Gaurav Bhatia: Living a heady cocktail of Politics and Law

Proximity to the SP First Family and the Party Cadre

Articulating the Party Line

Are you pursuing law education? Do you wish to be a lawyer! Here is a career story of a lawyer who is the present spokesperson for the Samajwadi Party – Gaurav Bhatia. He is often seen defending the party and giving the party view against issues that make news. He was recently granted another term as a party spokesperson. He is a practising Supreme Court lawyer. He is an Honorary Secretary & Advocate on Record – Supreme Court, Spokesperson & National President – Legal Wing Samajwadi Party.

He studied Law at the Lucknow University. His areas of practice are Commercial Litigation & Consumer Law. He is known to be candid when giving his opinion on issues but puts up a fierce defence of his party’s line on issues as and when required. His ability to mould public opinion has made him a favourite among the party members. He has access to even the highest echelons of power in the state and to the close-knit group that dominates the party and includes Mr. Mulayam Singh Yadav and his extended family. Mr. Yadav has been at the forefront when it comes to managing the power tussles in the family but he has also ensured a legion of party functionaries that are fiercely loyal and are keen to prove their allegiance as and when given an opportunity.

He is following in the footsteps of his father, Virendra Bhatia, who was also a lawyer and advocate general of Uttar Pradesh as well as a Rajya Sabha member nominated by the Samajwadi Party. He was the Additional Advocate General (AAG) and is the National President of Samajwadi Party’s Legal Cell. He represented the state in the Supreme Court from May 2012 to the time he resigned in March 2016. His association with politics and the Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh thus goes a long way.

Mr. Gaurav Bhatia’s take on issues makes him take a diametrically opposite position from that taken by the popular prime time news anchors. It is inevitable thus that the TV show becomes more of a soap opera with the opposing sides taking potshots at each other. He is often seen as a protagonist in the drama that plays out on TV shows wherein those from the smaller parties are always grilled on subjects of national, international or parochial concern. A clear-cut presentation of party opinion comes easily from his professional moorings in the legal world. As it happens in the case of eminent lawyers, it is but a natural progression to become a party spokesperson and test oneself on the hustings on the party ticket. Arun Jaitley’ rise in the BJP can be seen as the one to be seen as the career path to trace for a lawyer. Lawyers’ services are sought after even in the political parties because of the functional competency they bring along. Also, the significance of having a lawyer on the party rolls ensures that during any issue that involves a protest or taking a legally challengeable position. Experienced in resenting cogent arguments to deal with the matter on hand, lawyers occupy a place of prominence in all political parties. Politicians coming from the legal background include the likes of Meenakshi Lekhi and Abhishek Manu Sanghvi.

Gaurav Bhatia’s position on issues relating to cow slaughter happens to be at odds with the ‘cow vigilantes’.  He thus has had to put a strong defence on TV shows over the last few months. Mohd. Akhlaq case and the resulting beef brigade brouhaha vitiated the communal harmony in the state but he was at the forefront in trying to salvage the situation in order to avoid a recurrence of Muzaffarnagar riots like situation.

Lawyers such as Mr. Parasaran and Harish Salve have also had careers epitomizing success stories in the political-legal environs and corporate law respectively.