In today’s interview, we have a talk with Deep Mohanty, a final year student at University Law college, Vanivihar. His list of laurels is unending, take for example the fact that – he is one of the first amongst 2 other petitioners in India to file a writ petition against Unfair practice in Delhi High Court and was successful in getting a favorable order for one of the prayers. Besides he has also appeared as In Person Petitioner in Deep Kumar Mohanty v. State Of Odisha before Orissa High Court in a matter relating to releasing marksheets of previous semesters and conducting exams on time by Utkal University and has been successful in getting a favourable order. He was the 1st person from University Law College to win Best Mooter award in a National moot and has several moot wins, national level judgment writing competition and bail drafting competition wins, has 8 legal research paper publications including 3 International Journal Publications indexed at Manupatra and other databases. (you get the idea.) And today he will be sharing with us his views on State Law colleges and his own experience with its various facets.
Thank you for joining us and taking time out of your busy schedule. Would you mind introducing yourself to our readers?
Firstly, I would like to express my gratitude to you for this interview. My name is Deep Kumar Mohanty and I am currently in my 4th year of law studying at University Law College, Utkal University.
Why did you choose law?
From my childhood days I was fascinated by watching tv serials like Adaalat and CID and I always wanted to pursue a job wherein I would be able to contribute towards the society. So that’s why I chose law.
What were your dreams and aspirations before you went into law school? Would you say they have remained the same despite the overwhelming pressure of law school?
My dreams and aspirations before joining law school were just that I wanted to study law. Gradually as I studied law I decided that I will pursue for litigation.
Would you like to share your law school experience?
My law school experience consists of many positive as well as negative aspects just like any other law school. One of the biggest positive aspect of my law school is that our class timings are only of 3 hours duration which gives students ample time to pursue for internships and participate in legal competitions. Also few faculties of our college are student friendly and even I had gone to their house and they explained me as I had missed few classes due to my participation in a national moot. The negative aspects are presence of only 3 permanent lecturers, lack of a placement cell, no online legal database, no experienced visiting faculties like distinguished legal luminaries taking classes, no boys hostel and lack of moot court hall.
You are very well known for outspoken attitude towards injustice. What do you suppose would be the origin of this trait?
I believe that if we being law students don’t stand up against injustice the entire purpose of studying law becomes meaningless. From the beginning of my law school I have been vocal and took initiatives like ensuring Powerpoint presentation classes, questioning the administration when our library was closed for 5-6 months due to non-appointment of any librarian, ensuring cleanliness in our toilets amongst various others. When our exams were delayed and we were almost backward by 1 year I filed a writ petition against my own university and appeared as in person petitioner before Hon’ble Orissa High Court and was successful in obtaining a favourable order. Even in my plus two days in BJB Junior College when I was nominated as the Secretary I had complained before the General Electricity Department, Odisha to provide adequate lights and fans in our college library and subsequently with the co-operation of our College Principal we were able to ensure the same. Government lecturers in my plus two days used to call me as a complain box because I questioned everything whichever I felt was wrong. Whenever I see any injustice I always wish that this should not have happened and I try to take steps to change irrespective of the fact that sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail and the origin of this trait began when I unfairly lost in a competition. My father is an honest person who despite attacks on his life 3 times never backed out from giving judgments against terrorists, land mafia and many criminals during his tenure as Judge. So, my drive to fight against injustice was also inspired by him.
Do you believe that State law college student are at a disadvantage when pitted against their counterparts from other high-profile University?
Yes, state law college students are at a disadvantageous position in comparison to their counterparts considering lack of a placement cell, no online legal database, no experienced visiting faculties like distinguished legal luminaries taking classes amongst various other infrastructural problems
Many govt. College students have faced discrimination, especially when out of State looking for internships or job opportunities. Have you had any similar experience? If yes, would you mind sharing it?
Yes, it’s a bitter fact that Government Law college students face discrimination while pursuing internhips and even in some places law firms and advocates especially mention that they would only take students from Nlu’s instead of selecting students on the basis of merit and I have also faced the same. While representing my college in a national moot our team was forced to change from a bigger hotel room to a comparatively smaller hotel room in order to accommodate a team from a top private law institute.
What do you think the administration can do in order to improve the situation for the students? Especially since all the students have been admitted on the basis of their merit.
The administration as well as State Government should ensure appointment of more number of permanent lecturers, installation of online legal database, constitute a placement cell and legal aid clinics, construct a boys hostel and invite distinguished legal luminaries as Visting Faculties to the law school.
Do you confer to the generalized idea that state law school students are unfit for a career in the corporate sector?
No, I don’t confer to this idea. Whether a student is fit for corporate sector or not depends upon the practical understanding of the student on Company Law, Contract Law, Corporate Law, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code and other allied laws irrespective of the law school from where he/she belongs.
Do you have any suggestions as to what students can do in order to prove their mettle(with little to no help taken from the college) and set themselves up for success? What is your message to aspiring law students out there?
My suggestions to the law students would be to focus on the practical aspects of law and to think beyond classroom teaching. I would recommend them to go for internships, stay updated about the legal news and latest judgments and atleast participate once in moot court, trial advocacy, judgement writing, legal drafting, client counselling and research paper writing competitions as these competitions test your practical knowledge of your understanding of the law subject. Last, but not the least I want them to utilize their legal knowledge in a fruitful manner and stand up for upholding constitutional values and rights of citizens and fight against injustice. Everything revolves around law and we law students in near future can ensure that citizens do not revolve around authorities and courts due to failure of justice delivery system.