Supreme Court judge, Justice S Ravindra Bhat on Saturday spoke of the responsibility bestowed on law students, remarking that they have a profound responsibility to serve the needs of society and safeguard the principles enshrined in the Constitution of India.
Justice Bhat, who is also a Visitor at the National Law University, Delhi (NLU Delhi) was delivering the an address as the Chief Guest at a convocation ceremony held over the weekend.
Justice Bhat, while reminiscing his early days living through the emergency, also urged the young audience to ask difficult questions in order to shape a conscientious tomorrow.
“Study of law is not a means of lucrative career, it is a profound commitment of upholding justice to serve the needs of society and safeguarding the principles enshrined in our constitution and legal system," he said.
He added that a society's collective ability to raise critical and honest questions is crucial to shaping the future.
“As someone who lived through the emergency, I hold a firm conviction that our collective ability to raise critical and honest questions will profoundly shape the society as we wish to construct. Today, I implore you to unflinchingly embrace the audacity to pursue forthright answers and not merely settle for convenient ones. Upon your generation falls the task of maintaining and furthering the culture of our Constitution,” he emphasised.
Speaking about women participation in law and related fields he added that it was heartening to see how things have improved over time.
“When I joined college, there were fewer women pursuing law. This was not unique to this profession, but a mere reflection of society. Standing here, some 40 years later it is heartening to see how far we have come. Yet there are miles to go to achieve equal participation of women in the work force uniformly in our deeply unequal society," he said.
NLU Delhi held its 10th convocation on August 26, when 84 students from the undergraduate and 78 students who pursued post graduate programmes received their degrees in law.
Five doctoral degrees were also awarded at the convocation. In total, 167 students graduated from these academic programmes.
Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court, Justice Satish Chandra Sharma, who also serves as the Chancellor of NLU Delhi, conferred the degrees upon the students.
Vice-Chancellor, Professor (Dr) GS Bajpai spoke about the essence of the legal profession as a means to positively impact the society at large.
“Legal profession is not just a career. It is a calling to serve and make a meaningful impact in the lives of individuals and the community at large. The power of law lies not only in its ability to enforce rules but in its capacity to bring about positive changes," he said.
Highlighting NLU Delhi’s contribution to social development, Professor Bajpai also referred to how the University has been contributing to the drafting of laws and policy.
“At NLU Delhi we take pride in our societal engagement and meaningful impact. One of the ways in which we exemplify this commitment is by actively contributing to the drafting of bills, policy, rules and regulations that shape our legal manuscripts. Our faculty members and students lend their expertise to create well-informed and comprehensive documents that contribute to the betterment of society," he said.
In particular, he referred to how the recently proposed criminal law bills were shaped through contributions by a committee at NLU Delhi.
He also informed that the committee has been asked to make a presentation on this topic before the Parliamentary Committee which is slated to consider the viability of these bills.
“NLU Delhi, through the Committee for Reforms in Criminal Law (CRCL), spearheaded the ongoing criminal law reforms. Incidentally, I had the very good fortune of serving as the convener of the committee. It is heartening to note that several progressive provisions in the bills recently introduced in the parliament were inspired by the committee recommendations. We have also been invited to make a presentation before the recently constituted Joint Parliamentary Committee on the subject of amended laws,” Professor Bajpai said.
Atishi, the Minister of Finance, Planning, Higher Education, of Delhi and Kailash Gahlot, the Minister of Law, Justice and Legislative Affairs, of Delhi, were also present at the event as special guests of honour.
Students were also felicitated with Gold Medals, Vice Chancellor’s Medals and cash prizes at the event.
Notably, the event marked the release of three NLU Delhi journals; Journal of National Law University Delhi (Faculty Journal), Journal of Victimology and Victim Justice (a flagship journal of NLU Delhi) and NLUD journal of Legal Studies (Student's Journal).
Other publications that were released at the ceremony were “Hate Crime in India” written by Professor (Dr.) GS Bajpai, Garima Pal, Tusha Singh, and Advait Tambe; Project 39A’s “Forensic Science India Report”; and two books by the Centre for Communication Governance, namely, “Mapping the Blockchain Ecosystem in India and Australia” and “Drafting Data Protection Legislation.”
The latter of the Centre's books was authored with guidance from the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Governance Team in the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support.
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