Dr. Nitya Prakash spoke to author and renowned lawyer Dr. Charu Mathur.
- PLEASE TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR JOURNEY SO FAR?
Thank you for having me. I am a lawyer with the supreme court of India for almost 2 decades now. I have handled a variety of cases ranging from the death penalty to service matters to tax and constitutional matters. along with regular civil, criminal and family law matters. I am also a published author on company law. I have developed online courses on insolvency and bankruptcy code as well. I am associated with leading publishing houses for the law. I frequently write for various legal awareness/news portals. I am a speaker at various forums as well. I guess that sums me professionally.
- WHAT PROMPTED YOU TO STUDY LAW?
Well, I believed its in my blood and looking at my father and uncles I always aspired to be one. apart from that I always liked to debate and find solutions and believed that as a lawyer I’m empowered to transform society for better.
- HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR EXPERIENCE IN SUPREME COURT PRACTICE?
Supreme court as you know is the court of last resort. This is the last opportunity to get relief. Supreme court practice is typical in nature. you have to depend upon feeding states to send you matters. apart from that sc is the forum where you can file direct petitions as well for enforcement of fundamental rights. This is the soul of our constitution and the sc has risen to the occasion multiple times. as a lawyer practicing in sc, it gives me immense pleasure to be part of some of the path-breaking decisions.
- YOU HAD AN EXCELLENT ACADEMIC RECORD IN LAW COLLEGE. PLEASE TELL US ABOUT THE MANNER IN WHICH YOU APPROACHED ACADEMICS WHILE IN COLLEGE.
I guess times have really changed from the time I read. I find today’s students more aware and have tons of resources at the click of mouse. technology is a friend, wherever there’s gap technology is trying to fill it. we at EBC learning are striving to fill this gap between law school teaching and practical knowledge. lately, we started the initiative to even conduct law school courses. during my time approach to academics was different. we learned mostly during internships and moots. today, I feel things are more structured.
- WHAT IN YOUR OPINION SHOULD A LAW STUDENT KEEP IN MIND WHILE CHOOSING A PARTICULAR DOMAIN OF LAW TO PURSUE A CAREER IN THE SAME?
In my experience, We really don’t choose our domains. it’s the placement or the office you join or work that comes to you decide your domain. saying that, if you have clarity on what exactly you want to do then you must approach the internship, your legal writings and choose your office accordingly.
- WHAT WERE YOUR AREAS OF INTEREST DURING YOUR GRADUATION AND HOW DID YOU GO ABOUT DEVELOPING EXPERTISE IN THEM?
Well, Constitutional law and administrative law were two absolute favorites. constitution of India completely blew me with the amount of its depth. to put it in motion, administrative law was vital. the doctrines in constitutional law like unjust enrichment or excessive delegated legislation etc became tools to fight injustice and establish constitutional philosophy in practice.
- HOW HAS YOUR EXPERIENCE BEEN AS A LAWYER? WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU LIKE TO GIVE TO YOUNG LAWYERS LOOKING TO MAKE A CAREER IN FIELD OF LAW?
Two prongs of advice- first do whatever you do with utmost sincerity and second do get experience at all levels. work in district courts, high courts, tribunals, go-to firms that do transactional work, go to NGOs, write for law magazines, participate in moots. and most importantly be people’s people.
- HOW CHALLENGING IS THE TASK OF AUTHORING A BOOK? WHAT WAS YOUR APPROACH WHEN YOU STARTED WRITING AND HAS IT CHANGED OVER THE YEARS?
I guess structuring a book is the most challenging aspect. your book should impart some knowledge. it should not be a cut copy paste job. today there are many softwares that makes editing easy.
- YOU HAVE ALSO AUTHORED NUMEROUS LEGAL ARTICLES. WHAT ENCOURAGES YOU TO KEEP WRITING? WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO LAW STUDENTS TO IMPROVE THEIR LEGAL WRITING SKILLS?
If there’s some issue about which you feel strongly pen it down. blogging has actually become a medium that gives you recognition. as for improving legal writing skills- do write more often and you will improve.
- WHAT CHANGES DO YOU THINK ARE THE ESSENTIAL IN CURRENT THE LEGAL EDUCATION SYSTEM OF INDIA?
We have to be more practice-oriented. it has to be much more intensive. procedures-both civil and criminal, in my opinion, are not taught well. this is a big lacuna and it requires to be fixed.
- AS A CONCLUDING MESSAGE WHAT WOULD BE YOUR ADVICE TO THE CURRENT LAW STUDENTS & THe readers of bombay weekly?
Stay safe. utilize this lockdown time to read, write and think.
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