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My Experience with the office of Additional Solicitor General of India’ by Bishwajit Bhattarcharyya, Senior Advocate (Universal Publishers, Rs. 550/-)

Vikrant Pachnanda reviews 'My Experience with the office of Additional Solicitor General of India' where the author shares his experience as Additional Solicitor General of India.

The book should be of immense interest to every lawyer, judge, academician, law student and those involved in policy making and narrates the experience of a top law officer of the India- the largest democracy in the world. Mr. Bishwajit Bhattacharyya has given a very apt account of this three years tenure as ASG and exposes as to how how the Central Agency (that handles the government litigation) of the Ministry of Law & Justice, Government of India is managing its tax cases worth thousands of crores in the courts. On the other hand, the book also acts as a perfect database of all tax cases both direct and indirect that took place before the Apex Court during his three year term. Mr. Bhattacharyya in an exclusive chapter has stated how he was asked to handle cases related to direct taxes to heckle him and matters related to indirect tax were not handed over to him due to vested interest in the finance ministry. He also describes the tedious process that was involved before his appointment as ASG was cleared and how he was without an office and peon was months after taking over.

What I found most startling was his daring attitude and courage to pursue the legal profession at the age of 37 years without any prior family background in law and when he was already a senior management executive with ANZ Grindlays Bank looking after its middle-east operations. His determination and zeal as to how he used to spend sleepless nights both before taking over as ASG and thereafter as ASG when briefs used to be sent late at night to be argued the next day is remarkable. I would conclude by also stating that this is a must read book for all alumni of St. Stephens College, New Delhi. Mr. Bhattacharyya has shown gratitude to his alma matter for what he has achieved and thanked his fellow Stephenian’s for assisting another Stephenian i.e. Mr. Bhattacharyya whenever needed thereby reaffirming only the bondage amongst Stephenians.

VIKRANT PACHNANDA is an Advocate based in Delhi and the Founder & Managing Editor of India Law Journal.
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