“Mastering legal research is a sine qua non for every law student. However, it is not a one day affair. It requires consistent and dedicated efforts.” These were the words of runners up of ICSI 14th All India National Moot Court Competition 2016.
It is a matter of immense pride that Institute of Law, Nirma University represented by Yash Tripathi, Vardhman Mehta, Pranjal Kalantri and Pradyumna Kibe was ‘runners up’ at the ICSI 14th All India National Moot Court Competition 2016 at Pune hosted by National India Regional Council of the Institute of Company Secretary of India. The team excelled with brilliance and sheer dominance in the whole competition with a lot of awards in their name. Apart from that, Yash Tripathi also bagged in the ‘Best Corporate Lawyer’ Award in the Competition. The team showcased their finest performance with absolute dedication and hard work and unconditional passion towards the moot court which is one of the reputed moot court competition and it is a dream come true for the Institute. The correspondent for Social Media Committee Ruchi Saxena had a conversation with the team post their victory. Here are the excerpts of the talk
Q: Congratulations on your victory! First of all, what made you choose the moot in the first place?
Ans. Well, thank you so much. Precisely, we can give you three reasons. First thing that got us to take the moot was the subject of it being Companies Law specifically on Oppression and Mismanagement which is very contemporary, moreover there happen to be many cases on the same. Second, since we all are pursuing Company Secretary Course it would give us an upper edge in the competition. Lastly, important to mention that the credit goes to Vardhman and Pradyumna who were the first to identify and made us take this decision.
Q: How was the process of preparation? How did you go about the entire stage?
Ans. The journey was wonderful despite of many sacrifices involved throughout the journey. College premises and library became our first home during the preparation phase. We approached problem on the lines of previously decided schedule. We did not distribute the issues among us as it could render us being unaware of the part of each other and in our opinion that was the differentiating factor of our team to other teams against whom we were pitched.
We applied process of logically and factually breaking the problem as we were of the view that if we have the logic on our side we will surely find legal backing for the same and if facts were against us we used to find a legal position to justify those facts in our favour.
Q: How was it like working with the team? What do you think are your team’s strengths? What were the barriers?
Ans. Moot Court is primarily a team work as it is not possible for a single person to manage the varied aspects involved in it. We are good friends from the very first semester before being teammates, so half of the work was already done. We were motivated which initiated the whole preparation but it was our habit of being obsessed which led us to being victorious. We four were very much clear about our objective and shared the same obsession about it. We kept on motivating each other throughout the preparation as well as in actual competition. Each one of us had his own strength & weaknesses and we were very much frank about that. We were openly monitoring each other’s work. We were having differences of opinion on many key issues but that eventually helped us in getting the best of the argument.
Q: How many teams were you up against in the competition? Which team would you consider to be your toughest competition?
Ans. The competition was held in 3 stages which consisted of Chapter Rounds, Regional Rounds and the National Rounds. Now, the Chapter Round being the city round was comparatively easier for us and we were very much confident of breaking in the Regional Rounds as there was only one team apart from us in the round. It was in Western Region round that we had to gear up for the competition as there were 6 teams from different Colleges across the region which included SLS Pune and GLC Mumbai. As only one team could go through to the National Rounds, the challenge was even stiffer. The team from GLC had some great arguments supported by authorities but in the end we managed to win against them in what can be said as a nail biting finish.
Next up was the National Rounds, which had four teams representing their respective regions- North, South, East and West. Considering the arguments of the team representing the South Region, Christ University, we knew that it would take a special effort from our side to beat a side of that caliber. It was a closely fought contest in the end which is evident from the fact that most of the prizes up for grabs were won by our team and Christ University.
Q: How was the final round? What were the techniques to crack it up?
Ans. It is known that the final round happen to be the most challenging one in any competition as the level becomes very high. The same happen to be in our case. The teams that came from 4 different regions were all best in their respective regions rising up to that level after defeating very good teams at chapter and regional level. Not to mention the expectations of the judges in terms of knowledge of law and preparation also increases. However, even after the odds, we managed to give good performance in the rounds. There was not much left as technique however we very much indulged in cross questioning, preparing and delivering of Speech which helped us get through the Finals.
Q: How should a student go about when a moot is allotted to him? What are the basics of researching?
Ans. Mastering legal research is a sine qua non for every law student. However, it is not a one day affair. It requires consistent and dedicated efforts. Technology has made things easier. There is nothing to be scared of. Legal research has become more interesting today given the availability of various tools for helping out students. We approached the problem by starting from the very basics and then moving ahead step by step. Our main focus was to break the problem based on facts and to defend the case logically. We believe that if we are able to defend a case logically then there will be some or the other law backing that logic. According to us, following should be the sequence of events during the preparation of moot. First thing should be to read fact-sheet again and again to the extent that you are able to narrate it in the middle of the night. Afterwards start discussing the problem with team mates, faculties and seniors. Try to decipher the intention of drafter behind each statement of the moot proposition. Make sure that each and every word of the factsheet is discussed or pondered upon. Identify legal issues and research points involved. Then make a schedule with keeping enough margins for last moment works. Finally, adopt whatever arrangement for researches keeping in mind your convenience & circumstances and at the same time that arrangement should be practical and logical. One should always try to come up with innovative arguments, witty analogies, and creative interpretation backed by proper research. Maintain open outlook towards all possibilities. Drafting may be a fun or cumbersome work depending upon ones attitude. Art of drafting is expressing maximum things in minimum words keeping the sequential logic in the arguments i.e., arguments should be concise and clear. Oral presentation is all about discussing the case with judges. Giving mock pleadings before actual competitions prepared us for the barrage of questions and situations that may be posed during actual rounds. Most of the arguments which the other team had raised, we had already pre-mediated and were prepared for rebutting the same. Be handy with all the authorities that you have relied upon. At the time when our actual sessions were going on, continuous passing of compendiums to the judges had a great impact on minds of judges.
Q: How important is mooting in a law student’s career? What message would you like to pass on to the students who moot or want to do so?
Ans. Importance of mooting for a law student is already well recognized. It has many things to give you as a budding lawyer. It can be a great learning experience for all of us, as we learned from each other during the phase of preparation for the moot as we learned something new every day. This is one platform where you can learn a lot from yourself, from your team members and from your competitors. Message to mooters, “To Win is the ultimate objective. The moment you decide to do moot, you also decide to win. Message to students who haven’t done it yet and want to, “It is still not late to taste the flavour of law studies. It can become a moment that you would cherish throughout your life.” Mooting prepares you for the future. Every single day you learn something new which helps in your professional career. Finally, Mooting is not about making a team with the best lot but it is about making your team best by strong desire, obsession and sheer hard-work.
Q: Final comments on the level of competition and the organization of the competition.
Ans. Kudos and special thanks to the authorities and management staff at ICSI for the great organization of the event at Pune Chapter. Lastly, this was like no other competition but a very unique in itself, as it gave us a chance to delve in the complex questions of Company law and giving a feel of great Company Secretary and lawyer in making!