Order Order!! The 5th National Moot Court Competition was a star-struck affair at IIT Kharagpur

Rajiv Gandhi School of Intellectual Property Law (RGSoPIL) of IIT Kharagpur conducted the 5th National Moot Court Competition from 29th to 31st March, 2024. The inaugural ceremony witnessed the presence of eminent law practitioners including Hon’ble Justice Mr. I P Mukherjee, Judge, Calcutta High Court who was the Chief Guest of the programme along with Prof. (Dr.) Dilip Ukey, VC, MNLU, Mumbai, the Guest of Honour. Prof. Dipa Dube and Dr. Shreya Matilal RGSoPIL were the convenors of the programme.

IIT Kharagpur has been organizing the National Moot Court Competition (NMCC) with great enthusiasm. Through its rigorous and engaging format, NMCC continues to serve as a beacon of legal excellence, fostering the growth of future legal professionals in India. NMCC is an event that focuses on numerous areas of law. This brings for law students an excellent opportunity to hone their advocacy skills, test their knowledge of law, and engage in constructive legal interaction and discourse. NMCC follows a format typical of moot court competitions, where participants are required to prepare written memorials and present oral arguments. The competition includes various rounds, including preliminary rounds, quarter-finals, semi-finals, and the final. A distinguished panel of judges, comprising legal experts and practitioners evaluates the performance of the participating teams.

The valedictory session of the Moot Court saw a footfall of Hon’ble Justice Sanjay Karol, Judge, Supreme Court of India who was the Chief Guest of the program and Guests of Honour Justice Sampa Sarkar, Judge, High Court at Calcutta; Justice Tirthankar Ghosh, Judge, High Court, Calcutta and Justice Mriganga Shekhar Sahu, Judge, High Court at Orissa in the presence of Prof. V K Tewari, Director, IIT Kharagpur. The dignitaries lit up the lamp to celebrate the indomitable spirit of legal scholarship and advocacy that has been on display throughout its duration that is echoing the halls of the school after over half a decade. Over the past two decades, the institute has witnessed the extraordinary talent, dedication and passion of the participants as they grapple with complex legal issues, presented complex legal arguments and are engaged in spirited debates.

“Today marks the culmination of the days filled with intense competitions, spirited debates and invaluable learning experiences throughout the last two days. We have witnessed the remarkable talents, dedication and passion exhibited by the participating teams from various corners of the country. Your commitment to the excellence and pursuit of legal knowledge have truly being commendable and it is a testament to your unwavering determination and hardwork. Once again I extend my warmest welcome to each and every one of you to this valedictory session, may it be a memorable and inspiring conclusion to what has been a truly remarkable journey of learning, growth and camaraderie,” said Prof. Dipa Dube, Dean, Rajiv Gandhi School of Intellectual Property Law (RGSoIPL).

While welcoming the Chief Guest and Guests of Honour, Prof. V K Tewari, Director, IIT Kharagpur, remarked, “I am delighted to be here in the presence of the members of the highest justice imparting bodies of this nation especially Supreme Court Judge, Hon’ble Sanjay Karol ji. We are humbled that he accepted our invitation. Today IITians are every where around the world and we would like the participating judges to give lectures in their domain area of expertise. Even the case studies which you will discuss will be very good for our students and faculty members because that is an invariable experience you have while judging the cases of different types and I think the amount of psychology and human face that you keep in taking those decisions is marvelous. We need such personalities like you to come and encourage the students and the faculties at IIT Kharagpur. Lectures from these stalwarts will be an asset to the students that will impart professional insights which the students won’t get from just the books. After meeting some of the advocates, I can tell you students, that they actually read large number of books, more than we can imagine. As far as IIT Kharagpur is concerned, we are the first IIT of the world, started at 1951. It has the maximum number of departments, schools and centres as an higher education institution with Department of Agriculture, Mining, Architecture etc. Vinod Gupta School of Management was the first school in the which has the name upon an Alumni Donar of an institute. We also have a holistic approach to study curriculum with Academy of Classical and Folk Arts, School of Happiness, School for Leadership etc. All the works that IIT Kharagpur has done till now are in lines with the G-20 declaration. Whether you talk about disaster management, rare earth metals, innovation, AI, technology management etc., we have these kind of expertise here at IIT Kharagpur which we are proud of. MOOT Court is a great opportunity for the students to express their point of view in an open platform infront of others and should be indulged more often in terms of growing and networking among the teams that participated. We would definitely want our Alumni to be the judges of the Supreme Court in the near future. The spirit of participation should always be encouraged in these competition.”

While addressing the Moot Court Competition, Hon’ble Judge Sampa Sarkar, High Court at Calcutta, said “Thank you for this honour, because I knew that I would never clear IIT JEE entrance exam to set my foot here at IIT. Atleast you have made an opportunity for me to come here, which is a great privilege. I would like to ask Sir that do we have to pass the JEE exam to get into the faculty of school of happiness because learning how to be happy is a crucial question. Often we try to introspect that and try to develop it within ourselves to a point where we can learn to be happy. But if you are taught to be happy, it gets easier. Coming back to the Moot Court, it was one of the toughest MOOT proposition I have ever came across. I would like to congratulate all the students who could comprehend to start a research on this MOOT topic. It was a great effort, great MOOTING, interjections are only their to make you more ready and help you to think on your legs which we are at times supposed to do. Mooting is like making a product rightable. Its an idea, an expression, your skill that you develop and place as the finished product. It is the same way a lawyer places a case, its labour, skill, expression and delivering. Mooting has its own advantages, it helps you to express yourself better and helps you to research better on legal topics because you have to as a lawyer research and you have to be ready with what kind of questions the bench proposes which you will have to answer at that stage. You cannot fumble, you cannot avoid the question because that can go against you. First and most importantly it helps the spirit of team building. Every profession as a lawyer or even judges, team building and team spirit is very important because that it how you improve and learn and you can be a better version of yourself when you learn from others. We have been to very basic institutions but you have been very lucky to have this opportunity to come to an institution which has great infrastructure, use of AI, all these things are really a progress.”

On the same lines Justice Tirthankar Ghosh, High Court Judge of Calcutta remarked, “Things have changed so far as the curriculum of law is concerned. Of late, this Moot court mediation, arbitration going on in the law schools were never there when we were in college. In our days Moot court was something, where you were given a particular case law which you have to mug up and the best you could produce in front of the professor was how you were given a number. This competition and fighting or debating amongst two teams or two individuals were never there with our curriculum. It was just a basic way of introducing how you can open your mouth before a set of people. This total concept has changed now. Visiting institutes I find now, the biggest challenge is that how many of these students passing out will come to the litigating sector, this is also a challenge. Persons passing out of these institutions mostly joins the multinationals, so dearth in the BAR Council continues. The topic was definitely good today, it was a challenging topic, may not be a subject that we as professionals are associated with, but the question is the subject which India as a whole honours. Those who have presented, have presented to the best of their abilities. Don’t be hurt with whatever the outcome is, this is the starting of a life. All of you have long way to go. These topics are for the multi-nationals, come to the basic topics of life. You should also have topics where you all must argue on all the subjects, the easy maintenance cases which you start with. If you start a professional career, you will find a destitute lady coming to you with a brief who has been deserted by her husband and often don’t get assistance from the legal aid. Legal aid is again a sector where we invite the newcomers to join and start because litigation is a sector which you will continue to be in these kind of ligitaions through out your career but those would give you exposure in only the litigation sectors. All subjects are taught in here but as it has been said the curriculum includes something where you have an expressed intensity of these IPR laws which are over here. These are laws of the multinationals but you should also think on topics which the commoners have and touch the grassroot level of this country. One day when you are successful, you have got to think about the commoners, the citizens of this country. I wish all of you a bright career and better life ahead.”

Guest of Honour Justice Mruganka Sekhar Sahoo, Judge High Court of Orissa,commented, “My learning from this MOOT court is that no one is a loser. It is indeed a privilege to enter into the hallowed pristine of this august institution. Though I have not cleared JEE but I came here for the first time in 1999 when my younger brother got through JEE. I would like to state what my other seniors have stated that this is the height of multi-tasking. While arguing, you have to hear the other side, you have to hear the judge and be on your legs. You have to develop a point, that is a charm of being a student of law. I still have my notes from the teaching of my professors even after 25 years  of career span and being a Judge. It is a process, it can be a thousand steps, a ten thousand steps as the Director said. I wish all the best to all the students and congratulate the entire team for the warm hospitality and the students for the interesting MOOT court problem and as suggested by my earlier speaker that never forget about the problem faced by a common man as the people look up to the courts to give solutions to all their problems. Problems like divorces which might not have a strict legal solution but still people have a hope, hope to get justice so I once again thank you all for this privilege.”

Chief Guest Supreme Court Judge Sanjay Karol gave his valedictory address and said, “I must pay homage to martyrs and the freedom fighters who were imprisoned here in this hijli prison. A visit to this place only reminded me of my childhood days in Shimla. I must also thank you to be a part of the process of great learning because education is something that is continuous till the last breathe. Coming here, I learnt that this great institution is not only of National Importance but also of Eminence. I am sure that the students who pass out of this institution or get exposed to this institution would excel in their lives in every aspect of the matter. At the outset, I thank this great institution for inviting me for the 5th year of this Moot Court. This is a testament as to how law has acquiesced as an exponential growth in India. Today, you are very fortunate through the process of these Moot court competition, you learn at least one thing that life is not only about talking, thinking and speaking on your legs, it is also understanding when not to speak. Life is also about making out a difference between respect for law and fear of law. I would like to highlight the interplay between the rule of law, the economic development and the role of the judiciary especially the judges and the lawyers. Some of you inspired with the experiences as the part of this MOOT may seek out careers in and around many intersections of intellectual property laws. The opportunities are many fold right from in-house council in these multinational conglomerates, government agencies, independent council and private institutions including teaching. Intellectual property rights and IPR as we commonly say serve as a common stone, creativity and economic growth in this 21st century. From patents to copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets, IPR encompasses a diverse way of legal mechanism designed to protect intangible assets and foster conducive environment for innovation and creativity. Strong intellectual property rights, laws served as a catalyst for economic growth by incentivising innovation fostering creativity and promoting investment in research and development. When individuals and businessmen have confidence that their intellectual property will be protected and rewarded, they are more likely to invest time, resources and expertise in developing new technology product and service. By encouraging a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship strong IPR laws stimulate competitive drive productivity gains and fuel economic growth in both develop and developing machines and economies, moreover effective enforcement of IPR laws ensures level playing field for businesses, prevents unfair competition and enhances consumer confidence in the market place.

“It is not imperative for me to delve into the statutory regime of the IPR laws in India and its dynamic nature also has the institutionalized international regime, as we know what WTO trips and that is the change in the economic and world scenario shifting liberalization in India and opening up a world economy. We saw we were rushed to protect and preserve what was our culture and heritage and ultimately we succeeded in protecting the trademark, the patents and the copyright be it a Basmati, Tulsi or Haldi among others. In the last three days you have delve into the intricacies of intellectual property law during this MOOT. The effective protection enforcement of these rights hinge upon a robust legal framework rooted in the principals of rule of law. It is something which is enshrined in the very core of our constitution, protection and promotion of core human rights and has been the focus of both the preamble Part III, Part IV, Part IV A of the constitution. Our constitutional forefathers have foreseen the role of judiciary in securing the rights of all kinds including the economic growth of the people of India. This has brought in the preamble of the constitution which says that the people of India having resolve to secure justice, social, economic and political for all its citizens. Judicial independence is of absolute importance. The 40 crore people in the country must have this confidence and resolve in their mind that they can come forward and seek justice which is not only a satisfaction but justice which is secured by the means of just, fair and proper. A robust and independent court with integrity is one of the reasons for it to be known as the third pillar of the Indian democracy. Every judge be it at whatever level and also every member of the BAR along with the law students have lot to contribute in this field and aspect of independence of judiciary. You cannot be a mute spectator, you have to voice your feelings, your thought and speech within the frame of Part III of the constitution. Rule of Law is intrinsically linked with economic development and in every thriving economy, the rule of law serves as a bedrock upon which all other structures are built. It ensures predictability, stability and fairness creating an environment conducive to economic growth and investment. Economic development which is directly correlated with the achievement of the principals initiated in the constitution, indicates not only the development of an individual, but development of a nation. Every 140 crore Indian must be benefited of this economic growth which is to happen in India,” he added.

Listen to the full speech by clicking the link below:

Ms. Konkona Banerjee from Amity University Kolkata has been adjudged as the Best Researcher of the 5th Moot Court Competition at IIT Kharagpur.  The Best Memorial was adjudged to Ms. Muskan Verma, Ms. Raashi and Mr. Aditya from the University Institute of Legal Studies Punjab University Chandigarh and the Best Speaker Prelims was given Mr. Nikhil Kumar Mishra from Lyod Law College, Greater Noida for the preliminary rounds. For the Best Speaker Final, it was adjudged to Mr. K Swaminathan from School of Law, Shastri University. The runners up of the 5th Moot Court Competition at IIT Kharagpur was the University Institute of Legal Studies from Punjab University comprising of Ms. Muskan Verma, Ms. Raashi and Mr. Aditya. The winners trophy was awarded to the School of Law, Sastra University of Tamil Nadu comprising of Mr. Hariharan, Jerin Mathew and K. Swaminathan. The prize money have been sponsored by Agarwal Atol headed by our Alumnus Mr. Pranav Agarwal and Technology Council Foundation. Prof. Uday Shankar gave the the vote of thanks to conclude the programme.

Established in 2006, the Rajiv Gandhi School of Intellectual Property Law (RGSOIPL) is unique within the IIT system for its focus on technology and law. It offers LL.B. program with an emphasis on Intellectual Property Law, and also LLM and PhD programs in Law. The faculty is multidisciplinary and engaged in various research projects, while the curriculum is global. Practical training is offered through workshops and clinical courses, and students have excelled in competitions and conferences. RGSOIPL alumni work in diverse sectors, from industry to academia.



Edited By: Poulami Mondal, Digital & Creative Media Executive (Creative Writer)
Email: poulami.mondal@iitkgp.ac.in, media@iitkgp.ac.in, Ph. No.: +91-3222-282007

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By Poulami Mondal

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