Internship Experience @ Justice V Gopala Gowda, Supreme Court, Delhi: Great learning experience, but I failed to impress

Name, College, Year of Study

Tanya Shrivastava, University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Dehradun,  2nd year

Internship Experience

There were many ways to do this internship; I chose the one which couldn’t have been more wrong!

Justice V. Gopala Gowda is a Supreme Court Judge, and my performance there made sure that he would not even remember my name.

I got this internship through a contact so I don’t exactly know how to apply for one. But I have heard that it is not easy to get this internship. Commuting was easy for me since I live very close to Moolchand metro station. One can very easily get PGs in the National Park area. Sir’s house was at a 15 minutes’ walking distance from Khan Market Metro Station.

The first day was exhilarating. I had a friend with me, so my adrenaline levels didn’t go up when we finally reached our destination, Justice Gowda’s bungalow, where a guard with a rifle on his shoulders looked at us suspiciously. We, in the fear of instant death, blurted out our names and the reason for our presence.

He made a call (probably to the office and not to the special security forces, as we suspected) and let us in, to a world which can only be defined with one word- Heaven!

The place where Justice Gowda lived was a dream house. Being in Delhi for two months, I had forgotten what “open space” looked like.

The residential building was a single floored big mansion and surrounding it were garden, that were so beautiful that they appeared better than half of the tourist places that I have visited. Adding to our amazement, as soon as we entered through the gate, we saw a peacock run by the garden!

Ogling at the scenic beauty there, for what seemed like an hour, we realized that we were getting late, so we hurried towards the office, which was a big room in front of the house.

There we were introduced to his Personal Secretary and the staff. We were briefed about our work and were shown the way to what was going to be our office for the days to come. It was a room attached to the house and was just opposite to Justice Gowda’s office.

He sat in his office early in the morning, before going to the Court and again in the evening.

He was not in Delhi when we joined the office, since the holidays were to continue for a few more days, but the case files arrive a few days before the hearing, so we were asked to join several days before the reopening of Supreme Court.

There were two other interns with us and two Court Clerks. Hence, the office got a little crowded.

We were informed that the present quantity of ‘legal interns’ is much more than they usually have here; and the office was spacious enough to fit only 3-4 pupils comfortably.

After sharing a few pleasantries with our “colleagues”, we commenced our work.

We were provided with a pile containing 30-40 files.

These were the SLPs and Contempt Petitions that were to be filed on the day of re-opening of Supreme Court. We were supposed to make briefs for Sir with which he can prepare himself for the hearing, because it was practically not possible to read all the 40 bulky files in a day.

We divided these files amongst us and started our work to read the files and make the briefs. It took us a lot of time to complete one file, in the beginning, but eventually we got used to it and it hardly took any time after a while.

One more intern joined us after a few days, making the office more crowded, but making work lesser.

The best thing about this internship is you learn to draft SLPs, you get to improve upon your writing skills (because you get to make 7-10 briefs a day) and you get to know the most important cases in town (which you are not allowed to share with anyone, of course!).

The first week of internship was hectic, since the first week after re-opening of Supreme Court is the miscellaneous week, which meant we had 30-40 cases for each day. But after the week, we did not have much work because there are only two miscellaneous days a week.

The staff there was good and they entertained any doubts that we had patiently. The court clerks were very friendly and we learned a lot from them (since they are amongst the brightest minds of their batches).

They even offered us tea, which they use to make themselves from their ration, and I took it at once and then this became a routine. My co-interns contributed in making the overall experience fun. They were senior to me therefore I got the opportunity to learn from their experiences.

Another good thing about interning under a Judge is that you get an ID card for Supreme Court, which is valid for the whole month, which meant no standing in line everyday to get an ID, and the interns can visit Court even on Mondays and Fridays (which other interns are not allowed to).

Hence, we got the opportunity to witness several high profile and significant cases, which were presented by high-profile and significant Counsels.

Moreover, I will never forget the rush of excitement that I got, walking through the Motilal Nehru Marg every day, passing through gates having the names of living legends, like Mukul Rohatgi, Justice Kalifulla, Justice Thakur and many more, on them.

For this internship, if we just finished our work within the provided time, no one would question us about our timings.

We could come late and leave early, as long as we submit the work on time. And I did exactly the same, which turned into the biggest regrets of my life.

I came after Sir had left for Court and left before he came to his office. I later realized that there was a whole other level of perks of being sincere.

Other interns came early and left late, and visited the Court regularly in the morning. They got to talk to Gowda sir on many occasions; in fact, they even got some research works directly from him.

I never had the opportunity to have an actual interaction with him, but from what I was told by the Court Clerks there, he is a very humble person and interacts very intently with the interns. He likes to share his abundant knowledge with the future lawyers and is a very modest person.

On my last day I realized that I had failed to make any impact on anyone during my time there.

This internship became a life lesson for me, and I finally learned that it is very easy to get lost in the crowd, but if you want to be successful, in anything, you will have to make that extra effort that will make you shine brighter than that crowd.

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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