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If you try to build a reputation as being upright, people also respect it: Senior Advocate Aditya Sondhi [Part II]

AS: It’s not difficult. In the discharge of my functions as the Additional AG, I hardly ever felt interference from the government. There were a couple of sharp cases that I had to call out privately of course. This also ties up with your other question, that if you try to build a reputation as being upright, people also respect it. I think it’s a tough pill but a good pill to swallow, because people then begin to take you seriously also. They may leave you alone. They begin to understand that you are beyond influence or pressure.

What is our position in court ultimately? It’s to argue a position of the law, to be fair to the court. Whether I’m for the government or a private party as a senior, I am an officer of the court. It’s slightly more difficult when you’re with the government, as some positions are indefensible.

But that said, courts also look to you for your fairness, and that’s where you also become creative with your arguments. Nothing is black and white in the law; if you have latitude to argue legally, by all means, do it. To be honest, I didn’t find that task difficult.

There were many cases that I had to tell the officers who had come to see me that something was not kosher. And I would say, to their credit, when the court asked them to have a relook at it, in many cases they would. Frankly, from my experience, except for the cases which are politically sensitive, where a line is drawn and it’s all or nothing, in a lot of government litigation which involves policy, executive orders, challenges to legislation etc, I have found the officers to be reasonably flexible. This means that from revising cases to even accepting some orders of the court, I found it to be refreshingly straight and fair.

Source: Barandbench

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