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Report No. 14

The Bar

The opinion expressed in the Draft Report about the degeneration of the Bar at the present moment may or may not be correct. But it would be surprising for a young man of today to learn that 40 or 50 years ago, almost the same complaints were heard made by aged and aging lawyers of the deficiencies of the new entrants. My own experience of the 50 years of practice is that the practitioners in the Calcutta High Court have definitely improved both in the depth and breadth of their knowledge and their way of presenting the cases. I have come into contact with great names in the past and have seen them in actual practice.

But it was only a handful of those great men who could give many points to the really bright youngsters of today. They have learnt the law from more extensive reading and are capable of finding out a law from a wider circle of books and their presentation of cases are definitely superior to that of the Vakil of the past, men including some men who attained to a large practice and reputation. Of course there were brilliant men who were specially distinguished. But their names can be counted on the fingers. The average run of Advocates or Vakils of the past were definitely inferior both in their grounding in law and their mode of presentation of cases.

The opinions which have been given on the average run of Advocates, as compared with those of the past, are mere opinions of the authors and could be matched by similar opinions given about different classes of men advanced by aged or aging men who start with a prejudice in favour of the past. There is no real objective standard by which the truth of these statements can be judged, and in assessing the value of such opinion we may make some deductions on account of the natural predilection of an aging man for remote past.

But having been in practice of the High Court for over half a century and also a teacher of Law during the large part of that period, I hope I may be allowed to claim that my opinions based on my experience are worthy of some more consideration than others who cannot claim similar experiences.

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