Above: Rajshri Rai, managing director, ENC Group, with former CJI Justice MN Venkatachaliah
By Inderjit Badhwar
The multi-media ENC Group has been at the forefront of focusing on legal issues that impact the country and its citizens. It has done this consistently through its print publication, India Legal, and special programmes devoted to important legal issues on its sister news channel APN. It has also launched multiple initiatives in the legal field, including conclaves on contemporary issues, a live daily legal helpline and the India Legal Research Foundation (ILRF), a non-profit organisation which provides legal aid to those who cannot afford to bear such costs on their own. With our ever-expanding presence in the legal arena, we felt the need to have a patron, someone who commands the respect of the legal fraternity and can offer us sage advice and guidance whenever required. There could be no better choice than MN Venkatachaliah, former chief justice of India.
Since his retirement in 1994, he has served as the chairman of the National Human Rights Commission and also headed the National Commission to review the working of the Constitution. He also continues to remain active on anti-corruption and human rights issues. With such impeccable credentials, he was the first choice when the ENC Group decided on the need for a chief patron. He was extremely prompt in his response to the letter sent by Rajshri Rai, managing director, ENC Group, asking whether he would consent to assume the role of chief patron for the Group.
In his characteristic self-effacing style, Justice Venkatachaliah responded by writing, “I am an ‘Extinguished’ judge now, but out of sheer respect for your sentiments, I accept to be the ‘Chief Patron’ if you still insist.”
It is not just because he is a former chief justice of India that the Group was so keen to have him as its chief patron, but also because of his impeccable reputation and the causes he supports. Justice Venkatachaliah supported the launching of the Initiatives of Change Centre for Governance and was on the Advisory Board of the Foundation for Restoration of National Values. This is a society established in 2008 that was renamed the National and Cultural Values of India.
For the ENC Group, it is indeed a great honour to have him as our chief patron and benefit from his vast legal experience, his commitment to a corruption-free society, as an upholder of human rights and a staunch and consistent crusader for good governance.