Associates, In-House Counsels & Advocates

“One should always state the truth before the court and making incorrect statements or half truths before the court should be completely avoided”- Advocate Chandrachur Bhattacharyya

This Interview has been published by Pragya Chandni and The SuperLawyer Team

Could you please share with us what motivated you to pursue a career in law, particularly specializing in areas such as consumer protection, banking disputes, and money laundering prevention?

The idea of arguing in a court of law fighting for justice for the client appealed to me. It is a powerful profession wherein the work you do can have a huge impact positively on others as well.  The judgments which are rendered by the courts have the potential of having an all India impact and it gives a sense of satisfaction. 

Your work has had a significant impact on consumer rights, as seen in numerous landmark cases handled by you.  What inspired you to champion the cause of consumer protection in your legal practice?

When you are taking up cases for consumers against a service provider which are large corporate entities , you are essentially fighting for the weaker party against a stronger party having superior bargaining power. The service providers  have more financial resources at their disposal and often engage the best of lawyers and have the best in-house legal teams,  thereby making it tough for consumers to get speedy and good quality of  justice. This is one of the reasons why I take up cases for consumers. It is a challenge  to fight cases against a party with more financial strength. 

With your expertise in navigating complex legal frameworks like the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, could you shed some light on the challenges and strategies involved in handling such cases effectively?

The only strategy is to go fully prepared to court on facts as well as law for each and every hearing and avoid taking unnecessary adjournments. Completion of pleadings in time is another important aspect. If one has completed the pleadings in time and one is  fully prepared to argue, the bench also appreciates it and it creates a positive impact on the court. 

You’ve been involved in several high-profile cases that have garnered attention from the press. Can you share any insights or lessons learned from these experiences that have shaped your approach to legal advocacy?

The lesson learnt is that a laid back attitude is to be avoided and one has to be constantly alert and on one’s toes. Having an enthusiastic approach to work also helps. One should always state the truth before the court and making incorrect statements or half truths before the court should be completely avoided. This helps in gaining the trust of the court. 

The legal landscape is constantly evolving. How do you stay abreast of changes in legislation and judicial precedents to ensure the best representation for your clients?

There are many good legal websites like Livelaw,  Barandbench and other newspapers which keep lawyers and the public in general  informed about the latest judgments being delivered by the courts. One must keep reading the articles published in these websites and newspapers to stay updated about the latest judgements and the development in law.  

One of your notable achievements includes a Supreme Court judgment which laid down the law in favour of homebuyers’ rights overturning the earlier law which was against the homebuyers. Can you walk us through the process of advocating for such a significant legal shift and the impact it has had on consumer rights protection?

One of the  landmark cases which I handled  was earlier the law. Once a homebuyer accepted possession or executed the sale deed/ conveyance deed, he would lose his right to claim delay compensation from the builder. I was a part of the  SC judgment where this law was reversed in the homebuyer’s favour where homebuyers’ right to claim delayed compensation even after accepting the possession or executing sale deed survives. This judgment was passed in view of the fact that in a consumer dispute the service provider has a superior bargaining power and it often bulldozes its way to get things done the way it wants which are sometimes prejudicial to the rights of consumers. Many service providers have a take it or leave it approach thereby leaving very little for the consumers to bargain on or negotiate with including unfair terms of contract. This judgment will change that. 

Your career spans 14 years in legal practice. What have been the most rewarding aspects of your journey so far, and what challenges have you faced along the way?

The most rewarding aspect is the fact that we get the opportunity to be part of judgments which have the potential of having an all India impact and positively affect and impact the rights and lives of  others.  The challenges are that sometimes delays happen in the adjudication of a case and clients get frustrated. This can be solved by appointing more judges and filling up the large number of vacancies in judicial offices. 

As someone with extensive experience in the legal field, what advice would you offer to fresh graduates who are considering a career in law, especially those interested in specializing in consumer protection, banking disputes, and commercial litigation?

The advice is to be patient and keep  working  hard. To be fair to your client as well as to the court. Go to court fully prepared for every hearing and be courteous to the court and put your point across forcefully but  in a respectful manner. Making incorrect statements on facts should be completely eschewed.  This will also help earn the trust of the court. 

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