Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Sept 8:
Students of law may have a lucrative future awaiting them, but they must realize the onerous responsibility they have towards the society, speakers at the valedictory function of ‘Legal Spectra’, the annual national-level Law School Meet organized by the SOA University, Odisha said on Sunday.
“Lawyers have to serve the people everywhere to ensure that justice was delivered at the doorstep of the masses. Good lawyers are needed in all places as also well-equipped bars,” Justice Debabrata Das, Judge of the Odisha High Court, told the students of SOA National Institute of Law (SNIL) run by the University.
Justice Das, who was the chief guest at the function, said the lawyers should not hesitate to take up cases in difficult places while stating that the gap between the number of legal experts required had to be bridged. “We exist for the society, the society doesn’t exist for us,” he said.
Surya Prasad Mishra, president of the Odisha High Court Bar Association and Dilip Satpathy, resident editor of the Business Standard were the Guests of Honour on the occasion. Prof. D.P.Ray, Advisor to the President of SOA, presided over the function, which was also addressed by Prof. Jayadev Pati, Dean of SNIL.
Mishra also urged the students to take up cudgels for the poor saying Whether you get paid or not, argue your cases to the best of your ability.”
Citing the examples of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and Sardar Ballabhbhai Patel, he said the ethical conduct of the two legal legends had set exemplary standards in ethics.
Gandhi would not take the brief of any client if he found that the client was not truthful and wanted to use fraudulent means to get through the legal tangle. Patel, on the other hand, continued to argue the case of a client even after he received the news about his wife’s demise. When asked by the judge as to why he did not seek an adjournment in the case, Patel had replied “My wife’s body can wait for me, but the client would face problems if the case was deferred to another day,” he recounted.
Satpathy cited recent National Crime Records Data which said that the rate of conviction among the weaker sections of society was much higher compared to those who belonged to a higher strata. This meant that people who could not afford to engage a good counsel due to lack of finances were at the receiving end, he said.
“Students may prefer to join a corporate house or practice corporate law after graduating, but they should understand that they have a social obligation as well,” he said.
Satpathy advised the students to be ethical in whatever they did and praised the recent trend of judicial activism saying it had put everybody under scrutiny.
The 4-day meet comprised several competitions on legal matters, literary and cultural events including moot court, parliamentary debate, client counselling, judgement writing, poster designing, quiz, dance and fashion show.
Altogether 65 participants from nine law schools across the country including the National Law University, Cuttack, School of Law, Christ University, Bangalore, MS Law College, Cuttack, New Law College, Pune, HNLU, Raipur, The Law College, Cuttack, KIIT, Bhubaneswar, University Law College, Bhubaneswar and University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Dehradun besides SNIL attended the meet.