Constitution Day, also known as Samvidhan Divas, is celebrated in India on 26 November every year to commemorate the adoption of the Constitution of India.
The Ministry of Education (previously MHRD) along with the UGC charted a year long program in commemoration of the 70th Constitution Day, (26th November, 2020) and nominated the National Law University Delhi as the National Coordinating University.
The moot court competition was conceived as a platform to enable discussions among students of law and non-law universities across India on issues of environmental preservation as a duty of every citizen and examining the issue of air pollution in the context of stubble farming.
The Moot was inaugurated on Friday, 16th October, 2020, by Professor Srikrishna Deva Rao, Vice-Chancellor National Law University Delhi, and Professor G. S. Bajpai, Registrar, NLUD.
Twenty-four teams from across the country, comprising some of the National Law Universities and prominent law schools had been shortlisted on the basis of written submissions submitted by teams from over 115 universities. These teams were judged by India’s top legal minds and professionals who specialise in the nuanced field of environment law and constitutional law. The participants had the opportunity of not only witnessing the highest level of advocacy but also learning from top professionals in the field.
The moot Problem & the rules were drafted by NLUD Alumni, Mr. Tarun Agarwal and Mr. Rakesh Roshan with able guidance from the Faculty Advisor, Dr. Risham Garg.
The NLUD Committee for celebration of 70th Anniversary of lndian Constitution consisted of Prof. K P S Mahalwar-Convener, Prof. Ritu Gupta – Coordinator, members of the committee: Dr. Priya Rai, Dr. Risham Garg, Dr. Akash, Dr. Prem Chand, Dr. Samar lqbal, Sh. Syed lqbal Ahmad, Sh. Gurjinder, Dr. Sabhyata Prakash.
The Semi-Finalists were:
1. Army Institute of Law, Mohali
2. Government Law College, Mumbai
3. National University of Study and Research in Law, Ranchi
4. Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad
The Judges for the Semi-Finals:
1. Professor Bharti Kumar, National Law University Delhi
2. Dr. Vishnu Konooryar, TERI University
3. Mr. Rahul Narayan, Advocate on Record
4. Ms. Pallavi Sharma, Advocate on Record
5. Mr. Ajit Sharma, Advocate on Record
6. Mr. Mrigank Prabhakar, Advocate on Record
The Finalists were:
1. National University of Study and Research in Law, Ranchi
2. Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad
Bench for the Finals
1. Hon’ble Justice Swatanter Kumar, Former Chairperson, National Green Tribunal, Former Judge, Supreme Court of India.
2. Mr. Shyam Diwan, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India
3. Mr. Nawneet Vibhaw, Partner, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co.
Valedictory Session and Awards
The Vice-Chancellor NLUD, Professor Srikrishna Deva Rao, welcomed the dignitaries in his welcome address and provided valuable insights into the environmental jurisprudence. Hon’ble Justice Swatantra Kumar, delivered his insightful comments upon the theme of the moot. Mr. Shyam Diwan, Senior Advocate, in his erudite address, gave valuable suggestions to students to consider taking up specialization in Environmental laws.
Hon’ble Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, Chairperson, National Green Tribunal, Former Judge, Supreme Court of India, delivered the Valedictory Address on “Fundamental Duties and Environmental Jurisprudence: Contemporary Issues”. He delivered an enriching presentation upon the interplay between fundamental duties, environmental jurisprudence balancing the development of the economy and society. The need is to strike a careful balance between the two i.e., economic development on one side and pollution free, healthy environment on the other.
The prizes were announced by Professor Srikrishna Deva Rao, Vice-Chancellor NLUD and Dr. Risham Garg, Associate Professor of Law and Faculty Advisor to the Moot Court Competition. The valuable support of the student organizing committee members was much appreciated, who tirelessly, coordinated from different parts of the country.
Above all, valuable support from all the Judges, who judged the various rounds, faculty members and students who participated in the event, and certainly the inspirational guidance provided by the founder Vice-Chancellor of NLUD, Professor Ranbir Singh.
Winning Team: National University of Study and Research in Law, Ranchi
Runners up: Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad
Best Memorial: Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law
Best Speaker: Aditi Singh, Army Institute of Law
These three days of intense and invigorating pleadings by participants from all across the country allowed deliberation on the issue of stubble burning and its contribution to the air pollution in the NCR region from the perspectives of all stakeholders along with an examination of the legality of a blanket ban on stubble burning.
We strongly believe and assure that NLUD is firmly committed to its obligations towards students and their overall and all-round welfare. Highest standards of fairness and transparency were maintained at all stages of the moot. We greatly appreciate the participation of the 115 teams from all across the country. We wish them all the best for the challenges that lie ahead.
(The author is a student at the National Law University, Delhi)