My name is Rakshitt C Bajpai, I’m a 2nd Year student at Dr Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University, Lucknow. My team comprised of Hariank Gupta and Utkarsh Gupta, both of them are my batchmates. Hariank and I were the speakers, Utkarsh was our researcher. We emerged as Runner Up in 6th Auro National Moot Court Competition 2020.
What inspire you to moot and what was the reason behind choosing the concerned moot?
Since my school days I’ve been involved in activities like MUNs and debates. However, as far as mooting is concerned, I want to try my hand in moots as well for a new experience. As far as selecting 6th Auro National Moot Court Competition 2020 is concerned, it was my 2nd claim. Since all three of us have been involved in some previous research work as well, we wanted to participate in a moot as a team. That’s why we selected this moot. Apart from this, the issues involved in the moot problem were very dynamic which persuaded us to pursue this moot.
Tell us about the brief of moot problem and issue involved?
Our moot problem revolved around emerging topics like laws related to Artificial Intelligence, Data Protection Act and the Information Technology Act. Also, there were issues in our moot problem pertaining to Consumer Protection Act and the Motor Vehicles Act. Talking about the facts in a brief manner, our case involved an accident of a fully autonomous vehicle, there were multiple sub-issues involved in the case like sale of customer data, legitimacy of click-wrap agreements, etc.
Tell us about your preparation?-(how many hours do you gave in it, etc.; class-moot balance)
The efforts and hard-work put in by my team was commendable. Before our memorial submission, there were multiple occasions where I wasn’t able to devote my time towards this moot, but all credit goes to Hariank and Utkarsh who stood by me under all circumstances and helped me out in every possible manner. Our prep time for this moot was of about 3 weeks. I still remember the last week of our preparations, wherein we used to sit for about 6-8 hours straight, discussing the legal aspects related to our moot problem and taking mocks of each other. Mocks are one of the most important aspects of any moot, we even took mocks of each other in the train, during our journey from Lucknow to Surat.
How was the level of participation, how were judges, whether they grilled you etc
The level of participation was good at this moot. There were 30 teams from all over India which participated in this moot. People usually criticize the grilling done by the judges, but in my case, I used it to prepare for the counter-questions for my further rounds. Our Quarter Finals lasted for 2 hours, the judges grilled us a lot. But, at the end of the day we qualified that round and the grilling done by the judges helped us tackle the questions of the judges in the Semi-Finals and Finals.
How was it like working with the team? Did you never have conflicts? If you did, how did you resolve them.
Conflicts arise in every team. In our case there were certain conflict of interests before the memorial submission, but the manner in which all of us dealt with it strengthened our bonds even more. The most important thing in a team is the amount of trust and faith the team members have on each other. As for our team, I still remember what I told Utkarsh before the beginning of the preliminary rounds, I asked him to trust me and not to pass any chit and not to give any sudden expression in front of the judges while I’m speaking, as it turned out, we ended up being the Runner’s up. The unity of our team was one of the most important factor which helped us throughout the moot.
How many teams were you up against in the competition? Which team would you consider to be your toughest competition?
We went up against 5 teams in total. All of them have their level best. However, I would really like to mention that the team representing School of Excellence in Law, Chennai. We went up against them in the Semi-Finals round. The research done by this team was really commendable, they had a compendium of 1000 pages which reinforced their speeches in an efficient manner. This team gave us a good competition.
Overall experience in brief?
It was a nice experience. The hospitality offered by Auro University was very good. Despite of the fact that the university was on the outskirts of City and our accommodation was about 10-12 km away from it, the Organising Committee provided us with a separate bus when we got late for our semi-finals. The university itself was really beautiful and very vibrant.
What advice would you give to your juniors about how to go through moot- how to prepare memo, giving mocks, researching etc.
If I were to put it in 3 words, the way towards victory lies through Hard work, Dedication and Passion. If you give your hundred percent in research work and stay consistent throughout the memorial preparation, things in the oral rounds will become much easier for you. During the orals, apart from your research what matters the most is your passion for mooting and skills of advocacy. As in my case, the judges appreciated me a lot for defending the company mentioned in the moot problem. One of the main reasons for this was that I assumed it to be my client in reality and not a part of any competition. Presence of mind and focus during the orals is again a game changer as it helps you to tackle the questions of the judges. Furthermore, it’s the team spirit and confidence that guides you throughout the competition.
What is advantage of mooting and why should one choose mooting in college days?
Mooting gives you a very dynamic exposure, apart from improving your orating skills it builds your confidence and also improves you leadership skills as you have to work as a member of a team. Apart from this, it gives you a glimpse of a career in litigation.