Ram Balak Mahto Foundation




The Ram Balak Mahto Memorial Essay Competition is held in memory of Mr. Ram Balak Mahto (1926-2020), an eminent and distinguished lawyer. Late Mr. Mahto was a famous legal luminary in the disciplines of constitutional law and other areas of law. This Essay Competition is organised to commemorate his accomplishments in the field of law and continue it in his remembrance. The Competition aims to increase academic scholarship in critical areas of constitutional law by stimulating interest and fostering growth amongst students in exploring and engaging with contemporary and seminal issues in the field of constitutional law. The Competition is organised by the Ram Balak Foundation with unwavering support and guidance from members from both the Bar and the Bench.


After the resounding success of the first edition of the competition, which saw the participation of students from universities and institutions across India, the Ram Balak Mahto Foundation is pleased to organise the 2nd edition of the Ram Balak Mahto Memorial Essay Competition. This year, the theme of the Competition is “Emerging Perspectives in Constitutional Interpretation.”

As India celebrates 75 years of independence, it is an appropriate time for us to step back from the political debates over the Constitution and examine how the text has been interpreted by the courts over the last seven and a half decades. The Supreme Court adopted a textualist approach in the early years after Independence, focusing on the plain meaning of the words used in the Constitution. Later, this strict literal interpretation was progressively supplanted by a more liberal type of interpretation, in which the Supreme Court began to appeal to the overall structure and coherence of the Constitution. The Supreme Court's broad interpretative powers laid the groundwork for it to assume an unprecedented role in national governance. We are currently transitioning to a more purposeful interpretation of the Constitution in accordance with its revolutionary and transformative potential.

Participants are free to write on, and choose, any suitable topic for their essay as long as it is within the ambit of the aforementioned theme.

  • The Competition is open to all undergraduate and postgraduate students enrolled in any recognised university/college in India
  • There is no registration fee for participating in the Competition, however, interested participants are required to click here to register
  • The essay must be written in English and submitted in Microsoft Word document format (.doc/.docx)
  • Co-authorship up to a maximum of two authors is permitted.
  • Only one submission is allowed per author/team. Submissions, both as co-author and single, will be treated as multiple submissions and will be disqualified as an entry to the competition.
  • The following formatting specifications need to be strictly adhered to: Main Body: Font – Times New Roman, Font Size – 12, and Line Spacing – 1.5; Footnotes: Font – Times New Roman, Font Size – 10, and Line Spacing – 1.0; Margins should be 1 inch or 2.54 cm on all sides
  • The word limit is 2500-3000 words excluding footnotes. Footnotes must follow the Bluebook system of citation (Harvard, 20th edition).
  • The essay must contain an abstract, not exceeding 250 words (which would not be counted in the word limit for the essay). It must indicate the theme/topic
  • All submissions should be made in an electronic form at rambalakmahtofoundation@gmail.com under the subject heading "Submission: 2nd Ram Balak Mahto Memorial Essay Competition" by 19 March 2023, 23:59 hours (Indian Standard Time, GMT +5:30).
  • The essay must be accompanied by a separate document containing the following information about the participant: (i) full name of the participant; (ii) theme/topic chosen; (iii) participant’s current year of study and name of the degree pursued; (iv)name and full address of the participant’s university; (v) name and full postal address of the participant; (vi) phone number of the participant; and (vii) email ID of the participant
  • The essay must be original and bonafide work of the participant. Incomplete or plagiarised submissions shall be summarily rejected. The plagiarism limit is 15% (excluding footnotes).
  • No part of the essay should contain any form of identification of the participant such as the name of the author, University/College name, etc. on the essay. Any form of identification will lead to disqualification.


  • The essays will be evaluated in a two-stage process on the basis of original thinking, grasp of the subject, writing skills and choice of topic.

  • All submissions received will be evaluated by a screening committee comprising practising Advocates, legal academicians and other legal professionals.

  • The top 5 essays shall be sent to the judging panel comprising Hon'ble (Retd.) High Court Judges and Senior Advocates at the Supreme Court of India.



  • Winner: The Lal Narayan Sinha Gold Medal for Best Essay, ₹ 10,000 and an internship opportunity with a Senior Advocate at the Supreme Court of India/ sitting Judge of a High Court.

  • Runner-up: ₹ 5,000 and an internship opportunity with a Senior Advocate at the Supreme Court of India/ sitting Judge of a High Court.

  • The top five essays will be awarded a Certificate of Merit. A Certificate of Participation will be awarded to all the participants.



  • The organisers shall endeavour to declare the results of the competition by 9 April 2023.

  • By entering the Competition, the participants agree to indemnify the organisers from and against all claims, suits and damages based on any claim of copyright infringement or plagiarism or unauthorised use.

  • Any copyright infringement/plagiarism shall result in automatic disqualification. The organisers reserve the right to recall any prize if it is discovered later that the article suffered from any copyright infringement/plagiarism.

  • If there arises any situation that is not contemplated in the rules, the organisers’ decision on the same shall be final and binding. The administration of the Competition, including determining the eligibility of any participant or essay, evaluation of essays, and awarding of the prizes, is within the sole and absolute discretion of the organisers.



  • For inquiries, please email us at rambalakmahtofoundation@gmail.com or contact Viraj Aditya at +91 8210697371 /+91 8447488295.



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    27 JAN 2023
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    9 APR 2023