INTERVIEW- ADV. JAYANT BHATT

INTERVIEW- ADV. JAYANT BHATT

About Adv. Jayant Bhatt

Mr. Jayant Bhatt is an advocate under the Supreme Court of India. He has completed his law from Amity Law School, Noida, and dual Masters in law from New York University and the National University of Singapore.

Adv. Bhatt started his professional career in Dubai with the firm Clyde and Co. LLP. Thereafter, he came back to India to explore the profession here in India. He started with working under Senior Advocate Mr. Amit Sibal and Mr. Shivaji M Jadhav. in trial court skills.

He has achieved the success of being a senior lawyer at the Supreme Court only in 11 years; this tells us about his massive success. He has his chamber in New Delhi.

Question-1 You have diverse experience in the legal field as you have worked in different countries other than India. So, do you think that the Indian Legal System is not that efficient to that of other countries?

Answer – He says that we need to understand that there are two aspects; when we talk of the countries in the Middle East they have civil law and India has adopted laws from different nations. Civil law is inspired by French laws and both of them have a very different mechanism. The basic difference is with the precedents, India has precedents and they use them in the courtrooms and the middle-east countries. They don’t rely so much on the precedents.

He further added that he does not think that India is lagging, even he thinks on the contrary; in his opinion, India is a very evolving country. We are moving forward as the legal Diaspora is evolving rapidly; new laws have been interpreted by different courts on a daily basis. So, I think we are moving at a great pace and especially the generation like yours

 

Question 2- In an extremely limited time you have accomplished a great deal of progress which is in reality exceptionally troublesome in the field of law nowadays. Individuals battle for quite a long time and still, they don’t get anything. In this way, how might you put your prosperity/accomplishments starting now?

 

Answer – Mr. Bhatt has to say that grass is always greener on the other side. As a lawyer,  he does not know how to define success. He says that when he looks at other people with a different variety of practice; it can’t be compared with anyone because everybody has their own set of struggles, successes, and failures.

Also, he feels at the same time success is a very different term in itself. You may be happy and you may be successful. For me, happiness is also a type of success, it depends, and he is still very young at the bar. It’s been only 11 years of practice and he has his own set of challenges that have to conquer.

He has his own set of duties and responsibilities that he has a look into. So, the journey has been very fulfilling; it has been very humbling because as he said that when he sees his other colleagues at the bar.

Over 11 year of his journey every lawyer he has met and have seen their struggles and success stories and that only inspire even to him to strive to be a better version of him.

 

Question 3 Do you think governmental issues and politics hamper the Judicial Decisions?

 

He does not think so.  He thinks politicians have a cycle sometimes they stay for a term; sometimes more than a term depending upon their majority in the assembly and the parties coming to power. But Judiciary works 24×7, their work never stops and everybody any with any set of problems comes to court with their own set of challenges.

So, the Indian Judiciary is very hands-on with matters. He does not think it has much impact on the judiciary. So far as the appointment of the judges is concerned it may become political but at the same time, he extended that it has a very solid collegium system in place so the crust of the Judiciary remains intact.

 

Question5 – What was the main driving force behind you finally deciding to branch off and start your practice considering the economic uncertainty involved being a first-generation lawyer? What was the main thrust behind you to begin and expand your work considering the financial vulnerability included being an independent legal practitioner?

Answer– He said that when he came back to India he was well aware of the fact that money was a distant dream. Under any apprenticeship, sometimes you get a basic salary, and sometimes you don’t get even that. So the motivation to feed your family, take care of them, and become financially independent as you cannot depend on someone all your life was the main reason he branched off. He has seen my colleagues starting an independent practice much early on as compared to him as he took almost 6 years to take the plunge on his own.

When he told his friends and family about this decision to start his own practice, most of them thought that he was very brave but when he used to think about it, he doubted if it was actually being foolish making this choice.

At that time a lot of his batch mates were still sticking to the chambers they were practicing under and the others who came from a strong legal background certainly had different challenges to face but going independent came naturally to them.

In the end, he had to choose the lesser evil, between earning no money while working under someone or earning some money and try dying while at it.

As an independent lawyer, he quoted you do not have much of a choice, you’re always stuck between the devil and the deep sea. This choice, therefore, always kept him motivated and on his toes to not fall on either side and keep his balance on this tight rope.

Question-6The law students today are intrigued by a company law practice because it guarantees early monetary breakthrough as compared to litigation and at an equivalent time isn’t affected by favoritism. the overall plan remains that solely first-generation lawyers will well practice legal proceedings in the Republic of India. however correct does one feel this ideology is?

Answer: He does not discriminate or distinguish as to who is a better lawyer. He thinks if you love the law if you like pursuing what you are doing, by all means, you have to keep going and working hard.

If corporate law is your calling and if you are happy doing a job at a law firm, then you can add great value to that. Nowadays there are many avenues under law.

If you like going to the courts and feeling that adrenaline rush while arguing a case you can join the litigation. Now you even be a part of the company as their general counsel or even their CEO eventually.

But it is true that financial constraints are real and he would be the last person to say that one has to die hungry. In this competitive world, it is best not to be foolish. If you need money in your pockets, you have to satisfy that financial crunch by all means because you can pursue your dreams only if you are stable financially. No one is going to hear you out, you cannot be a philosopher and live in misery.

In his opinion, there is no harm in young lawyers changing tracks and pursuing litigation only for a few years. Every individual has their difficulties and hence this will always remain their call to decide the path for their future.

Question 7 – Recently a lot of discussions have been centered on how the criminal laws in particular need to be completely gender-neutral. It is also alleged that the courts tend to interpret laws in favor of women, which according to advocates of gender neutrality is not required in the current times. What are your views about the same?

Answer – He thinks laws are neutral and they never discriminate as they are meant to protect. If laws are designed to showcase a gender bias, the main purpose of that law remains to tell the people to not commit a crime.

However, as far as the justice delivery systems and the judges are concerned, there exists a patriarchal mindset which is very unfortunate. Whether it is all-pervasive and gender lopsided is another debate, however we cannot have judges patronising one gender as that too is not the right way to go. He has experienced most judges being gender-neutral and not getting swayed by emotions.

But at the end of the day, all judges are human beings. They are all products of different styles of upbringing and come from different backgrounds and areas which indirectly affect the way they operate in different cases. Also, justice is not always black and white and there are a lot of grey areas attached to it.

Additionally, all our laws have come after a long history of women being subjected to discrimination, harassment, dowry demands, etc. All of these social evils are unfortunately still very deeply rooted in our society. Changes in law take place in order to do away with things that are practically criminal in nature. If you look at the data you will hardly find many instances of men being beaten by their wives or tortured at a level as extreme as what women are often subjected to.

As a patriarchal society, our women have been limited to their households and have not been given adequate opportunities to progress in their careers. There has been continuous impediment and discrimination and that is the reason why we have legislation like the Maternity Benefit Act, POSH Act, Domestic Violence Act, today.

Before we move towards creating gender-neutral laws there has been a general sense of equality prevailing in our society. There are certainly instances of abuse of such laws but when a majority of the perpetrators belong to a particular gender, the others need protection.

Question 7 – Would you like to give any piece of advice for the budding lawyers?

Answer – He said to be patient, it’s very hard. There is always confusion among the young lawyers in trying and testing things out. Internships have become very much in vogue. Almost every law student does an internship but because of the limited time period of the internship, the clarity may still evade a lot of students because they still are unsure about what to do and what not to do.

The second thing is the moment you join the profession in real life lot of challenges may come across to you where you will be thinking whether you have chosen the right path, the right type of law that you want to practice whether you have joined the right type of law that you want to practice whether you have joined the right type of workplace and there are many other things that keep other things that keep coming to your mind and then there is the biggest question of the work-life balance. Work is not going anywhere until you are sincere with your work. But do realize that everyone has just one life and it should not be wasted just on working all day.

 

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