The national rounds of the fourteenth Commonwealth Moot Court Competition (For India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka) – 2014 were conducted by the Chanakya National Law University, Patna in association with the Commonwealth Legal Education Association (CLEA). The competition was organised over a span of three days commencing from the 14th of November, 2014 and saw the participation of thirty-two premier legal institutions from across the length and breadth of India. The first day was devoted to the completion of registration related formalities followed by draw of lots, exchange of memorials and a briefing session about the moot problem as well as the rules of the competition. Hon’ble Justice Dr. Arijit Pasayat, Former Judge Supreme Court of India & Chairperson, Competition Appellate Tribunal; Hon’ble Justice Dr. B. S. Chauhan, Former Judge, Supreme Court of India; Hon’ble Mr. Justice Shivakirti Singh, Judge, Supreme Court of India; Prof. A Lakshminath, Hon’ble V. C, Chanakya National Law University; Prof. S. Sivakumar President, CLEA Asia-India and Mr.Vikram Arya, Secretary, CLEA (Asia-India) attended the inaugural ceremony.
The oral rounds of the competition began on the 15th December, 2014. The first stage of the competition comprised of two preliminary rounds of two slots each where each team was given the opportunity to argue from the side of the plaintiff as well as the defendant. The preliminary rounds of the competition were followed by the quarter-final round. Based on the average of the aggregate scores of the two preliminary rounds (orals) and the memorial scores, a total of eight teams were shortlisted and were declared as having qualified to the quarter-final stage of the competition.
The side for which each team would be arguing for in the quarter-final round was decided by a draw of lots. The top four scorers of the quarter-final round (orals only) advanced to the semi-final stage of the competitionwith the side for which each team would be arguing for being decided by a draw of lots. The list of teams that made it to the penultimate stage of the competition is as follows: National Law Institute University, Bhopal; National Law School of India University, Bengaluru; Bangalore Institute of Legal Studies, Bengaluru and West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata.
The preliminary and quarter-final rounds of the completion were judged by panels of practising advocates and other legal professionals whereas in the semi-final stage distinguished senior advocates of the High Courts and Supreme Court, a standing counsel, a law secretary as well as a sitting district Judge of the Patna District Court composed the Bench. The final stage of the competition was a battle between the top two scorers of the semi-final round (orals only) with the side for which each team would be arguing for again being decided by a draw of lots. The teams qualifying for the final round were National Law Institute University, Bhopal and National Law School of India University, Bengaluru. The adjudication panel for the final round of the comprised of three sitting judges of the High Court of the Judicature at Patna, namely, Hon’ble Mr. Justice Navaniti Prasad Singh, Hon’ble Mr. Justice Ramesh Kumar Datta and Hon’ble Mr. Justice Ajay Kumar Tripathi along with distinguished advocates of the Supreme Court of India, namely Mr. P. George Giri (Advocate-on-Record) and Adv .SudeepVijayan.
The valedictory ceremony was presided over by the Hon’ble Justice (Ms.) Rekha Manharlal Doshit, Chief Justice of the High Court of Judicature at Patna and Chancellor, Chanakya National Law University, Patna. Shri.P.K.Shahi, Hon’ble Minister, Forest & Environment, Planning & Development. Dr. S.P. Singh, Registrar, Chanakya National Law University, Patna proposed vote of thanks. Govt. of Bihar, Patna was the chief guest. The Winners of the competition are:
1. Winner – National Law Institute University, Bhopal (Aparna Raturi, Praharsh Johorey and Nayan Jain)
2. Runner Up – National Law School of India University, Bengaluru
3. Best Team – National Law School of India University, Bengaluru
4. Best Memorial – National Law University, Delhi
5. Second Best Memorial – National Law School of India University, Bengaluru
6. Best Advocate – Ms. Aparna Raturi (National Law Institute University, Bhopal)
7. Best Lady Advocate – Ms. Aparna Raturi (National Law Institute University, Bhopal)
The moot court competition was really a major success under the abled leadership and guidance of Prof. (Dr.) S. Sivkumar, Executive Member, CLEA and President CLEA (Asia-India).
Report by Dr. Lisa P. Lukose
CLEA (Asia-India) Mooting Co-ordinator