In this candid interview, former Supreme Court judge and Chief Justice of the Orissa High Court Justice Venkate Gopala Gowda takes us through his career and discusses pressing issues pertaining to the legal profession. The first thing you notice about Justice Gopala Gowda is that he wears his heart on his sleeve. It is rather unusual for a judge – retired or otherwise – to express such strong opinions, and to be critical of the system he was once part of. But then again, he is not your run-of-the-mill judge. He has some misgivings about the media, and for good reason. […]

Rahul Bajaj is one of two Indians from the legal field who have been awarded the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship this time around. Along with Sameer Rashid Bhat, Rahul will attend the BCL programme at Oxford University next year. An Associate at Trilegal, Rahul graduated from Nagpur University earlier this year. An avid IP law buff, Rahul also used to write extensively for SpicyIP. In this interview with Bar & Bench, he talks about his journey thus far. You seemed to have bucked the trend of Rhodes Scholars being mostly from NLUs. I have been blind since birth, so back in […]

Toby Landau is the first Queen’s Counsel to “intern” with an Indian law firm, after Luthra & Luthra Managing Partner Rajiv Luthra bid for him at a Legal Aid Charity auction in Singapore. Commenting on the auction, Landau said, “I don’t often put myself up for sale, but in a weak moment I was persuaded to take part in a legal aid charity auction in Singapore. My expectation was that I would be “purchased” by a Singapore law firm as a trainee for a day. But Mr. Luthra unexpectedly started some aggressive bidding, and didn’t give up till the last […]

Sameer Rashid Bhat, a final year student of Gujarat National Law University (GNLU), Gandhinagar, is one of two students – the other being Nagpur University graduate Rahul Bajaj – to have received the Rhodes Scholarship for next year. In this short interview with Bar & Bench, Sameer, who also happens to be the first GNLU student and the first from Jammu & Kashmir to have bagged the prestigious scholarship, talks about his journey in law school, how to make your application stand out, and more. What inspired you to apply? Basically, my areas of interest are Human Rights and the […]

LegitQuest is the latest in the line of ventures aiming to integrate technology with legal research. Run by Rohit Shukla, Karan Kalia and Himanshu Puri (pictured L-R), LegitQuest aims to make life easier for lawyers, students, and judges alike by considerably decreasing the time spent on legal research. Bar & Bench caught up with lawyer Karan Kalia, who once worked with Senior Advocate Ram Jethmalani, to discuss the features of LegitQuest and what will set it apart from existing online resources, prior to its impending launch. What is LegitQuest? Significant gaps in the legal research domain in India gives a strong […]

K Pratap Reddy is a veteran Senior Advocate at the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad. Through his long career, Reddy has represented six Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh, including PV Narsimha Rao. The 87-year-old, with close to six decades of experience at the Bar, had earlier taken us through his career in an interview published in 2012. This time around, he speaks on more recent issues, ranging from the Collegium, to privacy, to his close encounter with contempt. The opacity of the Collegium system has been called into question, with the transfer and subsequent resignation of Justice Jayant Patel. […]

Professor Kancha Ilaiah has never been one to mince words. But when he termed Banias as “social smugglers”, he started receiving death threats and abusive phone calls. His book Samajika Smugglurlu Komatollu drew flak from sections of society, leading to the filing of a petition calling for its ban. However, the Supreme Court would dismiss the petition while upholding his freedom of speech and expression. Bar & Bench caught up with Ilaiah to discuss his writings, criminal proceedings pending against him, and more. You don many hats. You are a Professor, an author, a Dalit rights activist and more. Can you describe the […]

In a significant judgment passed yesterday, the Supreme Court laid down criteria for Senior Designations, which will be applicable to all High Courts and the Supreme Court. The judgment provides a detailed process for designating a lawyer as a Senior Advocate. The new system has been lauded as a step towards bringing in greater transparency in the process of Senior Designations. The person who set the wheels in motion is none other than Senior Advocate Indira Jaising. Here, she speaks with Bar & Bench on the judgment and the detailed process laid down by the Court for designating seniors. What are […]

Avtar Singh Rawat is a Senior Advocate of the Uttarakhand High Court. He has previously served as Additional Advocate General for Uttarakhand in the Supreme Court. Most recently, he had represented the Speaker in the Uttarakhand President’s Rule case in the High Court. Not one to mince his words, in this interview, the veteran lawyer offers a perspective on lawyers in smaller cities, highlights the flaws in the system of judicial appointments, and talks about government litigation. Why did you choose to do law? I come from a very remote area, and I did not know anything about the legal […]

Sanjay Pinto is an advocate currently practicing in the Madras High Court. He specialises in Media, Constitutional, Criminal, Consumer and Arbitration Law. Following his graduation in History and Politics at Loyola College, Chennai, he completed his law degree from Dr. Ambedkar Government Law College, Chennai. Prior to taking up legal practice, he was a prominent figure in journalism. Starting with the role of Tamil Nadu correspondent at NDTV New Delhi Television in 1998, he has gone on to serve as Bureau Chief for Tamil Nadu and Puducherry at NDTV 24×7, Executive Editor of NDTV-Hindu and Resident Editor for Tamil Nadu at NDTV 24×7. He […]

Senior Advocate of the Madras High Court Vijay Narayan was recently appointed as Advocate General for the state of Tamil Nadu. A much-respected member of the Bar himself, Narayan comes from a family of illustrious lawyers. His grandfather was legendary lawyer MK Nambyar, and his uncle happens to be Attorney General for India, KK Venugopal. In this interview, Narayan, who is also the President of the Madras Bar Association, talks about starting off in the profession, judicial appointments and a lot more. You come from a family of illustrious lawyers. Did that influence your decision to take up law? When I […]

I am seated alongside Shanmugham’s two sons and two of my friends. Hot puttu is being served onto my plate as we resume our conversation from where we had left off. He had spoken about how those in the higher echelons should take care to ensure that standards [in the profession] are set high. And that is definitely a hint. Supreme Court – the mistakes “Where do you think the Supreme Court started getting its basics wrong?”, I query. “Laying down Rules for interpretation! There is a provision and there is a rule for interpretation of the provision. But when […]

Having appeared and argued on the petitioners’ side of the bar, Senior Advocate Sajan Poovayya had the opportunity to reflect on every single argument made on either side, during the hearings in the historic Right to Privacy matter. “I consider myself privileged for having had the opportunity to be a part of this historic journey. Not often do nine judges of the Supreme Court convene to consider a matter so crucial to human life as the Right to Privacy; and render a unanimous verdict, although from different perspectives. People living in this day and age are lucky to have witnessed […]

Balaji Srinivasan is an Advocate at the Supreme Court of India. He started his career in the trial courts of Bengaluru, working with Senior Advocate Pramila Nesargi. As an Advocate on Record of the Supreme Court, he has appeared in several prolific cases including the Swami Nithyananda case and the Black Money case. He is also a regular in various tribunals such as the NCDRC, APTEL etc. and has served as the standing counsel for Nagaland. In the landmark case striking down that constitutionality of Triple Talaq pronounced this week, he appeared on behalf of the main petitioner, Shayara Bano. In this interview with […]

A day before a nine-judge Bench of the Supreme Court of India decides whether or not Indian citizens have a fundamental right to privacy (Justice KS Puttaswamy (Retd.) & Anr. v. Union of India & Ors ), one particular individual is waiting with bated breath. That man is former Karnataka High Court judge, Justice KS Puttaswamy, the man who set things in motion with his petition filed in . . . Facebook Comment To read the entire article, get a premium account With a premium account you get: One year of unrestrcited access to previous interviews, columns and articles One year […]

Prof Dr. Tabrez Ahmad is the Director of the College of Legal Studies at University of Petroleum Studies (UPES), Dehradun. In this interview with Bar & Bench’s Aditya AK, he talks about the ‘specialisation law courses’ on offer at the law college, the unique recruitment process they follow, the high cost of legal education, and more. Aditya AK: Tell us about the law school at UPES. Prof Tabrez Ahmad . . . Facebook Comment To read the entire article, get a premium account With a premium account you get: One year of unrestrcited access to previous interviews, columns and articles […]

Shanmugham D Jayan is a visiting faculty at National University of Advanced Legal Studies (NUALS) Kochi and Cochin University. He teaches Constitutional Law, Jurisprudence, IT Law and Law of Taxation. He is also a lawyer specialising in taxation and frequents courts and authorities of first instance. An expert in Information Technology Law, he has three publications to his credit. In this free-wheeling chat with Bar & Bench’s Murali Krishnan, Shanmugham speaks on myriad subjects including legal education, quality of the Bar, the judiciary and . . . Facebook Comment To read the entire article, get a premium account With a […]

Shanmugham D Jayan is a visiting faculty at National University of Advanced Legal Studies (NUALS) Kochi, and Cochin University. He teaches Constitutional Law, Jurisprudence, IT Law and Law of Taxation. He is also a lawyer specialising in taxation and frequents courts and authorities of first instance. An expert in Information Technology Law, he has three publications to his credit. In this free-wheeling chat with Bar & Bench’s Murali Krishnan, Shanmugham speaks on myriad subjects including legal education, quality of the Bar, the judiciary and the Supreme Court. As I walk into his very modest office situated right opposite the High […]

I am clutching at straws trying to see the first ever high court judge to be slapped with contempt charges in positive light. Is the Supreme Court’s and the media’s demonization of Justice CS Karnan warranted or is there a side to him that is unbeknown? And more importantly, what are the larger issues that surround this bizarre chain of events? To find out, I must travel to Chennai and meet one man who has stood by the former Madras and Calcutta High Court judge . . . Facebook Comment To read the entire article, get a premium account With […]

In the second part of the interview (read Part I here), Iqbal Chagla talks about collegium system, corruption in judiciary, the Bombay Bar Association and the state of the profession. How have you seen the Supreme Court evolve over the years? The first time I went to the Supreme Court was with Bhabha’s junior. This was the time when the paper book was printed. We had to get special permission to allow cyclostyling. Otherwise it was a lovely printed book with a statement of the case, [the] second part would be law [and then] legal submissions. This was strictly followed. Matters […]

Iqbal Chagla is one of India’s leading lawyers. The son of MC Chagla, one of the legends of the Bombay Bar, Iqbal did not always want to join the legal profession. His initial interest lay elsewhere. “I did join Grey’s Inn but I think my interest was more in literature. I intended to go to the Sorbonne University in Paris and then I lost my mother. So even before I was called to the Bar, I had to rush back to India . . . Facebook Comment To read the entire article, get a premium account With a premium account […]

Dr. Kartikey Hari Gupta is an advocate practising at the Uttarakhand High Court. Gupta, who holds a Ph.D. in law, published a book titled Sustainable Development Law: The Law for the Future back in 2016. In this interview with Bar & Bench’s Aditya AK, Dr Gupta talks about his book, environmental litigation in the courts, the sustainability of hydropower projects in Uttarakhand, and more. Aditya AK: What was the inspiration behind the book?

A new software to aid speedy disposal of criminal cases has been conceptualized by IAS officer Shubhra Saxena, who is currently serving as District Magistrate of Hardoi, Uttar Pradesh. The software ‘Saakshi’ – Summon Management System, aims to deliver summons to the witnesses in criminal trials electronically, thus reducing manual intervention to a great extent. Speaking to Bar & Bench, Shubhra Saxena elaborated on the need for such a system, how it works, and a lot more.

Anuj Bhuwania is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at South Asian University, New Delhi. He is also the author of Courting the People: Public Interest Litigation in Post-Emergency India, a book that analyses the evolution of the PIL over the years. In this interview with Bar & Bench’s Aditya AK, Bhuwania talks about omnibus PILs, why there is a general trend of disenchantment with the PIL, the role lawyers and judges have . . . Facebook Comment To read the entire article, get a premium account With a premium account you get: One year of unrestrcited access to […]

Naveen Raju, a graduate of the National Law School of India University, Bangalore, is the current General Counsel and Executive Vice President at Mahindra & Mahindra. Raju started his career with ACC in 1996, after which he was at Crompton Greaves for a short stint. Thereafter, he joined Reliance Industries Limited in 2000 and served as the Legal Head of of its oil and gas business for nearly 15 years, before moving on to Mahindra in November, 2014. In this interview with Bar & Bench’s Varun Marwah, Raju shares his thoughts on the (continuously) evolving role of an in-house counsel in India, […]

If you blink, you will miss it. There is absolutely nothing special about the building that houses the office of Rural Litigation and Entitlement Kendra (RLEK) located off Rajpur Road in Dehradun. It virtually melds into its surroundings, making it rather difficult to find. However, this unassuming edifice is a piece of history. It is to here that the origins of India’s first ever environmental litigation in the Supreme Court can be traced. But, much like its headquarters, the many victories RLEK has achieved in the courts have gone largely unnoticed. RLEK’s success over the years is largely down to the […]

Samadhan, the Delhi High Court’s Mediation and Conciliation Centre, was established in 2006 during the tenure of then Chief Justice Markandey Katju. Around 22,000 cases have been referred to Samadhan for mediation till date. Out of these, around 7,300 cases were directly settled through mediation and a further 4900 connected cases were also consequently settled. Thus, more than 12,000 cases have been settled by Samadhan at a rate of more than 60 percent. Bar & Bench spoke to Senior Advocate and Member of the Overseeing Committee of Samadhan, Sudhanshu Batra, who gave a thorough insight into the Centre and its […]

Amit Kapur started his journey with J. Sagar Associates in 1996 – then an eight-lawyer sole proprietorship, and made partner in 2000. Seventeen years later, he would take over as Senior Partner of JSA, a firm with around 300 lawyers. Asked about his journey and success, Kapur says, “I learnt my work ethic from my father, who is a self-made man. JSA gave me the freedom to evolve my practice and the opportunity to achieve this . . . Facebook Comment To read the entire article, get a premium account With a premium account you get: One year of unrestrcited […]

Rebecca John was designated Senior Advocate in 2013 by the Delhi High Court. She has been a lawyer in many high profile cases including the Aarushi Talwar case. In this interview with Bar & Bench’s Murali Krishnan, John speaks about her views on the highly publicised Nirbhaya judgment. What are . . . Facebook Comment To read the entire article, get a premium account With a premium account you get: One year of unrestrcited access to previous interviews, columns and articles One year access to all archival material Access to all Bar & Bench reports Register Already a subscriber ? Login

Avikshit Moral heads Juris Corp’s Real Estate Practice. He started his career in Mumbai with Manilal Kher Ambalal & Co. and after a brief stint at Law Point, he joined Juris Corp as a Senior Associate in 2014. He was involved with the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (RERA) right from the time the Bill was passed in 2015. He has been working on the Act very closely and has made representations on behalf of various market participants.