We warmly welcome you to the Live Blogging of the 1st Gurjeet Singh Memorial National Moot Court Competition, 2017 being hosted by National Law University and Judicial Academy, Assam in the beautiful city of Gauhati.
The National Law University and Judicial Academy, Assam (NLUJAA) has been established by the Government of Assam by way of enactment of the National Law School and Judicial Academy, Assam Act, 2009 (Assam Act No. XXV of 2009). The word ‘School’ is being substituted by the word ‘University’ as per the National Law School and Judicial Academy, Assam(Amendment) Act, 2011. The Hon’ble Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court is the Chancellor of the University. NLUJAA promotes and makes available modern legal education and research facilities to students and scholars drawn from across the country, including the North East, hailing from different socio-economic, ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds. The students of the University haven been quite phenomenal in their performances both on the academic and co-curricular fronts. NLUJAA is on a meteoric rise in the past few years which is evident from the laurels brought by the students in Moot Court competitions, National and International conferences, Debates and other such noteworthy events.
The moot court problem of the competition focuses on the trending issue of “Demonetization” that was announced by the ruling government on 9th November, 2016. Though the social and economic issues were quick to be highlighted during the implementation of this policy, the moot court problem for this competition highlights the legal issues that entailed the sudden change in the nation. The moot has also introduced a new concept of student adjudicators who will be assisting the judges in analyzing the concept and reasoning behind the arguments of the counsels.
The teams taking part in the competition are:
- School of Law and Justice, Adamas University.
- Lloyd Law College, Greater Noida.
- University Institute of Legal Studies, Panjab University.
- Saveetha School of Law, Chennai.
- Central University of South Bihar.
- Amity Law School, Lucknow.
- Amity Law School, Centre II, Amity University, Noida.
- Gujarat National Law University.
- University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Dehradun.
- Symbiosis Law School, Pune.
- Haldia Law College.
- NEF Law College.
We would like to extend our wishes to the teams taking part in the competition.
Schedule of events:
9th April – Registration, Inaugural Ceremony and Draw of Lots.
10th April – Preliminary Rounds and Quarter-Finals
11th April – Semi-Finals, Finals and Valedictory Ceremony
Day 1: 9th April 2017 – Registration and Inauguration
4:45 p.m.- The teams are now flocking towards the Administrative Block for the initial proceedings. We would like to congratulate the Moot Court committee for their hard work and dedication in putting up this Moot Court competition in the fond memory of Prof. Dr. Gurjeet Singh, the founder Vice-Chancellor of the University.
4:55 p.m.- We are underway with the registrations.
5:15 p.m.– All the teams have successfully registered for the event. The event is finally on!.
5:20 p.m.- The teams have been asked to assemble in the state of the art Seminar Hall. We see a lot of excited faces among the participants.
5:39 p.m.– After the brief break, we are now ready for the Inauguration ceremony.
5:42 p.m.– We would like to thank our esteemed dignitaries for gracing the event with their gracious presence. Our Guests of Honor are Mr. Shiva Srinivasan and Aditya Diwakar of the Diwakar and Srinivasan, a Start-Up law firm. Other Hon’ble guests includes the Vice-Chancellor Prof. Dr. J.S. Patil and Registrar Prof. Dr. Yugal Kishore.
5:45 p.m.- “Give light, and the darkness will disappear of itself”. In keeping up with this spirit, the dignitaries are now proceeding for the ceremonial lighting of the lamp. This ceremony marks the commencement of the 1st Dr. Gurjeet Singh Memorial National Moot Court Competition. The moot will surely be a stepping stone in creating a legacy for the University.
5:48 p.m.- The Organizing Committee member is now delivering an opening speech on the significance of this Moot Court competition being as a tribute to our Founding Vice-Chancellor Prof. Dr. Gurjeet Singh. The Moot Problem has been drafted by one of the leading lawyers of the Supreme Court, Mr. Mohan Katarki who specializes in the field of Water Disputes. He has been recognized as a force to reckon with after his involvement in the Cauvery Water Dispute issue recently.
5:55 p.m.- Our distinguished guests are now being felicitated by the moot court committee members as per the local traditions of Assam. They are being felicitated with a traditional Gamusa and a Bouquet.
5:58 p.m.- Our guest of honor Mr. Aditya Diwakar is now enlightening us with some wise words. He is sharing his experience of being associated with a Start-Up law firm and how mooting is an essential ingredient in the life of a law school student. Mr. Diwakar at present is deeply involved in developing the legal entrepreneurship sector in the North-East region. He ends by giving a brief insight of mooting as a tool for learning the art of litigation.
6:04 p.m.- Prof. Dr. J.S Patil, Hon’ble Vice-Chancellor of National Law University, Assam starts his speech by condoling the demise of Dr. Gurjeet Singh, a personal friend and a legal luminary who laid the foundation of the University. He recounted the experiences of his early days in mooting which was the era under which the mooting culture bloomed into the norm that it is today . He also points out the importance of mock trials in understanding the legal procedure. Furthermore, he expresses his gratitude to the participants from across the country.
Some highlights of his power packed address:
“Justice is a process which has been built in our civilization from generations.”
“Justice has become a necessity to have a institutionalized system of judicial administration.”
“We can build a framework of education in judiciary by the process of mooting through our presentation, argumentation, articulation of thought.”
6:20 p.m.- The Registrar is giving his speech, where he is mentioning about how moot court competitions are important for the practical knowledge of law and it’s application in various cases and situations. While he is acknowledging the presence of our Guests of Honor from Diwakar & Srinivasan Advocates, he is also warmly welcoming the alumni who have joined us to be a part of the event, along with student teams from different parts of the country.
6:30 p.m.- The felicitation of the Faculty Convener of the Moot Court Committee with a traditional Gamusa and a bouquet is taking place. Mrs. Gitanjali Ghosh, the convener is sharing her experience at the prestigious Henry Dunant Moot Court Competition and the efforts which took her forward in attaining the 5th rank in the competition. She is advising the students to not be intimidated by any of the opposite teams, but to believe in oneself.
8:00 p.m.- We are concluding the first day with a dinner in the Administration Block with all the participants and members of the MCC, NLUJAA.
8:05 p.m.- Live Blogging team signing off for today. Meet you tomorrow for the Prelims and Quarters.
DAY 2: Preliminary Rounds and Quarter Finals
10:15 a.m.- All students are gathering and we are about to begin with the showdown in 60 minutes.
10:30 a.m.- We are starting off today with the Judges’ Briefing. The Judges are being informed about the facts and issues of the moot proposition by the research committee. Soon, we’ll be beginning with the preliminaries.
10:45 a.m.- The judges briefing is done with. That was one short session. The judges are now moving for the group photograph.
11:00 a.m.– All teams and judges have entered their court rooms. The proceedings are going to begin shortly. Excitement soaring up.
Courtroom No. 1 (11:06 a.m.) : Amity Law School, Lucknow v. Saveetha University
The petitioners have started the proceedings. Speaker No. 1 looks all charged up and solid with his arguments. We see a barrage of questions being asked by the hon’ble bench on the question of maintainability raised by the petitioners side. Looks like the petitioners are trying to prove their point on words rather than on substantial authorities. Speaker No. 2 is up next and nervousness looks embodied on his face after the cruel grilling of the first speaker. The bench is showering the speaker with legal jargon but he looks calm and thorough with his arguments.
Respondents have started their arguments. The Speaker No. 1 is being lashed up for irrelevant citations in the memorial. A lot of stuttering from the speaker but the bench is trying to normalize the courtroom environment. References to public policy has been brought into the square. No justification of arguments by the Respondents. The respondents were at a loss of words for some time after one of the judges questioned them on the relevance of fundamental rights in light of the Maneka Gandhi Judgment. Speaker No. 2 has started and first things first, another hypothetical being thrown at the speaker. “Individual Liberty v. Larger Good” is the hot topic of debate now. The counsel looks completely worn out because of the high pressure being put up on her and she is now fumbling. Finally Speaker No. 2 rests her arguments. She just took herself out from the tiger’s den.
Courtroom No. 2 (11:08 a.m.) : GNLU, Gandhinagar v. Central University of South Bihar
The atmosphere of the court-room looks unsettled. The tension is mounting up immensely between the 2 teams after receiving that quirky smile from the judges. With all things done, the Speaker No. 1 is approaching the dais to present his arguments. The bench unhesitatingly put the speaker in the circle of fire and did not even provide him the bucket of water to save himself. But the acumen of the Speaker was conspicuous when he jumped over the circle by belting back landmark judgments of the Supreme Court at the Bench. The judges were constantly questioning the Petitioners on the recent writ filed in the Supreme Court ( Vivek Narayan v. Union of India).
Respondents look very puzzled with their researcher trying to pull his hair out of his head but thankfully, his team-mates are calming him down. The judges are having a look at the compendium submitted by the respondent team and looks impressed by the effort put in by the respondent side.
Courtroom No. 3 (11:05 a.m.) : NEF Law College, Guwahati v. UPES Dehradun
The Petitioner has not moved an inch while submitting her arguments, not even a hint of nervousness. The Judges are not liking being interrupted by the Respondents too much. The petitioner’s side just smiled for the photographer while their speaker argues. Volunteers sitting in the courtroom are more than the participants themselves. Speaker for the respondent continues to make the ‘concluding statement’ several times. The bench interrupts and asks the next statement to actually be the concluding remark. The second speaker respondent seems well versed with the case and is answering questions like a boss.
Courtroom No. 4 (11:02 a.m.) : Symbiosis Law School, Pune v. Llyod Law School, Noida
The Petitioners have begun the arguments. Though the first speaker came up to the podium very confidently, he has been questioned by the panel immediately. He almost exceeded his time limit whilst trying to convince the court with his arguments. The second speaker has now come up to the podium to present her side of the arguments. She is maintaining a very calm composure, yet she is being questioned a lot. Petitioner’s counsel request the court to declare the PIL non-maintainable. The court was quick to point out this mistake asking why they would be hearing the arguments in the first place if this would have been the case. The counsel apologized and made the necessary corrections.
Courtroom No. 5 (11:15 a.m.) : University institute of Legal Studies, Panjab University v. Haldia Law College
The atmosphere of the court is prim with anticipation and excitement as the judges entered the room for the proceedings. It is going to be an interesting scene as both the teams are completely charged up for the proceedings. The proceedings commence with Speaker 1 of the petitioner approaching the podium.Speaker 1 of the petitioner from UILS, Punjab University begins his argument. The speaker contends that the Constitutional Bench of Union of Bindia will witness a flurry of petitions. The judges seems convinced by the method of argumentation. Speaker 2 begins with his argument by relying on public interest and the contends that freezing of bank accounts can in no way be in the public interest. Speaker 1 on behalf of the respondent from Haldia Law college begins argument on behalf of Union of India. Speaker 2 tries to satisfy the bench’s doubt and the question of public interest emerges again. The judges do not seem very convinced. Now it is the turn of the Student Adjudicators both of whom are exceedingly well prepared with their set of questions. Their set of questions cover both merits and questions of law ranging from the doctrine of unjust enrichment to questions of jurisdiction. Counsels of both petitioner and respondent were caught on the wrong foot. The proceedings concludes.
Courtroom No. 6 (11:10 a.m) : Amity Law School, Noida v. Adamas University, Kolkata
The proceedings in the room have started with Speaker No. 1 from the petitioner side who seems to be poised and convincing the Bench. She has started by arguing on the violation of Article 19(1)(g) after navigating deftly and confidently through the questions on rule of exclusion. After the initial discussion of law points she is now focussing on arguing on merits. Speaker No. 2 has begun by arguing on the point of compensation. After overcoming the initial nervousness, he is now being given a patient hearing by the Bench. The Bench raises a doubt on the relevance of the Nagendra Rao case and the speaker finds himself at a loss for words. Respondents have started their arguments. Speaker 1 begins his arguments and seems quite nervous. His argument focuses on the maintainability of the petition before the court. Speaker 2 relies on the RBI Act and also the constitutional provisions. The Bench poses a question on the object of the RBI Act. Speaker finally concludes his argument. The student Adjudicators now take the floor and pose various questions on jurisdiction, maintainability etc. to the counsels. The speakers from Amity Noida navigates deftly through the questions while the speakers from Adamas are nervous at certain points. The session finally concludes.
4:00 p.m.- That brings us to the end of the prelims. That was a very interesting round, we’ll start the updates for another engaging session, in a few minutes. Stay tuned!
4:10 p.m.- Time to fill up the empty tummies. Lunch is on!
5:25 p.m.- The wait is excruciating for the teams. Cause its Results time. Top 8 to Qualify.
5:30 p.m.- Here are the much awaited results. Congratulations to the teams moving over to the next rounds. Best wishes to them from National Law University and Judicial Academy, Assam.
TEAMS QUALIFYING FOR THE QUARTER-FINALS:
- GUJRAT NATIONAL LAW UNIVERSITY
- UNIVERSITY INSTITUTE OF LEGAL STUDIES, PANJAB UNIVERSITY
- LLOYD LAW COLLEGE
- AMITY UNIVERSITY, NOIDA
- AMITY UNIVERSITY, LUCKNOW
- UNIVERSITY OF PETROLEUM AND ENERGY STUDIES, DEHRADUN
- SYMBIOSIS LAW SCHOOL, PUNE
- CENTRAL UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH BIHAR
5:35 p.m.- The showdown starts now!
Courtroom No. 1: Amity University, Lucknow v. Lloyd Law College
5:47 p.m.– Speaker 1 begins on behalf of petitioner from Amity Lucknow begins arguments. The quarter finals of the 1st Dr. Gurjeet Singh Memorial National Moot Court Competition are underway!
6:00 p.m.– Speaker 1 is confidently arguing and deftly dealing with the questions posed by the Bench.The speaker is convincing the Bench with his arguments based on the violation of Fundamental Rights. He concedes that demonetisation is legal under the RBI Act but that is not the question in discussion. Rather it is unconstitutional in nature.
6:10 p.m.–The Bench inquires whether the petitioner has any reservations with the purpose of the act itself. The counsel replies in the negative. The counsel clarifies that the point is with regard to the mechanism prescribed in the act and not the objective itself.
6:15 p.m.– The Bench is unrelenting on its questions with regard to whether it has sufficient grounds to interfere in economic policy. It seeks an explanation on how a freezing of deposit can interfere in trade. Speaker No. 1 does not concede his point and argues his point confidently.
6:20 p.m.– Speaker No. 2 from Amity Lucknow begins argument and is being grilled on why constitutional rights under Art.300 may not be restricted by legislation. Speaker 2 points to the unreasonable classification adopted in the legislation. He authoritatively provides a corollary to the Bench’s analogy of Demonetization with tax slabs under the IT Act.
6:30 p.m.– Speaker No. 2 on behalf of Petitioner has now moved to his argument on sovereign function. The Bench now grills the speaker on why have the Petitioners not challenged the constitutional validity of the Act.
Courtroom No. 2: UPES, Dehradun v. UILS, Panjab University
5:39 p.m.- We have started with the Quarter-Finals rounds in Courtroom No. 1.
5:48 p.m.- There is a double whammy for the petitioner’s Speaker No. 1. Gets questioned on the “Right to Equality” and on the overriding effect of the RBI Act on the Other’s Acts. She is not able to convince the judges. Speaker No. 1 falters on the nitties and gritties of the moot proposition.
6:08 p.m.- Judges does not accept the argument of “Right to Privacy” after giving her an extension of 5 minutes in the interest of justice. “Why shouldn’t be there a government authority to adjudicate upon some issues pertaining to its boundaries of jurisdiction”.
6:14 p.m.- “This is a devious method of arguing” said one of the judges but the counsel still begs to differ because the Fundamental Rights of her counsel is still being violated. “If you want the entire act to be declared unconstitutional please justify your arguments only on the basis of Article 21 and Article 14” said the other judge but the Speaker words are blank to the core.
6:18 p.m.- Speaker No. 2 comes into the centre. She looks confident and substantial with her voice. A spartan she is. An impromptu case being cited by the petitioners but they still get it considered by the Bench, thanks to her flair and presence of mind.
6:27 p.m.- “It’s always about the quality” yet the petitioners are becoming repetitive with the amount of Rs. 50 Crores in question. The bench boils down to the question, “Is it about Compensation or Constitutionality” as per the Sampath Kumar case. Speaker No. 2 is trying to toil around the question but the bench seems to be clinged with their question. She finally gives up.
6:35 p.m.- There is no nexus between the bank and government. Speaker No. 2 says that still freezing is unjustified as they are vicariously liable for the error.
6:43 p.m.- Speaker No.2 about to rest her arguments but wait her one wrong word and we still continue. She is being questioned on the sovereignty and the prayer which unexpectedly does not mention the word ‘writ’. Ripped apart I would say and seriously she is sweating now.
6:48 p.m.- We come to the end of the petitioners side of the arguments. Really a long and painful session, of course for the petitioners.
6:50 p.m.- The respondents Speaker No. 1 takes over the dais now. Immediately gets trolled on stating fallacious fact. The judge asks the counsel to “Explain Intelligible Differentia”.
6:58 p.m.- A lot of informatory chits being passed by the researcher to the speaker. Her face still looks confused. A lot of pauses in the arguments advanced by the Speaker No. 2 of the respondents. Another statement of interest has been made by the judges, ‘Let’s go off track to understand the mentality of the government’. This is tantalizing for the Speaker and anger is evident on her face.
7:05 p.m.- It’s advised not to counter the judges but the respondents seem to be ignorant of the norm. Speaker arguments are deviating from the lines of the case. She says ‘All laws are for public good’ but what about the legislations which are not. Spot On!, She cites the Ratanlal case but a hypothetical has been immediately thrown at her, judges are interested to take this a long way.
7:18 p.m.- Reasonability of implementing Demonetization by the respondents is now in the boxing ring. She justify the strategy behind demonetization with her wits and Boom!!!……….it is accepted by the bench.
7:31 p.m.- The counsel states the case of L. Nagendra Rao. One of the judge points out to the counsel that in exercising a sovereign function, should an illegal action be justified on the ground that its application was legal. The counsel fails to deliver an acceptable argument. It would have been great for her if she had said that the action of implementing the act must be differentiated from the demonetization scheme.
7:46 p.m.- Benami transaction is in the house now. Why to use terms when we dont know about them is the question which the respondents must be asking to themselves but their dying spirit is kept live by that humorous joke cracked by one of the judges on the bench. Judges are now literally reading off stuff from the 100 Rs Note to supplement their question. The situation is poised at a very interesting juncture now with the speaker easing off to the tantrums thrown by the bench.
7:58 p.m.- After those aching 30 odd minutes taken by the respondents, we are off to the prayer. But wait, there is a twist in the fairytale. Just a gimmick viewers, there is nothing similar to a fairytale in the real world. At Least in this court room. Prayer ends. We saw the legs of respondents counsel literally trembling. Not a good indication at all.
8:03 p.m.- Rebuttals are done with and nothing interesting comes out of it. Respondents chose not to go for sur-rebuttals.
8:05 p.m.- Students adjudicator is now questioning the petitioners on the aid of the Balco case against the decision of freezing of accounts. He further says that demonetization is not unconstitutional. Petitioners proves their point by saying that they are not challenging demonetization but rather its implementation in the case of the petitioners. The adjudicator is now killing the respondents with his well drafted questions. Respondents are replying loud and clear but nothing substantial in their words.
8:15 p.m.- Petitioners are answering the questions raised by the second adjudicator elegantly and its looks great for them. Now it’s the turn of the respondents and they are trying to answer the issue of sovereign immunity raised by the adjudicator (Supported by the authority of ). They successfully makes a way out of the wormhole by citing the 44th Amendment. Student adjudicator is speaking like a guru delivering his sermon. No answers available for the respondents. The adjudicator is prepared better for the Quarter-Finals than the respondents. Respondents are now just blabbering. Looks bleak for them now. All rests with the judges now.
8:25 p.m.- Finally it’s all over and we are going through feedbacks. These suggestions would be good for the teams in the long run.
Courtroom No. 3: GNLU v. SLS, Pune
5:48 p.m.- The first speaker, though after starting confidently, has seemed to have lost a part of it due to the constant grilling by the judges. The speaker tried to justify the acts of AFSPA in order to prove an analogy of theirs but the judges put all the right strings and opined that just because the competition has been organised in NLUJA Assam, it doesn’t mean that any argument or precedent relating to Assam in anyway justifies the totally outrageous point that the speaker is trying to justify.
6:05 p.m.- The 2nd speaker, however, restores that lost confidence and is arguing wonderfully, while supporting his arguments with proper authorities and satisfactorily answering the questions by the judges.
6:15 p.m.- The constant and intense grilling by the judges, both on facts as well as law, seems to be a bit too much for the petitioners to handle.
6:20 p.m.- The counsel still looks calm and steady despite the constant grilling of the judges. However, the petitioners will definitely learn something valuable from this round: Do not refer to cases that are not mentioned in your memorials.
6:30 p.m.- The Speaker 1 of the respondent has taken the podium and has started his proceedings with a bang.
6:39 p.m.- The judges till this point looks convinced but at the same time, they are asking the speaker to not sell them ‘Harry Potter-esque’ fiction..
6:45 p.m.- The counsel is constantly asking the judges to look at the ‘bigger picture’ that he is trying to show them but apparently, the judges feel comfortable with a small screen.
6:50 p.m.- The judges are scrutinizing the memorial submitted by the respondents and are constantly making the Speaker take a bath in his own sweat. The speaker unperturbed by the judges’ constant questions, pleasantly points out his prized citations to the judges but the judges don’t look satisfied!
6:55 p.m.- The stipulated time limit has been crossed but both the counsel and the judges refuse to back down. The entire point in question right now the entire issue of freezing the accounts and not the cap of Rs. 50cr.
7:00 p.m.- The counsel argues that even a higher cap would have brought in a suit but the judges subtly lighten the atmosphere by stating that it is the job of the court to question whatever the government does as it is the respondent’s’ team on the dais.
7:10 p.m.- The second speaker is on the dais now and contending the case of N. Nagendra Rao v. State of Andhra Pradesh judgments in its favor. The judges contend that whether holding a certain amount of money in cash is a crime or a fundamental right? And a pursuing question of the judges to the counsels is where exactly has the word ‘demonetization’ been defined?
7:14 p.m.-The judges applaud counsel 1’s eloquence with his words but severely criticized that the respondents’ oral submissions have been more focused on elaborate sentences and not on the law. With the previous remark, the judges ask the counsels, on a lighter note, to educate themselves on the judgment that have been written with a great use of the English language using the Shanbaug case as example.
7:20 p.m.- The adjudicators looks to be observant throughout the whole proceeding as their questions look threatening and the counsels are giving a good thought before answering.
7:22 p.m.- The proceedings conclude herein.
Courtroom No. 4: Amity University, Noida v. Central University of South Bihar
7:00 p.m.- After the rebuttals and the adjudicator session, the proceedings are finally over.
With the end of the Quarter-Finals rounds, the Caravan now moves to the Administrative Block.
7:15 p.m.- Refresh your mind before the pressure mounts. High Tea is the call of the moment.
8:55 p.m.- The MCC is finalizing the results and some of the members are on stage in the seminar hall.
9:21 p.m.- Sshhhhh… We are at the brink of the moment. 1,2,3 and here we go. Participants are now red like chilli pepper. It looks as if they are about to explode. No more wait, Just…
Claps, Claps, Claps……..
9:23 p.m.- Congratulations to the team for getting through the Quarters and Qualifying for the Main Rounds.
Teams Qualifying for the Semi-Final Rounds:
- GUJRAT NATIONAL LAW UNIVERSITY, GANDHINAGAR
- AMITY UNIVERSITY, NOIDA
- AMITY UNIVERSITY, LUCKNOW
- UNIVERSITY INSTITUTE OF LEGAL STUDIES, PANJAB UNIVERSITY
Tomorrow will be the day of the champions. We wish luck to the four qualifying teams. Keep buzzing Keep Rocking.
9:27 p.m.- Dinner is served on the table. Participants are now moving over to the portico to get over the frustration of yet another enticing day, of course not for the participants.
9:33 p.m.- That ends yet another exciting day at the 1st Dr. Gurjeet Singh National Moot Court Competition 2k17. We take a sleep now to rise again for a better tomorrow. Cheers! Bye!
DAY 3: Semi-Finals and Finals Live Coverage
10:45 a.m.- Welcome to the final day of the 1st Gurjeet Singh National Moot Court Competition 2k17. We are live from the beautiful Academic Block for the Semifinals and Finals.
10:50 a.m.- We are about to start. Hold your breath. All about 5 minutes now.
All are our viewers are hereby communicated that we have released an impromptu problem for the Semi-Finals and Finals Round.
Courtroom No. 1: Amity University, Lucknow v. UILS, Panjab University
Bench: Mr. Anuroop Omkar, Mr. Himanshu Ranjan Nath, Mr. Subhro
10:54 a.m.- The Hon’ble judges arrive in the Courtroom No. 1
11:00 a.m.- Appellant’s Speaker No. 1 is on the dais now. Facts are now being stated by the speaker, Judges encroach upon the comfort zone of the speaker immediately.
11:04 a.m.- The Hon’ble Judges are asking the speaker to not read from the memorandum and maintain an eye contact.
11:07 a.m.- Appellants have finally started their argument. A questions is being asked by the judges as to ‘Whether Chief Minister would constitute an Employee or not’. The Speaker No. 1 answers in the affirmative. To aid their interpretation, they are submitting certain book excerpts and case citations.
11:11 a.m.- A tricky question has been asked by one of the Judges, “Would Government constitute a real person or artificial person. The speaker diligently answered that it would be an artificial person. Judges accept the same.
11:14 a.m.- Judges are now literally firing bullets on Speaker No.1 but the appellants are calmly dodging them with a bulletproof jacket of good reasoning and substantial arguments.
11:19 a.m.- The Speaker No.1 gets cornered on stating the wrong facts. He is immediately asking for ignorance and apology. Was that the word which must not be spoken, ‘sorry’ and that too in front of the Supreme Court. Appellants are calling for a war of words, we guess.
11:21 a.m.- After that deadly and brief session, Speaker No. 2 for Appellants takes charge now. Judges ask the petitioner’s speaker to not bifurcate from the facts. The speaker is trying to mislead the court but the bench seems to be rigid and strict.
11:25 a.m.- The bull is finally out of the cage. One of the judges with a smirk planted on his face asks the question as to “On what basis this Supreme Court should not dismiss your case.” Speaker gets his courage and answers that the case has been filed under Article 136 (Special Leave Petition).
11:27 a.m.- Petitioners makes a bold statement, “Union is a legal entity” given the fact that the bench today just need a mere spark to set fire to the whole forest.
11:29 a.m.- A hilarious turn of events in the courtroom as the Appellants blurted out the term “Section’ instead of ‘Article’ in reference to the Constitution.
11:32 a.m.- The Bench is asking the Appellants to relate the facts of the case to the rights , specifically Fundamental Rights, the Court will pass the Judgment in their favor.
11:40 a.m.- A moment of magic for the Appellants as the Speaker No. 2 is smartly answering all the questions and is finally able to regain his composure.
11:41 a.m.- Stark change in the environment of the courtroom as the Judges ask the Appellants to move to the Prayer. Though the bench is asking a lot of questions, they seem to be humorous as well. Counsel rests his argument at last.
11:43 a.m.- Respondents are now presenting their arguments. Speaker No. 1 is on the dais now to start with her contentions.
11:46 a.m.- The bench questioned whether they are supposed to be reading the rough brief arguments submitted by the respondents, sitting in the Apex Court.
11:50 a.m.- The respondents are continuously being questioned as to how they have reached to a conclusive amount of 20 Crore as compensation.
11:51 a.m.- One minute on and respondents still not able to convince the court on the question of compensation.
11:53 a.m.- Subramanian Swamy case of 2015 being stated by the respondents to get out of the line of fire but they are not being able to satisfy the bench as to the facts of the case. Judges instantly ask the counsel to not mislead the Court.
11:58 a.m.- One of the most common mistakes has been made by the Respondents – they have cited a case that is not relevant. And it doesn’t just stop there, the bench has noticed so and are not failing to question the the counsel repeatedly as to citing a case non relevant.
11:59 a.m.- The question has now moved to focus on the question of right to reputation, and whether it is an integral part of Art. 21. Once again, the counsel has cited a case, and when asked about the facts of the case, the counsel seemed to be unaware of the same.
12:03 p.m.- Counsel is not clear with the facts of the case of the majority of judgments they have cited and the bench is clearly looking dissatisfied with the arguments of the respondents.
12:05 p.m.- As being questioned on the jurisdiction again and again, and asking the counsel to not digress from the same, the counsel has directly referred to Sec. 47 of CPC. As being asked for it’s interpretation, the counsel is trying to explain the section in her own language.
12:08 p.m.- The counsel has well exceeded her time, however the arguments have become so interesting at this point of time that the bench has allowed time extension.
12:12 p.m.- The counsel has stated that the defamatory statement was made in front of the media, but nothing such was there in record, and the bench noticed it. The counsel sought an apology.
12:15 p.m.- The bench has directly reached the crux of the matter – compensation. The bench has given option to the counsel, that they either wait for the report of the inquiry committee and, and if found guilty, the compensation shall be given to the state; or to mediate under Sec 89 of the CPC.
12:20 p.m.- The second speaker from the Respondent’s counsel has begun her arguments. She is dealing with the issue of compensation.
12:26 p.m- The counsel has asked compensation from Mr. Singh in the previous issues, however now seeks compensation from the state. The bench has asked not the counsel not to be changing their client time and again, and be clear as to who they are talking in the context of.
12:31 p.m.- The counsel seeks before the Court that the doctrine of sovereign immunity is not applicable in this case. In the instant matter, the counsel argues, that since there is no sovereign power exercised by the Appellants, there is no question of sovereign immunity and therefore, the Appellant must take charge of his actions.
12:36 p.m.- As the counsel starts stammering, the bench asks her if there is any Article apart from Article 32 and 226 in the Constitution that permits ones to sue the state. The counsel seems to becoming more and more nervous after each question. Though she finally answers that an SLP is another such remedy which allows a private party to go against the State.
12:39 p.m.- The bench has pointed out at this point of time that “If the law does not go with you, you cannot negate the law”.
12:45 p.m.- It seems that the counsel for the respondent is not clear as to whom they are asking compensation from. On one instance, the counsel states that it is a sovereign act and asks compensation from the state, and in another instance, they have stated that it is a non-sovereign act and asked for compensation from Mr. Singh. They are being grilled to the extreme level and they does not have any answer.
12:47 p.m.- That was nothing short of a gas chamber punishment for the respondents and they have finally put down their armours. Respondents humbly submits.
12:49 p.m.- Finally the time has come for rebuttals. Appellants approach the dais to start the rebuttal proceedings. The counsel looks confident but the judges have lost their interest. We guess they are up for some tea and a bit of rest on a fluffy couch.
12:50 p.m.- Trin Trin Trin…Time’s Over! Respondents are up next.
12:50 p.m.- Counsel for the respondents are comprehensively clearing the issues raised by the Appellants. She seeks further extension of time in the interest of justice. Granted.
12:51 p.m.- Adjudicators are now in action and they are also grilling the participants. It will all be over in some time.
01:02 p.m.- We come to the end of the Semi-Final 1.
Courtroom No. 2: Amity University, Noida v. GNLU, Gandhinagar
Bench: Mr. Dinesh Dayma, Mr. Aditya Diwakar, Mr. S. Srinivasan
10:58 a.m.– The judges has just arrived and the courtroom seems to be a jubilant fusion of excitement, nervousness and anticipation. Here starts the Hunger games and may the odds be in their favor.
11:05 a.m.– The esteemed bench is going through the impromptu moot proposition, which is the first of its kind in the history of moots in India. The Petitioners side hasn’t arrived yet and one of the judge just quoted, “Justice delayed is Justice denied.” Sure that this is going to be one crazy semi finals.
11:22 a.m.– The first speaker from the Appellant’s counsel is still arguing in the Court to justify the Appellant’s (Chief Minister of Purbanchal) act as an act of the state, and that therefore, it is not a wrongful act.
12:10 p.m- The Respondent begins arguments. Speaker 1 from Amity Noida appearing for Respondent begins her opening statement with trademark confidence. She is concentrating on boiling down the complex legal scenarios into simple propositions through the CPC. The Bench is listening closely and a barrage of questions seem imminent. The counsel is authoritatively explaining the procedure under S.80 of the CPC that needs to be followed to sue the government. The preliminary questions of the Bench are being dealt with expertly.
12:20 p.m- Speaker 1 from Amity Noida appearing for Respondent is now being grilled on the nuances of S.80 of CPC. The Bench is consciously trying to put the counsel on the backfoot. The Bench now observes that the civil court has exceeded its jurisdiction in this matter. The counsel sticks to her stand and tries to convince the Bench otherwise. The counsel reiterates her argument that the notice must be served before the government can be sued. The Bench seems convinced on this point. However, on a question regarding the compensation, the counsel refers it to her co-counsel (Speaker 2) to be answered later.
12:30 p.m- Speaker 1 is now submitting that exception to S.80 does not apply. The Bench now turns the argument upside down and observes that compliance to S.80 applies to Respondent and not Appellant. The speaker is explaining the difference between personal capacity and official capacity in reply to the Bench’s query. The Bench is throwing a barrage of questions with respect to the compensation claimed and the burden of proof. While the counsel tries her best to satisfy the queries, the questions seem never ending. Especially with relation to the quantification of the defamatory act at 20 crores. Speaker 1 rests her arguments.
The Counsel for the Petitioner answers that ‘The act is legal in nature and should be interpreted accordingly, the matter is of public importance since the person concerned is the CM for whom the people have voted, therefore it may undermine their trust and faith.’