Q.1 Tell our readers about you.
Ans- My name is Prashant Tripathi and I am a practicing Advocate. Working as a Litigation Associate with Sanjeev Singh & Associates, New Delhi, a law firm dealing majorly with Commercial Laws such as SARFAESI Act, IBC, Arbitration & Conciliation Act, etc.
Q2. Why have you chosen law as a career and what inspired you?
Ans. I belong to a family of Engineers. From the very beginning I wanted to do something different. So, my father suggested and inspired me to opt Law. Since I wanted anything except engineering I opted it. Before opting it, I knew almost nothing about this field. It was only after joining law college and after witnessing the environment there, I got inspired and developed an interest in law. One of the things which attracted me the most was ‘Moot Court Competitions’. Seeing my seniors making efforts to clear challengers to participate in moot courts enthralled me and I was into the moots very soon. From participating and organising to judging moot court competitions, I still crave for moots.
Q.3. What aspect of being an advocate interests you the most/ least?
Ans. There is nothing which I don’t like. What interests me the most is the ability of law to teach me something new and surprise me with the same. The more I read a provision/law, the more interpretations I get and its ever evolving. There is no limit in law. Its exciting and interesting.
Q.4. Share an experience of your life, which would motivate our readers.
Ans. Never succumb to what others say. Listen to yourself and take a decision only when your mind is at peace. I have always been a rank holder in my school and this is what I was always told and taught to be. I didn’t do much well or as expected by everyone in 12th. As a way to escape the people around me, I took a decision to join a private law college despite having opportunity to prepare for CLAT and other competitive exams. I didn’t do much research about the college. I took a decision in haste. I was worried because of so many things which I had heard about law, internships and future being the only person in my family to opt law as a career. Fortunately, with priceless guidance of Late Prof. (Dr.) V. S. Mani, who was the director of our law college from 2013-2016, I could overcome those fears and succeed. He guided me and helped me with my internships and moot court competitions. He was the biggest motivator for me. One must not give up and must know and understand that nothing comes easily. One thing which I never did was to give up on my weaknesses. I learnt to face failures and I am still learning.
Q.5. According to you what are the qualities of a good lawyer ?
Ans. Understanding of relevant laws. An Advocate needs to keep himself updated with all amendments, judgments, etc. atleast relevant to his areas of practice. Ability to listen first and then respond. Negligible interruptions while a judge is asking a question and also while the other counsels are making their submissions. One must be assertive in his submissions and must avoid being aggressive. Being precise and simple while making submissions is another quality which is always welcomed by everyone.
Q.6. What are your views about Indian laws and do you think they should be updated ?
Ans. Laws and society always go together and therefore, when the society changes, laws must change. However, as far as laws in our country are concerned there are a number of laws which need to be amended/repealed. Provisions levying fines have become redundant since they have not been updated/amended as far as the amount of fine is concerned. There are many provisions where the punishment of imprisonment as an alternative to fine is disproportionate. Another backdrop of our system is unawareness of various laws among public.
Q.7. Computer and Biological virus which can be the future weapons of mass destruction. In the legal aspect what can be done to safeguard the society from these ?
Ans: See, nobody can deny the impending threats that we all are prone to because of the computer and biological virus. Not only future they are still a weapon of mass destruction. Stringent laws and more stringent and effective implementation of those laws can curb such acts to some extent, however, for elimination of such threats the enforcement machinery needs to be proactive, unbiased and free from external as well as internal pressures and undue influences.
Q.8. Since you are a young member of International Council for Commercial Arbitration, please tell our readers about ICCA and how one can join it.
Ans. With aims of promoting the use of Arbitration by exposing new practitioners from all over the world and to provide them a forum to exchange ideas about international arbitration, the Young ICCA was established in 2010. It functions under the auspices of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA). Young ICCA Membership is free and open to all students and practitioners under the age of 40 with a demonstrated interest in international arbitration. In order to join Young ICCA one needs to fill the membership form provided on the official website of Young ICCA. The same can be accessed by following the link [https://www.arbitration-icca.org/YoungICCA/Membership.html].
Q.9. After 25-30 years from now, what changes in the legal field will be seen or there will be no changes?
Ans. Law is dynamic. It evolves everyday. No change in laws means stagnant society which is not possible. Who knew Covid-19 would bring reforms in the way we have been practicing before we got exposed to this pandemic. The best quality of law and legal field is that it develops and adapts as per the need of the society. We are almost digital now. Only a few Courts are there which are lacking with these facilities and soon they will also function with digital means. So, the laws and legal field will change drastically in the coming 25-30 years. One of the vital changes which can be anticipated with assertion would be the full-fledged adaptation of digital means and minimal use of papers. More no. of courts, tribunals, and other fora dealing independently with a particular law would be another change. For others we must wait and try to be a part of those changes.
Q.10. Anything you would like to say to our young law students.
Ans. We all know that there is no substitute to hard work. Don’t get depressed when a person tells u that being a first generation lawyer won’t be easy for you. Don’t get demotivated when your colleagues/batchmates get internships easily and you don’t. Keep applying and regular follow ups would do the work. Write as much articles/research papers as you can and involve yourself in competitions. Attend seminars, paper presentations and you would stand on a different footing than others but never compare yourself with others. Your work/attempts would assist you in getting requisite recognition in the relevant field. Just don’t stop. I am not telling you anything hypothetical. These were the things I used to do during my college days and have personally experienced the taste of these efforts.
“Patience and perseverance overcome mountains.”
Disclaimer: These are my personal views and learnings from my experiences. Nothing should be construed to have a bearing on any person.