Abhishek Sharma is presently an Advocate- on- Record, Supreme Court. He has done his graduation from the National Law University of Jodhpur and LLM form the University of Scotland. he further practiced in London for two to three years. He was also a member of Bar Council of Delhi in 2006. His area of practice is Constitution, Service Law, Arbitration and Labor Law.
After greetings, the interviewer on behalf of E-Justice India begin the interview of Mr. Abhishek Sharma (Advocate-on-Record, Supreme Court)
Interviewer: How would you introduce yourself to our readers?
Interviewee: Good Morning. I am Abhishek Sharma If you asked to describe myself than I would say that I am a citizen of India, presently practicing law and I am Advocate- on-Record in Supreme Court.
Interviewer: There are many professions out there, my question to you is what actually motivated you to choose law as your career or profession?
Interviewee: Ok, so the answer to this question is quite long. I was a good student throughout my academic career and after my 10th I wasn’t sure as what to choose as my career and since everyone was suggesting to choose science so I did the same. I did many experiments and practical in labs, one question that was always stuck in my mind was, “What is the use of these experiments in practical life”. Everyone in my class always said that they want to become engineers and I had no clue what it is all about. These molecules, atoms has no use in practical life , but I liked one of the subjects that was computer science, I used to do many programming and coding and I love doing that but when I thought to choose computer science I thought that I will have to sit in front of the computer for whole day. After all this confusion I went to my father and he advise me to choose law and I also thought it as a good option because I can be aware of my rights and duties. So, after 12th I directly opt Law and went to National Law University of Jodhpur and I was in its 1 batch.
Interviewer: Your journey from law student to Advocate-on-Record.
Interviewee: (laughs)So as Law Student it was fine. After completing graduation, I went to Scotland for my LLM and thereafter I practiced in London for two to three years. So, the practice here (India) was very different because in London ethics are very important, there is a huge respect for barristers or lawyers. Seniors treats their juniors as future lawyers or advocate; they are very helpful and understanding. They look juniors in way that they are professional, and because of this we also try to give our best and try to avoid even a single mistake of full stop or comma. But when I came to India and started practicing, the things were very different and I didn’t get them. Here, if you read a document or file of any lawyer you will find 10 mistakes in the first 2 lines only and if someone tries to correct it, the answer would be let it be who’s going to read them anyway. The ethics which are in London are not in India. Here seniors exploit juniors and the new ones in this filed find difficult in stepping in.
Interviewer: Are there any differences in the theoretical study of law for five years and its practical application thereafter?
Interviewee: If I get a scale than I would say the difference between them is 95%. When I was in a UK, I used to believe that theory should match practice and if it is not than either practice should change or theory should change. I asked one judge that theory should match practice than he replied that it is not a science where two plus two is equal to four this is social science where two plus two can be five or can be three. So, in practice forget about the theory it is totally different. I tell you the difference here, earlier India has barristers and they were highly respected for this and that respect I had seen in London. Once when I was in a court of London, a lawyer was arguing on his case, the judge said that the file is showing 4 witnesses and you are saying there are 3 witnesses. The lawyer after said that this file was prepared by my clerk and he cannot be wrong and in the last judge said that yes you are right there were 4 witness but 1 witness turned hostile so my points is, there is respect for the lawyers but in India judges misbehave with lawyers and treats them as their servants. Earlier law was a very tough subject and demanded hard work and practice but now the person who does nothing, do law.
Interviewer: Tell us about that time where you have failed and bounced back.
Interviewee: I fail every day and I bounce back every day (laugh). I learn from my mistakes and then work according to it.
Interviewer: What according to you are the qualities of a Successful lawyer?
Interviewee: Qualities- A good reading habit, like you should not read only law but also you have to read literature a lot because literature expresses your thoughts and emotions. Suppose I tell you a story and the same story you read in the book by Shakespeare than what would you prefer obviously you will prefer the book by Shakespeare because in that writing you will find thoughts, expressions and imagination. You’ll read and read and will continue reading it and every time you’ll read that, it’ll become more interesting. As a lawyer you should be a good orator, so that when you start speaking not only judge but even your opponent listens to you, so try to be expressive.
Interviewer: What would you do if were assign a case you morally opposed?
Interviewee: See, I knew it from the very beginning that once I am lawyer, I will become emotionless. I am not a judge I am just an advocate and I am no one to judge whoever comes to me seeking help. For ex, A doctor treats his every patient equally no matter he is judge, criminal, rapists or any other, similarly anyone who comes to me is equal and I will give them my best service and it is a duty of a judge to decide who is who.
Interviewer: A famous quote” Justice delayed is Justice denied” around 2.84 crore cases are pending and around 5000 vacancies are pending in trails courts. What are you comment or views on that?
Interviewee: Justice delayed is Justice denied depends. For example, for common people the case may take 20 to 40 years but for the celebrities or the wealthy people the case does not took so long. Like In Arnab Goswami’s cases he files the petition at 8:30 pm in registrar office where offices closes at 5:30 pm and still the file was accepted and around 10pm it was taken into the consideration, what I am saying is that there are two types of line(celebrity and common people line), where we can see the differences clearly. It has many reasons. Every stage of a file demands money and hard work and sometimes the cost of one case is more than what has been demanded by the person on the other hand, wealthy people fill the pockets and get their case closed (corruption).
If you file a case and within a week the judge pronounce its judgment, the issue of corruption will automatically lower down. Supreme Court has been asking for separate courts exclusively for politicians but, where are they? The fault is within our system only which is promoting corruption.
Interviewer: Since one of the areas of your practice is Constitution, if you get a chance to amend one article of Constitution which articles you will choose and why?
Interviewee: If I get a chance, I will amend the whole constitution. Actually, our constitution is adapted from The Government Act of 1935 which was made by the Britishers. And Fundamental Rights and Duties are adapted from different countries or other sources. So, it is actually an exact copy of Government Act of 1935 made by the professor and we adopted it. This is not Indian; Indian Constitution should be indigenous which includes the philosophy of our great leaders (Gandhi, Patel), shouldn’t it? This is not Indian.
Interviewer: Amid this growing inclination towards Virtual courts. My question to you is that the system of virtual courts is beneficial or we should continue with the traditional system?
Interviewee:These E courts are beneficial for only few lawyers who know something about this there are lawyers who do not have much knowledge about technology. Even when I file any petition or case judges don’t even look into it. In India there are two things which is fake, first the defense and second is the Supreme Court. I was going through the cases, during lockdown, in one case a man sent his servant to buy biscuits for his dog during lockdown, thereby he was stopped by the police. The man files a case saying that buying biscuits for dog is a Fundamental Right, and the High Court pass its judgement saying that it is Fundamental Right of the person to buy the biscuits for the dog, I mean what about our Fundamental Rights? Here I will say if you are resourceful person than you can change any judgment in your favor. Another example you take of our Chief Justice of India on whom there was a case of sexual harassment by a lady, where is the case now? What happened to that case? Nobody knows that. If you go into the system you get to know more about the system.
Interviewer: Any message to our readers or to our future lawyers?
Interviewee: Work hard, there is no substitute to work hard. As in a famous movie “Catch me if you can” it was said that “there were two little mice fell in the bucket of cream. The first mouse quickly gave up and drowned. The second mouse did not quit. He struggled so hard that eventually he churned that cream into butter and crawled out.” Be that second mouse, work that hard.
A vote of thanks to Mr. Abhishek Sharma (Advocate-on-record, Supreme Court) for giving his precious time to us and giving us an opportunity to learn from him and share his knowledge and experience with us.