bench, the Secretary of the Congress party’s National Legal Cell, K.C. Mittal said, “It is important to connect with one of the most important professions in the country. Lawyers are the only people who are focal and vocal about the rule of law and are the only ones who challenge and fight discrepancies in the democracy. Therefore, the legal and human rights cell of the Congress will work with lawyers across the country to connect on several legal issues, raise relevant human rights violations and take their views on legislative changes”.
Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi had originally conceived the idea of connecting with lawyers across country. In 1989 he held a convention that was attended by more than 6,000 lawyers. After nearly 21 years, the Congress party plans to reach out to lawyers to discuss various legislations such as Food Security Bill, laws relating to education and judicial accountability and several other important issues.
The convention that was held at Vigyan Bhavan at New Delhi saw the participation of more than 7,000 people. "We had to limit the number of participants due to lack of space,” said Mittal. The Vigyan Bhavan has an official capacity of 1,285.
Senior Advocate and Congress spokesperson, Abhishek Manu Singhvi heads the Legal and Human Rights cell. Considering the number of lawyers in the political arena, the Congress’ decision to connect with the Bar is a wise decision. Although Bar Council elections are not on the basis of political affiliations, it is an open secret most lawyers have informal associations with political parties, and the story is no different with lawyers from law firms.
Almost all political parties have a legal cell, which is dormant and is active only when a politico-legal issue arises. If the Congress Party’s outreach is able to reach the Bar members to actively engage on important legal issues, it may provide a new dimension to the legislative framework.
Congress’ intent is clear. As Mittal says, “The Congress is not just a party, it’s a movement and therefore we believe that lawyers form an integral part of this movement.”