Recently, being a law student I got the opportunity to view the Surana and Surana National Trial Advocacy Moot Court competition 2019 India North Round held at our university campus i.e. University of Jammu organized by the Law School in collaboration with Surana and Surana International Attorneys.
This was a three- day event followed by the valedictory function in which Justice JP Singh was the chief jury member who judged the event and gave us the finalists NLU Jodhpur. This was my best experience during my entire law school journey.
I am in my final year of five year degree of law and we being the last year students were asked to coordinate the event and I was given the task of assisting the courts i.e. to perform the role of court assistant and our whole law school students are given different tasks regarding the event. Our law school took the shape of Court and our each classroom was made a courtroom. So, being a court assistant my job is to regulate the working of all the courtrooms so that the event was coordinated smoothly.
When I was a court assistant I got to know the exact working of the courts as well as the court assistants. It was very difficult to assist everything but I am fortunate that I did it very well due to the support of my professors and other members. On the very first day of the event, I along with my team set- up our each classroom into courtroom and there were 8 courtrooms and in that rooms we organized the table where judges were supposed to sit, witnesses box, court assistant table and the audience tables. All the rooms were arranged like that on the very first day. Same day in the evening teams from different parts of the states who participated would come and we were there to welcome them. At around 8’o clock in the night, we were free by ding the tasks provided to us on the first day of the event.
On the second day, we have to reach early in the morning at our university campus nearly around 7’o clock. On the second day, time schedule regarding the trial proceedings were pasted on the notice board and on the second day the event was officially started. The teams were supposed to come at 8’o clock and the head of the event from Surana and Surana International Attorneys, Mr. Ravichandran Sir addressed the participants about the event guidelines. It was a one-hour interactive session for the teams, witnesses and the court assistants. We have selected the students from our law school to be the witnesses for the event. In that session, Sir would tell us the rules regarding the event that all the teams have to be in full dress code, they have to abide by the decision of the jury members etc.
The teams then submitted their memorials for the case which was given to them at the time of their registration. This event was coordinated in the month of October 4-6, 2019. So, being the court assistant I got the privilege to interact with the teams and I got to know about the case technicalities and all that. It was a case of abetment to suicide in a reality show Bazigaar somehow related to the most viewed reality show on television i.e. Bigg Boss. So after the interactive session, we have arranged a short tea- break for all the persons related with the event. After that, the event started.
All the court assistants were given the court assistant checklist in which we have to mark the time at when the trial was started, extra- time taken and the concluding time. So, on the second day according to the schedule preliminary rounds, quarter-finals and semi-finals were conducted. There were 2 preliminary rounds in the afternoon followed by quarter-finals and semi-finals.
In the Preliminary rounds, 16 teams from different law colleges participated and each teams were given a team code in order to hold the confidentiality of the results so that no favour was given to any of the team participated. Judges from respective courts were invited for the event to adjuge the teams. So, at around 12’o clock, preliminary rounds were started. In all the courtrooms trials were going on simultaneously and the teams had to present their case as prosecution and defence both. We the court assistant were sit on our table and note down the time taken by the teams. The teams were given the time slot like this- Opening statement by both the teams- 5 minutes, Examination in chief- 12 minutes, Cross Examination- 20 minutes and Closing statement – 8 minutes.
All the teams were outstanding and each team tried their best to be at finals. For me, playing the role of court assistant helps me to know exactly how much preparation is needed to do any task regarding law. So, it was my best experience. By analyzing the proceedings, I realized how well the teams prepared themselves for the case given to them. All the case laws, judgments, evidences, documents and even they prepare their witnesses so well for the case. It is very difficult to plead a case and to represent yourself as an advocate. But the teams were really outstanding. After the preliminary rounds, a short break for deciding the results were given to the judges and in between lunch was given. After the lunch, results were announced and 8 teams were qualified for the quarter-finals and then quarter finals round started and again the qualified teams had to present their same case to go further and then in quarter finals, finally 4 teams were selected which go for semi-finals and on the same day semi-finals were conducted and results were announced and two teams were qualified for finals.
It was a very hectic day for all the persons. We were free at around 10’o clock in the night. At the last day of the event finals were conducted and the two teams had to compete to make their positions. The event had started at around 11’o clock. The event was headed by Justice JP Singh. It was started by lighting the lamp. In the finals time schedule was little bit increased. The court assistants have to show the placards regarding time taken. The trial goes for 2 hours and after the trial valedictory function was organized. The results were announced and the winner team was given a cash prize of 21,000/- along with momentos and certificate of appreciation. The runner- up team was given a cash prize of 11,000/- along with certificates. The rest of the participated teams were given certificates.
To sum up my experience regarding this law event is that this type of competitions guide us to be a better individual in our respective career. We interact with different students from different colleges and learn new skills which would be needed in order to be a better lawyer. I come to know how judiciary works and provide justice to the needed person. So for me, it was the best experience of my law school journey. I want to be a part of such competitions much more in the future. So my experience regarding this event was wonderful.
This article is authored by Princy Behal, Student of BA LLB at The Law School, University of Jammu.