Symbiosis Law School, Pune (SLS-P), a constituent of Symbiosis International Deemed University and the Law Hawks Forum hosted the 13th Nani A. Palkhivala Memorial Inter-Collegiate Elocution Competition, 2020 in association with the Nani A. Palkhivala Memorial Trust, Mumbai on 7th February, 2020 in the Professional Development and Continuing Legal Education (PDCLE) Hall at 11 AM. For the event, Justice R.V. Deshmukh (Retired Principal District Judge) and Advocate Seema Bapat, seasoned lawyer and social activist were invited to judge the competition. They were felicitated by Dr. Rupal Rautdesai and Dr. Aparajita Mohanty.
As a part of the elocution competition, three topics were given, which were: "Infrastructure Development v/s Safeguarding the Environment- the new field in legal confrontation", "Rise of Populist Forces- Do they pose a challenge to the independence of courts?" and "Employment of Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) to supplement or supplant professionals in legal process- Is it the way to the future?"
The first topic entailed speeches on various principles of environmental law- both Indian and International. The participants narrated real life anecdotes of environmental repercussions as a consequence of prioritizing infrastructural development. The underlying message in the discussion was the importance of maintaining infrastructure that is environmental friendly for a sustainable future, in tandem with the 'Precautionary Principle'.The second topic was a discussion on the role of populist forces as a threat to the separation of powers, affecting the independence and credibility of the Judiciary. Examples from recent developments around the world were used to substantiate arguments effectively. The third topic was a detailed deliberation on the categorization of data as a modern-day resource, playing a major role in incorporating technology in the legal field.
The judges provided all the participants with constructive feedback, shedding light on the legality of the issues which are of contemporary significance. Advocate Seema Bapat gave the audience her meaningful insights into the need for constitutional amendments that would reflect the current social, political and environmental trends in India.As an eminent member of the Judiciary, Retd. Justice R.V. Deshmukh remarked that the primary element that distinguishes lawyers from every other professional is their discipline, respect and devotion to the betterment of the society at large.
Upon evaluation of the participants on clarity of thought, content, presentation, diction and body language, the judges announced the winners: the first place was awarded to Mr. Shubham Kamalakar Joshi [Yashwantrao Chavan Law College], the second place was awarded to Mr. Atharva Golwalkar [DES Shri Navalmal Firodia Law College] and the third place was awarded to Ms. Gaea Sukumar [Symbiosis Law School, Pune] by Nani A. Palkhivala Memorial Trust, Mumbai & Symbiosis Law School, Pune.
The elocution competition concluded on a successful note with a vote of thanks delivered by the organizing members.