The IDIA Disability Access Programme (IDAP) was launched in January this year. The programme includes a series of interviews with leading legal luminaries who are differently abled.  The first interview in this series is with Justice Zak Mohammed Yacoob, a legendary judge, social activist and educator who served as a judge on the South African Constitutional Court for 15 years. IDIA: You served as a judge on the South African Constitutional Court for approximately 15 years from 1998 to 2013. Can you briefly tell us the key challenges you faced given your visual impairment, when compared with your sighted counterparts? Zak […]

Justice NY Hanumanthappa is a former Chief Justice of the Orissa High Court. After an illustrious career as an advocate in his home state, he was appointed as a judge of the Karnataka High Court. He also spent almost seven years as a judge of the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad. Apart from serving stints at both the Bar and the Bench, Justice Hanumanthappa was also a parliamentarian, having been elected as a Member of the 14th Lok Sabha. In his first interview to the media, Justice Hanumanthappa reveals to Bar & Bench’s Aditya AK his humble beginnings in […]

Saionton Basu, Partner at Duane Morris LLP, has penned a book titled Seven Attempts. The NLSIU Bangalore graduate has been writing on various topics and his work has been featured in multiple publications. Seven Attempts, a story about the lives of civil services aspirants, marks his first attempt at a full feature book. Basu joined Duane Morris from Penningtons Manches LLP in October 2014, with stints at the erstwhile Amarchand Mangaldas in Delhi, and the London office of White & Case. In 2009, he joined Platinum Partners, before moving Penningtons where he was made a Partner in 2012. In this short interview with […]

Advocate General of Maharashtra under three different Chief Ministers, senior counsel Ravi Kadam was one of the youngest to be appointed to the post. He also happens to be the longest serving Advocate General after HM Seervai. In this interview with Bar & Bench’s Nitish Kashyap, Kadam spoke on a range of issues, from lawyering to pendency to the designation of seniors. Nitish Kashyap: So let’s start from the beginning. You studied law in GLC, Mumbai. Ravi Kadam: My father, Mansingrao Kadam, was a barrister and also the first Additional Government Pleader (writ cell) in the Bombay High Court  from 1973-76. He passed away in […]

Current Bureau Chief at India Legal, Neeta Kolhatkar has been in the news industry for more than two decades. In this interview with Bar & Bench’s Anuj Agrawal, she talks about what it takes to be a good reporter, the fear of offending people, and much more. (Excerpts below) Anuj Agrawal: Its been a long journey, where did you start? Neeta Kolhatkar: I graduated from Xavier’s college, with a foundation from Elphinstone. They were two of the best colleges in the city, and Xavier’s was very to my personality – rebellious. We were not deprived like today’s kids. There were no […]

AS Ponnanna is an Additional Advocate General at the Karnataka High Court. The son of Senior Advocate and former Leader of Opposition in the state Legislative Council AK Subbaiah, Ponnanna climbed through the ranks of state government’s legal team in a relatively short span of time. In this interview with Bar & Bench’s Aditya AK, he gives valuable insights into the functioning of a government advocate, discusses recent cases in the High Court and more. Aditya AK: Your father, AK Subbaiah is a lawyer-turned-politician. Did that make your entry into the legal profession easier? AS Ponnanna: Not at all. This cabin in which […]

One of the few women senior counsel in the Bombay High Court, Gayatri Singh is also the co-founder of the Human Rights Law Network. In this interview with Bar & Bench’s Anuj Agrawal, she talks about her journey in law, what got her into trade unions and much more. Anuj Agrawal: There is surprisingly little information about you before you became a lawyer. Gayatri Singh: Well, I don’t like interviews too much (smiles). I went to the US to do my undergraduation; I studied B.Com at Wharton School, but did not complete the course. My father died when I had just […]

“Everyone should know the law, every citizen should be aware of his/ her rights and duties”, Ayyappan Pillai’s voice may be meek but his spirit is not. A 102-year old veteran at the Trivandrum Bar – Pillai’s tales are nearly folklore. It was an article about Pillai in Malayala Manorama that first caught my eye. The report spoke about Pillai’s role during the integration of princely State of Travancore into the Indian Union. After efforts to get in touch with him over the phone failed, I decided to head to Trivandrum and try my luck. A friend had gathered some […]

How diverse is the student population at India’s premier legal education institution? Four students of National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bangalore recently came up with an exhaustive study on student demographics, accessibility and inclusivity at the university to answer this very question. Titled The Elusive Island of Excellence, the study was compiled after profiling the regional, social, economic backgrounds of 397 undergraduate students of NLSIU. The study also looks into how these factors affect the performance of students over a period of five years. And the study throws up some interesting figures. In this interview, Bar & Bench’s Aditya […]

In part 3 of the Chhattisgarh Diaries series, Bar & Bench’s Aditya AK interviews Shalini Gera and Isha Khandelwal of the Jagdalpur Legal Aid Group (JAGLAG). There is a maelstrom of activity at what has become the temporary office of the Jagdalpur Legal Aid Group. A month after they were evicted from Bastar, the group has found that their client, tribal rights activist Soni Sori’s family members are being harassed by the local police. They are making phone calls and shooting off e-mails, in an attempt to bring the situation to the notice of as many people as possible. The next day, Sori’s […]