Friday, May 20, 2005

The Wobbly Days

A lot of things have taken place in HNLU (Hidayatullah National Law University-my Law School) during my absence. Two of the faculty members are leaving and we face a serious crunch of teachers. After the party gets over, students realize the gravity of the situation. My class is at the helm of affairs as we plead for new teachers. Interviews are conducted but no one gets recruited. The IAS (bureaucrat) officer addresses the students and tells them that every thing is under control-the campus construction would be underway very soon- and informs that Prof. Jaffar Hussein(an alumni of the Harvard Law School who taught us Family Law in the I Semester) would be coming back. Most of the students come out convinced.

It’s February and we still don’t have a teacher for CPC (Civil Procedure Code).Meanwhile, Prof. Ajjappa is more than happy to take two Jurisprudence classes a day and given the quality of his lectures students seem to have forgotten about CPC.

Meanwhile our students are not giving anything away at the various Moot Court Competitions in the face of limited resources. We reach the semi-finals of the Jessup’s (Delhi Round), of KLE Society, Bangalore (Best Memorial as well), of Amity (Best Speaker too), of Manfred Lachs (Bangalore Round) and finish runners up at the Client Counseling Competition held at Delhi University. Prof. S. Shanthakumar (without doubt the best teacher on campus) has devoted a lot of his time for all the teams.

On the personal front, I come to know from the President of the Commonwealth Legal Education, Asia-India Chapter that the essay competition on the basis of which I went to Bangladesh would be the basis for selecting a team that would represent India at the LAWASIA moot at Gold Coast, Australia. I am informed about my selection along with a student each from National Law University, Jodhpur and National Law Institute University, Bhopal respectively. It takes few days to realize what has happened as I start slogging for the memorials. It is a windfall but why on earth should I complain? It’s a cyber law problem and nobody in the campus can help. Westlaw and the Library are the only available resources. I slog and slog hard. Memorial gets completed few hours before the deadline on 7th March 2005 with a bit of help from the NLIU student. The NLIU student informs about his unavailability just as the state government sanctions the amount for the air tickets. The accommodation would be taken care of by the organizers.

I apply for the Australia visa. It gets rejected the first time as my teammates have not yet applied. Then several emails to the organizers later, and after a second application, I get my visa. It’s a multiple entry one valid for three months. I receive it on 16th evening (16-03-2005) and am leaving for Delhi on 17th morning by flight (was it tight…?).Tanveer, the photocopy shop owner at our Law School, slogs to make sure that my briefs are ready by 7:00 PM. Both the applicant’s and respondent’s briefs run into a hundred pages (roughly) each and I needed five copies of each. My flight leaves for Delhi the next morning.

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