Dr. Bhagwan Gawali has done his Doctoral study from IIT Kharagpur. He has completed his Master in Laws from Symbiosis International University. He has also been a practicing lawyer in the District and Sessions Court, Pune before switching onto his career as a teacher. Presently, he is a faculty member in MM’s Shankarao Chavan Law College, Pune. He’s been in teaching profession since July 2006. He’s also the in charge of Cell for Human Rights Activity (CHRA) in the college, which is actively working for Human Rights awareness amongst students and members of weaker sections of society.
What gravitated you towards law? Was there any kind of encouragement? or, was it just an incidental decision.
No, It was not an incidental decision! From my childhood, I wanted to became law professional and my family members particular my sister and maternal uncle (mama, who himself is a lawyer) encouraged me not only for law degree but for higher study as well.
After graduation, you went for LL.M. When did you feel the need to do LL.M & what motivated you to select Criminal Law as your specialization.
When I started studying law, it came to my mind that I am more interested in Criminal and Constitutional law comparative to other subjects. We do not specialization in law at the degree level so I went for LL.M. specialized in Criminal law.
You were awarded Institute scholarship by IIT Kharagpur for four years. So tell us a bit about your experience at the IIT Kharagpur.
IIT Kharagpur is oldest and biggest IIT amongst all IITs in India. It has huge campus (around 2100 acres). It has many departments not only of technology but Humanities, Law, Management, Medical, Science and many more. It has world class facilities and very good environment for study. IITs are famous for quality research and I really enjoyed the multi disciplinary and liberal approach of it.
What do you feel about the Indian legal education system? Do you think that the BCI should intervene and implement a much practical oriented syllabus and improve it to an extent of upto the standards of foreign universities?
I think from last decade, the Indian Legal education is going towards quality professional education at par with any other professional education in India. Some Law schools are able to provide world class education. At the same time, we must accept that there is scope for improvement in syllabus and teaching particularly in area of clinical legal education. It is said that there is big difference between law in colleges and practice in Courts. To overcome this, we can adopt certain methods of teaching from Engineering and Medical education. The Bar Council of India, which is responsible for legal education in India needs to play important role for these changes.
Your doctoral research was based on CBI’s role of Investigation in the Administration of Criminal Justice. What made you select this topic? Your views on the research work?
When I was studying in LL.B. at that I came to know that the Criminal Justice System is most important instrumentality to punish the wrongdoer. But people are losing the faith on it because of many reasons. One of the most important aspects of that was failure of investigation agencies to come towards reasonable conclusion without fear or favour. Since CBI is our premier investigation agency and most criticized or relied by courts, politicians and society, I opted CBI for my research study.
You are a life member of Indian Society of Criminology as well as a Life member of Indian Society of Victimology. How has this helped you and in what ways?
Both these professional organizations are involved in quality research in their respective field. With my experiences, I can say that these organizations are having memberships from academicians, lawyers, Judges, civil societies etc. These bodied are able to give solutions to many problems which are faced by modern society through their annual conferences/seminars. These bodies are really encouraging the education and research in field of Criminology, Penology and Victimology. It helped me to understand the basic problems which are faced by our society, what are the probable solutions on that and how we can justify the solutions.
The college has recently done with the Justice P.B.Sawant National Moot Court Competition. How important do you find the student participation in the moot courts, and in terms with their CV?
Moot Court is most important co-curricular activity in law colleges. Participation in Moot Courts really helps the law students to learn advocacy skills i.e. drafting, pleading, research on particular law points and court etiquettes etc. The college organizes Justice P.B.Sawant National Moot Court Competition to give opportunity to our students to understand and learn these skills from best students of different law colleges/ schools from all over India.
Lastly, any words of enlightenment for those who wish to take up a career in teaching.
Teaching is considered as noble profession in our culture. We have good opportunities in research and teaching in India and there is bright future for those who are taking law teaching as career. The only condition is they need to work really hard to grab opportunities considering the quality competition in top colleges.