The day people stop treating Transgender people with disgrace, implementation of laws won’t be a problem at all because then people will start believing in laws relating to them.

–  Hon’ble Justice Mr. A.Y. Kogje

About Transgenders –

Sir, it was an absolute honour to have you judge our National Moot Competition where the topic revolved around a sensitive issue of the rights of Transgenders. Can we please know your view about the moot problem?

The moot problem according to me was a very relevant one. It was framed keeping in mind the angle of a student rather than a lawyer. Hence, when it was worded, it was worded in a simplistic language where a student or a layman can also understand the problem.

The society is always moving, it is never stagnant and therefore, the law also must be as dynamic as the society. This is one dynamic face of the law, which the framers of the moot problem have tried to engulf. It was a good and debatable topic.

The student’s research and presentation did speak a lot and perhaps if I was given this moot problem, it would have been difficult to argue. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to witness such hardworking, intelligent, and smart students argue on a sensitive and relevant issue like this. Since I was the judge of this competition, it was extremely difficult to not express my opinions about this topic.

Since our moot problem spoke about Transgender rights, how long do you think will it take for our country to understand and accept the rights of Transgender people?

Firstly, it depends upon the social acceptability of the problem. Many laws have been framed to protect their interests, but it takes time before an effective implementation is made and this issue is more of a social issue than a legal problem issue. The day that people stop treating Transgender people with disgrace, implementation of laws won’t be a problem at all because then people will start believing in laws relating to them.

Views on an irreversible coma –

In a recent judgment passed by the Supreme Court, passive euthanasia has been given a legal sanction permitting ‘living will’ by patients on withdrawing medical support if they slip into an irreversible coma. What are your views on that?

The judgment ran through 586 pages (laughs). I did try to get a print of that. The Supreme Court appears to have expanded the definition of ‘right to life’ and it has included the ‘right to life with dignity’ which appears to be the social relevance of the judgment. I firmly believe that the Apex Court must have measured all the parameters and then come to an informed decision.

Advice to young lawyers – 

Sir, what would be your piece of advice for our young budding lawyers?

I just want to wish all the students all the very best. They must realize that they are in a very sensitive, sensible, and important profession. Law is not a business, but a profession. You must abide by and follow the thumb rules of a profession. Our profession is known as a noble profession and so, all the students should keep that in mind and strive to keep it as noble as possible.

Can you please share with us any special or distinct memory that you have of studying in our college?

This college has given me so many valuable memories that it is so difficult to share only one from them. I remember we had a small study circle that we used to run where we used to meet 15-20 minutes before the college timings and we used to get together and discuss about the course. We had students who were not only from Gujarat, but from all over the country as well as the world. It was enriching to understand each other’s perspectives.

We were also extremely close to our teachers. I have fond memories with S.N. Parikh Saheb, Punekar Saheb, Naik Saheb, J.C. Rathod Saheb and Atul Mehta Saheb. Though Atul Mehta Saheb was our teacher, he used to treat us like we were his younger brothers. Whenever we used to participate in moot courts, he used to give us full liberty to use his office. He used to trust us with his office even when he went to the Court. I actually have a small confession to make also.

He used to have a speakerphone in his office and in those days speakerphones were relatively newer, so I always used to meddle with them out of curiosity. He was a sharp man, I’m sure he would know about all my mischiefs (laughs). I beg his pardon for that.

Also, our campus in those days was not so huge so there was a lot of intimacy. Interaction between students was very frequent. I remember how some students were also very elder to us. They were already working in some other profession. Interaction with them was also very informative.  All of us are deeply obliged to one Mr. Jaabwala whose questionnaires were like bible to us for passing the exams.