Namit Saxena is an Advocate on Record at the Supreme Court of India who secured 2nd Rank in the AoR Exam; An RMLNLU law graduate, Namit practices in New Delhi and is the revising author of major legal classics including Ratanlal and Dhirajlal CrPC and Mulla CPC
How would you like to introduce yourself to our readers who are mostly law aspirants, law students and lawyers?
As a student of law and practicing the same in Delhi.
What made you pursue law? How was the experience at RMLNLU Lucknow? What are the things you think you got ‘right’ and what would you have done differently in retrospect?
I was confused between studying law or journalism. Father, being a lawyer, encouraged to study law. The experience at RMLNLU, Lucknow was mixed. It could have been better with more efficient guidance from seniors and teachers. I got a very comprehensive study around the caste system. It has helped me in getting a better idea about how Indian society actually functions. Many things could have been better though. Particularly better literature could have been advised to study. Nevertheless, it was an enjoyable ride.
How important do you think internships are while deciding career prospects after law school?
Very important. One must take diverse experience while studying law.
What were your areas of interest during your graduation? Were you determined to get into litigation since your college days?
Criminal law has always fascinated me. I wasn’t determined to litigate initially and accepted to do clerkship at the Supreme Court. It is after that I joined chambers of Mr. Ranjit Kumar who was the Solicitor General then.
What are the main challenges/barriers that law freshers face in Litigation and how can they overcome them?
Sustaining yourself is the biggest challenge. Generating work comes later.
Kindly describe in brief your experience as a law clerk cum legal research assistant with Hon’ble Mr. Justice Kurian Joseph and as an associate advocate with Mr. Ranjit Kumar, Solicitor General of India.
It was an enriching experience with Justice Kurian Joseph. He taught me passion and compassion in life apart from law. From Mr. Ranjit Kumar, I learnt discipline. He never went to the court without studying the brief and doing his research. Multiple things to learn from both.
Having secured 2nd rank in AOR examination, what are the key preparation techniques you would recommend to prospective examinees wishing to score well in this assessment?
One must study the socio political developments around every judgment for the leading cases. For the papers on practice and procedure, one must study the Supreme Court Rules, 2013 and relevant provisions of the Constitution and cases for the paper on Practice & Procedure. For the paper on drafting, basic skills and knowledge of the relevant formats is important.
Considering the fact that legal services in itself are largely under-digitized and that technological integration is visibly required at various levels of service delivery, what do you think is the scope of incorporating modern technology in our present legal infrastructure and the challenges that will ensue? Kindly comment on the recent shift to digital hearings owing to the lockdown. How do you think AI can transform the justice delivery system as we see it today?
Due to lockdown, it became necessary to use third party based softwares to conduct hearings. Multiple issues were faced in different courts. In my view, it should be deferred till the judiciary has its own web based software to do it. There are issues such as identity theft and misrepresentation involved in third party based softwares. However, Live Streaming of cases should be considered by the Supreme Court in view of the judgment in Swapnil Tripathi’s case. AI will change the justice delivery system but it is important how it is used. For eg in the current legal framework, a criminal trial cannot be conducted through any online mode due to various factors. Similarly, hearing of important constitutional matters should be conducted physically. However, transfer petitions etc can be conducted through AI.
What is the ‘mantra’ you live by as a legal professional and what would be your advice and/or suggestion to young law students and law freshers?
Always ask ‘why’ and find reasons.