By Pooja Vanjeeshwaran, School of Legal Studies, CUSAT.
When friends and relatives find out that you are pursuing law, they come to you for tips and advice. I’ am sure that all law students must be aware that we have not gathered enough experience to give expert advice. However let this remain a secret among us! To save ourselves from the embarrassment , I have listed out a few things a law student is expected to know.
1. How to file a consumer complaint?
Since professional and business ethics are a thing of the past. You will have to guide many disappointed relatives who happened to have consumed some defective product or had by mistake taken the service of a quack.
2. How and when to send a legal notice?
Definitely you have a duty to lighten the burden of the courts. Next time someone suggests in your presence that he wants to file a case for a petty issue, maybe you can tell him about this. Don’t you think every offender deserves a second chance before being dragged to the dock?
3. What are the general traffic rules?
We Indians have an obsession for breaking rules, especially those relating to road and traffic. So if someone asks you about these, enlighten him. Will it be of much use?
4. How to file a First Information Report?
It is not a cumbersome task. You must however tell the poor chap that he must be extremely patient with the sahibs . Let him also be aware that he is entitled to cross check and get a free copy of the FIR , so that things don’t go topsy turvy later.
5. Procedure for partition of joint family property.
It varies from religion to religion and it is not as simple as it seems. It is advisable to know the fundamentals, because this is a very frequently asked question. Not surprising! We live in an era where people give importance to money and worldly pleasures beyond virtuous values and relationships. Kudos to those who fall in the exceptional category.
6. Legal consequences of drunken driving.
If you hail from a state like Kerala where the government earns major part of its revenue by selling alcohol, all your male relatives and friends will definitely need some enlightenment on this issue. I have never disappointed them.
5. Procedure of arrest.
I’ am glad this question was never shot at me by any of my near and dear ones! However for your general information , you can spread the awareness that a person who is arrested has a right to inform one of his friend /relative. Let us not leave chance for any policeman to treat arrestee as his new punch bag.
8. How to recover an amount due on a cheque that bounced?
A very frequently reported occurrence indeed. Just warn the drawer of the cheque that he will be behind the bars if you are not given the due amount at the earliest. Most of them fall for this, unless they are absolutely broke!
9. Procedure for registering a marriage under the Special Marriage Act, 1954 .
Love is in the air, love is blind, deaf and dumb. Religion, caste , community or even nationality is not a bar to love or marry. So if any of your friends are wondering how to get married other than in a temple or church, here is your answer, Court Marriage! You are sure to receive a pat in your back for enlightening him on the provisions . I warn you, be wary of the couple’s relatives. We live in India after all!
10. How to file an RTI application?
A very simple process indeed. You don’t have to spend five years in a law school to learn this 😉
In addition you should know about Your own rights, Human Rights and Women’s Rights by heart.
Good luck studying Law.