INTERVIEW OF ADV. NISHTHA SANDUJA
(Lawyer at the Delhi High Court)
Advocate Nishtha Sanduja is a practicing lawyer at the Delhi High Court. She is a second-generation lawyer in her family after her father. Legal discussions were a common talk at her family’s dining table that helped her develop a passion for the legal profession at a tender age. She grew up attaching sanctity to the profession and inferred that lawyers are a catalyst for change and justice in society.
She pursued her graduation in law from Amity Law School, Noida. There she fetched a scholarship for the entire tenure of her course & her achievements at college culminated into the prestigious “Personality Enhancement Award” & “All-Rounder Award”.
Currently, she is associated with her father’s firm, dealing predominantly in the Criminal Law and feels extremely responsible for ensuring that her client secures justice & that motivates her to keep going onwards.
Her philosophy in life is: respect earned is the true measure of a life well spent & she feels it can be attained by being useful to others. She is striving to attain a meaningful life & utilizes her law degree to touch multiple lives. Recently, she has initiated an Instagram account for sharing her views on vital topics at @nishtha_contemplates.
What inspires you the most to take law as your profession?
To be very honest I was never asked to take law as a profession but I independently took this up. As a toddler itself, I used to see my father getting ready for his arguments, practicing for a while in front of the mirror and all such cultivated my interest and inclined me towards the profession of law. I was very sorted from the 9th grade that I wanted to be a lawyer, not for convenience because my father was already into it but this field is something where I could speak and raise my voice for my clients.
As you stated that raising voice really matters in one’s life so what do want to suggest to our readers regarding being vocal?
Being vocal is something that is lined with my aspiration in becoming a lawyer. In general, I feel that intra-activism is really important for each one of us and I keep addressing people about this. Voice is the only way to reach the people in society because it encourages others to bring their voice and that is the only reason I keep touching sensitive issues in my subtle write-ups. So that people come to know that vulnerability is important and for raising our voice social media is our biggest power. When we speak, others will speak.
As you have presented one successful webinar on ‘Emerging Fashion Laws in India’ can you make the readers aware about the scope of Fashion laws?
My personal specialization is in IPR and this is the reason that fashion laws are something I could truly take up. So fashion laws in India are ongoing, it is upcoming but not as a very separate field because all these matters are very well subdued under trademarks and copyrights. Nowadays I see lots of students coming up in fashion laws. You can be a fashion designer and then probably take up a course in fashion laws because it is going to benefit you in that particular industry.
How many years of courtroom experience do you have?
The courtroom experience is not just standing up there, speaking and presenting your client, it is much more than that. It’s been two and half years now after I completed my BA-LLB. But since my father is into this profession, it’s 7 years I’ve been working with him; so during my entire tenure of college, I kept on working right from meeting the clients, replying the mails to attending court’s proceedings, creating drafts, etc.
What major loopholes you have found in the system and what changes do you wish to bring?
Once you step into this profession you realize that there many loopholes, not one or two but the biggest flaw I realized is in constable rank people who write the FIR because that’s the basis of the complete case. Most of the time these constables use the wrong section which later on results in big troubles because the investigation runs according to that, they also write procedural urdu towards the end and that is something which becomes difficult for any lawyer or investigation officer to deal with. And keeping these flaws in mind, me and one of my friend have worked on this, we researched together and she filed the PIL and this got changed; so now there is no more procedural urdu because we are lawyers and we have to fight for the transition of the same.
Apart from this as far as our justice system is concerned, of course, it takes a lot of time. So more courts need to be established in our country.
What advice do you like to forward to budding lawyers regarding academics and curriculum?
Academics is very important because you are bound to rise in this field; half of the people don’t know what they are doing right from the constable putting down certain sections to the FIR up to the advocates etcetera. People say practical is different theory is different, but in law, if you are not clear with the theory, you cannot grasp the practical. During your law school, don’t mug up things because it will only help you to pass the exam but you won’t get any clarity of concept; try to understand each section as a separate chapter. If a section gets over in your classroom in 10 minutes, go home and read it by you in-depth, relate it with some case laws, get some recent updates over it.
Now if I come to the extra curriculum, whatever you are doing extra including your moot courts, paper writings, and internships with any law firm, even you are a sportsperson that will boost your confidence a lot and helps in upgrading your CV too. But literally, these all are not as important as your subject, so study your subject well rather than mugging it up.
What does a lawyer’s personality really require?
There are actually multiple things that a lawyer’s personality requires but the most important is, you have to be compassionate, otherwise, you cannot represent the case well. You have to understand where your client stands and his side of the story well.
Secondly, your integrity in your profession really matters. Just like doctors have their moral codes, we lawyer too. Charging too high unnecessarily, not returning the extra amount will pollute your integrity and your profession as well.
My last question to you is what’s your mantra of success that you would like to advise our readers?
I have very philosophical views on success; I never understand the definition of success. If I am winning every time will that be considered a success? But the winning of cases is not in your hands. What is in your hands is to represent your client well enough, to understand them well, to be on time, to ensure that your juniors are reaching on time or not, these are a few things that you can manage for your clients.
Success to me is, in life in general, whatever you are demanding or wanting from your life, you keep getting that or working hard to achieve that in some way or the other.
Ms. Khushi Paliwal, 2nd Year BA-LLB Student from Mohanlal Sukhadia University.