Internship Experience @ Delhi State Legal Service Authority, New Delhi: Firsthand experience of the whole mediation process

Name

 Kirtika Chhatwal

Delhi Metropolitan Education, Noida

BA LLB (H), 2nd year

Organisation

Delhi State Legal Service Authority

Duration

6th July, 2015 – 27th July, 2015

Internship Experience

Like any other college student I had two options during my summer vacations either to laze around and spend my time under air conditioner or be a little productive and actually be part of an experience which I haven’t been a part of before.

Choosing the later, I made a decision to be a productive being and actually listening to my faculty and apply for an internship.

So with my mom’s and friend’s help I somehow, or they, managed to get an internship for me in DLSA Summertime Internship Programme 2015.

DLSA abbreviated form of Delhi State Legal Service Authority is a legal aid governmental organization formed within the state of Delhi to provide free legal services,promoting amicable resolution and spreading legal learning and awareness.

The programme is for 21 days where we are divided into groups and visit judicial as well as some other authorities where I had a chance to see how all of them function and manage in coherence with each other to make the functioning of our society easier.

I was a part of Group V also known as the Delhites group and being honest it was the best group for me, I had few people from my college as well as some from other reputed colleges as well and to sum it all we definitely had our share of fun. It surely was an amazing experience and here is the short description of the same.

Court Visits

Legal students who don’t really come out from a strong legal background like me or haven’t really seen the working and inside of courts, then this internship will surely give them a really good knowledge and experience about it.

So my first visit was in the Mediation Centre, Karkardooma District Court. Being honest before coming here I didn’t knew what mediation centre was in general in fact I didn’t knew any such thing like this do exist in our legal system.

Going into a little technical information the concept was initially started in US in 1970’s and India adopted it from their because of prime reason i.e. judiciary is over burdened and mediation is a short cut to long and lengthy court proceeding.

Mediation in honesty is an easy way to solve a dispute, there’s no pressure on parties, it is comparatively faster, confidential in nature and most importantly they have quality settlements.

Though this is not 100% successful in India but in near future this concept can turn out to be a great alternative to litigation. And trust me being a mediator is not an easy task ,they need to have 40 hrs of training and 20 live cases out of which 10 at least should be successful.

Thanks to the generosity of DLSA we got a firsthand experience of the whole mediation process.

We observed a live matrimonial dispute in front of us and later when the discussions were over the assigned mediator interacted with us told us about the basics as a lawyer we should observe as well as fields in which we could further get involved etc. Cutting short my first day came out to be my second best experience of my tenure.

Our next visit was in High Court where we got acquainted with court proceeding of two cases out of which one was a property dispute and other was of kidnapping plus murder of an 8 yr old child but due to lack of time we couldn’t attend the entire proceeding. Continuing we also had a chance to see Chief Justice’s court

Going further we also visited MM court, saket and saw how the court proceedings work in lower courts.

The internship also included our visit to Debt Recovery Tribunal-II,where one of the government officials gave us the file of a going case and explained all the working and procedures of DRT. We also got an insight from Mr. Asokan regarding the functioning of debt recover tribunal and  he also graced us with some career guidance.

Next and the most awaited visit by every one of us was our visit to Supreme Court of India. That place is like a heaven for us. Being first year students we all were really excited and were literally mesmerized with everything related to it.

Everything over there was up to the mark from the dress code of people to the rush of lawyers. You could actually see hustle all around you but the moment you enter the court room it feels as if all that sound or hustle just went on mute.

You could easily compare the difference between inside and outside the court in fact as I recall I was sitting next to this gentlemen and I could literally hear him breathe as disgusting it sounds but it’s a fact.

But I was so caught up ogling the scene in front of me and try to hear out what the judges are trying to say because they literally talk in hushed voices, every other thing around me was immaterial.

Then we were taken to Supreme Court’s library and truly speaking it was massive. It would be an understatement for bookworms, that place is like heaven and till date I dream about that library.

After visiting the library we ended our hefty day by going to Supreme Court’s canteen and let’s just say after our meal none of us could even move an inch. So I would suggest if you go to Supreme Court or high court must go to their canteen because food over there is fabulous.

Though our visit in POCSO court, saket was a failure due to a strike taking place over there and the judge being absent but all of us were looking forward to this visit.

Observation Homes

Observation Home for boys- I at Delhi Gate is for male juveniles who are in conflict with law and have cases pending in court. Instead of sending those to jail our law keep the juveniles in a secured shelter and it is not a prison or jail but more like a remand home.

My visit to OBH was the best experience of this entire internship. That was simply a wow experience for me. Everyone has this mediocre mindset that these kids are born like that, they are mannerless, are misfits of our society but the reality is something else, complete opposite of what we think.

When I visited OBH it was raining like cats and dogs and to locate that place was quite a task for us. Despite that we had our share of fun and a real learning experience at the end. So when we visited that place we were briefed over by one of the incharges over there and he told us all about the working, functioning and more over the significance of such a thing in our society.

After the briefing was over we got the opportunity to interact with those kids and when I met and heard those kids, I was astonished. Those kids were so well mannered, they greeted us, were really respectful and so keen to learn about things around them, in fact there is an art and skill unit over there where they teach art and crafts and their work was so pretty.

Just our luck, during the time we visited there was an NGO from US which consisted of 10-12 high schools NRI students from their and giving a gist their main motto was to come here and to inculcate the basic norms and values of the society so that when these kids come out they could easily jell up back to their normal lives. We also heard some of their grievances and left remarks for authority to look upon it.

Other than this we also visited the Juvenile Justice Board- I, Kingsway Camp where Ms. Priya Narang, who was working there, gave us insight of enforcement of Juvenile Justice Act through Juvenile Justice Boards which aims in reformation and rehabilitation of the juveniles.

Police Stations

The internship gave us the opportunity to visit two police stations, one was Police Station, Mandir Marg where we learn the functioning of a police station from ground level and another was Special Police Unit for Women & Children, Nanakpura  where the senior police officer discussed on the raising issues in hand regarding women and children and how this police station works for their well being as well as eased a lot of difficulties that women usually face.

Also, he gave us a blunt preview of current society and shared some personal life experiences with us which were really enlightening .

Other Organisations

Child Welfare Commission gave us a more realistic idea over real condition of women and children and how they suffer in our so called society and how there are laws made to protect them and also gave us a brief over POCSO. We also got to see a sustaining case over there.

One of the best visits in this internship was that of Tihar Jail. We got the opportunity to learn the lifestyle of convicts over there like juvenile court they go by the motto of reformation and rehabilitation.

We learnt how DLSA plays a crucial role in making convicts and under trials aware of their legal rights and also providing them with legal assistance.

We also got an opportunity to see the convicts work in mills and bakeries preparing products for the infamous TJS (AKA Tihar Jail Special). Meeting with DLSA officials ,threw some light upon how there is a need of  transformation in our society so as to give acceptance to the convicts that come out of the jail as reformed citizens and try to make a living but yet fail to find acceptance from our society.

At SPYM i.e. Society for Promotion of Youth and Masses, we met the official who was a teacher I presume at the organization and gave us an introduction to the concept of drugs, their consumption, effects of drugs and addiction . There were remarkable measures taken for rehabilitants in leaving their addiction and commendable efforts were made by a number of them.

The organization also supports a literacy programme for these juveniles. We saw their honey comb methods of teaching and other methods of teaching by way of posters, book writing with illustrations, books with devices to teach children pronunciation etc.

But these organization believe in making an afterlife for them and help them develop skills in fields so they could make a living and some who were disowned by their families or discarded by the society and no other resolution left, the organization would try finding them a job and if there is a vacancy in the organization itself they would hire them to fill in.

We in fact saw a lot of ex rehabilitants working there and sharing their success stories.

On whole this was an amazing experience which gave me a lot of new knowledge about our Indian law system and how everyone is working together to make a better society for us to live in.

Though I would recommend if you can get internship in DLSA or any other legal aid in your state do that internship, it’s beneficial for you.

Plus during my tenure I got to see a lot of places in Delhi which even being a delhites I never got chance to come across. You also get to meet a lot of people which I don’t think might entertain us in some other circumstances.

Best moments of my internship apart from my experience was the friends I made and being around foodies, the one thing that was constant was the food we ate whenever we visited a new place.

Though having so many perks this programme has its flaws like if you’re not on time you might miss a lot so I would suggest everyone to meet before 15 minutes before the prescribed time at the location so you don’t miss out on anything.

Plus don’t forget to wear formals during your court visit specially Supreme court, I still remember a lot of us not wearing coat because of which we missed the golden opportunity of visiting CJI’s court. So yeah that’s about it.

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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Comments Till Now

  1. E.S. Jagadeeshwar says:

    Dear Kirtika, you are fortunate you had very nice experience in the initial stage of your Legal studies. These memories will have a long term impact on you. Once you entered into active law practice you know the real life.

    Wish you all the best.

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