Tenth Durga Das Basu Essay Writing Competition by Constitutional Law Society (CLS)

This year's topic has been chosen against the backdrop of the need for sedition laws and their relevance in modern India.
West Bengal NUJS
West Bengal NUJScollegedunia.com

The Constitutional Law Society (‘CLS’) is an academic society constituted in 2012 by interested students and our faculty advisor, the former Vice-Chancellor, to assist in understanding Constitutional Law.

Its objective is to further knowledge and create a supportive environment for academic discussions and thoughts about constitutional matters. The CLS, in association with the DD Basu Trust organizes an annual essay writing competition, currently in its 10th edition.

The Durga Das Basu Essay Competition (“the Competition”) is held in memory of the eminent jurist and lawyer Shri Durga Das Basu (1910-1997). Dr Basu was a distinguished Judge of the Calcutta High Court.

His Commentary on the Constitution of India, written over twenty years ago, is still used extensively as the primary treatise on constitutional law. Dr Basu was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1985 and was nominated as an honorary fellow for the Asiatic Society in 1994.

Every year, contemporary topics of constitutional significance are chosen for the Competition. The themes in the previous years have ranged from the right to protest within the ambit of Part III of the Constitution to the use of constitutional power to disqualify a person from contesting democratic elections.

This year, the topic has been chosen against the backdrop of the need for sedition laws and their relevance in modern India.


1. The Competition is open to all undergraduate students of law colleges/departments of law of all Universities pursuing the 5-year-course or the 3-year-course. Co-authorship (of a maximum of two authors) is allowed. The co-authors may be students of different universities. There can be multiple participants from the same university.

2. The Competition does not include registration fees.

3. The formatting specifications for the essay are as such:

  • Font: Time News Roman

  • Font Size: 12

  • Spacing: 1.5

  • Margin: One inch on all sides

  • Paper size: A4

  • Minimum Word Limit – 3500, Maximum word Limit - 5000 (including footnotes, authors may avoid using speaking footnotes).

4. Citations are mandatory and should be in the form of footnotes following a uniform format. The NUJS Law Review Standard of citation must be adhered to.

5. All essay submissions shall undergo a strict online plagiarism check.

6. No identification marks should be found on any part of the submissions.

7. Special consideration will be placed upon originality, applicability and feasibility of the arguments/ suggestions made in the essay and the depth of research.

8. The copyright of the legislative draft submitted by the participating teams shall vest with the Constitutional Law Society. Further, the Constitutional Law Society shall not be responsible for any liability accrued to any person or for any loss caused to any person via the content of the legislative draft.

9. In case of any dispute, the decision of the Directors of the Constitutional Law Society of the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences will be final.

10. All teams/ participants must send electronic copies of their essays in “.docx” (Microsoft Word) and “.pdf” formats by email to ddbasuessaywritingcompetition@gmail.com by 11:59 PM on July 10, 2022. No extension will be granted with respect to the deadlines.

It is the responsibility of each Team to ensure that the “.docx” copy of the submission can be opened legibly with Microsoft Office 2010 or Microsoft Office 2007, and the “.pdf” copy of the submission can be opened legibly with Adobe Acrobat Reader.

11. The “subject” of the submission email should read “Submission for DD Basu Essay Writing Competition 2022”.

Participants shall also clearly mention their names, phone numbers, addresses, the names of their College/University, the course undertaken, and their year of study in the body of the email. The aforementioned details should only be highlighted in the email and should not be a part of the legislative draft.

Prizes and Awards

First place: ₹5000 and a merit certificate.

Second place: ₹3000 and a merit certificate.

Third place: ₹2000 and a merit certificate.

No participation certificates will be issued.

The essays of all the winners of the prizes will be published on the NUJS CLS blog https://wbnujscls.wordpress.com

Contact Details

For any queries or clarifications, please email us at nujs.cls@gmail.com

Please visit the page of the NUJS Constitutional Law Society page www.facebook.com/ConstitutionalLawSocietyNujs for updates about the Competition.

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