Wednesday, November 25, 2015

SpotLaw Apps - An idea finally encapasulated after 34 years

From the moment a being is conceived in the womb till the issuance of succession certificate, first breath to the last, form abortions to wills, from juvenile justice to death sentence, from free grants to taxation, from admission to education institute to post retirement benefits, from equality to desegregation, from Presidents election to compassionate appointments, from international and inter-state boundaries and water disputes, from anti-dumping and disinvestment to medical reimbursements and interest on pensions, from excesses by armies in foreign territories to anticipatory and cancellation of bails, from conviction of terrorists, murderers and child rapists to sexual harassment in office places, there are cases and there are judgments. Judges, lawyers, litigants, facts, issues and laws are different, jurisdictions are different but there is always a litigation touching every facet of human co-existentialism and a judge delivering a judgement determining the cause. Law governs every aspects and every issue of every human being.The impact of decision making process by Courts touches almost every aspect of human existence, social behavior and States governance. Every human being has his actions and legal rights regulated by laws, whether he likes it or not, whether he is aware of them or not, whether he fights for them or not. Every one of these issues ends up and is dealt with by the apex country of that country and is regulated by some Act, Rule, Regulation, circular etc. One party loosing, other party winning and every person who reads it commenting.
Sooner or later every being gets involved in one way or other with assertion for access to truth and justice and this is common to all jurisprudence, uniform to all judicial systems and consistent for all persons associated with judiciary.Judgments are creative work of art for the judges and advocates; decisive for the litigant; educative and informative for the people who wish to be aware of various dimensions of inter and intra-human expressions, interactions and relationships, their rights and duties; entertaining for the public in general; a source of plugging holes for the legislators and realization of the errors committed by executive, deliberately or unintentionally.
Everybody in the world is presumed to know law, but it is difficult to spot law, when it is really required. Neither judgments nor statutes are available on a specified subject and searching using word search is cumbersome. SpotLaw Apps seek to create an app consisting of a constantly updating encyclopedia of judgments from the Apex Courts of India, UK, USA, Australia, Canada, Singapore, Malaysia and those referred in them. This unique app will enable judges, advocates, academicians, legislators, law students, corporate houses, media persons, litigants and others carry on legal research using a smart phone. SpotLaw will not be merely a word search app, but shall be supported by a structured database containing researched data which works as an online legal manual and allows specific searches on the basis of:
• Name of Appellant
• Name of Respondent
• Citation
• Date of Judgment
• Name of Hon'ble Judge
• Statute - Act, Rules etc
to begin with, and finally add
• Subject, Issues, Decision
• Legal maxims
• Books and Periodicals
• Name of Advocate
• Amendment of Statutes
A through research of law requires finding out the latest judgment in which the judgment has been subsequently followed or over ruled across the common law countries and also latest judgment in which the Article, Section or Rule of an Act or Rule has been considered. A thorough research also requires amendments of the statutes made from time to time. With a few clicks you can get complete analysis of the subject, issue, statute along with the full text of judgment. With a team of innovative lawyers and pragmatic software developers, we proudly present SpotLaw for your smart phone. SpotLaw extensive database covers Judgments of Supreme Court of India since 1950 till date which are updated on a daily basis. All judgments are curated by an expert team of lawyers and academicians who carefully analyze each judgment and specifically classify them under well-structured parameters, which covers all possible factors on which the users seek to search judgment to support the grounds and submissions made by them.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Happy Teachers' Day

Communication received from a Law Associate:
September 05.2015
Sir,
I have spent the entire day thinking how best to wish you. How best to convey my deepest regard on this day. I realised, it certainly was not possible. Not to put in words something so heartfelt; words would never give justice...
I decided to keep it simple.
I decided to be exact. To the point. Straight. Unambiguous.
I decided to not think too much and just go with the flow, because that is how I remember you would write...
I may be wrong.
Thank you. So much.
For being exactly who you are. 
For being an unapologetic and completely complete version of yourself.
Thank you. For letting me be a part of that.
Thank you. For setting standards.
Thank you. For making me understand that it is human to be human. That it is okay to revel in my deepest insecurities.
Thank you. For making understand that that is where my biggest strengths lie.
Thank you. For making me realise that the biggest and the most heartfelt joy in the world is in noticing the simplest of things. I realised that after I noticed a butterfly on a flower I just potted in my garden.
Thank you. For training me, without realising, to think like you (at least I believe so).
Of course not completely, but I feel so.
Every time I'm faced with a situation, I think of how you would handle it, what your reaction would be. I may not have the correct answer but I feel I have a better understanding of things than I did back then...
Sir, thank you for really making me understand the joy in books.
I read The Fountainhead almost every month and realise how much more there still is to learn from just that one book...
Thank you. For making me realise how important it is to be true to oneself. To be completely honest at a soul level. To disagree with things that DO NOT agree with one at ones soul level... I cannot thank you enough for introducing me to something so fundamental...
Thank you. For making me realise the beauty in everything around me. I cannot stress upon it enough, but you literally opened my eyes to my surroundings. I see love and joy and grandeur in even a dirty wall... Thank you...
I could go on and on and on...
Sir, thank you for accepting me to be a part of your world. You have certainly changed mine.

Ajita

Reply

Ajita, 
Blessed Be. 
Thanks for the most precious, wondrous and reflective gift, every word of which does complete justice to what you have felt and is true. If that is so, how can you ever be wrong.
Ajita, all that you have learnt and all that you continue to learn is all result of your own deep commitment to your own self. You possess a great heart, an unbending positive will, simplicity and humbleness is ingrained deep in your spirit.
You have an unshakable integrity and a singularity of purpose which has the potentiality to deal with the most adverse and difficult times. And all this exists naturally in your system. 
Great books are reflections of great minds and are best companions in life. Mother nature and nature laws has the beauty and structures which continue to manifest and reflect it's magnanimity at all times. It provides you with fundamentals of existence, continue to observe and enjoy it's glamor in the stillness of time.
Always continue to enjoy the ecstasy of your blissful existence and take care of your own self and Praveen...
Blessed be...
Aruneshwar

Thursday, September 3, 2015

On Being a Son of a Judge - 10.10.1978


    I am not aware of the 'olden golden' days nor of the 'future platinum', but today it is a sin to be born in a family of people who are still able to hold to some values of life, an integrity and work hard.  In Chapter VI, shlok 40 - 41 of Bhagavad-Gita in reply to Arjuna’s query, as to what end does that person meet, who though possessed of faith, is unable to control himself and whose mind deviates from yoga, the Blessed Lord articulates -
      
   "O Partha, neither in this world nor in the next is there destruction for him, the doer of good, O my son, never comes to grief. Having attained to the worlds of the righteous and having lived there for countless years, he who falls from yoga is reborn in the house of the pure and the prosperous"
   
   I was born and think that similarly several others must have been born in families who still think that purity, integrity and character gives you happiness and takes you to prosperity and up in the social ladder. It is not necessary to resort to manipulation or 'dinner diplomacy', which seems to be the way of the world today. Scott Newman son of Paul Newman said I got no nepotistic help from my father or not much “The only thing my dad helps me get is my foot into the door. But no one in my right mind is going to hire somebody to handle a part just because I’s somebody’s son”.
  
    My grandfather was the first person in Jaipur to do BA in English in 1914. He obtained LL.B degree in 1926 and joined judicial services in the erstwhile State of Jaipur on January 7, 1929 as Munsif Magistrate. He had an  integrity of characters and a confidence in the cosmic energy. He retired as the first Registrar of High Court of Rajasthan on March 31, 1951.

  
    My father obtained LL.B degree in 1946 and joined the bar in 1948.  From 1958 to 1973, I had not seen him sleeping before 2 ‘o’ clock in the night. He used to communicate with clients, scribbling on postcards, while he took us to a cinema hall. He was elevated as a judge in 1973. No client ever thought of entering our house. He may not be an outstanding judge, but he was known for my perseverance, integrity and hard work.

    
    Having graduated from Jodhpur in Rajasthan and being a son of a judge, I walked into the Supreme Court on August 01, 1976 and joined the bar on September 03, 1976. I had left Jodhpur with a single attaché, one Bhagavad-Gita, seven volumes of ‘Complete works of Swami Vivekananda’ and Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson as my prized possession. But as I write this article I feel that to be born as a son of a judge is not a boon. If you are successful, the feeling is “Oh, I is a son of a judge, he is bound to be successful”. If you are not successful, the feeling is “Oh, he is a son of a judge, even then he is not successful”.

    
    Either way it is no pleasure to work hard. The vibes around, in the bar, with all the advocates who were not able to become judges or sons of advocates who were unable to become judges are not so comforting. These are feelings and thoughts  at the thresh hold of my carrier, lets see how events unfold.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Role of Information Technology in dispensation of Justice

Truth, Justice and Bliss are the basic and fundamental nature of every human being and the social order. Illegality, injustice and disharmony are choice-less evils that continue to come into existence in the individual and the society. Judges, Advocates and others associated with them, continue to work as kidneys of the system, to detox the society. Conflicts, clashes and litigation have continued, since human civilization came into existence. Contract was created when Shri Ram hugged Sugreev and Vibheeshan and promised them to be made the king of Kishkindha and Sri Lanka respectively. A breach would have led to litigation and during that time resolved by the power of sword, than the power of pen. Justice was done when Shri Ram executed Raavan, for he had brought about a total imbalance in the economic structure, by amassing almost the entire gold existing on earth. Legal relationships, laws, litigation and justice existed even when Information Technology was not existing and was than more effective, efficient and economical.

In this yug, the age of IT started in 1955 when the number of white collar employees surpassed the blue collar, in USA and Europe. When I joined the profession in 1976 in Supreme Court, the settlement of weekly cause list was carried out by the Registrar at 4:30 pm on every Thursday in the Chief Justice Court. I had inherited AIR from 1914 onwards, had purchased SCR, Supreme Court Encyclopedia by Gopala Krishnan provided nominal Table Index, Basu and Mullah were the authenticated Text Books and Manuals were the source of finding the precedents. The only way to remain updated and to refrain from cutting a sorry figure and look around when the judge said “have you looked into the latest judgment delivered by us”, was to go through the cyclostyled judgments circulated by SCBA and regularly maintain personal registers.  As juniors, we had to run from court to court and shake shoulders of our colleague to find out, which matter was going on in the court and go back and tell our senior that he need to rush or need not rush to that court. Sometimes the matter was already over by the time he could reach. The bare acts were barely available.

Today all that looks ancient, we get bookmarked cause list on our mobiles, judgments can be found on tablets and electronic display system helps us to watch other court even when we are on our legs in the court room. Statutes are available within hours of their receiving the assent of the President. But the judges are overburdened by number of briefs and judgments and are at times conscious about the mounting arrears while disposing the cases. The judges have to read much more today, to have a total portrait of the true facts, keep their head high and impart justice without compromising with their conscience, than their predecessors and one basic reason for that, is explosion of information all around in multiple formats.

Three things are basic, fundamental and vital in every litigation and must never be lost sight off.
First, nobody loves advocates. Nobody would enter the office of an advocate unless he is in real trouble, unless his shoe is pinching and the nail is not decipherable and professional legal help is required to resolve the issue and put life in order. There comes the role of the advocates.
Second, every law or litigation comes into existence because there is suppression of a will, exploitation of a being by another and the cry has gone unheard because of some person dominating the existing social forces, by inhuman means. There comes the role of the Judges.
Third, all judges at all times, sitting in the temple of justice, see the cause and also see the persons and issues behind the cause and also the direction in which the society is moving and make all out efforts to do complete justice between the parties. That is how and why truth and justice exist and we still have a hope.

The litmus test of evolution and eminence of every institution today and hereafter will be the extant of use of information technology made by its stake holders.  It is not difficult to fully understand, appreciate and implement the extant of use of IT in dispensation of justice, as there is no rocket science involved in it. The difficulty is in making the stakeholders’ use it in every field of their activities. Use of IT in courts by NIC will not alone be effective unless, advocates and their clerks are well trained and tuned to use it.

Use of IT is a great bounty in the hands of us all, as it can be effectively used for collating, organizing and interlinking information. But a few things are imperative and if we do not pursue them, IT will be there but not as handmade to justice, but as money spinner for IT Consultants, hardware manufacturers and others and a fashion statement by flashing light on our own face and saying ‘Look! We also use IT”. We have to have a correct complete and overall picture of the entire litigating process, with the role of each stake holder well defined and the most important is the economics of each stakeholder. Every stakeholder in the legal industry is not working as an NGO, using tax payers money as grants or charities, but we are all here as professionals who are paid for speaking the truth and we demand respect and reverence, for we hold self - esteem, dignity and pride, in what we do. Finally we have to watch the vested interest of those who survive on chaos, confusion and commotion and those who are supporting them consciously, unconsciously or even remotely, for their interest is to lead the institution to legal rigor mortis and disgrace.

Look around and see if over 300 existing vacancies of judges in High Courts are not filled, because the issue is referred to a constitutional bench or otherwise, if cases are not determined speedily, if justice is not imparted in time, who is empowered. The answer is obvious, all those elements, whose very existence is based on presence of injustice, exploitation and poverty in the society and they are everywhere, from politics to beggars. Social predators continue to wait for assignment of throwing out tenants, recovery of created and illegal debts, holdings bandhs and gherao, shouting slogans, stalling court proceedings, making government fall and making the great nation look mean and small and IT makes such information available, easier and faster.

The installation of electronic display devices in 1986 in Supreme Court giving court number and item number was the first step in making use of IT and today we can get live display boards of all the courts on our mobile is a long leap, but that took more than 25 years. From getting judgments of courts on the tablets in a structured format to the ultimate, introduction of Artificial Intelligence in litigation is a long way to go and will take another 25 years or more, if we start today. Some of the countries are already using Artificial Intelligence for last over a decade in sentencing policy and other areas.

 IT can be implemented for dispensing justice by moving information seamlessly in the following manner with ease, if there is a Will to do it:
  • Providing Neutral Citation for all judgments delivered by Supreme Court and 24 High Courts, to eliminate the chaos created by over 600 law reports published all over the country and now web judgments. All giving their own independent citations. Neutral Citation was implemented in Canada, UK, USA and Canada in year 2000, we are just 15 years behind
  •  Creating database of judgments on each subject and issues and linking them with the subject index used in the court for classification of cases and making the data available to Advocates. This will bring more uniformity in decision making process and assist Advocates to give meaningful legal opinion to their clients;
  • Entering DIN Number, PAN Number, Adhaar Card No. or any other identifiable number of each litigant, witness, deponent in each litigation and have a common linked database on litigating persons and those associated with them. We have over three crore pending cases and if we are able to create the interlinking database, believe you, me friends, we will be able to filter about thirty lakh professional criminals and professional litigants
  • Creating a common database of litigation in which Government or any Article 12 Authority is a party and sharing it between Courts, Government Department, PSU, Law Department, Attorney General and Advocate General Office to enable legislature to plug holes where necessary and put an end to several frivolous litigations and putting them on notice in similar issues
  • Existing data on decided cases should be moved from High Court Registry to Supreme Court Registry in cases filed in Supreme Court. This will save enormous costs and man hours of the country;
  • Creating and using database on advocates on number and nature of filings, appearances, written submissions, articles published, presentations made, conferences attended to have some objective basis for appointment of advocates as judges to High Courts. Family, chamber, caste relationship is an anathema for holding such high station and injustice to other advocates joining the bar;
  • Implementation of One Bar one Vote for each Bar Association by using a common data base of advocates already available with Bar Council of India and having electronic voting. This will make the Associations more effective, meaningful and purposeful. Every leader of the bar will have his defined territories to work on and make them more professional;
  • There is a need of over two million IT trained clerks or Para Legal Associates to support over one million advocates in the country and maintain their office;
  • Creating database on judgments delivered by judges of High Courts and how they fared in Supreme Court, to have some objective basis for appointment of High Court judges to Supreme Court;
  • Implementing Court Live to bring about more transparency and fully implement the avowed principle of open door justice;

 In every case the Judge is on a chess board making whole hearted efforts to make justice win. On the other side is injustice continuously digging pits, confusing issues, flashing baits, veiling the truth, creating non-existent fears to make justice lose. Information technology if used to its full proper potential, is one of the greatest tool in the hand of judge, to make quick moves in dispensation of speedy justice. But to make its full use, judges will have to get all the stake holders trained and aware of interconnected, interlinked, inter-weaved and interlaced databases on judgments, statutes, subjects, issues, decisions, litigants, books, articles and a process that filter the entire information and also suggest possible, probable answers and alternatives, to enable the judges impart justice for all.

Friday, January 9, 2015

60 years of Lateral Existence

        Flashes continue to occur and re-occur from the first when as a 3 yrs. old child (1958) my mother, grandfather, another person and I got down from a brown Ford Prefect and walked to Jaipur Central Jail carrying breakfast for my father and his colleagues at the bar, who were detained for protesting against the abolition of High Court Bench at Jaipur. Justice K.N. Wanchoo, the than Chief Justice of Rajasthan had some perceptions and agenda to settle and that had led to the abolition of the Jaipur Bench. The next flash is getting down at Rai-ka-bagh Railway Station at Jodhpur with bag and baggage, as my father than an advocate in the High Court, had to shift with the family leaving the parental house at Jaipur to his Highness Flats opposite zoo. 57 years thereafter are flashes of a wonderful and incredible break at a beach resort in Kerala and the release of ‘Supreme Court on Arbitration and Contract’ last evening, January 9, 2015 at Indian Law Institute.

As I had continued to observe my paternal grandfather, Rao Bahadur Madho Prasad Gupta, in whose company I spend my childhood, enquiring into beyond and leading an extremely disciplined life far away from the mundane and the ephemeral and hear all the stories and read all the books, it dawned that realization of the Self is the true and ultimate goal of the existence. It also emerged that it was imperative that all events shall continue to come into existence and give way to the new, the very next moment, with the sole objective of making one consciously aware of the truth, that bliss was the nature of the Self and the Cosmic divine and that is beyond lateral time.

As I continued to observe my maternal grandfather, Dr. A.C. Bansal, a highly respected socialite at Agra, with a life full of spirit and freedom, a strong wish had evolved to serve the fellow beings by joining the medical profession, which continued to consciously and unconsciously dominate the core system till one day it became apparent that there existed an interplay of forces in chartering the life events as they would continue to arise according to their own mandate and I surrendered to them.

On August 1, 1976 I found myself in the corridors of Supreme Court of India and the most powerful intellectuals that existed in the nation. I continued to relentlessly contribute my very best for next 27 years to the profession and evolved with every case and social issue I dealt with, as a better human being in search of truth and justice. It continued to bring about understanding of the nuances of social, economic and political fabric and structuring, being constantly stitched and un-stitched. A feeling continued to air around that it will be possible to follow the footsteps of my father Justice D.P. Gupta, who retired as Chief Justice of High Court of Rajasthan, with the highest integrity, honesty, uprightness and honor. 12 years further, windows have continued to close and open again and again, beings have continued to walk in and walk out and walk in again, events have continued to come into existence and dissolve by its very nature to give way to the new.


60 years of lateral existence has not made me wiser to determine in the true sense, the little personal requirements and the grand social status, the deep inner peace and the magnificent collective recognition, the calm deep unchanging vibes and the charged public passions. There has been a constant awareness of the divine cosmic energy existing blissfully within unaffected by the constant movement of fleeting events all around. This awareness of the twin existence has continued to co-exist simultaneously in a quantum way every moment of my existence, for quite some time now. All exists here and now every moment. There is constant awareness of energies which have continued to exploit and damage the peace and harmony within and around, but there is also perception of divine cosmic energy and light workers relentlessly working to establish peace, love and eradicate poverty. The real contribution seems to be to create powerful legal structures to resolve some of the conflicts or open the conflicts by exposing their true nature, to be resolved in times to come, for a better tomorrow…