- The mix of motivated students and faculty overseen by a Vice
Chancellor to whom dedication and discipline came naturally produced results
which made the Bar, Bench, law firms and other users sit up and take notice.
As his graduates entered the field, it was clear that
law had joined the ranks of other professions where much could be expected
from an entrant, and the entrant could expect commensurate responsibility,
position and compensation. Inevitably this led to the creation of other
national law schools which largely followed the Menon model, and whose heads
were often Menon trainees.
That one achievement would have been enough to
guarantee him a place in any honours listing, but Menon was far from done.
Judges too, especially young recruits to the service, needed training.
The National Judicial Academy (NJA) was set up in
Bhopal, and the Menon magic of institution-building created another sterling
institution from scratch. It became de rigueur to have this on the resume of
a judicial officer, and it was a mark of subject expertise to be invited to
teach a course.
In time this expanded to reach higher levels of the
judiciary, especially in new areas of law.
Many senior judges received their first exposure to
public interest litigation and human rights and environmental issues at the
NJA long before these became current coinage indeed, Menon’s endorsement of
these outlier subjects was a key reason for sceptics to become adherents.
Supreme Court judges also came to teach, learn and, on occasion, receive
reprimand for an errant judgment, which took the occupant of the apex court
back to his college backbencher days.