- Hi, Tell me about yourself?
I am the Co-founder and Vice President of Young India – Youth Ki Awaaz (a national level NGO). Apart from that, I am also a final year law student at Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies (Affiliated to Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Delhi). As this interview is for your website, therefore, I will be focusing on the latter.
- What are your strengths?
I reckon that my strengths are my confidence, preciseness and straight-forwardness. While the last quality can also go against you sometimes but I would still consider it as one of my positive factors. Apart from that, I think that my ability to not to panic and to stay calm in complex situations has also helped me a lot.
- What inspired you to make your career in the offbeat, unconventional and uncommon field of law?
This is an interesting story and I would like to share it with the readers. Although my father is an Advocate-on-Record (AOR) but I was never inclined to pursue law because I thought that it was a hard profession. I was a Science (Non-Medical) student during my senior secondary school and I wanted to pursue B.Tech afterwards. When I was preparing for B.Tech entrance exams my father advised me to fill forms of CLAT and some other law entrance tests. Initially, I refused, but he told me that “you fill the forms and just don’t prepare for it if you don’t want to”. Later, unfortunately, I couldn’t get admission in B.Tech in any of the Colleges of my preference. So I was left with two options i.e. either to drop for a year and try for B.Tech next year or to go to a Law School. I chose the latter because there was no guarantee in the dropping plan and also because my apparent dislike for studying ‘Mathematics’ anymore. (Laughs)
What started as a disaster later turned into a beautiful journey. The first law subject I was introduced to, in my Law School, was ‘Law of Contracts’. I was amazed by our interaction with the law, unbeknown to us, in almost every step of our life. For instance, when I went to McDonald’s to buy a burger, I realised that actually, I was entering into a contract. I started thinking and analysing more about this fascinating web of rules that govern our lives and make us an orderly society. With time, I started enjoying studying law. I can perhaps say that going to a Law School has proved to be a life-changing decision for me.
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?
I take life as it comes to me. I try to live in the present and not to think too much about future. However, I can tell you my near future plan. After completing my graduation this year I will be going to the Queen Mary University of London to pursue my LL.M. in Comparative and International Dispute Resolution.
- Tell me about an accomplishment you are most proud of.
I am not sure whether it will fit into the category of “accomplishment” but I will a share an experience of which I am proud of. This happened in January 2016 when I went to represent my college in 1st Alliance National Moot Court Competition organised by Alliance School of Law, Alliance University, Bengaluru. After I finished my arguments in the second round of the competition, the members of the opposite team and some of the people from the audience came to me and complimented me for my performance. Those compliments meant more than winning the competition to me. I really felt proud after that. I believe that these experiences and compliments are the main incentives which drive anyone and not money or any other thing.
- What would you look to accomplish in the first 30 days/60 days/90 days on the legal job?
I think 90 days period is too short to accomplish anything especially in the profession of law. The most you can do is to learn the procedures of the Court and start building your contacts if you are practising in any Court. If you are working in a Law Firm then I think learning about the culture of the firm and observing how the people at firm work and tackle different situations is very crucial. Don’t be too hasty in the beginning. Try to learn as much as you can.
- What was your biggest failure?
I think my biggest failure was when I couldn’t get admission in B.Tech. But eventually, that turned out to a blessing in disguise. Another failure in thinking was my decision to go to a Law School in Dehradun just by considering the rankings of a leading media group. But I think I recovered pretty well when I shifted back to Delhi.
It was a lesson learnt and I will like to suggest to the prospective students of law that never choose a Law School by considering any rankings, instead count on words of mouth and the reputation of the Law School.
- What motivates you?
Compliments and the faith which a person shows in me are a few things which motivate me. Apart from that responsibility and working under pressure brings out the best in me. When I am entrusted with a responsibility I feel like a leader and a leader has to always lead from the front.
- Who’s your mentor?
I learnt the core values of focus, perseverance and hard work at a very early stage of my life. I have grown up seeing my father as a reputable lawyer practising in Supreme Court of India. His passion for law and his enthusiasm in helping his clients has always motivated me to follow his ideals. My father is my mentor.
- Tell me about a Case Judgement you disagreed with.
Though there are many judgements I disagree with but I will focus on the latest one i.e. Jago Janata Society v. State of Rajasthan, W.P.(C) No. 15585/2010 delivered by Rajasthan High Court on 31.05.2017. It is the famous case which attained huge controversy recently in which the Hon’ble High Court recommended/directed the Centre to christen the cow as India’s national animal. The 139-page judgement in Hindi also recommended enhancement of punishment for cow slaughter to life imprisonment.
I deeply condemn this judgement. First thing first, whether an animal should be declared a national animal or not is the executive’s prerogative and the judiciary shouldn’t interfere in it. This also violates the principle of separation of power enshrined in our Constitution. The Hon’ble High Court should have restricted itself to the issue involved in the petition, filed by the NGO Jago Janta Society seeking directions to save cows kept in Jaipur’s Hingonia gaushala and other cow sheds, especially when a similar matter is sub judice before the Hon’ble Supreme Court.
Secondly, Section 302 of IPC prescribes death penalty or imprisonment for life for murder. It is a fact that the death penalty is given in rarest of rare cases and generally life imprisonment is given on being found guilty of murder. Then the question which arises is that can a cow and a human be treated at par? Is the life of a cow as important as that of a man? I don’t think so.
Thirdly, I don’t understand the need to segregate cow from other animals. The cow is an animal and so are others. You can’t stop anyone from eating anything. It is their right. If you don’t like it then just simply don’t eat it but you can’t stop others from eating it. Even after this, if there has to be a ban then be it on the slaughter of all animals. Why only on Cow slaughtering?
Moreover, this judgment is likely to embolden vigilante groups who, in the name of cow protection, have carried out violent attacks on minorities suspected of cow slaughtering. This judgment could harm the image of our judiciary, which should not be seen as endorsing a particular religion since its function is to protect every citizen’s rights.
- Are you a leader or a follower?
That’s a trick one. I would say that I am both. Actually, it depends on the situation. When the situation demands me to be a leader I try to lead from the front and when it demands me to be a follower, I follow and try to be as helpful as possible.
- What was the last law book you’ve read for knowledge?
While I was working on my dissertation on the topic “Development of Jurisprudence on TRIPS: Contribution by Dispute Settlement Mechanism of WTO” I came across a book titled WTO Dispute Settlement and the TRIPS Agreement: Applying Intellectual Property Standards in a Trade Law Framework authored by Mr. Matthew Kennedy and published by Cambridge University Press in 2016. It’s a fantastic book. It sheds insight on the how the dispute settlement mechanism of WTO has shaped up over the years when it comes to TRIPS Agreement and also analyses that how effective the dispute settlement mechanism been over the years with respect to TRIPS Agreement.
- Your interests apart from studies?
My other interests are playing and watching Cricket, socialising with people; getting to know about them, visiting different places etc. One other thing which I believe most of the law students like is sleeping. I love sleeping. (Smiles)
- The best experience and a success habit you would like to share with our readers that would encourage them.
I will let you know once I am successful. (Laughs)
- The Chief Justice of India recently said that the services of law should reach to every section of the society so do you plan to do something in this regards?
As I have already mentioned above that I am the Vice President of Young India – Youth Ki Awaaz, our organisation is already working in this field. We organise various legal aid camps in rural areas and slums where we provide legal aid to the people. I also worked as a volunteer at Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies Legal Aid Clinic. Through this clinic, I provided legal aid to the weaker sections of the society who are not able to afford legal services due to various reasons. These experiences on the ground level served as an invaluable contribution to my evolving understanding of equality, justice and their counterparts.
- Where are you working currently?
I am currently interning at the Delhi office of Advani & Co. It is a mid-tier law firm having expertise in arbitration. Currently, I am not looking to work anywhere as I will be going for the post-graduation as already discussed in the answer to question no. 4.
Thanks for taking the time to share your unique journey with us, and all the best wishes to you!