Despite limited resources, Kashmir University’s School of Law contributes highly to education

SRINAGAR: The contribution of the School of Law, University of Kashmir is paralleled in the educational sphere of Jammu and Kashmir.
For decades the students from the different parts of the union territory have been coming to this seat of learning, which has proved itself as the centre of educational excellence, whose alumni are spread all across J&K and other parts of the country.
School of Law, University of Kashmir holds an excellent academic record, which has the credit of producing scores of politicians, professors, lawyers, civil servants, and Justices. Some of whom have been elevated to the position of Chief Justices of the different High Courts of the country.
Notably, recently appointed chief justice of J&K and Ladakh High Court, Justice Ali Mohammad Magray was an alumnus of the School of Law, University of Kashmir. Mehbooba Mufti, former Chief Minister of J&K also was an alumnus of the Law Department, University of Kashmir.
Other prominent politicians produced by the Department include Peerzada Mohd Syed, Ali Mohammad Sagar, Main Altaf, Mir Saifullah, Abdul Haq Khan, Late Mushtaq Ahmad. All of them served as Ministers to the Government of Jammu and Kashmir. Justice Hussain Masoodi, MP from Anantnag constituency, and legislators, namely Shamima Firdous, Saif-ud-din Bhat, Bashir Ahmad Dar also have studied at the school of law.
This department of the University of Kashmir is very significant for its teaching, research and contributions to society. Established in 1973 with the continuous efforts of Prof. A.A. Wani and Prof. Riyaz Punjabi, the department started functioning in the Gandhi Bhawan, an Auditorium situated inside the University of Kashmir close to Zabarwan Guest House. Subsequently, it was shifted to the wooden barracks at Naseem Bagh.
From a small department in University of Kashmir, which initially even had not its own building, it has now progressed and grown into a prestigious Institute of legal studies. It has developed leaps and bounds in terms of infrastructure, academic domain, and other aspects and is presently the largest department of Kashmir university in terms of student intake in the University.
Head and Dean, School of law, Prof. Beauty Banday said, “As a premier Institute of legal education in J&K, School of Law, University of Kashmir has proved a stairway to the growth and development of thousands of students. It has for a long time now been able to accommodate demands of students who are interested in pursuing law as a career. The law school has a state of art infrastructure and which as of now facilitates legal education for as many as 1500 students and scholars at a time.”
The School of Law is significant for its historic legacies and for proving its ability to adapt to the modern globalised world. The department constructed its new and second building in 2018. The new building has been built on the modern design, which is exquisite and aesthetic. The building design has a large glass front and all academic and faculty facilities are planned around a central atrium. The building is naturally ventilated and the UPVC fenestration system allows the building to be used in cold weather also, without being air-conditioned.
“The Department started its Masters Programme (LL.M.) in the year 1982 and B.A.LL.B. (5 year) integrated course in 2007. The Department, at present, has two buildings. One comprises classrooms and chambers for the faculty besides the offices of the Head/Dean. Moreover, the building was within it a Computer Lab, Library, Moot Court, examination Hall and Conference Room. The building also has a spacious library with modern facilities,” Prof. Beauty Banday.
The quirky location of the School of Law provides an intellectually stimulating and tranquil environment for productive learning. It is flanked by the world famous Dal Lake on its eastern side and Nigeen Lake on the western side. The famous Hazratbal Shrine popularly called Dargah Sharif (‘the Holy Shrine’), which contains a relic, ‘Moi-e-Muqqadas’, which is widely believed to be the hair of the Islamic prophet Muhammad (PBUH), is just a stone’s throw from Law Department.
Many students from law department have won prestigious scholarships like Chevening Scholarship, Wong family Scholarship, etc. Hasnain Khawja, a Chevening scholar and Advocate at Delhi High court says, “Five Years spent in Law Department,University of Kashmir were the most enriching years of my life. Not only have I learnt academically there, but I learnt the real meaning of life.”
“Despite very limited resources at their disposal, the law school over the years has emerged as the best law school in North India. Extra-Curricular activities were taking place every next day which gave students ample opportunities to hone their skills. Today, I find our alumni all across J&K and other parts of the country, holding very important positions and all of whom give credit to the School of Law, KU for their success,” he added.