A book highlighting the significance of rule of law was recently released in the national capital. The book “Yes I’m Opinionated – Musings of a Lawyer on Governance, Law and Policy”, written by Satvik Varma, is divided into three broad heads – business & corporate governance, law & legislative affairs and trade & policy.
Published by Universal Law Publishing, the book covers pressing topics varying from gay rights, legitimising lobbying to regulating gaming; and from insider trading to holidays in the judiciary, juvenile justice to abortion laws, sedition to competition regulations, multi-brand retail to political advertising.
Almost all the pieces highlight the importance of the rule of law in the democratic landscape of India’s constitutional structure. There is also a recurring argument for the laws and policies to move with the times and work towards upholding the fundamental principles of justice.
Speaking to the Sunday Guardian, Varma said the book is an anthology of his writings on various topics, penned in the last 10 years. However, the emphasis is on rule of law – how is it important to do the right thing. He emphasized that the courts while pronouncing judgments, should keep in mind the impact of the decisions. “Law must keep pace with current scenario,” he added.
“For example, while banning diesel cars or firecrackers, the judiciary must weigh in the practicality of the decision. The court must balance conflicting interests. Like, it should see whether a particular decision may lead to people losing jobs,” he said.
On the issue of foreign law firms coming to India, he said he supports the idea as it will help improve the legal services in the country. “We have the competence and therefore we can compete with foreign law firms,” he said. The lawyer said rule of law does exist in India, though sometimes courts get carried away on certain issues.
The event was attended by senior advocates like Soli Sorabjee, Ashok Desai, Maninder Singh, besides others. On this occasion, a panel discussion was organized on the topic “Current State of Rule of Law in India”, which was participated by Salman Khurshid, Ranjit Kumar, Madhvi Diwan and Shardul S. Shroff.
Satvik Varma is a litigation counsel and corporate attorney and founder of Independent Law Chambers. His practice focuses primarily on corporate/commercial litigation, shareholder and company disputes, breach of contract and specific performance disputes etc.