Prof. (Dr.) Balram K. Gupta


Prof. (Dr.) Balram K. Gupta, Senior Advocate hails from Chandigarh. He is a rare mix of Academic and Professional Lawyer. Having graduated in Law in 1966 and Masters in 1968, he started his career as Parliamentary Fellow at ICPS, New Delhi. In 1969, Dr. Gupta joined Faculty of Law, Panjab University, Chandigarh. He was the first Ph.D. in Law from Panjab University. He became the youngest Professor of Law in 1983. He remained Professor and Chairman, Department of Laws, Panjab University from 1986 to 1989. During his teaching career, Dr. Gupta lectured at LSE, SOAS and Universities of Cambridge, Nottingham and London in the UK. In 2013, Dr. Gupta was appointed by the Chief Justice of India as Director, National Judicial Academy, India in Bhopal. On his return to Chandigarh, he was asked to take up the assignment as Director (Academics), Chandigarh Judicial Academy. His contribution at the State, National and International level in the field of Judicial Education has been acknowledged.
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You have been a teacher, a lawyer and a connoisseur of literature ! how would you describe your evolution ?

I was initially into teaching and having had done that for more than two decades, I switched over to the legal profession. Frankly, I had no problems in my initial years as a lawyer as I had entered into it with a mature and evolved mind. I was not unfamiliar with the concept of law . I must say that I had a sense of satisfaction as an advocate every time a judgement reflected some of my arguments, especially on points of law. Moreover, the recognition I received as a senior lawyer is usually bestowed on those who have done extremely well on the legal front. I was given the opportunity to wear the same robe as any judge from the High Court or the Supreme Court. In a nutshell, my experience was such that I would love to write a book on it in the near

If you were to draw a comparison between law and teaching, how would you do that?

Teaching and law are complementary to each other. For instance, the art of articulation one learns as a teacher is what is also required in the legal profession too. To be able to play with the language of a particular legislation is what the legal profession demands. Moreover, I would like to mention that the people who told me that I had wasted my initial years in teaching are the ones who are sadly mistaken as it is my earlier experience as a teacher that facilitated my journey, thereafter, as a lawyer. The legal profession, on the other hand, enlightened me with the knowledge to be able to equip with teaching in a far better way.

How do you think are Literature and law related to each other?

To describe the strong relatedness between the two, I would like to put it as, “Literature in law and law as literature”. A literary mind is able to weave a prudent judgment and understanding the law with the punctuation of literature is what makes the judgment more digestible. William Shakespeare, for instance, is immensely admired by the people of law. Mark Antony’s speech, for that matter, is quoted in most of the final judgments. Many cases as well as judgments, on the other hand, have been the inspiration behind a reasonable proportion of literary work. This defines the strong connection between the two.

What are you looking forward to in the upcoming Art and Literature Festival, 'Valley of Words'?

I am looking forward to interacting with some learned people and have some conversation with regard to the blend of law and literature. My primary motive would be to figure out as to how law could contribute to literature and how literature could be used in the field of law. I am expecting some smart conversation with regard to taking literature to a level where it can become an integral part of the law schools of our country. This, perhaps, could make the festival even more meaningful.

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