Drafting is considered to be one of the core areas where a company secretary operates. The Professional Programme places this paper under the First module and therefore in this article, we will be discussing some relevant study tips that would help a CS aspirant clear the paper with ease. Drafting is considered to be one of the easiest subjects and is also one of those subjects about which students possess a lot of misconceptions.
OVERVIEW OF THE SUBJECT:
Drafting Appearances & Pleadings (100 marks) generally emphasizes the art and principles of Drafting coupled with a basic knowledge of Pleadings and Appearances before any judicial authority. Drafting, in a legal sense, means an act of preparing legal documents. A proper understanding of drafting cannot be realized unless the nexus between the law, facts and language is fully understood and accepted. Moreover, this paper presupposes the knowledge of substantive law, therefore, students are advised to have a thorough knowledge of the same by referring to various acts mentioned in the ICSI study material.
RELEVANCE OF THIS SUBJECT FOR THE PROFESSION:
In a company, various deeds are drafted and numerous agreements are entered into in a routine basis, a company secretary is one of the top professionals from the secretarial perspective in a company is looked upon for doing the same job. Drafting of deeds and documents usually forms part of the multifaceted duties of a company secretary. Therefore to ensure that a company secretary can live up to the high level of benchmark that is expected, the art of drafting is something one must surely possess.
OBJECTIVE OF ICSI BEHIND INTRODUCING THIS SUBJECT:
To provide expert knowledge of drafting, documentation and advocacy techniques.
STUDY WISE TIPS FOR PREPARING THE PAPER:
Before discussing the study tips, it is important to clear one big misconception that most of the students have which is- they believe only practicing the various deeds would help the clear the examination. Such students do not lay emphasis on the theoretical portion of the paper and hence they face a lot of difficulties in clearing the same. It is advisable not to have this kind of approach when one is preparing for this paper. To clear any exam belonging to any professional course a proper plan and disciplined approach towards the preparation is a must. Therefore in that regard, some of the Do’s and Don’ts have been mentioned below.
- Do focus primarily on understanding the concepts and principles.
- Do make sure to engage in the written practice
- Do make sure to understand, learn and revise the relevant provisions of the relevant laws. Drafting is nothing but a synthesis of law, facts and language.
- Do read at least one English article in a day. It would help one build command over the language and also sharpen the presentation skills.
- Do focus on the presentation while preparing any deed. Presentation matter a lot for this paper.
- Do study from the ICSI study material and practice drafting as many deeds as possible.
- Do develop writing skills for theoretical questions. This paper is actually lengthy but quoting only the relevant extracts from the relevant provisions while answering any question would ensure that the paper is completed in time. But this is something one will develop with practice.
- Don’t mug up the syllabus. The focus should be to be conceptually sound.
- Don’t ignore a single deed. There are many deeds in the ICSI study material but if a student practices say 2 deeds a day, then all the deeds from the study material could be done away with within one and a half months.
- Don’t depend too much on your private tutor. There are not many private tutors who teach this subject well. Therefore self-reliance for this paper is a must.
HOW TO STUDY THE DRAFTING APPEARANCES & PLEADINGS :
This paper contains a total of eleven chapters. The most important chapter that would build a base for the entire paper is Lesson 2: “General principles of drafting and general substantive laws.” This chapter provides for certain important concepts ranging from the meaning of the term drafting and conveyancing to the components of a deed. Each and every concept relating to drafting has been discussed beautifully. To ensure smart drafting of deeds, proper knowledge of this chapter is a must.
- Lesson 1 deals with the Judicial and Administrative Framework which basically enlightens us about the procedure how the Judicial and Administrative machinery in India operate. Beginning from types of courts to various procedural aspects of the same has been covered in detail.
- Lesson 4 to Lesson 8 cover the aspect of Drafting various deeds and documents that holds relevance in a company secretary’s profession. Drafting a deed depends upon the application of the law in relation to the facts and proper use of language. The proper way of practicing deeds has been discussed below.
HOW TO PRACTICE DRAFTING OF DEEDS:
Drafting a deed is impossible without proper knowledge of applicable laws and the scope of the deed. For example, to prepare a Power of Attorney one has to know the concept of power of attorney and the provisions applicable to the same.
After going through the legal provisions affecting a deed, one must refer the specimen deed provided in the ICSI material and point out the facts from the Recital clause to gain a proper understanding of the facts and background of the deed.
The Operative part of the deed requires a smart application of the applicable legal provisions to protect the interest of either one or both the parties. One must use the provisions very smartly to create balanced protection of the rights and interests of all the parties to a deed.
After going through the specimen, one must practice the deed immediately.
- Lesson 9, 10 and 11 deal with Pleadings, Art of writing opinions and Appearances respectively. These topics cover simple theoretical aspects which one has to go through. However, these topics should not be ignored. These topics should be covered from the ICSI study material only.
HOW MANY HOURS A DAY SHALL ONE STUDY THIS SUBJECT:
Nobody can predict the exact number of hours one must study per day in order to excel at any examination. No. of hours of study per day is actually a relative concept that depends on person to person with their areas of strength and weaknesses playing an important part. Importance shall also be given to quality over quantity. However, where one is unsure and confused about their strategy, one may refer to the following strategy and improvise it as per their convenience:
- Study the subject at least three days a week investing at least two and a half hours a day.
- Keep one day for revising and learning the topics covered in the aforesaid three days
Therefore, four days a week would surely be enough to prepare this subject. The aim should be to complete the syllabus of this paper for three months, and abiding by the above-mentioned study schedule, it is possible to do so.
POINTS TO BE REMEMBERED WHILE PREPARING FOR DRAFTING
APPEARANCES AND PLEADINGS :
- Solving the practice questions and past exam question papers is a must.
- Revision is must, one would lose grip of the topics previously covered if not revised properly.
- The practice of drafts is a must
- Preparing self-notes is always going to help.
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