Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Imagining the Post-colonial Lawyer: Legal Elites and the Indian Nation-State, 1947–1967

  • Alexander WILLIAMS (a1)

Abstract

A key feature of British rule in India was the formation of a class of elite metropolitan lawyers who had an outsized role within the legal profession and a prominent position in Indian politics. This paper analyzes the response of these legal elites to the shifting social and political terrain of post-colonial India, arguing that the advent of the Indian nation-state shaped the discursive strategies of elite lawyers in two crucial ways. First, in response to the slipping grasp of lawyers on Indian political life and increasing competition from developmentalist economics, the elite bar turned their attention towards the consolidation of a national professional identity, imagining an ‘Indian advocate’ as such, whose loyalty would ultimately lie with the nation-state. Second, the creation of the Supreme Court of India, the enactment of the Constitution of India, and the continuous swelling of the post-colonial regulatory welfare state partially reoriented the legal elite towards public law, particularly towards the burgeoning field of administrative law.

Copyright

Footnotes

Hide All
*

2019–20 Yale Fox International Fellow, Jawaharlal Nehru University (BA, Yale University, 2019). I am grateful to Robert Gordon, Rohit De, Samuel Moyn, Isadora Milanez, Edward Williams, and two anonymous reviewers for offering thoughtful comments on previous drafts of this paper.

Footnotes

References

Hide All

1. ‘Readers’ Views: Advocates’ Robes’, The Times of India (27 Aug 1947) 4.

2. See Setalvad, MC, My Life: Law and Other Things (NM Tripathi Ltd 1970) 1112.

3. SR Das, Report of the All-India Bar Committee (Manager of Publications 1953) 13–19.

4. Advocates Act (Act No 25 of 1961) (India) (Advocates Act).

5. In the context of South Asia, see Sharafi, Mitra, Law and Identity in Colonial South Asia: Parsi Legal Cultures, 1772–1947 (Cambridge University Press 2013). See also Likhovski, Assaf, Law and Identity in Mandate Palestine (UNC Press 2006); Gordon, Robert W, ‘The Role of Lawyers in Producing the Rule of Law: Some Critical Reflections’ (2010) 11 Theoretical Inquiries in Law 441.

6. ‘Copy of Resolution passed by the Bar Council of Maharashtra at its Meeting held on 24th July 1965’ (1965) 52 All-India Reporter (Journal) pt 621, 184, 184.

7. ‘Bar Council of Delhi: Resolution passed by the Bar Council of Delhi at its Meeting held on 9th October 1965’ (1965) 52 All-India Reporter (Journal) pt 624, 47, 47.

8. Both narratives are outlined with regard to the Indian Constitution in De, Rohit, A People's Constitution: The Everyday Life of Law in the Indian Republic (Princeton University Press 2018) 59; De, Rohit, ‘Rebellion, Dacoity, and Equality: The Emergence of the Constitutional Field in Postcolonial India’ (2014) 34 Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 260.

9. See Galanter, Marc & Robinson, Nick, ‘Grand Advocates: The Traditional Elite Lawyer’, in Wilkins, David, Khanna, Vikramaditya & Trubek, David (eds), The Indian Legal Profession in the Age of Globalization: The Rise of the Corporate Legal Sector and its Impact on Lawyers and Society (Cambridge University Press 2017).

10. Galanter, Marc, ‘Introduction: The Study of the Indian Legal Profession’ (1968–69) 3 Law & Society Review 201 (Special Issue Devoted to Lawyers in Developing Societies with Particular Reference to India).

11. Charles Morrison's study of district courts, for instance, observed a ‘tiny handful of advocates’ who were ‘recognized as “leading lawyers”’: Charles Morrison, ‘Social Organization at the District Courts: Colleague Relationships Among Indian Lawyers’ (1968–69) 3 Law & Society Review 251, 261–262 (Special Issue Devoted to Lawyers in Developing Societies with Particular Reference to India). Another observer in the 1960s suggested that the ‘unhappy lot of junior lawyers’ was partially attributable to the ‘concentration of work in the hands of a few legal luminaries’: Yashvant R Ingle, ‘Junior Advocates’, The Times of India (13 Jul 1963) 6.

12. Setalvad (n 2) 29. Moreover, ‘the pre-eminence of the Grand Advocates is a contemporary expression of a long-standing and pervasive pattern of steep hierarchy at the bar … this shape – very steep hierarchy, with a concentration of prestige, authority, and prosperity in a narrow group of senior lawyers – has been a constant feature of law practice in India in colonial times and after Independence’: Galanter & Robinson (n 9) 462.

13. It has been noted, for instance, that ‘family connections, or being part of a certain social stratum, have clear benefits for a young litigator’: Galanter & Robinson (n 9) 472. The caste composition of the bar varies geographically: see Paul, John Jeya, The Legal Profession in Colonial South India (Oxford University Press 1991) 146; Morrison, ‘Social Organization at the District Courts’ (n 11). On Parsi lawyers, who are particularly prominent in Western India, see Sharafi (n 5).

14. Gupta, Arpiti, Khanna, Vikramaditya S & Wilkins, David B, ‘Overview of Legal Practice in India and the Indian Legal Profession’, in Wilkins, David, Khanna, Vikramaditya & Trubek, David (eds), The Indian Legal Profession in the Age of Globalization: The Rise of the Corporate Legal Sector and its Impact on Lawyers and Society (Cambridge University Press 2017).

15. Dezalay, Yves & Garth, Bryant G, Asian Legal Revivals (University of Chicago Press 2010) 74. See also Galanter (n 10), referencing Setalvad, MC, The Common Law in India (Steven & Sons Limited 1961).

16. See Galanter, Marc, ‘The Aborted Restoration of “Indigenous” Law in India’ (1972) 14 Comparative Studies in Society and History 53.

17. Dezalay & Garth (n 15) 149.

18. Chatterjee, Partha, The Nation and Its Fragments: Colonial and Postcolonial Histories (Princeton University Press 1993) 5.

19. See eg VG Ramachandran, ‘Re-Organization of the Legal Profession in India’ (1950) 37 All-India Reporter (Journal) 52.

20. De, A People's Constitution (n 8); De, ‘Rebellion, Dacoity, and Equality’ (n 8). Although my primary focus is on the activities of elites rather than the broader field of legal education, I also build on Jayanth Krishnan's significant work on the role of the Ford Foundation in promoting legal education in India, especially the foundation's role in funding Indian scholarship on administrative and constitutional law. See Krishnan, Jayanth K, ‘From the ALI to the ILI: The Efforts to Export an American Legal Institution’ (2005) 38 Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law 1255; Krishnan, Jayanth K, ‘Professor Kingsfield Goes to Delhi: American Academics, the Ford Foundation, and the Development of Legal Education in India’ (2004) XLVI The American Journal of Legal History 447. See also Rajeev Dhavan, ‘Legal Research in India: The Role of the Indian Law Institute’ (1986) 34 The American Journal of Comparative Law 527.

21. Dezalay & Garth (n 15).

22. ibid. See also Dezalay, Yves & Garth, Bryant G, The Internationalization of Palace Wars: Lawyers, Economists, and the Contest to Transform Latin American States (University of Chicago Press 2002). More recently, legal scholars have built on this literature in a large volume: Wilkins, David, Khanna, Vikramaditya & Trubek, David (eds), The Indian Legal Profession in the Age of Globalization: The Rise of the Corporate Legal Sector and its Impact on Lawyers and Society (Cambridge University Press 2017). While the present paper does not share that book's concern with corporate lawyers (a sector that has grown tremendously in the last three decades but was still in its infancy in the period examined here), it shares an interest in the relationship between lawyers and the ‘New Developmental State’. On ‘fields of power’ and ‘elite strategies’ see Bourdieu, Pierre, The State Nobility: Elite Schools in the Field of Power (Clough, Lauretta C tr, Polity Press 1996) 261299, 371–389; and within the legal sphere, see Bourdieu, Pierre, ‘The Force of Law: Toward a Sociology of the Juridical Field’ (Terdiman, Richard tr) (1987) 38 Hastings Law Journal 805, 814853.

23. Dezalay & Garth (n 15) 3–4, 7–8.

24. Perhaps the most significant historical study of the Indian legal profession is Paul (n 13). An earlier and more general sketch can be found in Schmitthener, Samuel, ‘A Sketch of the Development of the Legal Profession in India’ (1968–69) 3 Law & Society Review 337382. Much has been written on the legal career of Gandhi and some writing is emerging on that of Ambedkar: see eg DiSalvo, Charles, M.K. Gandhi: Attorney at Law (University of California Press 2013); De, Rohit, ‘Lawyering as Politics: The Legal Practice of Dr. Ambedkar, Bar-at-Law’, in Yengde, Suraj & Teltumbe, Anand (eds), Ambedkar at 125 (Penguin 2019). On the post-colonial period, see Dezalay & Garth (n 15). Several sociological studies of the 1980s also provide useful historical background: see Gandhi, JS, Lawyers and Touts: A Study in the Sociology of the Legal Profession (Hindustan Publishing Co. 1982); Sharma, KL, Sociology of Law and Legal Profession (Rawat Publications 1984).

25. Dezalay & Garth (n 15) 4.

26. ibid 247: ‘The debate between those who focus on markets as the key to understanding the legal profession and those who counter with the argument that “politics matter” misses the central fact of the relationship between politics and markets. Put simply, the value and social credibility of legal expertise is determined by investments in (and profits from) state politics.’

27. Misra, BB, The Indian Middle Classes: Their Growth in Modern Times (Oxford University Press 1961) 162163.

28. Samuel Schmitthener (n 24); see also AN Veeraraghavan, ‘The Legal Profession and the Advocates Act, 1961’ (1972) 14 Journal of the Indian Law Institute 228; Misra (n 27).

29. For work that describes this but offers an alternative historical framework, see Sharafi, Mitra, ‘A New History of Colonial Lawyering: Likhovski and Legal Identities in the British Empire’ (2007) 32 Law & Social Inquiry 1059. On the League of Nations, see the list of delegates included in Verma, DN, India and the League of Nations (Bharati Bhawan 1968).

30. Schmitthener (n 24). The term was also used by barristers to disparage the prevalence of vakils, particularly in the Legislative Assembly: Paul (n 13) 172.

31. On Gandhi's legal career, see DiSalvo (n 24).

32. Nehru said of his legal training, ‘I got through the bar examinations … with neither glory nor ignominy’: Benjamin Zachariah, Nehru (Routledge 2004) 27.

33. Bishara has examined the oversaturation of the legal market in the 1880s, arguing that it led Indian lawyers to search for work elsewhere in the Indian Ocean region: Bishara, Fahad, A Sea of Debt: Law and Economic Life in the Western Indian Ocean, 1780–1950 (Cambridge University Press 2017) 153. See also Shangloo, Lawyers’ Etiquette (Law Book Co 1962) 49–50; ‘Moral Standard of Lawyers Has Declined: Mr. Setalvad Calls For “Better Behaviour”’, The Times of India (25 Jul 1959) 8.

34. Gandhi, MK, Hind Swaraj or Indian Home Rule (Navajivan Press 1946) 39 (originally printed in 1909).

35. On the lawyers’ response to the call to boycott, see Jaffe, James, ‘Gandhi, Lawyers, and the Courts’ Boycott during the Non-Cooperation Movement’ (2017) 51 Modern Asian Studies 1340.

36. Shri TR Bhasin, ‘Thinking Aloud As a Lawyer’ (1956) 1 Lawyer (Madras), issue 4.

37. ‘Bombay Govt.'s “Dislike” For Lawyers Deplored’, The Times of India (26 Aug 1953) 5.

38. Quoted in Burra, Arudra, ‘Freedom of Speech in the Early Constitution: A Study of the Constitution (First Amendment) Bill’, in Bhatia, Udit (ed), The Indian Constituent Assembly: Deliberations on Democracy (Routledge 2018) 140.

39. Memo from Nehru, ‘Minutes by Hon'ble the Prime Minister regarding engagement of lawyers by Ministries and Departments of the Government of India and their fees etc.’ (National Archives of India, Home Ministry, Judicial, File No 116-J/49, 27 Jul 1949).

40. ‘Scramble for Briefs: P.M.'s Directive Not Acted Upon’, Delhi Times (4 Nov 1949) (clipping in National Archives of India, Home Ministry, Judicial, File No 116-J/49).

41. Kameshwar Singh v. The State of Bihar [1950] AIR (Pat) 392.

42. 1967 SCR (2) 762, 1967 AIR (SC) 1643.

43. See Bhuwania, Anuj, Courting the People: Public Interest Litigation in Post-Emergency India (Cambridge University Press 2017) 2125.

44. See Dezalay & Garth, The Internationalization of Palace Wars (n 22) 61–72.

45. Norman S Marsh (ed), The Rule of Law in a Free Society: A Report on the International Congress of Jurists, New Delhi, India, January 5–10, 1959 (International Commission of Jurists Geneva 1959) 41.

46. ibid.

47. See Gordon, Robert, ‘Are Lawyers Friends of Democracy?’ in Cummings, Scott L (ed), The Paradox of Professionalism: Lawyers and the Possibility of Justice (Cambridge University Press 2011).

48. There was a regular section in Lawyer (Madras) entitled ‘March of Legislation’.

49. Lawyer (Madras, Feb 1959, May 1961).

50. ‘Lawyers and Bureaucrats’, The Times of India (3 Nov 1953) 6.

51. This was the position taken by BS Hiray, the Revenue Minister of Bombay, when a bill to amend the Bombay Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act was submitted to the Bombay Legislative Assembly in 1953: ‘Bombay Govt.'s “Dislike” For Lawyers Deplored’, The Times of India (26 Aug 1953) 5.

52. See United Provinces Panchayat Raj Act (UP Act No 26 of 1947); Punjab Gram Panchayat Act (Punjab Act No 4 of 1953), referenced in KS Tayade, Notes in the Ministry of Law, ‘Question re: appearance of lawyers before Panchayat Courts’ (National Archives of India, Home Department, Judicial Section, File No 112/53, 2 Nov 1953).

53. The Constitution of India 1950, art 22, as discussed in Tayade (n 52).

54. Letter from KN Katju to KM Munshi (7 Dec 1953), in Tayade (n 52).

55. KN Katju (22 Sep 1953), in Tayade (n 52).

56. Galanter (n 16) 63.

57. ibid.

58. De, A People's Constitution (n 8).

59. ibid 82.

60. This phrasing follows Kagzi, MCJ, The Indian Administrative Law (5th ed, Metropolitan 1991) 3.

61. ibid 80–86, 117–120.

62. Baxi, Upendra, ‘Introduction: The Myth and Reality of the Indian Administrative Law’, in Massey, IP, Administrative Law (7th ed, Eastern Book Company 2008).

63. SG Bhat, ‘Laws & Lawyers’, The Times of India (15 Jun 1953) 6. See also Yashwant R Ingle, ‘Laws & Lawyers’, The Times of India (4 Jun 1953) 6.

64. See Dezalay & Garth (n 15).

65. ‘Moral Standard of Lawyers Has Declined’ (n 33) 8; ‘Indian Legal Studies: Report on Spaeth-Merillat Visit’ (Rockefeller Archives Center, Ford Foundation records, Catalogued Reports, No 000527 1956) 4.

66. See eg ‘The Indian Bar’, The Times of India (30 July 1959) 6.

67. For a brief overview of the historical development of the national bar, see Veeraraghavan (n 28).

68. On the IADL, see Overstreet, Gene D & Windmiller, Marshall, Communism in India (University of California Press 1959) 437438.

69. See eg Stark's analysis of civil society organizations in colonial Lucknow, including the Awadh Pleaders’ Society: Stark, Ulrike, ‘Associational culture and civic engagement in colonial Lucknow’ (2011) 48 The Indian Economic & Social History Review 1.

70. Das (n 3). The ‘original side’ of a high court refers to its jurisdiction as a court of first instance.

71. ibid.

72. ibid. See also Paul (n 13) 165–178.

73. ibid.

74. Paul (n 13) 170.

75. See Setalvad (n 2) 220–222.

76. For a more detailed explanation of the of the All-India Bar Committee, the Law Commission, and the Advocates Act, see Veeraraghavan (n 28).

77. Das (n 3).

78. ‘Moral Standard of Lawyers Has Declined’ (n 33).

79. B Jagannadha Das, ‘Responsibilities of Lawyers in Independent India’ (Speech at the All-Orissa Lawyers’ Conference, Dhenkanal, 11 May 1952) (Sep 1952) 39 All-India Reporter 61–64.

80. KN Katju, ‘Legal Profession’ (1965) 52 All-India Reporter (Journal) pt 613, 1–2.

81. ibid.

82. Bhasin (n 36).

83. The word ‘allergic’ was used by Naushir Bharucha, a member of the Bombay Legislature who opposed the amendment to the Bombay Tenancy Act: ‘Bombay Govt.'s “Dislike” For Lawyers Deplored’, The Times of India (26 Aug 1953) 5.

84. ‘Judicial Policy of Govt. Attacked: Administration of Law Hindered in Bombay’, The Times of India (2 Nov 1953) 1.

85. Some conferences, such as those at Madras and Nagpur, had begun in the early twentieth century. Others, like in Bombay, had also begun earlier and, following a brief period of absence in the 1940s, re-emerged in the 1950s. Some, facilitated by the reorganization of Indian states, were created anew, such as the UP Lawyers’ Conference, which began meeting in 1945; the Rajasthan Lawyers’ Conference, which began in 1950; the All-Orissa Lawyers’ Conference, which began in 1952; and the Karnatak Lawyers’ Conference, which held its first meeting in 1948 and its second meeting in 1952.

86. ‘Indian Legal Studies: Report on Spaeth-Merillat Visit’ (n 65): ‘In the legal world, Delhi does not yet rival the other cities [because] for a century before New Delhi became the capital of an independent India, [Bombay, Calcutta, and Madras] had a strong bar and able courts.’ However, because Delhi was the center of government and home to the Supreme Court, Delhi became the site of national institutions like the Bar Association of India and the Indian Law Institute.

87. ‘All-India Body For Lawyers Urged’, The Times of India (27 Jun 1949) 8.

88. ‘Scrutinising Bills: Need for Body of Legal Experts’, The Times of India (25 Apr 1952) 8.

89. See eg ‘Boycott of Courts by Lawyers: Demand for Division Bench in Trivandrum’, The Times of India (14 Nov 1956) 11.

90. See Index to Indian Legal Periodicals, vols 1–6 (Indian Law Institute 1963).

91. See ‘Your Lordship’, The Times of India (30 Dec 1958) 6.

92. Das (n 3) 20.

93. These figures also often included the leadership of the Supreme Court Bar Association and prestigious Bar Associations such as that of Bombay, the States’ Advocates-General, and other notables of the bar.

94. MC Setalvad, ‘Problems Before the Legal Profession’ (Presidential Address at the Bombay State Lawyers’ Conference, Nasik, 31 May 1952) (1952) 39 All-India Reporter 50–55. See also ‘Develop New Outlook: Minister's Call to Lawyers’, The Times of India (26 Dec 1955) 3; Shangloo (n 33).

95. ‘Mr. Setalvad's Call For Organisation Of All-India Bar’, The Times of India (1 Jun 1952) 7.

96. ‘Law and Society’, The Times of India (25 Apr 1951) 4. Jayakar, who was then serving as the first Vice Chancellor of the University of Poona, had previously served as a Judge of the Federal Court of India and the Privy Council.

97. de Tocqueville, Alexis, Democracy in America (J & HG Langley 1841) 297306 (originally published 1835).

98. ibid 301. Tocqueville was notably of the view that ‘the profession of the law is the only aristocratic element which can be amalgamated without violence with the natural elements of democracy, and which can be advantageously and permanently combined with them’.

99. The early chapters of Setalvad's autobiography (n 2) are instructive here.

100. See Galanter & Robinson (n 9).

101. See eg ‘Screening of Would-Be Lawyers Favoured: Indiscriminate Entry to Profession Deplored’, The Times of India (27 Dec 1960) 12.

102. Katju (n 80).

103. While women have played significant roles in Indian legal history – Cornelia Sorabji, for instance, became the first woman to graduate from Oxford with a law degree in 1893, and several Indian women law graduates participated in the Constituent Assembly – they have historically faced a considerable amount of discrimination at the bar. This disparity persists today: ‘Women … have had a difficult time breaking into the small group of grand advocates and into the upper ranks of litigation more generally. Of the eighty-one senior advocates designated by the Bombay High Court in the twenty-year period, 1991–2010, only three were women’: Galanter & Robinson (n 9) 473.

104. Seth, Leila, On Balance: An Autobiography (Penguin Global 2008) 131.

105. Advocates Act, s 16(2): ‘An advocate may, with his consent, be designated as senior advocate if the Supreme Court or a High Court is of opinion that by virtue of his ability he is deserving of such institutions.’

106. Galanter & Robinson (n 9) 458.

107. Mandlekar, BR, Musings on Democratic Life in India (RVS Mani 1955) 55.

108. Ahmed, Syed Sultan, ‘Welcome Address, 2nd All India Law Conference’ (1960) 2 Journal of the Indian Law Institute 581.

109. ibid.

110. Krishnan, ‘Professor Kingsfield Goes to Delhi’ (n 20) 474. Setalvad also noted the lack of ‘men of experience and acknowledged leadership in the profession’ in the state bar councils, suggesting that ‘the methods employed in some of the election contests have not been above board … Seats in the Bar Councils have been looked upon as positions of power and patronage, after the political pattern, rather than as offices involving responsibilities for protecting the honour, dignity, rectitude and privileges of the profession … In many States very junior men have entered the Councils in a preponderating number.’ See Setalvad, MC, ‘President's Page’ (1963) 3(4) The Indian Advocate 1. See also Daphtary, CK, ‘Editorial’ (1963) 3(4) The Indian Advocate 3.

111. Setalvad, ‘Problems Before the Legal Profession’ (n 94).

112. MC Setalvad, ‘President's Page’ (1961) 1(2) The Indian Advocate 1–2 (emphasis added). See also MC Setalvad, ‘President's Page’ (1961) 1(3) The Indian Advocate 1.

113. See eg ‘Editorial Board’ and ‘Members’ (1961) 1(2) The Indian Advocate, ‘Front Matter’.

114. See eg ‘The Indian Law Institute, New Delhi’ (1958) 1(1) Journal of the Indian Law Institute, ‘Front Matter’.

115. See ‘Law Minister As Attorney-General’, The Times of India (27 Nov 1962) 1.

116. MC Setalvad, ‘President's Page’ (1962) 2(4) The Indian Advocate 3; ‘Legislation On Law Office Merger Put Off’, The Times of India (5 Jan 1963) 1.

117. See Muralidhar, S, Law, Poverty and Legal Aid: Access to Criminal Justice (LexisNexis 2004) 3746.

118. See Dezalay & Garth, The Internationalization of Palace Wars (n 22) 61–72.

119. MC Setalvad, ‘Inaugural Address at the Seventh Session of the Madras State Lawyers’ Conference at Calicut, December 10, 1951’ (1952) 39 All-India Reporter (Journal) 2, 3.

120. Ramachandran (n 19).

121. ‘Indian Legal Studies: Report on Spaeth-Merillat Visit’ (n 65) 4.

122. Merillat, Herbert Christian, Indian Law Institute: A Venture in Comparative Constitutional Law: The annotated journal of H.C.L. Merillat for the years 1958–60, the period in which the Institute was established (HC Merillat 2000).

123. Radhabinod Pal, ‘Inaugural Address, West Bengal Lawyers’ Conference’ (Sep 1959) 46 All-India Reporter 549.

124. Dezalay & Garth (n 15) 3. See also Bourdieu, The State Nobility (n 22) 385–386: ‘As Kantorovicz has convincingly shown, while the autonomization of the law effectively guaranteed the prince new powers, which were more hidden, and more legitimate, founded as they were on the authority gained by the juridical traditions and its guardians in challenge to him, it was also at the source both of the demands made on him by the jurists and of the power struggles in which those holding the monopoly on the legitimate manipulation of texts could invoke the specific legitimacy of the law against the arbitrariness of the prince’ (emphasis added).

125. Rt Hon Lord Hewart, The New Despotism (Ernst Benn Ltd 1929) 37.

126. See eg KC Rajappa, ‘Administrative Agencies and The Role of Discretion’ (1961) 6(2) Lawyer (Madras) 108, 114. ‘New Despotism’, The Times of India (29 Oct 1954) 6.

127. De, A People's Constitution (n 8) 79.

128. ‘Indian Legal Studies: Report on Spaeth-Merillat Visit’ (n 65).

129. On the various meanings of the rule of law in the Indian context, see Upendra Baxi, ‘The Rule of Law in India’ (2007) 6 Sur - Revista Internacional de Direitos Humanos 7.

130. ‘Legislation Meant For Betterment of Masses’, The Times of India (26 Dec 1951) 5.

131. ‘Legal Profession Must Be Socialised’, The Times of India (24 Jul 1955) 14.

132. Marsh (n 45) 152.

133. ibid 153.

134. ibid.

135. ibid.

136. At a meeting of the Bombay State Bar Association in 1952, for instance, the Association ‘called upon the Government to give wider employment in Government service to lawyers and allow them to raise their fees for legal services rendered to the people. NH Pandia, Secretary of the Association, said that it was the duty of the people to see and the duty of the Government to safeguard that the lawyers were provided a decent economic living’: ‘Lawyers’ Plea For New Deal’, The Times of India (5 May 1952) 6.

137. See De, ‘Rebellion, Dacoity, and Equality’ (n 8).

138. Ebb, Lawrence F & Markose, AT, ‘Conference of the Indian Law Institute’ (1958) 7 The American Journal of Comparative Law 219.

139. See De, A People's Constitution (n 8) 77–122.

140. ibid 118. De cites Dhavan, Rajeev, ‘Borrowed Ideas: On the Impact of American Scholarship on Indian Law’ (1985) 33 The American Journal of Comparative Law 505.

141. See the discussion in Part III above.

142. See Dhavan (n 20); Report of the University Education Commission, December 1948–August 1949 (Government of India Press 1950), quoted in Ebb & Markose (n 138) 222.

143. MC Setalvad, ‘Welcome Address’ (1959) 1 Journal of the Indian Law Institute 431.

144. See eg Pal (n 123).

145. De, A People's Constitution (n 8); Krishnan, ‘Professor Kingsfield Goes to Delhi’ (n 20).

146. SR Das, ‘Foreword’ (1958) 1 Journal of the Indian Law Institute, ‘Front Matter’. Similarly, the Ford Foundation's representatives Spaeth and Merillat found that the research interests of prominent Indian lawyers were oriented towards public law, including ‘judicial review; administrative procedure; constitutional interpretation; delegation of powers’ and ‘tax law, labor law, irrigation law, and land law’: ‘Indian Legal Studies: Report on Spaeth-Merillat Visit’ (n 65) 16.

147. Dhavan (n 20).

148. ibid.

149. See Baxi, ‘Introduction’ (n 62).

150. See De, A People's Constitution (n 8) 120–121.

151. See Shamir, Ronen, Managing Legal Uncertainty: Elite Lawyers in the New Deal (Duke University Press 1995).

152. See De, A People's Constitution (n 8).

153. Shamir (n 151) 43.

154. Some work related to this latter theme can be found in Mamidi, Pavan, ‘Aggregation of Land for a Growing and Globalizing Economy: The Role of Small-Town Lawyers in India’, in Wilkins, David, Khanna, Vikramaditya & Trubek, David (eds), The Indian Legal Profession in the Age of Globalization: The Rise of the Corporate Legal Sector and its Impact on Lawyers and Society (Cambridge University Press 2017).

* 2019–20 Yale Fox International Fellow, Jawaharlal Nehru University (BA, Yale University, 2019). I am grateful to Robert Gordon, Rohit De, Samuel Moyn, Isadora Milanez, Edward Williams, and two anonymous reviewers for offering thoughtful comments on previous drafts of this paper.

Imagining the Post-colonial Lawyer: Legal Elites and the Indian Nation-State, 1947–1967

  • Alexander WILLIAMS (a1)

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.