Internship Experience @ Chambers of Senior Advocate JP Khaitan, Calcutta High Court: Work Relating to Income Tax and Service Tax

Name, College and Year of Study

Rajarshi Basu

National Law University, Odisha , 2nd Year BA.LL.B.

Internship Details

Internship at the Chambers of Mr J.P. Khaitan, Sr. Advocate, Calcutta High Court.

From June 1, 2015 to July 3, 2015 (4 week period).

Location: Calcutta (Kolkata)

Application Process

Mr. Khaitan , generally, does not take in interns under his tutelage. It  is normally his junior associates who mentor the interns.

I was fortunate to be under his tutelage for the entire duration of my internship. I had a contact in his practice who helped me secure this internship.

Timings and Location

I was required to  attend the sessions at Calcutta High Court from 10:30 am to 4:30 pm. Mr Khaitan has chambers both, near the Calcutta High Court and at his residence.

I was required to attend his Chambers at the High Court on weekdays and at his residence on weekends.

There was no stipulated work time. You could stay as long as you want or needed. However, he maintains strict timelines.

First Day Formalities and Infrastructure

The thing with interning under a private practitioner is that there is a lot of one-on- interaction. There were not a lot of formalities involved on the first day and I was quickly introduced to his associates.

Mr. Khaitan and his associates are very congenial and forthcoming. Since, it was my first internship, Mr. Khaitan personally instructed me on what I was required to do and handed me the tasks as well.

His associates are very helpful.

If you do not know something you can be unhesitant in asking them and you will learn a lot by just having a conversation with them.

Although, it is a private practice, the chambers are well furbished with all kinds of research aids both, manual and online. Mr. Khaitan prefers that interns do their research work manually as he believes that is the best way to learn.

Both his chambers are stocked to the hilt with resources and aids and it is easy to get lost in them. His staff is very helpful in pointing out the correct resources.

The online resources are always accessible should you need to use it or look up a precedent.

Tasks

Mr. Khaitan specializes in appellate tax work and my main tasks were to read the brief and do research on various questions of law raised in the appeals.

I did a good quantum of work relating to Income Tax and Service Tax.

My other important task was to attend the sessions at the High Court which was thoroughly enjoyable and eye opening. Almost every day after the court went in recess, Mr Kahitan and I would discuss the cases on the docket for that day.

Work Environment

The work environment was conspicuously informal and I personally enjoyed my time with his associates.

They were lovely, warm, and forthcoming with all kinds of advice, from careers to restaurants.

I enjoyed every moment in the chambers, from the high pressure situations to low workload.

Pros and Cons

The best thing about interning under Mr. Khaitan is you get to see a lawyer at the peak of his profession.

He is an encyclopedia of knowledge and anecdotes, which he shares  freely with his juniors. He does not differentiate between his associates and interns.

I had the same work load as all his associates. I, definitely, learnt a lot from him, including courtroom etiquette as well as how to read judges. More importantly I learnt that knowledge was irreplaceable in this profession.

The only con about this internship was that it seemed a very short one and time absolutely flew by when we were working.

Lodgings in Calcutta

I am from Calcutta (Kolkata) so I had no problem going to the work place from my home. However, Calcutta has an abundance of  motels, PG’s, and guest houses near the High Court area, so it won’t be difficult to find lodgings.

The area around the High Court is full to the brim with eateries so that won’t be a concern either.

Stipend

Mr Khaitan does not remunerate his interns but the knowledge and hands-on experience one gains is more than sufficient to compensate for the lack of any pecuniary incentives.

Biggest Lesson Learnt

Mr Khaitan embodies the essence of being a lawyer and his work ethic does rub off on anyone who spends time working for him. I learnt what it is to be a lawyer along with the subtle courtroom tactics that he is known for.

This entry has been submitted for the LexisNexis-Lawctopus Internship Experience Writing Competition 2015-2016. iPleaders is the learning partner for this competition.

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