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HTLS 2017 speaker: Ravi Shankar Prasad, from lawyer to lawmaker

Hindustan Times Leadership Summit 2017: Ravi Shankar Prasad Union minister, law and justice

htls Updated: Nov 17, 2017 08:35 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Ravi Shankar Prasad,HTLS 2017,HTLS
Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad during an address(Sushil Kumar/ HT File Photo)

As a young civil liberties lawyer in Patna, Ravi Shankar Prasad would fight cases for the poor free of cost. Years later, now Union minister of law and justice, Prasad says that experience is coming handy in shaping reforms in justice administration.

Days spent in prison as a student activist from the anti-Emergency movement four decades ago have helped as well. Access to justice is now a key focus area for reform for the Modi government.

Under the ministry of communications and information technology, of which Prasad holds dual charge, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship project – Digital India – has empowerment of the poor at its nucleus.

A three-time Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha, Prasad, 63, was minister of state for coal, minister for law, and minister for information and broadcasting under Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the first NDA government. While in the coal ministry, he was credited for the turnaround of Coal India. As I&B minister, he rebranded the International Film Festival of India by moving it out of Delhi to the international holiday destination Goa.

Soon after the BJP went out of power in 2004, Prasad was appointed one of the party’s national spokespersons. Coupled with his appearances in important court cases, including the Ram Janmbhoomi matter, his job as the principal opposition party’s media face ensured that Prasad was never away from the headlines.

As law minister now, his reform push includes repealing old and obsolete laws, tackling pendency of cases in Indian courts, and ensuring that a transparent and accountable mechanism for appointment of judges is put in place.

First Published: Nov 17, 2017 08:34 IST