Advocate Mahesh Vaswani is a activist lawyer campaigning for AUDIO – VIDEO recordings of all Judicial proceedings in Courts. Acting Chief Justice Hemant Gokhale and Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar of Bombay High Court had during their tenure felicitated and honored Mahesh with Certificates for legal aid projects involving sitting judges of Bombay High Court and rural poor and the slum dwellers of Mumbai. Mahesh practices and specialises in Criminal law in Sessions and High Court at Mumbai and also appear in Supreme Court as well. Mahesh is currently contesting, for the elections at AAWI (Advocates Association for Western India).
The Analyst World (TAW) : What is your primary intention behind contesting the AAWI Elections? Would you reason out the same.
Mahesh Vaswani (MV) : My primary intention behind contesting the AAWI is to improve the working conditions of lawyers and help lawyers benefit from developing law.
TAW : Can you Please elaborate about the steps which you would take to improve the working conditions of Lawyers, citing some specific issues and proposed solutions for a clearer understanding.
MW : Lawyers at trial Courts would be better functioning if mic is provided to the presiding officers during trials. Also lawyers have to work in most inhuman and harsh conditions in crowded courts during summer. In districts Vasai, Panvel and Alibaug and rural Maharashtra, lights go off in middle of proceedings. But proceedings go on… imagine how. Also there is rampant pilfering and theft of court records. These must be made more secure. And of course conference areas with clients for all lawyers in all courts. Also hygienic toilets for women at least needed. So also for male lawyers and public in all courts. Even Mumbai HC toilets are unhygienic.
TAW : What in your opinion are the prime problems faced by Lawyers in the present Legal System? How would you make any difference as compared to other contestants?
MW : The primary problems of lawyers today is they do not have full access to latest developing law in Supreme Court or High Courts, and also they have severe office space issues. Often there is issue of decorum, dignity and administrative problems faced by lawyers and these have no remedies as no one is willing to take up such issues meaningfully with the competent authorities.
TAW : How an elected Candidate of AAWI can solve the problem of Office Space for Lawyers, especially considering the limited infrastructure of the Bombay High Court and Space Crunch in and around Fort Area.
MW : Taking up an issue through organization without being a yes man to powered that be gets you meaningful results.
TAW : We have seen that you along with many other lawyers at Bombay High Court are consistently advocating the audio-video recording in Courts. What is the necessity of such recording, what difference would it make in Judicial System?
MW : HC is a court of records, lawyers are sometime having grievances that they are not being given proper hearings, sometimes there are lawyers of other sides who seek frivolous adjournments, sometimes the advocates feel that they are not treated with dignity by the presiding officers, or there are administrative issues of matters not being listed in chronological order, or may be despite circulation being granted, matters do not get listed. All these grievances will be easy to rectify or deal with if audio video recordings of all Courts from the High Court itself to lower courts is done and kept for administrative use of the High Court itself.
TAW : Why do you think there is opposition from Judiciary in installing Cameras for the recording of the proceedings.
MW : Since 2008, SC has rejected all PILs and Petitions making comments which do not make it justified for such rejections.
TAW : Would you like to give any message to the fraternity?
MW : Judiciary is one of the main pillars of democracy, and we as lawyers who are the officers of the Court also must ensure that the respect for the Bench in all Courts must be supreme, unconditional and absolute. Also lawyers must spend more time in reading latest judgments of the Supreme Court and High Courts, as knowledge of latest developing law in India, is a sure path to success.
TAW : Would you like to give message to the fraternity in view of the coming elections.
MW : All lawyers deserve to be heard fairly, equally and with dignity so elect me as committee member of AAWI on 16/10/2015.
- Thank You.