Young lawyers are often haunted by so many misapprehensions, when they enter inside the premises of any High Court for first time. The complex relationship between young lawyers and senior lawyers gets added to the woes of fresh, young lawyers arriving at High Court after enrollment at Bar Council. This lack of information regarding the code of conduct and sheer ignorance about rules and regulations governing High Court play a spoilsport with future of young lawyers. That kills their precious moments, which if saved, could have been used in deeper studying of various cases. As a result of that, initial years of any young lawyer is usually a saga of frustration and gloom. He not only runs short of financial resources, but also gets bereft of proper knowledge which ensures greater frustration. I am really happy that Dr. Devendra Kumar Tiwari, a very experienced lawyer at Allahabad High Court, Allahabad, who owns a doctorate degree in law, gave a serious thought to this pertinent issue. His deep concerns for the new lawyers made him pen the book titled ” Lawyer’s Referencer”. It’s a terrific condensation of important details sought by any lawyer who wishes to be familiar with proceedings at High Court.
The book launch saw gathering of some high-profile lawyers, who shared their experiences with audience which comprised of eminent legal hawks belonging to Allahabad. Of course, Devendra Kumar Tiwari, being the host and author of the recently launched book, had a lot to share. I must say that despite being a very influential lawyer, he maintained a very low profile. He exhibited a humility, which is rarely noticed in a lawyer who attains a high position at High Court! His initial days of academic career was marred by unspeakable problems and since he belonged to rural world, the world dominated by elites offered a little solace! However, he carved a niche for himself largely because of his grit and determination. He penned many law books in Hindi, which got awarded by Indian government. Medical Jurisprudence & Toxicology and Law of Pleadings, are two such prominent books written by him. In his welcome note, he stated it categorically that lawyers who made significant contributions at Allahabad High Court were the ones who belonged to rural world. It’s these lawyers, who ensured justice to litigants at low cost!
However, what hurt him most, was abusive behaviour targeted at young lawyers. The young lawyers are being constantly harassed by senior lawyers and judges for want of required knowledge. Everybody expects these young lawyers to be efficient during the legal proceedings, but, at the same time, nobody ensures that they can have access to details that matter. That’s why he feels that his book, which has necessary “practical” tips besides terminologies, regularly used in High Court, would come in handy for new legal practitioner!
Ashok Mehta, Additional Solicitor General of India, in his lecture delivered on this occasion as a special guest, lambasted the Bar Council for playing with the future of young lawyers by keeping them in dark about necessary details!! His insightful lecture thrilled the listeners to a great extent. He is wonderful orator and so he used this opportunity to express his heartfelt sentiments. He was shocked that the task of creating awareness among young lawyers was being done by lawyers like Devendra Kumar Tiwari, which is primarily the task of Bar Coucil of India. He wished to know what is preventing Bar Council to use its financial resources to sensitize fresh lawyers? He was also pretty unhappy about lack of quality books in Hindi and what dismayed him was that even after so many years of Independence “the spirit of Macaulay” haunted High Courts. All the proceedings of High Court are conducted in English, which ensures huge problem for both lawyers and litigants. Anyway, he felt that juniors of Allahabad High Court are the best ones in Indian landscape. He ensured them a great future, provided they worked hard and, above all, if lady luck favoured them at right turns of life!!
Justice Rajesh Tandon, Chairman, Human Rights Commission, Uttarakhand, who attended the event as a Chief Guest, spoke at length about utility of this book. He felt that lack of knowledge of frequently used terminologies at High Court creates an embarrassing situation. It’s something which could be avoided. In his opinion, this book is not only useful for young lawyers but it’s also serves a huge purpose for senior lawyers. Dharampal Singh, noted criminal lawyer, who shared the dais as a distinguished guest, felt that this tussle between young lawyers and senior lawyers would always exist. In reality, no senior lawyer is ever interested in making a junior lawyer pretty informed. However, a senior lawyer like him, is always ready to provide help by encouraging all the initiatives aimed at brightening the future of young lawyers. B B Paul, expert in revenue matters at Board of Revenue, who attended the glittering evening as one of the special guests, also spoke about documentation about proceedings,related to High Court, which in his eyes would make the legal affairs bearable for fresh entrants at High Court.
I would like to highlight some interesting aspects about this book. For instance, this book speaks about “plea bargaining” . This is a very important portion of Criminal proceeding wherein there is provision of out of the court settlement of criminal affairs provided the punishment does not exceed beyond seven years. The senior lawyers expressed grave concern about little usage of this provision which if frequently applied would lessen the burden on trial courts. In fact, criminal experts were of the opinion that courts should first ensure that whether or not there is scope of “plea bargaining” at the start of trial. They should come to proceed in usual way only when there is no scope! In rent and control cases, often lawyers, make a grave blunder of not mentioning about “mesne profit” while filing suits and as a result of this blunder they cannot avail necessary benefit. ” Mesene profits” are the profits which a person in wrongful possession of the property actually recovered or might with ordinary diligence have received therefrom together with interest on such profits excluding the profits due to improvement made by the person in wrongful possession. Interestingly, the book refers to usage of simple term “status quo” which is often wrongly used! In case of re-gaining the possession, the aggrieved party, who has been deprived of the possession, should ask for “anti-status quo” instead of seeking “status quo”!!
It was a perfect star-studded evening for both young lawyers and senior lawyers at the conference hall of popular big hotel at Allahabad. Luckily, it was not confined to merry-making! On the contrary, the evening ensured that lawyers further enriched their legal knowledge by imbibing rich legal insights shared by expert lawyers present on this occasion including Shailendra Awasthi, Advocate & Author, and Uma Sharnkar Tiwari, prominent Advocate at District Court, Allahabad. I need to refer to my friend, Shashikant Kushwaha, Advocate, Allahabad High Court, Allahabad, who played an instrumental role in coordinating the event quite successfully. He has also written law books meant for competitive students. In fact, he has been awarded by Allahabad Bar Association for promoting Hindi.
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