None Wiser than the Law is a miniseries of in-depth conversations with Justice MN Venkatachaliah, providing an intimate exploration of the legal realm, his life journey, political insights, and the Indian constitution. The title of this podcast draws inspiration from Aristotle, who said to seek to be wiser than the law is the very thing which is by good laws forbidden. Justice Venkatachaliah, a distinguished figure in the realm of jurisprudence, acknowledges this aphorism in one of his landmark judgments, setting the tone for this series of conversations.

The host, Alok Prasanna Kumar, a co-founder of the Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy, spoke to former Chief Justice of India MN Venkatachaliah in August 2023. Their discussion spans an array of topics, encapsulating the Justice’s journey from a young lawyer to a Supreme Court judge, his landmark judgments, and his insights on the ever-evolving legal landscape and society.

With over seventy years of experience as a lawyer, judge and public figure, Justice Venkatachaliah has seen it all – the birth of indepedendent India, the tenures of multiple Prime Ministers, the rise of social movements, secession, deep social conflicts and their resolutions.

What does he make of India and the journey it has taken over the last 75 odd years?

In this episode, we will be hearing from Justice Venkatachaliah on his perspectives on the state of the Indian judiciary, what the legal profession ought to be like and where legal education should go.

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Show Notes


DPP v. Shaw [1961] UKHL 1 (04 May 1961)
In re, Erada Padinharedil Govindan Nair v. State , May 4, 1992
Ameer Khan case (1870),, for a larger discussion on the larger principles :


The Bill of Rights, 1689, UK
US Patriots Act,


Responsa: Selected Legal Opinions by Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru, 1976
The theory of Moral Sentiments, Adam Smith 1790.