Internship Experience @ Odisha Human Rights Commission, Bhubaneswar: Interaction with Judges, Good Work Environment

Name, College, Year of Study, Email ID

Atmaja Tripathy. I am a student from 2nd year, Symbiosis Law School, Pune, [email protected]

Name of Organisation, Location, Team Strength

Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC), Bhubaneswar.

A group of around 10 people were interning together, all from varied local as well as national law schools.

Application Process

Applying for the internship at the OHRC was pretty simple and easy a task.

I got the contact details of the Secretary, OHRC from their official website and inquired about internship vacancy around a month or two before my internship dates.

For being certain about the internship, I had sent a recommendation letter from college to OHRC stating the dates I would prefer to intern.

That simple it was to apply for the internship.

Duration of internship and timings

I interned for a period of 21 days in the month of November.

Three week’s time was the fixed tenure for internship at OHRC.

Internship timings started from 10:30, right before the start of the Human Rights Court and continued till 3:30 – 4:00 PM.

First impression, first day formalities, infrastructure

First impression regarding my 1st internship in the law school career wasn’t bad at all.

Formalities at OHRC were pretty similar to that of any other organization.

I was made to sign a joining report and then meet the internship co-ordinator.

Then we had a formal meeting with the Acting Chairperson of the commission who was a retired judge of the Odisha High Court.

Infrastructure of the OHRC is decent enough.

It is situated in a complex in the main centre of Bhubaneswar closeby to the State Assembly and the Commissionerate of Police.

The OHRC occupies one floor entirely in the building shared by other commissions like the Women’s Commission, the Odisha Information Commission, The Electorate Commission, The panchayati Raj Commission and other such commissions.

The Commission has an elaborate seating arrangement in the Human Rights Court for the interns and other parties coming for the human rights violation cases.

It even has a conference hall where interns are allowed to sit and peruse through the case files.

Main tasks

The tasks for a first internship experience were quite simple and interesting.

All the interns were to read the files of the cases that were to appear in the daily court sessions.

Due to the keen interest of the Acting Chairperson, we got the special opportunity to brief and present the case on behalf of the petitioner and we assisted the commission in the decision making process by putting forth our views as to what could be the probable end of a case.

We had a proactive role in the deliberations of the court.

Since the acting chairperson was a retired High court judge, he had in-depth legal knowledge and assigned us work to read different important judgements and provisions of CrPC and the Human Rights Act, based upon which we were asked questions, though not very often.

Work environment and people

Work Environment was pretty decent with interns from good law schools like GNLU, NLUO, ILS,Pune and Bharatiya Vidyapeetha Law School.

Perks of doing an internship in OHRC in the month of November- December was that, I got the privilege of hearing distinguished persons, namely top bureaucrats, academic, social activists and above all Hon’ble Chief Justice of the Odisha High Court, Justice A.K. Goel who is currently Judge, Supreme Court of India.

I got this special opportunity when the Commission observed the “World Human Rights day” on 10th December.

Coming to my fellow interns, they were fine with the work assigned, but few were a bit irregular which was not definitely worth doing the internship at OHRC.

Best things

As already said getting a chance to listen to and interact with judges and top bureaucrats of the state is a very blessed opportunity amidst the internship.

Bad things

The irregularity of the interns despite the work being interesting.

Nevertheless, the few regular colleagues really made it memorable and worthy.

Stipend

No stipend was provided.

Biggest Lessons

Lessons as in the real sense were learnt. Important judgments, the Human Rights Court proceedings, the powers of the Human Rights Court and how it can make senior state officials including police personnel and IAS officers accountable for different human rights violation cases, the suo motu power of the Commission to take up cases and other provisions of the CrPC were few aspects of my learning at the OHRC internship.

Any Other Thing

Definitely as a first internship, OHRC encouraged me further to know more about human rights issues and most importantly it made my internship experience a good learning and fun time.

Even there are places nearby to chill and enjoy lighter moments with the co-interns which makes the whole work wholesome and enjoyable.

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