•  •  Dark Mode

Your Interests & Preferences

I am a...

law firm lawyer
in-house company lawyer
litigation lawyer
law student
aspiring student

Website Look & Feel

 •  •  Dark Mode
Blog Layout

Save preferences
31 May 2010

- The events depicted in this blog are probably fictitious. Any similarity to any person living or dead is merely coincidental.

- "The mind of man can imagine nothing which has not really existed." --Edgar Allan Poe

Last year, I was part of the Propaganda department (PD) aka editorial committee. PD in my college is not the place many people want to be. It's probably one of the most boring places on earth. A department with little ambition on part of its leaders (currently headed by three very old school professors). Let me tell you a few things about the decade old PD.


 1. It has been reinvented so many times that many have forgotten it exists. 


 2. The colour of PD’s Journal is creepy. A capitalist offered us a lot of money if we changed the colour. The LEADERS refused - We have to protect the Revolution! 


 3. All the articles we receive have been rejected elsewhere - They come in various sizes. Some are 4 pages long and some are 50. The 50 page articles usually have 5-10 footnotes; each provided at regular intervals.


 4. We get a lot of articles from our own Comrades. Some borrow them from students and some from international revolutionary journals. Censored Google is getting better and we had the opportunity to bring a Comrade to his knees but ended up on ours. 


Last semester, we received an article from the head of the Intellectual Property Rights department. This made our hearts beat a little when we got to know what had happened. One of the boys in PD did a preliminary search on google about the paper and to his astonishment found a paper exactly on the same topic. 


 Alright, that's ok. People might have the same topics. Doesn't mean much! 


He downloaded the article and started comparing the paper. To his 'astonishment' (now remember, we don't get excited unless its something extremely stupid. We're very desensitized to ordinary plagiarism) 60% of the paper had been picked up from this article published on an international conference website. 


We did want to believe that Comrade Amin Dostorkey (not his real name, of course) was friends with Comrade IPR but sadly that was not to be. The good Comrade had presented the paper in 2001 and clearly at a conference in Russia where Comrade IPR had never set foot (He's lived all his life in the South America defending it from invading capitalists). The question now was what was to be done? PD got a thrill from putting Comrades like omrade IPR on their knees. They had forever been pointing out that PD was a useless department.


It was agreed that we'd all keep quiet about it. The student who had found out the misgiving would approach the LEADERS and inform them about their COMRADE'S indiscipline. Hail the Revolution – we all shouted. 


When WHISTLE BLOWER (WB) walked into the room of LEADER 1, he had this music playing in his head. It was from hollywood - revolutionary and patriotic – composed by a sympathizer of the revolution. He spent the next ten minutes briefing LEADER 1 about what he had come across. At one point he tried to feign tears to get his point across. LEADER 1 kept listening silently. When his speech ended (for WB had concluded as the background music started coming to an end ) LEADER 1 put his hands together and said –

Child, Will You Pray Tonight?


WB’s mind couldn't process the sentence. So he repeated the words to himself – 


 Child, Will You Pray Tonight? 


LEADER 1 explained (with even more aggressive patriotic music in mind - THY SHALL PROTECT THE ESTABLISHMENT) that he was the only qualified person the University had and there was little that could be done. His suggestion was that the Committee change the plagiarized lines and then publish the paper. WB got up and speaking no more, walked out of LEADER 1's chamber. 


WB walked out of the room. His heart had withdrawn into a dark corner and didn't want to beat. So he walked into the washroom and making sure no one was there, he let his tears come out. It felt like rejection; but never had it been on such wrong reasons. He couldn't give up he told himself. LEADER 2 was known to be more reasonable and if nothing else he would approach the Comrade Chairman aka Vice-Chancellor). He was on a mission and he knew this was right. 


LEADER 2 was not such a busy man. Sitting on his chair he was trying to learn how gmail could help him keep in touch with his grandson in New Jersey. 

 Come In, Comrade 


He cheerfully called in his favorite member of the committee. 

 Please have a seat! This is my son, his wife and their child. He is so playful. 


WB kept his calm and listened carefully as LEADER 2 explained how he had got his son educated in the United States and got him married off to a wealthy family whose daughter was working in the same city. 


 Life is wonderful, comrade !


 Clearly elated with gmail, LEADER 2 couldn’t stop speaking about it -

Apart from being able to send picturesI can also watch him play. 


WB thought AN OUTSOURCED MAN NANNY. Then finally after ten minutes WB was able to get to the point.

Comrade IPR has betrayed the institution. He has plagiarized! 


LEADER 2 kept calm and asked - 

 How did you get to know about this? 


 Are you sure? You have some software? 

 No comrade! I found out about this from google.


LEADER 2 was still silent. Censored google was trustworthy. He had no doubt in his mind. Finally after contemplating he said – 

 Ok! Please send me which paragraphs have been copied. Highlight the portions. And don’t forget to send the original article. 


WB did as he was told and waited. There was no reply for nearly a week. So the next Monday he walked into LEADER 2’s chamber again. By now L2 had conquered gmail and was learning google wave. 


 Please come in Comrade WB. How was your weekend? 

 Very fine Comrade. Thank you for asking! 

 Have you used Google wave? Yes Comrade! Such a fine software. Now i can see what my son is thinking even before i get it.


It truly is wonderful comrade! 


Before L2 could continue again, WB continued – 

Comrade, I sent you the email with the plagiarized article 


L2’s face changed. WB’s face looked the same. His spirit was still burning for the revolution. 

I spoke to comrade chairman and we have to let this go. At best, we can modify the article. We all think that by informing comrade plagiarist, we will make him angry and god forbid he leave the revolution. 

 So We Won’t Take Any Action Against Him? 

 Comrade WB, You Have Made Your Point. I Suggest You Let Us Handle The Matter Now For Your Own Good! 


Comrade WB smiled and walked out. It seemed like the revolution had ended and his soul was beginning to fade. This was everything he had learnt and now the revolution was turning its back on everything it stood for. He wanted to run away but instead decided to disappear for a few days. 


I met him yesterday. We don’t speak much at the Revolutionary Law College even though we’re in the same batch. He told me that he was still trying to fathom what had happened last semester. He now understood that at many places in the State, plagiarism was accepted. So in order to laugh himself out of depression he was advocating that plagiarism be legalized -


For one, it’ll allow many people to get employment. Imagine there are so many rich kids willing to give many for quality research papers. We could start a company of our also! Second, it’ll save teachers so much time, not that they invest it but even those who do, won’t have to do it anymore. On the whole, it’ll be a much easier world. 


I wanted to laugh but he wasn’t even smiling. He was lying so badly because he felt betrayed after the whole ordeal. We both never made it into the Propaganda Department this year. No one did because the only people who used to apply; no longer did. Comrade WB had started a silent revolution within us that he himself did not know.

See John2010's other blogs:

8 disturbing signs that our elected representatives have forgotten us.

My Facebook Feed

How comrade whistle blower lost his ethical virginity

The PM on legal education: What he said and did not say.

Dear Prudence: ....... Litigation is really interesting but ........?

The 26/11 Judgement fails the maturity test and how we can still salvage justice.

Confessions of a chronic cheater.....

How not to be inspired.

When things go wrong.....

26 May 2010

DISCLAIMER:   This post has been inspired from the pure love that I have developed for the law over the past few months.

‘Law is a fundamental body of principles which has been codified.’ This is what  most of us are taught at law school and with this we undertake the seemingly constant drudgery of learning various laws ranging from the bare beginning of the Tort to the immensely complex Tax. What we aren’t taught is that law for the most part can imbibe in you, a love, a love which can be better than the very art of making physical love, a love which can make you sit beyond working hours at the workplace, a love which makes you want to want more, a love which makes you sit through those long sessions at a dirty civil court (no offence meant) and a love which simply makes you feel blessed to be in this lovely profession. Law seduces, and law seduces with a power which is unmatched, a power which makes you feel that you have been gifted from above, to be differentiated from mere mortals to accomplish an endeavor which only higher beings are entitled to undertake.

For reference, I now imagine the law to be the Apsara Maneka who seduced the Rishi Vishwamitra through an interplay of grace, balance and tact and it was through their intercourse that the beautiful Shakuntala was born. With this background in mind, let me now enumerate the seductive powers that the law has:

Research- Not everyone can research, not everyone can research well, and not everyone can find whatever is required. The joy of finding something after a long and arduous search is something which cannot be explained in words. The self satisfaction which you get out of finding the appropriate provision or precedent is equivalent to the first steps that Maneka might have taken in finding Vishwamitra deep in meditation.

Speech- ‘Speech is golden, silence is silver’ is more applicable when it comes to the law. Of course, there is always the automatic ‘need to basis’ clause which every lawyer has to comply with. But, arguing in a court and getting the Judge to see your viewpoint and convincing him about the same is not something everyone can do. If you’re in the profession, then realize the innate seductiveness that the aura of the profession has, see through the enormous books, the legal databases and the non compromising judges and start loving the profession. In the end, the profession will give in and show you the way ahead. This is similar to the scene where the wind was asked to spread a heavenly fragrance all around the forest where Vishwamitra was meditating while it blew Maneka’s clothes off. You blow the judges mind over with your arguments and the victory will automatically follow.

Legalese- This probably is what sets you apart from the rest. Being surrounded by people who know the law, who use Latin because they actually know what it means, rather than using it for sounding cool is an experience which again puts you on a higher plane where you can find your bearings only with the type of people you want. This is similar to the enticing poem that Maneka sang to Vishwamitra. The beauty of expressing yourself in a completely legal manner is the biggest kick anyone can have.

Drafting- Drafting is the pure power to express something so complex and so technical in a manner which requires great skill, experience and legal acumen. It is like writing a letter to your lover; you need to set out the steps slowly and steadily with each intricate detail being covered. Maneka made Vishwamitra devour her and all her beauty through what she put forth. Draft, draft in a manner that your client is forced to accept that Yes! The law has seduced you, and not me, for I am a mere mortal.

Intelligence- Pure intelligence and nothing else. The fraternity which you belong to knows wordplay; it knows how to fiddle around the law and make the law its lover through which pleasure can be derived from. It only uses brainpower and nothing else. Here again, the line of success is determined on the basis of how well you are seduced by the law. The law can either be your bitch whom you can use as and when you want, it can be your soul mate if you genuinely love it or it can be a recurring headache like most infatuated relationships.

For the purposes of clarity,

=By Bitch I mean, arguing as a lawyer in court and charging by the minute because you can make the law do what you want it to do and no one else can command and question you.

=By Soul mate I mean, something  which could range from being an activist lawyer arguing for environmental rights to that of a hotshot corporate lawyer to that of a legal professional who studies the law for research and other like purposes.

=By recurring headache I mean, people who don’t love the law, who don’t appreciate it and only look at it from the points of view which could range from that of a constant disillusion of equating law with a desk job only meant for money and nothing more, to people who use the law as a constant means of reminding themselves that this wasn’t their first choice preference profession, for they initially wanted to undertake engineering for instance and landed up in law by default.

 Maneka was sent by Lord  Indra in order to break Vishwamitra’s deep penance. Similarly, accept that you are a class apart from the rest, and let the law seduce you.

 The secret of being in this profession is not about how much money you earn, where you stand as far as practice goes or even your achievements in law school. The secret lies in allowing the law to seduce you, once you allow it to do that, then automatically, the law will give you all the pleasures that you could have ever wished for. Your life will forever be set. Nobody should ever have a regret to join this hallowed profession; it’s a license to get seduced for a lifetime, a seduction which can propel you to wanting more and more and more.



1) This post has been written in a slightly intoxicated state.

2) The idea for this post came in from a friend of mine whom I call ‘Z’.

3) Due to popular opinion and also having seen the immediate impact of the same, I am now trying out positive thinking.



21 May 2010


A few days ago, the Prime Minister of India delivered a candid speech on legal education in India. There wasn't much about it in the news. I'm guessing it was because he didn't really nice things about the state of affairs in law schools across the country. 


I must say the speech was surprisingly candid. No lies about how great legal education in India is. It wasn't sales pitch for an election or an upcoming unappealing policy change. By far the most honest speech about the situation we're currently facing.


1. Teachers

WHAT HE SAID: "There is also the serious problem of law teachers – a vexed problem of numbers, quality and diversity. We need good law teachers to shape and nurture young legal minds. The sad reality is that when we look for experts to head new law schools and the new faculties, we have precious few to choose from. There is an obvious need to provide more uniform but calibrated and better salaries, accompanied by considerably improved terms of service for our teachers."


WHAT HE SHOULD HAVE ALSO SAID: "I've instructed the Law Minister to review the salary of faculty members across law schools. Apart from that I have requested him prepare a report on how we can attract young minds to be teachers. From what I understand teaching assistants who are the future faculty of such law schools do not have attractive pay packages forcing many not to take up such positions.

                 We are also looking into inviting professors from Universities like Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard and other renowned Universities to conduct seminars for teachers in all law schools on how to teach as well as inspire students. Currently, there is excessive focus on rote learning which is dampening the true understanding of law. I expect this program to be compulsory and free for all law teachers across India. My Government aims to provide all law students an equal opportunity to be inspired irrespective of where they are studying."



WHAT HE SAID: "Our law libraries are too few and woefully stocked. We must provide the latest tools of research to our students, scholars and practitioners. Law schools should be linked with the best sources of knowledge globally."


WHAT HE SHOULD HAVE ALSO SAID: " In order to help our law students, my Government has sanctioned money for building a library and computer center in the capital of each State. Every law student will have free access to these libraries which will be stocked with the scholarly books on all topics along with journals and magazine. Along with this, NIC will co-ordinate with corporates and law firms to establish a computer centers adjoining each library. Each center will have at least 100 computers and broadband internet. Students will be able to access national and international legal databases. "




WHAT HE SAID: "Internship and post degree placements must also be regulated to match applicants and recipients appropriately. Today, some fortunate students who have the right contacts have the luxury of plenty in terms of options while several of their talented but less resourceful colleagues go a begging for placements."


WHAT HE SHOULD HAVE ALSO SAID: " I have asked the law Minister to consult top law firms and lawyers across the country to prepare an independent legal internship agency which will help students find internships. This will be a transparent process which will allow students to apply for their internships on a website and firms and lawyers must pick interns from those who apply. The credentials of those who are accepted must be published. We want our corporate and legal culture to be merit based rather than one based on influence."




WHAT HE SAID: "We must dream if we want to make progress of having a world class educational system. Law universities should be a part of our national ambition. I have a vision that the new South Asian University soon to be established by this Government with other South Asian countries would ultimately expand to include an outstanding law faculty with an eminent global faculty." 


WHAT HE SHOULD HAVE ALSO SAID: " To begin this process, we are consulting law schools, established under various State legislations, to build an integrated course structure. In order to improve the quality of faculty members and opportunities for law students, we must allow mobility for faculty members and students within such law schools. This will also lead to more exposure for all those concerned. Further, it will allow us to identify quality faculty and future leaders for the education sector."




WHAT HE SAID: "Our legal education system should be particularly sensitive to the needs of the marginalized sections of our society like women, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and the poor. Not only should these sections of society be adequately represented among law students, the legal education we impart should inculcate sensitivity towards the special needs of the under-privileged sections of our community."


WHAT HE SHOULD HAVE ALSO SAID: " The new law schools are becoming elitist due to the lack of representation of all sections of society. Law students need to be in touch with society from the beginning. I have personally instructed the Bar Council of India to ask all Universities to introduce full need-based scholarships. This will ensure that all students whose parents earn less than a particular amount will have an education free of cost. Universities must ensure that those coming through the various quotas are genuine cases. It has come to light that educational institutes admit quota applicants even if their parents earn more than the prescribed income."




WHAT HE SAID: "One expects even experienced and established legal luminaries, judges and other law professionals to submit to periodic and continuing legal education programmes without standing on pomp or seniority."


WHAT HE SHOULD HAVE: " My Government will soon table a Bill to introduce specialized benches in each Court. India is a land of more than five thousand laws and it is important that Judges are well versed with these laws. It is impossible for one person to understand all these laws. I am sure this will also ensure the quick disposal of cases along with greater accountability and transparency within the judiciary. I appeal to the Hon'ble Judges in the Supreme Court and various High Courts to support the upcoming Bill."


Read the full speech on http://www.pib.nic.in/release/release.asp?relid=61265&kwd=


See John2010's other blogs:

8 disturbing signs that our elected representatives have forgotten us.

My Facebook Feed

How comrade whistle blower lost his ethical virginity

The PM on legal education: What he said and did not say.

Dear Prudence: ....... Litigation is really interesting but ........?

The 26/11 Judgement fails the maturity test and how we can still salvage justice.

Confessions of a chronic cheater.....

How not to be inspired.

When things go wrong.....

17 May 2010

Here I am, writing my first post  after being on LI since ages, knowing about the blogging competition since ages, being goaded to enter it since ages....all courtesy my friend Legal Poet. 

The guy is a gem. Anyway, the post is not about him (Sorry LLP :p). I have read more than a few posts. Some good, some bad; some serious, some hilarious. Thought I could also write, even if not as well as the others. Had entered the blogging scene a few years ago and then met the dreaded writers' block. I guess, here is my chance to start afresh :)






14 May 2010


Dear Prudence,

                  I’m a law student in my fourth year and I’m thoroughly confused about what I want to do. Litigation is really interesting but I’m not sure how to go about it. People tell me that one doesn’t have a future in litigation unless one has a godfather. Should I give up my dreams and just join a firm?


Without a map


Dear without a map,

            I spoke to a few reputed litigators and it seems there truly is no map to litigation. Everyone has their own way of going about being a litigator. While some people suggest one starts practicing at the lower Courts and then proceed to the Supreme Court, another set of people just start practicing at the High Court or the Supreme Court depending on their preference. However, it is important to have a fair idea about the procedures in all these Courts.

         Most of the litigators suggest you begin by joining an advocate either in the High Court or the Supreme Court. One school of litigators suggest you join a Senior advocate while the other suggest you join an upcoming advocate. Both these methods have advantages and disadvantages. By joining a senior lawyer, you’re chances of learning much reduce if the lawyer only uses you to brief him about issues. You are mostly never likely to get a chance to argue or handle a file. However, people tend to see you with him/her and this will be helpful in getting cases in the future. On the other hand, joining an upcoming lawyer will help you learn how to get your hands dirty since you’ll be allowed to handle matters.

    When I asked them about payment, most of them told me that many junior advocates start out with Rs.3000 and some pay about twenty thousand in the beginning. So be ready for a pay cheque as small as the cheque itself. One lawyer told me that in the beginning a lawyer is paid peanuts for his work. After a few years, one is paid exactly for the work one does and with age you’re paid a lot more than you’re supposed to be. So be ready for three to six years of waiting before you can start your own practice.

    Last, I asked them about whether its important to specialize in a particular subject of law. Most of them told me that while it was a plus point, no one is at liberty to choose their clients in the beginning. So while you should do an LLM, don’t expect it to come in handy at the very beginning and in every matter. The Indian litigation scene hasn’t advanced to the stage where clients approach advocates depending on their specialization but their rapport before the Judges. 

With warm regards,



Warning: Use this advice with caution. This is the scenario for the average litigator. Results may vary from person to person. 

See John2010's other blogs:

8 disturbing signs that our elected representatives have forgotten us.

My Facebook Feed

How comrade whistle blower lost his ethical virginity

The PM on legal education: What he said and did not say.

Dear Prudence: ....... Litigation is really interesting but ........?

The 26/11 Judgement fails the maturity test and how we can still salvage justice.

Confessions of a chronic cheater.....

How not to be inspired.

When things go wrong.....

06 May 2010

It's surprising how a judgement which has affected so many lives is yet to be made available to the public. After searching online for almost an hour, I gave up. So much for the Indian Judiciary and the age of information. For now we will have to rely on the news outlets to tell us what exactly Judge M L Tahaliyani told the Court room today.


The Special Sessions Court will now be sending the judgement to the High Court for confirmation under Section 366 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. And this will be just the beginning of what is going to be a long appeals process should Kasab choose to appeal. Will he appeal? I'm guessing we're all expecting him to appeal. However, if for some reason he decides not to appeal, does it mean that he repents what he has done? That certainly would be a first time and give us a lot to ponder about.


What is certain is Kasab has a long appeals process ahead of him and probably a longer life that he could have imagined back home. By handing him the dealth penalty, the Court has been unable do justice in the larger sense. This was a brilliant opportunity to lay the foundation for new-age justice. If we have progressed as a civilization on our understanding of human behaviour, it most certainly hasn't been reflected in the judgement. What we have effectively done today is allow Kasab to be used for rhetoric in the next ten - fifteen federal and state elections. 


The 26/11 could have been a great tool is improving our security infrastructure. The events on 26/11 were only possible because of our ineffective security infrastructure. It exposed how the Government was unable to secure what is common hailed as the economic capital of India. We can only imagine how exposed people are in other cities across India. The judgment should have detailed the gross inadequacies of the system at various points. Beginning from entry of the gunmen into the territorial waters, to looking why Kasab's bullet was able to penetrate the "bullet-proof" jacket worn by police officers that day; this was an opportunity for the Judiciary to hold the Government accountable.


The Judgement sounds immature on several counts. First, the Judge orders - "To be hanged by the neck till death." Terrorists are program to kill and be killed, they last thing they fear is the death sentence. For a long time now, it has been known that giving the death sentence will only be used a propaganda by terrorists to motivate future suicide attacks. Secondly, the Judge states that Kasab has no chance of reforming. I feel this is deeply disturbing coming from a Judge who I assume will be involved in other criminal matters. The murderer is a young man of 22. We cannot be certain that Kasab cannot be reformed until we have tried. This judgement kills any room previous judgement might had for the reformist theory. Thirdly, the Judge mentions that he will be a security risk to society. Any well-informed legal actor would know it takes years before a death sentence is carried out. This puts any plans to hang Kasab at least ten years away. He is most certainly not anywhere close to the status of the terrorists exchanged during the Kandahar judgement. Kasab is a foot soldier ( he said there were at least 500 more young men like him where he was trained ) whereas Maulana Masood Azhar et al. were and still are the minds of the whole scheme of things in Pakistan. Next, the Judge said - "The depravity of the (26/11 attacks is unspeakable....this man has lost the right to humanitarian benefits." If the judge was entering into the realm of humanitarian law, he clearly had little idea about it. Even a prisoner of war is given humanitarian benefits. While this statement might have been regarding the death sense that was awarded, it was uncalled for considering this Judgement will play a key role in future terrorism cases. Apart from laying down a bad precedent, it puts a smoke screen on a India that believes in the rule of law.  In summary, the judgement lacks depth and maturity I would expect from a trial of such a magnitude. 


We all know the law says that a murderer deserves to be killed. However, terrorism is a geo-political crime. It doesn't work on the same mental lines of everyday crime. The aim of justice is to deliver closure for the victim and prevent such crimes in the future. Hanging or eliminating terrorists has not worked anywhere till now. It will not change anything. 


No matter how much the India media underlines the fact that Kasab is Pakistani citizen or the latest failed terrorist bid at Times Square was by a Pakistani man, Pakistan will still get aid from the United States for its military and the Indian Government will continue to search for avenues to engage with the Pakisatanis with little success. No judgement can change these two things. And no matter how much we say that this terrorist from Pakistan, Pakistan will continue to exist and like every country, they have their share of good and bad people. To keep harping upon the fact that these terrorist are Pakistanis, we only fail to see the real issue which is that young men like Kasab hate India enough to give away any life they could have lived.  


Kasab gives us an opportunity to try something different. The best example to follow is the al-Munasaha wa al-Islah committee (Advice and Reform) adopted by Saudi Arabia. The program has been specially developed for those involved in terrorist activities and has been largely successful in bringing about reform in their way of thinking. The idea will not be to see if Kasab can be rehabilitated back into mainstream society but into mainstream thinking. This will be worse than the death sentence since it will bring about a significant change in the prisoner. 


We're all on the same page when we want to see him punished, however, I doubt seeing more death will bring closure to the victims and their families. 

See John2010's other blogs:

8 disturbing signs that our elected representatives have forgotten us.

My Facebook Feed

How comrade whistle blower lost his ethical virginity

The PM on legal education: What he said and did not say.

Dear Prudence: ....... Litigation is really interesting but ........?

The 26/11 Judgement fails the maturity test and how we can still salvage justice.

Confessions of a chronic cheater.....

How not to be inspired.

When things go wrong.....

29 April 2010

Two things before you read on:


- The events depicted in this blog are probably fictitious. Any similarity to any person living or dead is merely coincidental.

- "The mind of man can imagine nothing which has not really existed." --Edgar Allan Poe

One fundamental feature of a democracy is accountability. We fail as a society every time we fail to hold ourselves accountable. Corporate Governance became the buzz word post-satyam. However, inspite of a number of scandals involving educational institutions, we're yet to talk about University Governance (UG). 

UG is about transparency in the decision making process by the various actors in a University.  As a stakeholder in the University, I have a right to know where the money I am paying is going. Asking every University to issue a detailed financial report would be the first step towards achieving respect for the way our Universities are being run.

How much of my money was spent on a conference? How much is being spent on paying the faculty? How much money is used to pay the water and electricity bills? No one can give me these answers. Why doesn't the University bring out a report stating how each rupee was used ? If they actually keep accounts of everything that is being done, then why not publish them? 

The last time I spoke about this, my cousin in the United States bluntly asked me why I didn't file an RTI application. The reason is simple. Any time we question the functioning of the system, we are looked upon as those who are against it. By questioning the actions of the University, I will automatically be considered 'unfriendly'. An 'unfriendly' is supposed to be silenced.

So when a teacher went to the Registrar to inform him that he was going to get 150 RTI applications, the Registrar calmly told him it would not be entertained and he should immediately cancel the assignment. The next day we were told to file the RTI applications in any organisation apart from the University. The message to him was clear - By allowing these people to file applications, you are putting the reputation of the University at risk.

The teacher left the following semester. He wasn't the smartest teacher but certainly someone who wanted to know what was going on. Even though he was a senior teacher, he was denied such information.

While taking the viva of a few students who had written about the RTI and corruption, he told us a little story; believable and interesting. The reason he told us because he already had a job at another University and even if this did get out, he would be far gone by then.

Every year my University either purchases items like books, chairs or constructs a building or two. It so happens that the company which wins the contract is usually one linked to a senior member of the administration. The member floats a company much before the bids are called and makes sure he provides a winning quote. 

Apart from the students, there aren't many other people who would question the functioning of a University. The Bar Council of India asks Universities to file an annual report. That report again is not publicly available in the University or the campus. The State Government has lost most of its influence has the University does not depend on State funding. And no one really knows when the Governing Council of the University meets or what they do. 

Most of our Universities fail to provide us the most basic amenities. At places the canteen food is considered tasteless and inedible. Yet, the canteen operator would have been working at the University for years. A building would already have cracks within one year of its construction, however, the same contractor wins another contract.

Now, I understand that as a student my priority lies at studying.  However, turning a blind eye and not questioning what is happening around me defeats any purpose I might have ever had at this place of learning.


See John2010's other blogs:

8 disturbing signs that our elected representatives have forgotten us.

My Facebook Feed

How comrade whistle blower lost his ethical virginity

The PM on legal education: What he said and did not say.

Dear Prudence: ....... Litigation is really interesting but ........?

The 26/11 Judgement fails the maturity test and how we can still salvage justice.

Confessions of a chronic cheater.....

How not to be inspired.

When things go wrong.....

26 April 2010

Disclaimer: The characters mentioned in this post are fictional. Any resemblance to any person or thing living or dead is purely coincidental.

The translated version of the title is, 'Life at law school as seen by a cigarette, A cigarette's take on life at law school.'

I am a SUTTA (Cigarette) and I unify everyone in and around me irrespective of who they are and where they come from. I come in various shapes, forms and brands, Irrespective; I give my consumer highest possible satisfaction with no questions asked and no answers warranted. Last week, I came across three interesting people having a discussion before their exams.

Adrian Joseph is the son of a senior partner at a top tier law firm, and is pretty secure about his future. Keerthikant Chailchabilo Bhai is the son of a farmer and Bhujgan Heendeen Dukhiyare is a man who constantly worries about his future because he is a localite who has defied his family by taking up the law and has to make the name of his khaandan (family) roshan (proud) since he is a first generation lawyer.

It was 3 AM in the morning with the exam scheduled at 10 AM. All of the above three mentioned gentlemen, have reached saturation point with regard to mugging up the Takeover Code and are questioning each other on how exactly, would it benefit each of them, considering that when they do enter the outside world, they will anyway have the Code at their disposal to solve disputable issues.

Since it is so late in the night and all of them are under immense pressure, each of them searches for a Sutta (cigarette) in order to attain Moksha in Law school parlance. As it turns out so often, they’ve run out of their stock of Sutta. But, it turns out that they are in luck, Bhujgan happens to have one sutta, and it happens to be a nani (small) Gold Flake which is the cheapest available brand. Adrian looks at Bhujgan and says, ‘Ah, Sutta, My savior, Bhujgan please pass it on.’, Bhujgan takes a drag and passes it on, Adrian takes a drag and passes it on further to Keerthikant. (Here, there is an unwritten rule to be mentioned that once a sutta is lit, it has to be passed on turn by turn, especially, when exams in which there exists no hope of passing are upcoming.)

Their conversation while deriving pleasure out of my services is as follows:

Adrain, “Abbey, SEBI comes out with so many guidelines, at the end investor protection is what everything is aimed at, it makes life miserable for us only by constantly repeating the same thing in different words.’

Keerthikant affirmatively responds and says, ‘SEBI ko dosh math do, dosh dena hain toh faculty ko do, SEBI roz kuch na kuch karti rehti hain toh hamare baap ka kya jaata hain.’

(Don’t blame the SEBI. If you do want to blame someone, blame the faculty who expects us to mug this entire thing up. SEBI comes out with something all the time, what do our Dad’s have to lose?)

Bhujgan looks at both of them and says, ‘ Bhai, what are we supposed to do, neither job is secure nor LLM is secure.’

Adrain, ‘Ahh, well you see Dad’s got everything set for me, what’s the issue man, come and join my firm.’

Keerthikant, ‘ Abbey, firm virm chhod, sutta pass kar, remember it is Nani Goldflake.’

(Dude, chuck the firm nonsense, pass the sutta, it is a small Goldflake.)

Bhujgan, ‘ Ohh, my life , what I thought and what happened.’

Adrain, ‘Don’t worry, If nothing else, litigation is always there.’

Keethikant, ‘I don’t know all that,  Judiciary exam I’ll give and I’ll get a Laal Batthi (Red Light) car which signifies power.’

Bhujgan, ‘Oho, what will happen to me.’

The sutta is now finished and all of them look at each other with a question mark as to what to do now. Nearly 80 % of the syllabus is left and the time now was 3:20 AM. Then, Keerthikant directly applies the rocket principle (principle which makes you work as if your ass is on fire.)

Keerthikant, ‘Dekho….’


Bhujgan and Adrian listen intently,

Keerthikant, ‘Haan bhai, Now, in each provision which is applicable, keep putting investor protection, For minor, obviously, guardian will have to be appointed for claiming money, if shareholders resent, then automatically, write the theory of hostile takeover and come, half the marks at least you’ll get there.’

Adrian, ‘Haan and if the percentages seem very uneven, then put the takeover principle and both the dissenting and assenting opinions, faculty will get bored reading the big answer and  will give marks.’

Bhujgan, ‘Also, let’s get one thing straight; when you see the term unlisted then automatically say that the Code is not applicable. You will get full marks.’

Adrain, ‘And yes, our usual funda (fundamental), if you don’t remember the name of a case then write the facts of the question, and begin with the word, ‘In a leading case, copy the facts, and pass judgment….’

All three of them look at each other with an underlying approval that all of them will now definitely pass in the exam. Adrian discovers that he has one more Sutta left and makes it appear from an area in which only he and certain privileged people can enter into, and again looks at his comrades. They all decide to chuck the bare provisions, mug up three cases and only use those three cases in all their answers.

I in my capacity of being a Sutta had once again fulfilled my objective of satisfying my consumer and giving them requisite peace of mind.

Always remember,  ‘ Sutta is the eternal savior, it’s man's gift to mankind to ward off unnecessary worries.

(The idea and inspiration for this post was derived from my friend whom I call as the ‘Godfather’. I thank him wholeheartedly for making me do this  even when we have our exams going on.)

25 April 2010

Two things before you read on:

- The events depicted in this blog are fictitious. Any similarity to any person living or dead is merely coincidental.

- "The mind of man can imagine nothing which has not really existed." --Edgar Allan Poe


A few weeks ago, the final year students of my college finally got their official farewell. It was a day to remember. The whole batch came together and did something that felt magical. We now knew why every batch looked forward to giving their seniors a farewell. It gave us all a chance to put aside our differences and actually do something together. Everybody wanted to and had a role to play.


During a short break after performing a short skit, I wondered where all these people would be in a few years or decades. Some had told me they would joining the civil service, a few wanted to join litigation and most of the remaining would join firms which specialized in corporate, IPR or tax. Suddenly one of my seniors joked that he dedicated his success to his ability to cheat. Everybody laughed and cheered. It was then that I remembered what a senior, who had graduated a few years ago, told me about cheating.


Anna (as I fondly called him), always stood first throughout his academic life. Being from a family where parents were academicians, his priority was always to do well. So when he came to law school it wasn’t surprising that he was able to maintain a GPA of above 9 throughout his 5 years here. However, he never got the gold medal he was aiming for. Another student beat him by a few marks. I could see him struggle inside when his name was not called out during his graduation ceremony. He smiled but his eyes said something else.


The student who got the gold medal cheated. He was intelligent, hardworking, smart and charming. His charming ways had found him many friends who would help whenever he needed it. Legend had it that even if you put him in a room where the only two souls were the teacher and him, he would still find a way to cheat. He was so used to cheating that even if he worked hard he still needed to cheat. Whenever his memory failed, all he had to go was look at someone else’s paper or his phone. One time he was sitting in a mirrored- room and was able to ask his friend for an answer using his eyes and hands.


My University unfortunately condones cheating. While there is a 100-word policy that cheating will lead to disciplinary action, it is used occasionally. There are no available guidelines for a teacher on how to tackle cheating, his/her powers and finally the penalty for condoning cheating. Sometimes students get caught but the worst punishment has been to award them a ‘0’ and then allow them to re-write the test. The defence is predictable. The low CGPA students promise that it will never happen again and the high CGPA students state that it was a one-time offence and that their CGPA proves that they word hard. And like I mentioned, the ‘punishment’ is also predictable.


It’s fairly easy to cheat when it is institutionalized. In fact, I do not know how I would have a 8+ CGPA without cheating. I’m not as skilful as the legendary G (not his real legendary pet name) but I’m good enough. I’ve mastered copying notes and documents to my slim Samsung.  The only time I did get caught, I used a software that allows one to erase all data on a phone through the internet. When I entered the room of the examination head, all I had to do was show them that there were no notes on my phone. I have friends who will show me their paper if I forget anything. Sometimes we even make sure we have written everything possible off each other. We make sure we sit together and if the course if too big, we just divide it equally.


I honestly don’t feel I deserve to be blamed for this. The teachers keep looking outside the window. Sometimes they walk around just to smile at us. The one who try to be strict miserably fail. When there is a vigilant teacher, all I have to do is sneeze. One of friends on the opposite side will come up with an excuse giving all of us on this side enough time to figure things out. And finally, teachers don’t have the intellectual capability to understand answers which aren’t copied from their notes or the book. The few times I wrote answers on my own, I wasn’t given the marks I expected and promised never to be creative again.


Coming back to the story of Anna. He tried hard to stop the cheating and failed miserably. He talked to teachers and the Vice-Chancellor. Everybody promised him action but nothing changed. By the time he graduated, he was tired of trying. He told me that his parents told him to ignore such things. He had to work harder and the world outside would be even worse. Work hard he did but he was never able to beat legendary G. He even walked out once when a teacher just kept ignoring all the chatter during the test. He became unpopular over the years. Rumour has it that he once went to the Registrar with a list of teachers who allowed students to cheat. The list got out and he was never able to be a part of any committee ever again. The teachers he had complained against were very senior and powerful. Their way of ‘retribution’ was to use their position to punish him in their own little way. Luckily, he was already in his 4th year by then.


We live in a system which gives us conflicting perspectives. While we’re told not to cheat, nothing is done when we cheat. I can only imagine how tough it must be for people who don’t. One of my friends commented on a story of lawyer who had tried to bribe a witness. He couldn’t understand why people felt so disturbed by his actions. We all break rules. Society here was being a hypocrite.


Sometimes I try not to cheat when I think of Anna. I know that someone honest loses out every time I cheat. However, this is something they will have to deal with until my University actively discourages cheating. It isn’t our fault. The University wants us to do well and get marks. Without a CGPA of 8, most of us won’t get placed and no one wants to be responsible for that kind of a failure. I don’t feel guilty about what I do but I do get scared wondering if I’ve lost my moral compass. If I can break the rules today, what will stop me from breaking them tomorrow?

See John2010's other blogs:

8 disturbing signs that our elected representatives have forgotten us.

My Facebook Feed

How comrade whistle blower lost his ethical virginity

The PM on legal education: What he said and did not say.

Dear Prudence: ....... Litigation is really interesting but ........?

The 26/11 Judgement fails the maturity test and how we can still salvage justice.

Confessions of a chronic cheater.....

How not to be inspired.

When things go wrong.....

19 April 2010

Two things before you read on:

- The events depicted in this blog are fictitious. Any similarity to any person living or dead is merely coincidental.

- "The mind of man can imagine nothing which has not really existed." --Edgar Allan Poe

In 2006, when I was able to score 89% in my 12th boards, I was relieved. I could finally choose what I wanted to study and I chose the law. There was no second option for me. By June I had the choice of joining three top Universities in the country. I chose the one furthest away from home.

Being away from home, allowed me to discover the world from a totally different perspective. At home, I was conditioned how to see the world. Here, there was no one to tell me how to interpret what I saw. I could see sin and call it a saintly. I could see it rain and still walk like it was summer. What one can do with freedom is absolutely magical.

When I entered law school, I did not know what I would be doing. There really was no one to tell me. I was the only child and both my parents work in the R&D department of a private company. They had very few friends who could me termed as lawyers. So with the freedom I had suddenly come to earn, came the wrath of ignorance. In my search to know what I wanted to do with my life, I heard just one word: Corporate.

Everybody was doing corporate law. It was paradise and everybody wanted to go there. My older friends confessed they really knew nothing else. It's what they'd been told and they were giving me the same advice. Everyone was talking about it and soon it was written all over the sky. The messiah had spoken to us. We all knew the holy offices. There was Amarchand, AZB and luthra. Some of us knew a few more names and we were considered to be rockstars.

After nearly five internships with different law firms, I knew this wasn't my calling. Coming in at nine in the morning and sitting on a chair till eleven in the night was not why I chose to study the law. It was only after this that I realised that there were so many other avenues that I was yet to explore or even hear about.

It wasn't just my picture that had broken. Even my seniors were having their pictures repainted. One had quit and joined a litigator. He had taken a pay cut of nearly eighty percent. It was for the better, he confided in me. Then there was an associate I knew from my first internship, who has now joined an international think tank. My cousin who had completed her law degree a few years before I joined, quit her corporate job in a company and started an NGO.

There are many successful corporate lawyers. And I know they love their work. However, it isn't for everyone. The problem is that when we enter law school, we don't hear anything other than joining a law firm. Some of us were luckier and got better advice. One of my friends got to know about opportunities for lawyers in international NGOs and interned with many of them from the beginning. Another did a corporate internship and then stuck to interning with lawyers. 

Law Schools need to provide students with career counselors. Someone who can tell us about the wider opportunities that await us. We need to provide students with more exposure. One of the ways to do that would be invite speakers from varied backgrounds. Balanced career advice will help people choose a job profile which suits their interests rather than what is in fashion. The internship office often complains that there are too many applicants for the top law firms. Many settle for lesser and sometimes don't intern because they don't get into a firm.

It is easy to get lost in the crowd but ten years from now, I know we'll regret the time we wasted not doing what we love. It's time we took a wider look at the world.

See John2010's other blogs:

8 disturbing signs that our elected representatives have forgotten us.

My Facebook Feed

How comrade whistle blower lost his ethical virginity

The PM on legal education: What he said and did not say.

Dear Prudence: ....... Litigation is really interesting but ........?

The 26/11 Judgement fails the maturity test and how we can still salvage justice.

Confessions of a chronic cheater.....

How not to be inspired.

When things go wrong.....

17 April 2010

Two things before you read on:

- The events depicted in this blog are fictitious. Any similarity to any person living or dead is merely coincidental.

- "The mind of man can imagine nothing which has not really existed." --Edgar Allan Poe

Do law schools need to employ psychologists? During five years of law school, the students go through a lot. Apart from relationships,  they are affected by their peers, teachers and family.


It was in my third year of law school when I realised that I needed counseling. A string of bad relationships had left me wounded. I was having mood swings and had isolated myself. One day while walking to the library, I sighed and called up my mother and told I wanted to meet a Psychologist. A week passed and no word from my parents on the topic. Finally, after another week of frustration, I spoke to my father. My mother hadn't had the courage to tell him what I had told her.  I later found out that she just couldn't accept that her child would need the help of a doctor. After a week of telling my father, I was on my way to meet a doctor. 


Slowly things started getting better. It's been a year now and I'm still on my medication. Apart from making me better, it gave me the courage to talk about the issue with other people in my University. I started to find out it wasn't just me. There were at least ten other people from my batch who were on medication. Its a secret for most of us because once you tell people you're visiting a psychologist, they think you're being strapped onto a chair with electrical wires connected to your body. Luckily, its a much simpler process and none of the people I know had to visit shutter island.


When I was in first year, we had a psychology teacher who was very passionate.  I got to know her well during the one semester I spent being taught by her. She told me how over four years she had taught here, she had seen students desperate for help. Those fights we ignored, the suicide attempts we never spoke about and pictures on facebook of students smoking up were the signs. When she went to speak to the Vice-Chancellor, he told her that he didn't want the University intruding into the personal space of students. It was the duty of the parents to see that their children were up to better things. When we got a new Vice-Chancellor, she went again. This time she was told that she should stop getting worrying about such issues. There were more pressing issues.


It wasn't the money. It wasn't the lack of psychologists. The administration wasn't willing to walk into new territory. Like my mother, they didn't want to talk about the issue.  My Professor chuckled and told me this was the greatest possible sign that we were now an industry (irrespective of what the Courts thought). This was where they manufactured us; defective at times.


If you're city runs out of alcohol or drugs, visit my hostel. On this floor, you can find smokes, weed and alcohol. I started drinking in my first year and it's been a year since I started smoking. The reason I began drinking was because my hopes of a different life here broke after a few months. It began with beer but by now I've tried every possible combination of alcohol. I've been at parties where everything was mixed just to see what they could do to our bodies. The smoking was because I couldn't keep up in class. The medicines made me sleepy. I had seen how my friends would smoke a lot before their exams.  It helped them tackle the pressure and remember things. And help it did.


I was ashamed of myself in the beginning. I was spending my parent's hard earned money on abusing my body. This reminds of a short analogy from Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder. It's the rabbit analogy - All mortals are born at the very tip of the rabbit's fine hairs but as the grow older, they work themselves ever deeper into the fur. My thoughts about my shameful behaviour got lost over the years. I no longer thought twice when I was buying alcohol or Marlboro cigarettes.


We keep talking about how we need to be innovative as a system. Here is a chance. We have the option of creating a quality life for these students. I don't think I can quit drinking or smoking now. Maybe if I had someone to talk to in the beginning, things might have been different. I might not have gone into depression for six whole months. I wouldn't have started losing my grades. I wouldn't have had to make that call to my mother. My father wouldn't spent sleepless nights worrying about what was wrong with his son.


I'm not blaming all my actions on my University. The call for psychologists is not even a new idea. However, it needs serious consideration. Life is getting tougher here and we could all use some help.

See John2010's other blogs:

8 disturbing signs that our elected representatives have forgotten us.

My Facebook Feed

How comrade whistle blower lost his ethical virginity

The PM on legal education: What he said and did not say.

Dear Prudence: ....... Litigation is really interesting but ........?

The 26/11 Judgement fails the maturity test and how we can still salvage justice.

Confessions of a chronic cheater.....

How not to be inspired.

When things go wrong.....

16 April 2010

A very long time ago in a land very nearby, a conversation between an internship committee coordinator and prospective non-profit organizations willing to take interns went something like this:

Internship Coordinator: Hello, Bachche chahiye, Bachche?
(Hello, do you want/require children at your place?)
Non Profit Organisation Internship Coordinator: Kya aap ananthashram se bol rahe hain?
(Are you speaking from an orphanage?)

Thankfully, the internship coordinator over time got changed.  But at the same time, this conversation reflects the prevailing situation of a shortage of internship opportunities vis a vis the number of people applying.

The situation is something like a herd of cows and buffaloes all being stockpiled together in order to make sure the milch cows get selected and all the rest are sent to the butcher house. Over here, the stockpile is the large number of students in search of internships, the milch cows refer to people with merit or jugaad or a combination of both and the butcher house refers to the world at large which can’t stop pitying the situation of the people who don’t get an internship.

How do you get an internship? And what exactly do you need to get there? These questions have often been elusive but have always been answered ‘seemingly’ convincingly through a variety of articles, posts and news items on building the perfect Curriculum Vitae in order to secure a good internship.

Everything seems to be picture perfect and everyone thinks that internships can be obtained by following tips given to make an overall development of the Curriculum Vitae. If it was that easy, then en masse rejection mails wouldn’t be a common phenomenon most law students would have to face.  Internships primarily happen due to the following reasons:

a)Jugaad- Please refer to my previous post on Jugaad (//www.legallyindia.com/643-jugaad )for an elaborate explanation i.e. Res Ipsa Loquitor.
b)Merit- When I mean merit; I mean for instance, Amarchand and other top tier firms ask only for the top ten CV’s and the matter ends there.
c)Combination of Jugaad and Merit- Jugaad and merit is probably the deadliest combination anybody could utilise in order to get in anywhere they want.
d)Chance encounters- When the heavens bestow their blessings upon you, a chance encounter at a conference, a seminar, and the courts or on any other occasion along with you making an impression on the person at the helm of affairs can make you land up in an internship.
e)Apply early- Again, this is a very subjective, how early to apply and when to apply, are things which depend on the facts and circumstances of that particular internship application.

While prima facie, it may seem that I have made internships appear like an elusive opportunity which can never come by. Let me give a fact situation to clarify my stand on this situation, a law student’s CV is sent to a Tier II firm and is rejected point blank despite it having the ‘complete’ blend of marks, paper presentations, articles, moots et al. Another student’s CV is accepted despite him having lower marks, fewer paper presentations, no articles and no moots.  A question which again arises here as to why the CV of the former got rejected and the latter one’s got accepted. The law student again sends his CV to a Tier I firm, again ending up with a rejection mail. The law student then realizes that Jugaad is the only way out and he uses it accordingly. Are there any answers as to why this student’s CV got rejected in both the Tier I and Tier II firms?

More often then not, no reasons are given, no explanations warranted and no improvements or suggestions are recommended when CV’s for internships are rejected. This makes law students for the most part rely on secondary sources of information and hearsay snippets to build up their CV’s. While it is true, that the firm/organization/lawyer in question is not obligated to state why a particular CV was rejected, but at the same time, where and more importantly, how does the student know where he was lacking or what did he do wrong while presenting his CV. 

I don’t mean to sound like a revolutionary over here, but if law students and prospective internship places/recruiters can interact with each other in a more healthy manner and can have an interface where they can ask queries which makes sure that both parties get exactly what they want, something like Legallyindia, for instance. It would bring a lot of clarity to the system. The divide has to break so that interns who may be potential prospective employees get to know exactly what their prospective employers want at the very beginning itself.

To conclude, when was the last time a law student called up the HRD cell of any firm/organization/lawyer and asked them directly, ‘Boss, where exactly was my CV lacking, can you please tell me?’


14 April 2010

Nowadays I have seen my cows tease the buffaloes. The reason is simple. Cows are lighter in colour and can bear the brunt of this heat. Buffaloes are dark and have to suffer. But my buffaloes spend their time lazing around in ponds and have a good time.

Now, when I was taking this road to some place I saw a poor man, with no chappal/ slipper/ footwear walking on the road. It was so hot that his feet might have been roasted. I felt sad. I felt bad. I thought something must be done.

The expression 'life' assured in Article 21 of the Constitution does not connote mere animal existence or continued drudgery through life. It has a much wider meaning which includes right to livelihood, better standard of living...The right to life with human dignity encompasses within its fold, some of the finer facets of human civilisation which makes life worth living. (See Consumer education and research center v. Union of India, AIR1995SC922 para 24). This is for all those who say that my blog doesn't deal with law. Ha!

Now, being without a footwear on a hot Indian road denotes animal existence. Should our engineer brothers come with some material which makes road 'WHITE'. This will reduce some of the pains of the poor in India who cannot afford a footwear. Or maybe there should be an all India footwear program to provide footwear at subsidised rates to the poor.

Please post in your suggestions.

PS- Whiter roads will also be good for the rich. In summers the air pressure in tyres gets uneven and disturbed. This might sometimes lead to road accidents. White roads will also solve this problem. What say?


06 April 2010

Again, this is based on a sample of the law school that I study in, situations may differ according to where the person reading the note comes from.

Imagine this; ‘A’ is simultaneously presenting a paper on corporate governance, doing an international moot in Vienna and is the convener of the Legal aid cell which is organizing a seminar. ‘A’ is actually back home enjoying his vacations.

‘A’ is a delight to watch, multitasking at its very best one can say. But, how did ‘A’ do it. The answers are as follows:
a)    The paper on corporate governance is being presented by the organizers themselves, certificate to be emailed later on.
b)    ‘A’ is a researcher at the moot in Vienna which does not make it necessary for him to be there, hence, the certificate for the same is also assured.
c)    ‘A’ is in good terms with the faculty convener of the legal aid cell and hence, delegates work to the volunteers. Therefore, he makes sure the certificate for the same is arranged again.

‘A’ now has authentication to show that he has done all the above mentioned activities without having been present at any of them. Since, nobody does inquire into how, what and why the above mentioned activities were undertaken by ‘A’. ‘A’ has benefited out of the good planning that he undertook while carrying out all these activities. Additionally, nobody can point a finger at ‘A’ for having not taken active part in any of the above mentioned activities. He researched and made the paper for the conference; he researched for the moot and also delegated work to the volunteers in a precise manner with other members supervising the seminar. ‘A’ on the other hand is vacationing back home in order to know which LLM program is best suited for him. Therefore, one arrow has effectively hit many targets while staying within permissible limits.

This is the beauty of law school and what it teaches you, it teaches you on how to make sure you plan what you want, and how best you can get it and what are the means of getting it.  Notwithstanding, the ethical nature of what ‘A’ has undertaken, it is effective. It’s entirely another argument that ‘A’ did not benefit from the experience of not being in anyone of the places.

 ‘Mere multitasking does not suffice, multitasking with necessary adjustments and working intellect is what makes a difference.'

P.S. This post was inspired by a friend of mine who in order to get a scholarship for an LLM abroad is multitasking in a similar manner. Again, the effectiveness of the same has been duly verified by precedents in the same regard.

02 April 2010

‘Tu jaanta hain mera baap kaun hain?’
(Do you know who my dad is?)

‘Kyun, tujhe pata nahin tera baap kaun hain?’
(Why, don’t you know who your dad is?)

This is a cliché dialogue used to indicate power and the far reaching depths of power that a person possesses due to what his/her dad does. A necessary logical reply to this line is the reply statement mentioned. But, unfortunately, things don’t work that way. Even today, power is looked upon as the be all and end all of getting work done. The field of law still happens to be one where contacts work and for the most part, is the only thing that works.

‘Jugaad’ refers to jack or an arrangement which is powerful enough to get work done. ‘Work done’ has a very wide ambit which ranges from getting an internship to getting a job to getting to be a junior under a senior counsel and can even go up to an internship with the ICJ.

When I refer to Jugaad and its colloquial usage, it is a means to get work done in the best possible manner irrespective of the qualifications that a person possesses or the way he presents himself or what his overall resume has. I have seen it happen time and again, that internships, jobs etc. get done only through this all powerful tool barring a small minority who get in through pure merit.

This post isn’t just indicative of law schools where recruitment drives are very good and people don’t need to rely on contacts, but the entire profession as such which includes colleges all over. And for a vast majority of law students present, a student for the most part, has to rely on contacts in order to get into anything that he/she does. 

JUGAAD has certain essential characteristics which makes it all the more effective:
·    It can be used anywhere, anytime.
·    It has to be used as a necessary tool to get things done especially if your college is not reputed.
·    It has far reaching depths depending on where it gets to be used and how has to be used.
·    It can be utilised through various means-relatives, friends, relatives’ friends, relative’s friend’s friends’ etc.
·    Qualifications aren’t as important as the surname that the person utilising it possesses. ·    There is a forever lasting obligation/debt created by the person who utilises the Jugaad in favour of the person through whom the Jugaad was used.
·    Jugaad is most effective in case of above average, average and below average candidates who need the extra push or who just need push in order to get through somewhere. In cases of meritorious students and toppers, it may not pose such a threat or may not be resorted to.

Therefore, the next time that you see anyone come up with certificates of top law firms, counsels etc. without having even seeing their offices even once, don’t get perturbed, they owe it all to the power of Jugaad. Jugaad is best witnessed during recruitment drives when surprise recruitments are made and people keep wondering as to how a candidate graduated from a level of no hope to a level of top notch recruitment. 

Always remember, ‘Jugaad helps, and absolute Jugaad helps absolutely!’
P.S. Depending on which part of the country you’re from, Jugaad may be replaced by alternative terms of colloquial usage.

21 March 2010

Disclaimer: This is purely a law student’s perspective of plagiarism awareness that has had a sudden impact on the lives of people making submissions of any kind. I am a loyal supporter of originality/original content and always value and appreciate the same.


 Law schools fortunately/unfortunately have undertaken this trend of purchasing plagiarism softwares in order to check for originality of content for any type of submissions made. Life has been tough ever since, and there is no time to sleep or eat with people mostly trying to think of the best ways possible to beat the software.


Life used to be simple. Surf the web. If the college has access to any legal database of considerable repute than life used to be simpler. Cut, copy, paste and projects/papers are ready within one night.

Future (Then):

Faculty Members used to have these papers/projects/dissertations submitted get published in their name in the form of articles or conference papers.

Future (Now):

Now even if one comma or full stop is found to be similar, marking is brought down to zero and people on the verge of passing out are made to work non stop, sometimes even after getting placed.

Reason for change in Stance from Future (Then) to Future (Now):

Fortunately/Unfortunately, these articles and conference papers presented by Faculty members at some point in time got caught by plagiarism detectors used by organizers of conferences or journals where they were sent.


ALL in ALL, the Circle boils down to this, While at law school, utilizing another person’s effort or skill for personal gain reaches such insurmountable limits that at times people even forget to check material taken from people or given to people.

While students use materials available on the net or databases to finish papers/projects/dissertations purely for the purpose of fulfilling their curriculum requirement, they do not derive any material benefit from it in any way whatsoever. The maximum they do derive out of the same is marks which cannot be equated in any way to any benefit unless of course future earning potential calculated over an ‘x’ number of years depending on where that set of marks places you, can determine the same. Why can’t material be used by students with a stipulation being imposed upon them that each source should be properly cited or is duly acknowledged. Along with the same, another requirement of complete blatant copy pasting could be dealt with strictly while being inspired from certain articles or papers in order to complete the paper with appropriate citation could be made permissible. It’s after all being used for an educational purpose. Rights of the author of the paper upon which the submission is based upon can’t have an issue with it unless explicitly stated. If the student does want to use the project or paper as a platform to get a publication or a conference paper published or made, then the onus would obviously be on him/her to make sure that non-original content does not creep in along with his/her own personal liability being attached for any violation which might take place due to the non-original content.

Prima facie, it may seem that I am encouraging plagiarism but that is not the point of this post. When dissertations of a minimum of 100 pages, need to be submitted and articles/papers discussing the same already are readily available, won’t a citing of each source thanking each one of them suffice? Trust me, even today, you can still find a marked sigh of relief when students are asked only for a hard copy of their submissions in contrast to the dread that creeps into them when they are asked for soft copies. While complete original content should be encouraged in cases where there is a limited and reasonable page stipulation along with only original ideas being asked for like a critique of some sort for instance, the same cannot be made for a dissertation in excess of a 100 pages where only distinguished jurists having been able to properly analyze the topic in question. The reason being that a dissertation is a compilation of information related to the topic with your take on it or on the information so made available.


A plausible solution to this problem could be the encouragement of original content being made subject specific such as the success or failure of the SEBI in regulating the capital market for instance, while inspiration from sources could be made permissible in cases where it has to be relied upon by default such as the role of FII’s in the Indian capital market.  This would require cooperation between both faculties and student to list out such topics along with an option being given to students to choose what exactly they would want to work with.