Mr.Shandilya seemed to be immensely pleased to be a part of the interview. He said that he is always enthusiastic when he gets to connect with young lawyers, or students who want to pursue a career in litigation, and for that matter any career related to law.
1. Request you to introduce yourself to our readers?
I am a senior advocate at Allahabad HC practising since the year 1988. I specialize in Criminal as well as Service matters. I completed my L.L.B from Bundelkhand University, Jhansi in the year 1987 after graduating in B.Sc.
2. What interested you in taking up Law as a profession?
Law has always been a very noble profession. Most of the great persons in India who have left their mark in history have been from the law profession. A person as a law professional can help the litigant to get justice, by arguing his case in the court with absolute honesty and integrity. These are the qualities that made me aspire law as a profession.
I had met multiple people who had complained that lawyers did not represent their case with sincerity in the court and there was a general presumption that advocates and law professionals were not practising fairly. So, I made it a point to prove these notions wrong. Further, law can be effectively used as a tool for social service and to cater to the needs of the marginalised communities who are on the receiving end of the spectrum. Also, law is a profession which leads to intellectual growth of an individual and is financially rewarding.
3. How was your law school life?
Laughs…. It was a bit tough because I got admitted in the college after completing my B.Sc. So, while I was engaged in solving mathematical and scientific problems during my graduation, it was a sudden overhaul to move to a law school and develop a habit of reading legal texts. However, to relax myself I engaged myself in social service activities and my interaction with the society kept me motivated throughout. I used to get my letters and articles published in the local newspaper which represented problems of the society.
4. What were the activities and internships you pursued in college?
During the 1980s there was no provision as such for internships in the law college. But I used the attend the chambers of lawyers in the district and I tried to learn from their working style. During my vacations, I used to return to my hometown in Allahabad and join the chambers of my father Shri. SudamaJiShandilya who was also an eminent lawyer. He taught me the nuances of filing a case in the honourable HC and also helped me to enhance my reading capabilities.
Moreover, I also used to intern under district judges, additional district judges, leading lawyers of the district Jhansi and reputed police officers of the day. All of them helped me enhance my knowledge on different subjects of the law and further boosted my confidence.
5. Please walk us through your professional life after graduation.
A law professional cannot expect to get success from the day one. It requires grit, determination and consistent hard work with absolute honesty. Although my father helped a great deal by teaching me the skills of argumentation, but it is upon the shoulders of a lawyer to create a unique identity for himself.
I always tried my best to place true facts before the court of law and assisted properly as an advocate in the dispense of justice. In fact, creating unreal facts leads to a loss of dignity of the court and is a blot on the legal fraternity. For ten years, I was granted an opportunity to assistHon’ble High Court as anAdditional Chief Standing Counsel for the state of Uttar Pradesh and thereafter I received the designation as a senior advocate by the honourable HC.
6. How much significance does CGPA hold concerning practicing in court, going for LLM, and going for judicial services?
To be quite honest, CGPA holds importance only if you want to join any law firm or corporate firm. It reflects nicely in your CV for the recruiters. Also, there are certain L.L.M programmes which give importance to the CGPA of the students. Other than that, it does not play a great significance.
If you chose to practise in the court of law, no litigant will ask you about your CGPA. He will always prefer your legal expertise and skills over your academic background. Also, if you want to take up judicial services there’s simply a minimum percentage criterion that you need to fulfil in order to take up that examination.
7. How does the current COVID-19 situation affect your practice?
When there was total lockdown in the country, my practise was undoubtedly affected when the courts were closed and the clients were not coming. But as of now most of the courts have resumed functioning and arguments are being made through video conferencing or through direct appearance.
8. What are your comments on “virtual courts- courtroom of the future?”
Virtual courts are the best option if utilised properly. They are both economic and effective. However, lack of digital knowledge continues to be a problem as not all advocates are used to technology for arguing their cases in the ‘virtual courts’. However, all are learning and in the future virtual courts will hold a great significance in the dispensation of justice
Institute of Law, Nirma University