Impact of Internal Committee (IC) Proceedings on our Mental Health | PoSH Law

While the IC proceedings are crucial for addressing and preventing such incidents, they can also have an impact on the mental health of both the complainant and the accused, as well as other individuals involved. Mental health in the context of IC proceedings is often overlooked or downplayed. 

The occurrences where an unusual incident in a committee meeting where an external member expressed stress about the proceedings, are not rare. 

As IC members, what steps can be taken to manage such scenarios?

Panic attacks, experienced by anyone in high-stress situations, warrant empathy. Irrespective of whether someone is a victim or respondent, guilty or innocent, acknowledging this human experience is essential. IC members are trained to handle such situations. They reassure both parties that the proceedings aim not only to support the victim but also uncover the truth. Maintaining an impartial and unbiased stance helps create comfort. While being cognizant of mental health isn’t legally mandated, some companies establish counselling boards to ensure both parties’ well-being.

This leads to the question of how much involvement is appropriate from external or internal committees, given that proceedings are legally confidential. In the legal field, detachment from victims is advised, yet listening to deeply personal traumas challenges this. Legal experts suggest that India must adopt the effective trauma-handling training which is already used outside India effectively.

Moreover, recognizing when to seek mental health help is vital. Companies should openly discuss coping with mental challenges during induction or interviews. Such conversations foster understanding of the need for counsellors. During stress, individuals should identify and address their emotional state; seeking counselling when unable to cope is crucial. Acceptance of mental health struggles, hindered by factors like gender and upbringing, is imperative. Open conversations, both online and offline, facilitate connections and problem-sharing, not necessarily with counsellors but also friends.

So, when is it in IC Proceedings that we can identify whether the person is really going through a panic attack or a stressful event or is trying to pretend for sympathy? To identify such behaviour, we need to develop an assertive behaviour and by time we recognize whether the person is pretending or not.

In conclusion we can say that to help people with their mental health during the stressful events like IC proceedings, it is very important to talk about it openly without supressing it within which will adversely affect our minds.

We at Indian Lawyers Association (ILA) undertook a session on this important topic, where experts Sujatha T, Kanisshka Tyagi, and Radhika Dubey came together to share their thoughts and experiences. This session was hosted in association with KelpHR, and Ms. Smita Shetty Kapoor, Co-Founder and CEO moderated this event. Watch the recording at 

Challenges Faced by Lawyers to Advertise their Business

What will we do in this fast-paced economy if advertising didn’t exist? Shall we say our mind is finally free from the overwhelming choices which are presented to us or we will feel left out to be informed of the important events happening around the world? The world of advertising has introduced us to many options much to the bane and boon of our existence. Before the paper and digital revolution, how did we know where to go for professional advice or which law governs a territory? 

You went to law school, got a degree and graduated with a mixed bag of emotions and some decisions. What’s next ahead in your career? Will, you join a law firm, being an in-house lawyer or your curiosity and opportunities takes you to a master’s degree? The dilemma doesn’t stop here, this is the narrative for most law graduates in India. But the majority of law graduates either find themselves in a lack of choices or too many of them that are overwhelming.

After a few years into the profession, some move to be an in-house lawyer or a few want to start their law firm or practice owing to reasons of work-life balance or their learning doesn’t end within a structure.

The legal profession in India is a close-knit industry working on traditional narratives and professional ethics. For lawyers who are practising and law firms, the next standard goal is to build a clientele for revenue generation. To build their practice or law firm, or start-up, what are some of the major challenges faced by them?

• Location

Professionals migrate where the nature of opportunities take them. A lawyer must choose the right location after market research, industry and the nature of clients. Most practising lawyers find it challenging to build a practice in an already established industry where clients go to lawyers based on generational marketing. The majority of lawyers opt for tier 1 cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, and Hyderabad so that they have the right set of resources and infrastructure to scale their careers. 

• Resources

Just as a machine requires manpower and equipment, lawyers require skills and resources.  

Mr Shubhanshu Gupta, the co-founder of Prakant law offices, Delhi, a full-service law firm that he started with his law school friends, states that “As a first-generation lawyer if you are starting in a new city, it can be challenging. Because you need to start from scratch. Resources and networking are the consequential factors. Since the rule prohibits advertisement, it becomes difficult for lawyers to sustain themselves. Hence, for start-up law firms, friends & family, a stastart-incubator is an affordable solution. 

• Gender 

Gender-based stereotypes exist in every profession. Owing to the patriarchal system and hierarchy, it’s very difficult for women to start and sustain themselves in the legal industry. Every year, owing to many reasons like resources, limitations, and societal pressures, women migrate from litigation to an in-house job or an option that offers sustainability. 

Additional factors like lack of skills to learn technology is also a challenge for lawyers. Law firms and start-ups opt for marketing where technology is a major factor, a subsequent share of clientele is driven by social media websites like Linked In, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter & WhatsApp. But, other than technology, many lawyers find it conflicting to make a mark in hierarchy-based practice. If the father/mother is a lawyer, their children will follow the same steps and set a good example. What about the ones who belong to a different background, class or city

Bar Council of India

The bar council of India is the statutory body established under Section 4 of  The Advocates Act, 1961 which is responsible for the regulation of legal education and legal practice in India. Prescribing certain standards for professional conduct, the body exercises the right to maintain etiquette and disciplinary jurisdiction over the bar. As far as the rule is concerned, Section 49 (1) of the Act empowers the Bar Council to make rules on “standards of professional conduct and etiquettes which should be observed by Advocates” under Clause 36, Section IV.

The rules were made on the premise of ‘unhealthy competition’ between lawyers and the feeling of ‘animosity’. It also specifies the conditions for the size of the nameplate for advocates to be hung outside of their chamber/office, not indicating that they have any membership or hold an important position.

The contravention of these rules is subject to prosecution specified under Section 35 of The Advocates Act, 1961. Under that, the State bar has the following powers:

– Complaint dismissal

– Reprimand the advocate

– Suspension of advocate for a particular period.

– Remove the advocate’s name from the state roll of advocates.

But, does this rule justified, somewhere to stop the evolution of legal the profession With the advent of technology and globalisation, we have new challenges in the industry, opinions divided into generations with senior lawyers supporting the rule, whereas it has drawn significant criticism, for the rule being archaic.

 Elephant in the room 

The phrase ‘elephant in the room speaks of the underlying bigger problem which needs to be addressed. ‘Legal profession signifies representation, from all classes and communities, people come to lawyers with expecting solutions, the rule was based on the premise of ethical standards in the words of Advocate-on-Record Ms Sanchita Ain.  The people who come to a resolution are distressed and more subject to exploitation. Hence, it was for the greater good that advertising was not allowed, because it could mislead them and ethical standards would be compromised.

As she continues, “But, we need to move forward. The law was made in another century, currently, we are working in a modern era. So, we need to build measures as well. The involvement of social media in our lives has brought evolution to our perspectives.”

If we need to address this, we need to have a stronger mechanism to deal with this clause. There can’t be a blanket ban on solicitation of the practice of advocates or law firms. A first-generation lawyer will find it hard to start a law firm rather than one who comes from a legal background. It’s a known fact that word marketing has sustained generations. But, it will always be a hierarchal industry if we can’t build a space for new talent. Hence, rules need to be specific. 

She concludes, that if there are advertisements for law firms and advocate’s practices, an amount needs to be specified to be spent on those advertisements. The intention is to regulate the standards of the advertisement so that it’s not misused to mislead people. We need to evolve our mindset’s from saving for a daughter’s education and business, rather than for her marriage. 

In the current scenario, law firms opt for strategic marketing by addressing the problem, analysing the market and the use of social media to their advantage. But this majorly applies to law firms and lawyers who have the financial resources to opt for strategic marketing.

In the age of laws governing selfies and our freedom of expression, how do you think BCI should govern the rule about solicitation of services? With evolution at every doorstep of life, can a rule be the hurdle to growing in a profession?

Blog by Indian Lawyers Association

Pending Court Cases in India

American philosopher Jerome Frank very well said that “the courts belong to the citizens in a democracy and not to the lawyers and judges”. The Constitution of India guarantees social, political and economic justice to the denizens of the country; however, it is a matter of utter shame that even after 74 years of independence, there are most of the people, who are far behind the reach of the so-called Justice. There is a huge pendency of cases over 45 million across all the courts in India which tends to show the problem of inefficiency and intensity of flaws that our judicial system is facing. There are cases in India that are pending for more than 30 years. The time period between filing of a case and its disposal completes the life span of an aggrieved party. In fact, this is a common perception in India that civil cases pass from one generation to another as “hierarchy gift”. The story does not end here, when the judiciary fails to dispose of the pending cases promptly, the same leads to interference with the socio-economic development of the country and defeats the idea of providing expeditious and inexpensive justice to the needy.

“Speedy Trial” a Fundamental Right

Article 21 of the Constitution of India explicitly states that Speedy Trail is a fundamental right of life and personal liberty and no one can deny it. It is a right guaranteed for accused persons or prisoners to have their trials concluded swiftly. However, many factors impede the timely resolution of cases and, as a result, cases accumulate in the courts for years. Many under-trials die in prisons awaiting justice. It is the constitutional obligation of the Courts to provide speedy trial for the enforcement of fundamental rights of the accused by directing the state to take necessary steps of investigating, establishing new courts, appointing judges, and all different measures that can ensure the speedy trial in the judicial system.

Even the great judges of India like Hon’ble Mr. Justice Krishna Iyer observed earlier that “our justice system even in grave cases suffers the slow-motion syndrome which is lethal to the fail trail whatever the ultimate decision is. Speedy trail is a component of social justice as the community as a whole is concerned about the criminal being condignly and finally punished within the reasonable time and the innocent being absolved from the inordinate ordeal of criminal proceedings”. Similarly, Hon’ble Mr. Justice P. N. Bhagwati observed that “the state cannot avoid its constitutional obligation of providing speedy justice to the accused by pleading its financial or administrative inability”.

Causes of Pendency

  1. Inadequacies of judges: This is one of the most important reasons for the pendency of the cases in the Indian judicial system. Recently, the Government of India has increased the strength of judges in the Supreme court from 31 to 34. At the present time the working strength of the Supreme Court is 32 and there are two vacant places. However, the statistical data by Ministry of law and justice shows that there are 389 vacancies of judges in different High courts of India. The data of vacancies in district court is much higher touching approx. 5000 according to a newspaper report.
  2. Administrative and Infrastructural flaws in Courts: It is also one of the vital factors responsible for the arrears of cases. Most of the subordinate courts in India lack proper infrastructure. Poor infrastructure, lack of internet, computer system, and lack of skilled staffs contributes to the aforesaid problem. There are not even enough court rooms to occupy the judges in case if the new appointments are made.
  3. Insufficient number of Courts. The inadequacy in the number of subordinate courts is also a reason for the delay in the disposal of cases. With the advancement of technology and science the new type of crime called cybercrime has increased these days. Nevertheless the metropolitan cities are equipped with special courts with technically abled manpower but in the rural areas there is a lack of such courts.
  4. Abuse of Public Interest Litigation Mechanism: The High Courts and the Supreme Court have been flooded with Public Interest Litigation matters. The frivolous filing of PIL for publicity private interest and political rivalry amounts to its misuse. The Apex Court has shown its serious concern time to time in regard with the misuse of PIL.
  5. Burden of government cases: There is a bundle of cases in the courts where the government are responsible for the arrears of such cases. Statistics provided by Legal information management and briefing system (LIMBS) shows that the centre and the states are responsible for the 46% of the pending cases in India.
  6. Advancement in Socio-economic conditions of a common man: The socio-economic advancement and the increase in awareness of legal rights between the common man has led the people come out for their rights. The common man of the rural areas who were unaware about their legal rights including fundamental right didn’t approach courts for their rights. The Government institutions, NGO reached rural areas and make the people aware about their legal rights which led the increase in the number of cases in the district courts. However, the pathetic situations of the sub-divisional as well district courts remained the same.
  7. Frequent adjournments: The issue of unnecessary adjournments is a reason for the delay in case. The 77th law commission report reflects such issue. The workload on the police administration leads to the frequent adjournments in the cases.
  8. Delay in investigation: According to the provisions of code of criminal procedure the FIR is registered in the cognizable cases. Further, the Investigation officer investigates the cognizable offences. The trial of the case depends on the time Investigation officer takes to furnish the Investigation report (Charge sheet) before the magistrate. So the IO plays an important role in disposal of matters. The delay in the investigation or negligence behaviour amounts to the delay in the procedure.

Justice delayed is Justice denied

Pendency of cases in Indian Judicial System is a huge challenge. About 4.5 Crores cases are pending before all levels of judiciary- Supreme Court, High Courts and the Subordinate Courts which leads to a situation of “Justice Delayed is Justice Denied”.

Martin Luthur King Jr. had said that “Injustice anywhere is a threat to Justice everywhere” and the delay in the justice amounts to the denial of justice. The huge pendency of cases in our judicial system tends to provide the same as asserted above. Judiciary is the wing of the State and hence, if the proper working of judicial system comes under threat it is onus of the State to remove flaws of the mechanism so that timely Justice to every section of the society could not be hampered. There are different advisory bodies like Law Commission which provide suggestions time to time in order to fix the bugs created in the judicial system. The Government, Bar including Bench should also come up with proactive approach to deal with arrears of the cases so that the institutions can work smoothly accessing its aim on top threshold.

Blog by Indian Lawyers Association

Challenges faced by the first generation lawyers in india

The battle of becoming a successful lawyer that too whilst being a first-generation lawyer is not so easy, especially in a country like India. Making a sound career in law has never been an easy job, be it for a lawyer having a prior legal background or a first-generation lawyer, however, one cannot deny that the individuals born in law-related cultures and backgrounds are placed at much better place than a first-generation lawyer. The reasons for this are the archaic model of practicing law and the special treatment given to a person born with a golden spoon of legal background. A person being born in a law family is well adept with the fundamentals of law, has exposure in managing legal concerns, and has an indirect encounter of handling the clients. Being a lawyer in the family of lawyers or judges passes the skills that are required by a law student to master in their career, even clients also get passed on to the next generation. Usually, a lawyer with legal lineage gets the benefit of their family background, where they don’t have to build new connections or do much hard work as compared to the first-generation lawyer because they have good guidance from their family members.

On the other hand, first-generation lawyers have to build new connections in the legal world and they don’t have much networking skills or knowledge to adapt to the legal aura. They are also without guidance or negligible guidance. Inadequate information and legal connections are the main keys that every first-generation lawyer lacks. One of the most important aspects of the undertaking and specializing in legal matters for one should be making a connection by his own practice. These connections for a first-generation lawyer take years to come by or once in a while assembled gradually.

Another part of the viable battle for a first-generation lawyer happens within the courtroom. Having the son or daughter of a high-profile lawyer prior to responding to complex issues and portrayal in the courts has been a culture that many of us are familiar with. Without any difficulty, such lawyers mark their presence in the court and get the useful mastery of handling courtroom proceedings in some amazing cases and earn their name in the legal world. Such lawful portrayal since watched by a large number of legal associates, senior and junior individuals from the bar, such authentic advantage and handling of issues alluded through an age of a customer most likely lacking amongst the first-generation lawyers.

The recruitment obstacles for first-generation lawyers remain one of the most cumbersome procedures to survive in legal space. Writing from a personal experience, the process of hiring in several law firms requires a solid connection or a reference to get into an ideal post. Even, grasping the internship in the law school needs strong connectivity in the profession. Hence, the reality remains the same that there are some tedious and unending challenges for a first-generation lawyer to realize his/her dreams of pursuing law.

There are various challenges faced by First Generation Lawyers which are as follow:-

  1. Financial burdens that constrain first generation lawyer’s career choices: Those people who are financially strong can reach their goal by selecting passion able profession. Some cases are like they are financially strong but in case Lawyer profession is not their passion but some cases are like they are financially weak but Lawyer profession is their passion. Due to lack of finance or money, they are not able to select their path which leads them to away from success.
  1. No support from Family: This is the main problem faced by new generation lawyer as they feel isolated at work due no support from family member in their profession.
  1. Lack of Confidence: Confidence level which is from parental boost the Lawyer to reach their goal. But Lack of this confidence may make Lawyer to come forward in market. Because their confidence is zero. This is also a major problem of New Generation Lawyer.
  1. Economic disparities and differing educational, social or cultural backgrounds: First Generation Lawyers feel isolated or different who have backgrounds with economic disparities, different educational, social or cultural background, which may undermine their confidence.
  1. A Lack of Acculturation to expectations in a Professional setting: A Lack of acculturation which means lack of work experience from home is main problem faced by First Generation Lawyers. Lawyers with no Law background face this problem because they are not able to grab the knowledgeable things from home.
  1. Lack of Knowledge of Resources: Knowledge of Resources play a very vital role in New Generation Lawyers because in order to reach their goal, every Lawyer must have knowledge. Lack of Knowledge creates many obstacles toward the success of Lawyer. Every first-generation Lawyer must aware of current awareness what is going on around the world not in term of law but also economic, social and many more. A good Lawyer is one who has habit to read newspaper on daily basis just to increase their knowledge.
  1. Inside and Outside the firm: First Generation Lawyer face challenges inside and outside the firm. Like they have no knowledge or Experience to work inside the firm. Experience count in term of confidence, nature, patience level, way to behavior toward senior etc. so he may face this kind of problem in his/her routine life.
  1. Sense of insecurity: First Generation Lawyer have an amazing skill to become Lawyer. They are goal oriented but they belong to very poor family or they are from poor background where narrow minded people are living. In this case also there is sense of insecurity arise in first generation lawyer. They are not able to meet their expenses which are for education, after degree expenses incurred on application for licence, after licence, expenses incurred for set up of office in market. So, there is some insecurity which a new generation lawyer may face in his career.
  1. Family Mentality: First Generation Lawyer have to face this problem, as today is advance world. New technology adobted in every field. Which may lead toward mental mind of the people. If family mentality is not support new generation lawyer then this also leads to obstacles in life of mew generation lawyer. As we know, in today area, every person face family mentality problem as family thinking toward profession can never be changed which create problem in new generation lawyer.
  1. Family help in litigation or profession: Family help also pay more reliable for lawyer to reach at success. As we know lawyer have to work for late night so if there is help from family then new generation lawyer may feel relax from their issues. Family help in work or other make relaxation to new generation lawyer. This also an obstacle toward their path to reach at success.
    These are the problems which are being faced by New Generation Lawyer. 

So, from the aforesaid it is clear that the New Lawyer Generation is just like a body without backbone. As we all know there is a lot of struggle incurred to get a success for every professional. Like body without backbone cannot do anything in the same way without a strong backbone, without a strong support, no lawyer can build his career. In this Article I demonstrate my idea or view toward the problems faced by First Generation Lawyer, how first-generation lawyer face obstacles in his/her field or path toward success. Instead of these problems or obstacles, new generation lawyer has capability or confidence to beat these problems in order to reach at their goal. They must be practical not theoretical based.

     Blog by Indian Lawyers Association