Internship Experience @ Chambers of Senior Advocate Vikas Pahwa, Delhi High Court: Sit in Client Conferences

Name. College. Year of Study

Ruchika Wadhawan, Amity Law School, Noida, 3rd Year LL.B

Name of the Organization. City

Chambers of Mr. Vikas Pahwa, Senior Advocate. New Delhi

About the Lawyer

Mr. Vikas Pahwa is a third generation criminal lawyer working in the Supreme Court of India and the Delhi High Court. Mr. Vikas Pahwa was designated as a Senior Advocate by the Delhi High Court in July 2011. He primarily practices on the Criminal side and has been seen doing cases in India and abroad.

We were told that he was part of the core team for conducting a Felony Trial before Three Members bench of Court of Appeal in Athens (Greece). In January 2008 he was appointed as Additional Standing Counsel for Delhi State in the Delhi High Court to represent the Delhi Police before the Delhi High Court.

In January 2009 he was also appointed as the Standing Counsel, Central Bureau of Investigation for matters in the Delhi High Court. He resigns from these posts upon his designation in 2011. Mr. Pahwa is an extremely zealous, professional and at the same time a very humble person.

Occasionally, he explained his journey as a lawyer and kept instilling in everyone the fact that we should always be honest with our work, and that is the approach that has given him the stature that he has today. This is definitely one thing I will always remember and take back with me.

Duration of the Internship

1st April – 30th April, 2016

How big was the office? Team strength?

Mr. Pahwa’s office stretches across 3 floors. The ground floor is the reception and waiting area, while the first floor is Mr. Pahwa’s personal space, with his room, a waiting area for the clients with a library, and a conference room. The basement is where all the associates and the interns are seated.

There are separate cabins for each associate, and an enormous space to walk around and for the interns to work. It also has a conference room, and a small kitchenette and an eating area. This floor also accommodates the main library for the interns and associates to use.

There were 7 associates and 4 interns during the time when I joined.

Application Procedure. Internship Contact Details

One can apply for an internship with Mr. Pahwa by sending their resume’s to his email address- [email protected]

Mr. Pahwa personally goes through the resumes and if he thinks a candidate is fit for internship, they are asked to join.

Duration in weeks. No. of days/week. Timings

Monday – Friday (5 days a week)

The day starts at 10:00 am by reaching the Court where Mr. Pahwa’s matter is listed. He usually has 5-7 matters in a day. Once they are over, everyone is headed to his office, and depending on the work, we are in office till 6-8pm.

First impression. First day, formalities etc.

On day one, the interns were expected to reach Mr. Pahwa’s office early around 9:45 am, where we were briefed by Sunil ji, his court clerk about the work process in his office. After that we were given a cause list which in the coming days was emailed to us listing all the matters in respective courts for which Mr. Pahwa was appearing.

After being briefed, we went to the Delhi High Court where Mr. Pahwa’s matters were listed. First we had to get our entry pass made, which was done with the help of one of his other clerks. On reaching court, we were introduced to Mr. Pahwa, and a formal introduction followed once we got back to his office. After hearing him argue in two matters here, we all proceeded to the Saket District Court for another hearing.

After his matters were over, we went back to his office. On Mr. Pahwa’s arrival, we were called to his room, where he interacted with the interns, asked us our names and the college where we studied. He told us to extract the maximum we could from this internship, and to approach the associates incase of any doubts or queries. After this, we were assigned some work by the associates.

The first day was kept light, interacting with the associates and getting familiarized with the work environment.

Main tasks

The day started with going to the court and attending the court proceedings where Mr. Pahwa’s case was listed, which on most days was the Delhi High Court. The good thing about this internship was the vast variety of cases Mr. Pahwa dealt in.

This gave us the opportunity to visit various courts, including the Supreme Court, Delhi High Court, Patiala House, Saket District Court, as well as the NGT. After reaching office, our main tasks primarily involved research work. The associates would brief us about the case and accordingly we did our research, utilising the library in office as well as legal research portals.

We were also asked to make ‘list of dates’ for various cases, along with making case notes, highlighting the grounds and relevant points. At times, we were also asked to assist Mr. Pahwa on research papers, giving him pertinent information about the topic. The interns also got a chance to sit in client conferences with Mr. Pahwa.

However, this depended on the nature of the case, as some cases were confidential and involved high profile clients. By attending the conferences, we got versed with the IPC, CRPC and the Indian Evidence Act. We also got acquainted with the Prevention of Corruption Act, as well as the Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act.

The associates also explained all the matters that Mr. Pahwa was appearing for, and also let us go through the case files, which gave us a better understanding of the case.

Work environment, people

The work environment was very friendly. Mr. Pahwa was extremely welcoming and always gave his advice and told us snippets of his experiences. The associates were immensely approachable, and helped us wherever we foundered.

Stipend

None

Biggest Lessons

During the internship with Mr. Pahwa, one gets alot of insight into criminal litigation. The exposure was immense and gave me a much better understanding of the litigation process in the court. Watching him argue in court is an experience in itself and nothing short of mesmerizing.

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