Saptarshi Dutt

Category : Lawyer

In practice since: 1990

Location: Kolkata, West Bengal

Practice Area : Appeals,Business, Commercial, Civil and Government Agencies | Criminal Law

Law Firm Profile : Business and Commercial | Government Contract | State Local and Municipal Law | Securities Law | Franchising | criminal

Takes up Pro Bono Cases: Yes

Biography & Viewpoint

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Early Years:

Like every other institution in Indian society, legal education has undergone a substantial change over the past few years. Within two decades, access to legal education was greatly expanded, thought the quality was diluted uncontrollably. The Bar Council of India (BCI) began inspecting and “licensing” law colleges though it had only marginal impact on standards. Second generation reforms thus became imperative to maintain access and improved quality.
India entering the WTO and adopting policies of economic liberalization in the 1990s brought about legislative changes in the new millennium not only in the economy but also in the regulatory framework of human resource development. One may identify, inter alia, the following factors for the transformation of legal education in this period:
• The changing demands of the legal market at the national and global levels;
• The establishment of new regulatory regimes in emerging areas of the economy;
• Growth of international trade and prospects of trade in services;
• The replication of the Bangalore model of National Law Schools in many more states;
• The increasing demand for legal studies from among highly talented students;
• Changes in the legal education regulatory system (Common Law Admissions Test; All India Bar Examination; the Directorate of Legal Education in BCI);
• The partnership of bar, bench and academia in the management of legal education at least in the National Law School Scheme;
• Collaboration with foreign law schools and the influence of foreign-educated lawyers;
• On-campus recruitment and the institution of awards for best performing teachers and law schools by law firms;
• The recommendations of the National Knowledge Commission (2005);

Looking to the Future & advice to young students & professionals:
One may speculate as to what might happen if the bill in Parliament relating to higher education becomes law in the near future. Firstly, the Bill on National Commission on Higher Education and Research will restore university autonomy and allow experimentation and competition in individual institutions, possibly resulting in academic excellence in some law schools. Second, the establishment of a network of advanced centres of legal research and training as recommended by the National Knowledge Commission will help address the lack of quality research and promote a research culture in existing law schools. There are possibilities for the future which are contingent upon a variety of other factors in the polity and the economy as well.

Hobbies & interests:

Travelling, listening to music and reading.

Areas of Practice and key achievements:

Honestly, each and every case has its own distinctiveness, irrespective of the nature and number of cases, that we are briefed from our clients; we perceive them to be a new case. In other words, we abstain ourselves from drawing and/or making any comparisons. For, we always consider each and every case to be a new baby with unique code of features like challenges, confrontation etc. What we were yesterday must have to be improved – that’s what our firm’s motto has always been. Therefore, if we are to answer to this question, we can only say that each and every case that we were briefed from various clients; has been a fond memory to remember, in some ways or the other.