In conversation with the In house counsel of Samsung.
You started your journey as a judge of the lower judiciary in the state of Gujarat. Why did you choose judiciary after law school and what made you change your mind to join the corporate world? Ans: I started my professional career as an Associate Advocate with a legal firm in north-west Delhi and handled matters in High Court, District courts and consumer forums for two years before joining judiciary. As a fresher the eagerness to attempt judicial examinations engulfed me too along with many l.l.b graduates. Gujarat Judicial examination was my second attempt after Haryana Judicial exams in the same year.
I always wanted to be a legal professional but away from traditional legal structure. So, in order to do something different I attempted judicial examinations for Haryana and Gujarat and cleared the Gujarat one. After serving as a Civil Judge cum Judicial Magistrate First Class for three years the urge to move forward and to do something as per the changing dynamics of our economy made me change my mind. Hence, I resigned as a Judge and entered the corporate world as Legal Head at One MobiKwik Systems Pvt. Ltd.
How was your experience as a judge? Any interesting incidences that you would like to share with our readers?
Ans. I loved working as a Judge. I thoroughly enjoyed accomplishing the administrative as well as judicial responsibilities as per the required standards. There are many instances that changed the limits of horizon that one is used to view on daily basis. Whether it was presiding over a legal literacy camp and meeting orphans and explaining them their constitutional right to education or attending the working sessions of forensic labs for detection of crimes or witnessing a live post mortem or meeting law students in a moot court competition, every day bought a new sphere of experiences.
How is your typical day like as an in-house counsel at Samsung?
Ans. In my current role I have to go through litigations and notices pertaining to indirect taxation. Indirect tax includes VAT, Service tax, Ad- tax and now the upcoming GST. Attending GST related discussions with various verticals of the company and auditors is also a part of my work.
After demonetisation, there has been a surge in the use of electronic wallets. Is the present legal framework sufficient for the future 'cashless economy'?
Ans. I have worked with the nation’s leading mobile wallet operator. Demonetisation has resulted in public adopting cashless methods for payments. It’s easy and convenient to use cashless methods of payments. The legal framework is required to be amended as per the results aimed at. A stricter criminal law is required along with the IT Act containing provisions as per the Indian societal framework.
As per NCRB, 60% of cyber crimes were committed by persons under the age of 30 in 2015. Apart from stricter laws, what other things can be done to curb the menace of cyber crimes?
Ans. Every new practice or rule not only provides convenience but also brings in the number of opportunities for the miscreants. If knowledge can be applied for the benefit of the society similarly it can be applied to perform anti-social activities too. Our youth is well capable of not only understanding technology but holds excellence in mastering it. Unrealistic dreams, lifestyle, easy money and addiction to psychotropic substances have driven the youth towards such crimes.
Apart from laws, awareness and sensitization of the internet user is the first and foremost thing. For example, in majority of fraud cases it has come to fore front that people holding debit/credit cards divulge their confidential details over the call to unknown caller and then they lose their money to the fraudster. Then the police machinery must be trained effectively to tackle such complaints. I have seen cases where the user has divulged his/her confidential details to the unknown person and FIR is registered against the company or the service provider where the fraudulently gained money is spent by the fraudster and not against the actual fraudster. Then the corporations, companies and banks which are required to install proper fire walls in their tech systems and must have fraud detection teams constantly monitoring the flow of the transactions. At last the family and education system must be such that inculcates basic humanitarian values in our upcoming generations.
Apart from knowledge of laws and their application, which other qualities in your experience, a law student should have to succeed in the legal career?
Ans. Study of law or obtaining legal degree might appear to be too theoretical and restrictive but it is not so. Law is the most dynamic field of study in the present era. It is evident from the fact that on one hand it aims to protect tangible properties and on the other hand the intangible ones too. Businesses are moving from paper contracts to e-contracts and the biggest tax reform is at our doorstep.
Apart from hard work a law student must be open to changes. Adaptation must be a characteristic feature of a successful legal professional. The zeal to learn must not stop after obtaining the law degree. Masters and Specialized courses must not be pursued for adding length to the CVs but in order to form a chain of milestones leading to the ultimate destination i.e. success.