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The Hindu
The Hindu
The Hindu Bureau

Moot court was an extra-curricular activity when I was in law college: Chief Justice Gangapurwala

“When I was a student of law there was hardly one moot court a year and it was considered an extra curricular activity. Nowadays, there are about 40 to 50 moot courts a year and it is considered to be an intra curricular activity,” said Madras High Court Chief Justice Sanjay V. Gangapurwala on Wednesday.

Inaugurating an internship programme to be offered by Tamil Nadu Senior Advocates Forum (TNSAF) to students of Tamil Nadu Dr. Ambedkar Law University, he said, legal education had undergone a paradigm shift and become more innovative and interactive with internships being a part of the curriculum.

He quoted social scientist Alvin Toffler to have said that the illiterates of the 21st century would not be those who could not read or write but those who could not learn, unlearn and relearn. Therefore, he urged the young lawyers as well as law graduates to develop the skill of unlearning to be able to relearn.

Appreciating TNSAF for having conceived the internship programme, he said, the senior advocates were a reservoir of knowledge and wisdom. “By knowledge you can solve a problem but by wisdom you can avoid it. This wisdom comes by experience which the senior advocates have in abundance,” he said.

The Chief Justice also pointed out that the art of advocacy was not only about knowing what to argue but also about knowing when not to argue and instead maintain silence. “These nuances you can learn only from senior advocates and that is why this internship is a must,” he told the law students.

Senior Advocate M.S. Krishnan said, the young lawyers of the day were very intelligent and well read but also very aggressive. Stating that aggression would not take them anywhere but for getting frowned upon by the judges, he said, the internship would help them learn the ways of addressing the court.

Earlier, the Chief Justice released a directory of senior advocates, compiled by TNSAF secretary E. Omprakash with details since 1944, and handed over the first copy to Justice R. Mahadevan, the seniormost judge of the High Court. He also dedicated R. Krishnamoorthy Endowment for the students of the law university.

Senior Counsel A.L. Somayaji, the convenor of TNSAF, said, the endowment was being created with a corpus of ₹25 lakh to provide financial help to the law university university who get selected for international moot court competitions but could not afford to attend them due to indigent circumstances.

In his address, Senior Advocate Srinath Sridevan said, former Advocate General Krishnamoorthy strode the Madras High Court like a colossus. He was known for his mastery over law, sense of humour, ethics and decorum. “He did not raise the standard for ethical conduct. He was the standard himself,” he said.

Senior Advocate M. Ajmal Khan said, TNSAF was also involved in philanthropic activities such as providing aid to those affected in floods. Sitting as well as retired judges of the High Court, law university vice-chancellor N.S. Santhosh Kumar, Advocate General P.S. Raman and Additional Solicitor General AR.L. Sundaresan participated.

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