In part II of the interview with Senior Advocate Janak Dwarkadas, he talks about how he made it in the profession, how his style of argument evolved over the years, being designated Senior Counsel at a young age, and more. Anuj Agrawal: Coming back to your career. There must have been some significant cases and turning points. Janak Dwarkadas: It would not be right for me to talk about the cases I have handled, although I would like to share how I got my first break. It was the result of my “being around”. It was a legal battle for the […]

He is a hard man to follow, quite literally. He may be in his early sixties, but senior counsel Janak Dwarkadas walks with a pace that belies his age. So if you do want to interview one of the most successful lawyers at the Bombay Bar, step one is to actually catch the man. But once you do, and once you do get an hour or so of his time, you get an up-close look at the quintessential old-school lawyer. He answers most questions with his eyes half-closed, much like he argues in court, running his hands through his hair […]

Justice Shiva Kirti Singh was elevated to the Supreme Court of India on September 19, 2013. After a tenure that lasted a little over three years,  Justice Singh retired in November last year. Justice Singh’s father was a judge of the Patna High Court, while his maternal grandfather, Justice BP Sinha, was the sixth Chief Justice of India, from 1959 to 1964. Justice Shiva Kirti Singh enrolled as an advocate in 1977 and was designated a Senior Advocate thirteen years later. In 1998, he was appointed as a judge of the Patna High Court, where he served as Acting Chief […]

Andhyarujina got through the Indian Foreign Services but took up law. “It was a difficult decision to make. I opted to go for the legal profession for two reasons. One, my father was a lawyer in Bombay. Secondly, we knew HM Seervai, who was an eminent jurist.” A junior lawyer working under one of the biggest names in the constitutional law, HM Seervai, Andhyarujina never regretted his decision. He spent fourteen years in Seervai’s chambers. “Seervai was not one of these run of the mill lawyers. He didn’t believe in being in the profession just to earn money. He himself […]

In part 2 of the interview with Justice GC Bharuka, he talks about how his mission to computerise all courts in India, how the plans have fallen short of implementation, and a lot more. On December 8, 2004 the Ministry of Law and Justice announced the establishment of an “e-Committee” for “monitoring” the use and implementation of technology in the Indian judiciary. The first Chairman of this committee was none other than Justice Bharuka; the CJI at that time was Justice RC Lahoti. “We were entrusted with making of national policy on all the facets of computerisation and automation of […]

He has more than a few interesting stories, you have to give him that. With a professional life that began as a mathematics teacher, GC Bharuka went on to become one of the leading commercial lawyers in the Patna High Court. Elevated to the Bench in 1990, he was also the Acting Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court. He remained on the Bench for thirteen years. But it was neither his successful practice nor his judicial career that was the focal point of the interview, one that lasted the better part of three hours. No, this was not one […]

Senior Advocate Yatin Oza has been a very vocal critic of the Executive interference in judicial appointments. He was recently exonerated by the Supreme Court on contempt charges after the letters he sent to Chief Justice of India TS Thakur. Oza spoke to Bar & Bench’s Murali Krishnan on what he perceives to be arm-twisting of the judiciary by the Executive. He also called upon the Bar Associations across the country to throw their weight behind Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave, who had recently made some scathing allegations against listing of certain cases in Supreme Court. Below are the edited excerpts from the […]

The results of the Supreme Court Advocate-on-Record (AoR) examination were released earlier this month. While for some, judgment day meant disappointment and regret, for Sahil Tagotra and Deepayan Mandal, it was jubilation all the way. The first and second rank holders had some interesting insights to share from their experience. In this interview with Bar & Bench’s Vasudha Misra, the victorious duo reveal how their respective journeys have fared thus far. Vasudha Misra: Who or what influenced your decision to be a lawyer? Any inspirations? Sahil: I was a science student in my school, and as such, was typically expected […]

DLN Rao is a designated Senior Advocate of the Karnataka High Court. A veteran lawyer who has spent more than four decades at the Bar, Rao is also the foremost authority on mining laws in the country. Apart from that, he is also the person to be credited for the underground Metro rail system in Bangalore. In this interview with Bar & Bench’s Aditya AK, he talks about how things have changed in forty-six years, his most memorable cases, and the role law officers can play in helping reduce pendency. (Edited excerpts below) Aditya AK: Was law always the plan? […]

Justice Ram Mohan Reddy is a former judge of the Karnataka High Court. After a tenure of more than twelve years, Justice Reddy retired in June last year. He was previously Chairman of the High Court’s Computerization Committee as well as the Judicial Process Re-engineering Committee. In this interview with Bar & Bench’s Aditya AK, Justice Reddy talks about his experience as a judge, how computerization is resulting in better case management, and more. (Edited Excerpts) Aditya AK – How would you describe your experience as a judge? Justice Reddy – During my tenure as a judge for 12 years […]

One of those rare people who is equally liked amongst the various factions of the Bombay Bar, senior counsel Milind Sathe is a rather soft-spoken man. Which is a bit hard to digest, given the fact that he is the President of the Bombay Bar Association. In this hour-long interview with Bar & Bench’s Anuj Agrawal, Sathe talks about his early years, teaching at GLC, and much more. (Edited excerpts) Anuj Agrawal: There is very little information about your early years. You used to teach at Government Law College, Mumbai. Milind Sathe: I actually did my BSc in science from Chiplun […]

Asim Pandya is the President of the Gujarat High Court Bar Association and a noted author. If things had worked out differently, he would also be a High Court judge; in 2009, his elevation to the Bench was denied in some rather controversial circumstances. In this interview with Bar & Bench’s Aditya AK, Asim Pandya talks about the flaws in the current system of appointing judges, politics at the Bar level, the importance of writing skills for a lawyer, and more. Aditya AK: How were your early days in the profession? Asim Pandya: When I started, I found it difficult to sustain myself […]

Gaurav Bhatia is hardly an unknown face for Supreme Court regulars. As Uttar Pradesh’s former Additional Advocate General, Bhatia has had a successful practice in the apex court. But that is not all. Elected for the second time as the Secretary of the Supreme Court Bar Association, Bhatia has let his work speak for himself. Despite this, controversy, like an unshakable poltergeist, seems to follow him. In this exclusive interview with Bar and Bench’s Vasudha Misra, Bhatia opens up on his plans as SCBA Secretary, working with recently elected President R S Suri, and everything a Supreme Court lawyer can look forward to in this term. […]

Politician, BJP spokesperson, lawyer and engineer, Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay has made his presence felt in the Supreme Court and the Delhi High Court after his involvement in multiple public interest litigations. In this interview with Bar & Bench’s Nalini Sharma, Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay talks about his political career, demonetization and his “passion to file PILs”. Nalini Sharma: How did law happen? Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay: I did my engineering and worked in many companies including Hero Honda, and Maruti before I decided to do my law. I quit my job when the Anna Movement started. I was a Senior Engineer in Maruti Suzuki then. I […]

During his illustrious career, Justice CK Thakker has donned many hats: those of a Supreme Court judge, a distinguished author, a lawyer and even a part-time lecturer. In this conversation with Bar & Bench’s Aditya AK, the retired judge takes us through his journey in the legal profession, his relationship with noted British jurist Lord Denning, and more. The first thing you notice about Justice Chunilal Karsandas Thakker is his infallible memory. He recounts each and every detail from his childhood, including the name of the bus that took him to school, after he would walk for three kilometres from […]

Senior Advocate Kirti Uppal recently defeated long-time President Rajiv Khosla to become the new President of the Delhi High Court Bar Association. Emerging victorious by over 300 votes, Uppal has come a long way from being a first-generation lawyer to a senior advocate and now the DHCBA President. He spoke to Bar & Bench about the politics in the bar, his plans as the new president and his past experiences after a long stint of being associated with the Delhi High Court. Nalini Sharma: Why did you decide to run for the President? Kirti Uppal: I’ve been a part and parcel of the Bar Association for […]

Shalin Mehta is a Senior Advocate at the Gujarat High Court. A graduate of Columbia Law School, Mehta happens to be one of the youngest ever lawyers to be designated a Senior. In this interview with Bar & Bench’s Aditya AK, he talks about his experience working in the United States, what Indian lawyers can learn from those abroad, and more. Aditya AK: Why did you choose law as a career? Shalin Mehta: I have a long lineage in the profession. My grandfather was an acting Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court. Thereafter my father also entered the profession. He […]

This time around, Aney talks about Bar Associations and a lawyer’s role in society. (You can read Part III of the interview here) AA: After moving to Bombay, why didn’t you stand for Bar Association posts here? SA: I am too old. I am 67 years old. This is something that ought to be taken up by younger men. There is a time in our lives when we are productive, but as we age, this productivity goes down. It is like this somewhat off-colour joke about the old bull who is advising young bulls on how to go about their […]

When the “Breakfast” series was first discussed with former Advocate General Shreehari Aney, there were three topics identified. The senior counsel’s thoughts on the first topic, women in the legal profession, has already been published (Part 1 and Part 2). This time around, Aney talks about Bar Associations and a lawyer’s role in society. Without further ado. Anuj Agrawal: Bar Associations are unlike Bar Councils in many ways. Shreehari Aney: A Bar Council is a creation of an Act, comparable to say, the Indian Medical Council or the Institution of Chartered Accountants, or any of these professional bodies which answer […]

Virendra Lodha is a Senior Advocate of the Rajasthan High Court at Jaipur. A junior of former Supreme Court judge Justice GS Singhvi, Lodha is a Senior Standing Counsel for a number of government departments. In this interview with Bar & Bench’s Aditya AK, he talks about the co-relation between case pendency and judicial vacancies, seniors not paying juniors, and more. Aditya AK: Did having a family background in law make it easier? Virendra Lodha: Definitely, it made things easier, because I had quite a sound opening. Secondly, I had the goodwill of my jijaji, Justice GS Singhvi, who was […]

Sanjeev Prakash Sharma is a Senior Advocate of the Rajasthan High Court. In 2011, the Jaipur-based lawyer became the youngest advocate to be designated. In this interview with Bar & Bench’s Aditya AK, SP Sharma talks about his early days of practice, new trends in the Jaipur Bar, transparency in judicial appointments, and more. Aditya AK: Why did you choose to do law? Sanjeev Prakash Sharma: I took it by way of choice, even though there was nobody in my family who was in the legal profession. We had a function for the 25th anniversary of the Bar Council of India. […]

In the second of a six-part series (read Part 1 here), the former Advocate General of Maharashtra sits down with Bar & Bench’s Associate Editor Anuj Agrawal, and speaks his mind. This time around it is about the status of women in the legal profession. [Continued] Anuj Agrawal: So how do you change? Shreehari Aney: You cannot change certain things which are almost built into the society. You cannot teach people to be polite to women – that has to be part of your breeding. You either have it, or you do not. But if I am in a courtroom where […]

He can be brutally honest, can senior counsel Shreehari Aney. Which is perhaps one of the reasons why his interviews (Part 1 and Part 2) on Bar & Bench garnered the number of views it did. That interview did touch upon a few topics that, in an ideal world, should have been dealt with in greater detail. Which is how the Breakfast with Shreehari Aney idea came about: an honest discussion on topics that are crying for attention, from someone who has seen the legal profession up close. In the first of a six-part series, the former Advocate General of Maharashtra sits down with […]

Senior Advocate Rupinder Singh Suri has been in the profession for four decades. Suri served as the Standing Counsel for Punjab in Supreme Court during the times of Sikh militancy. Suri was also the President of the Advocates-on-Record Association. In this interview with Bar & Bench’s Murali Krishnan, RS Suri talks about the ‘Punjab problem’, his views on one-upmanship among judges and why the senior members of the Bar should train young lawyers. Bar & Bench: Why did you take up Law? RS Suri: Law was not a ‘first option’. It happened because I had the least objection to it. […]

In the second part of the interview with Senior Advocate Yatin Oza, we take a look at his political career, his relationship with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the reason he refused to rejoin the BJP and more. But first, he gives us a glimpse of how elections work at the Gujarat Bar. “You will be surprised that elections in Gujarat happen very differently from the rest of the country. In other states, people spend lakhs and crores to become Bar President. But here, if you spend money, you are bound to lose! The only thing I spend is on the […]

Yatin Oza, a Senior Advocate of the Gujarat High Court was recently exonerated by the Supreme Court on contempt charges after the letters he sent to Chief Justice of India TS Thakur. Yatin Oza had criticised High Court judges MR Shah and KS Jhaveri JJ. as “owing allegiance to 11, Akbar Road and 7, Race Course Road” and made other adverse comments against the High Court. A couple of weeks later, Yatin Oza met with Bar & Bench’s Aditya AK to discuss the issue of transparency in judicial appointments, his career as a lawyer and politician, his relationship with Prime Minister Narendra […]

Raju Moray has the skills of a storyteller, with plenty of anecdotes to share about the legal profession throughout his 30-year career. The Government Law College graduate also has a Master’s in English literature, and a diploma in journalism to boot. He also happens to be the counsel for the petitioners in the Haji Ali verdict delivered by the Bombay High Court. In this interview with Bar & Bench’s Nitish Kashyap, he shares his experiences as a lawyer, and the importance of pro bono work. Nitish Kashyap: Why the Master’s in literature? Raju Moray: The purpose of doing a masters degree was to […]

Last week, Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw of the Delhi High Court pronounced judgment in the copyright infringement case filed by international publishers against Rameshwari Photocopy Services, situated in the North Campus of Delhi University. Dismissing the four year old suit, Justice Endlaw held that “copyright, specially in literary works, is not an inevitable, divine or natural right conferred on an author”. The Court went on to say that the copyright law is intended to increase, and not impede knowledge. Bar & Bench’s Nalini Sharma spoke to Advocate Rajesh Yadav, the counsel for Rameshwari Photocopy Services, about the landmark judgment and how he managed to […]

Rajan Jayakar is a renaissance man. The 68-year old solicitor, who hails from a family of lawyers, is an ardent art collector and has travelled the world in pursuit of his passion for art and history. He says that he has been a collector since childhood, and it was his own community’s history which led him to focus on Mumbai. Rajan Jayakar is the man responsible for the Bombay High Court’s museum, a  former court room, that was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in February last year. The museum,  is a treasure trove of history, even containing the barrister certificates […]

The second interview in the IDIA Disability Access Programme (IDAP) Interview Series is with distinguished judge, David S Tatel of the United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit. It is a court that is often referred to as the second most important court in the United States of America. Judge Tatel graduated from the University of Chicago Law School in 1966, and has had a diverse career trajectory ever since. Blind since 1972 due to the degenerative eye disease Retinitis Pigmentosa, the judge has taught at the University of Michigan and Stanford, and also worked with law firms including Sidley & Austin […]