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Maj. Gen. P. K. Sharma, is a director at Amity Law School, Gurgaon. He is adaptable, approachable, courteous and an active administrator. In past he was Judge Advocate General (Indian Army). He has also worked at Institute of Military Law, Kamptee, a category `A’ Establishment of Indian Army which imparts training in matters like maintenance of discipline and administration of justice to the Officers of three services, i.e. Army, Navy and Air Force as also to Para Military Forces. The Institute is one of its kind in whole of Asia to train the defence service officers in the military and allied laws.
He retired from the post of JAG after serving Indian Army for almost four decades. Presently he is leading Amity Law School, Gurgaon as the Director, today we are glad and proud to bring a small conversation with him.
Legal Bites: Will you like to throw some light on your family and what inspired you to take law?
Maj. Gen. Sharma: I come from a family of judges and lawyers, this trend was started by my great grandfather, he was a self made man who used to sit in-front of the post office writing postcards, filing money orders and assisting people in this manner and then as my father told me there was some examination for Advocates in which he appeared, qualified and then started practicing in the his highness Court, Bharatpur, Rajasthan.
My father completed his law from Agra then stepped into his grandfathers shoes after practicing for 3-4 months he started feeling frustrated and thought of taking up a job, then his grandfather insisted. For my father I can proudly say that he was one of the best civil lawyers, he practiced for more than five decades. And when he died he was the elected member of bar council of Rajasthan.
I have been a very happy go lucky type of person. I did my B.Sc. from Bharatpur and frankly I did law because I thought that if I cannot do anything then at least I have my fathers practice to take on and after completing ll.b. I joined in the first batch of diploma in labour law in my college in Bharatpur.
When the call for SSB for the Judge Advocate General Department appeared in the newspaper I said let my try this, I went for the written examination which was conducted by UPSC I not only cleared it I topped the exam then after in the training somehow I managed to the extent that amongst the JAG candidates I was 3rd in the training school at Madras and was top in academics. Then after I enjoyed 35 years of wonderful service in Judge Advocates General Department.
Legal Bites: Sir from serving as JAG to leading a law school, how was this transition?
Maj. Gen. Sharma: The army training and army life teaches you everything. I was fortunate that in the Army I was part of the raising team of The Institute of Military Law. I was the first officer to be posted there in the rank of a major and 5 officers along with me raised a category ‘A’ establishment which imparts training in matters like maintenance of discipline and administration of justice to the officers of three services, and also to paramilitary forces.
So in the Institute of Military Law I not only looked after the complete administration but I was also teaching six classes continuously in a day. It was because we were short of teacher and we had a motive to prove that we can establish a premier institute which we did. The Institute is one of its kind in whole of Asia to train the defense service officers in the military and allied laws. So it was a smooth transition for me.
Legal Bites: Now-a-days we find students, young advocates researching more from software based journals rather than reference books/manuals for primary research. Some lawyers argue their whole case directly from i-pads/tablets. How will you like to comment on the interdependence on technology?
Maj. Gen. Sharma: I firmly believe that we should not become slaves of technology. Personally speaking while e-research has made research easier and less time consuming, there is no substitute for reading the texts and reference books for purposes of comprehensive research. The feel of a law book in hand is itself an aid to the learning and reading of law. I rely on my own reading of the case laws and commentaries from real books and keep saying this to my students, but I have no quarrel with those who rely on software for research.
Legal Bites: Sir, your presence in the college as director has been so pleasing as you are very easily accessible unlike other administrators or sometimes teachers also. Why?
Maj. Gen. Sharma: I think I learnt this from my services in Army. The same access, my juniors had during my army day. Because I firmly believe that we must lead a happy team. A happy team is more productive than grumbling faces. Today you can learn from everybody. I am the director of Amity Law School but I am not law. The day I think I have reached the pinnacle that is the start of my decline. So I believe that we must have a dialogue – the line of communication must be open be it with faculty or student, the access is a must in order to be efficient.
Legal Bites: Sir, where do you see Amity Law School, Gurgaon in five years?
Maj. Gen. Sharma: Every institute every director if you ask this question will say that in five years I will be on top can I say beyond that. All I will say is we do not aspire to be anybody. We are bench-marking and growing with our own standards and quality parameters. Our main focus is on justice education and we look at legal education process as the process which ultimately strengthens the democratic values, the rule of law and access of justice. So we are not competing with anyone, we are rising to achieve our own goals.
Legal Bites: Sir, what message will you like to give do our readers?
Maj. Gen. Sharma: Whether it is law or any other profession your hard-work dedication and integrity have to be foremost. There is nothing you cannot achieve if you work for it. For tomorrow do not grumble today – all I will say is be a happy person.
Legal Bites: Thank you so much sir for your valuable comments and time. We wish you all the best in all your endeavors.