Internship Experience @ State Legal Services Authority, Chandigarh: Enhanced my knowledge in the field of law

Intern Details

Name –    Sukhjeet Kaur

College – University Institute of Legal Studies,Panjab University, Chandigarh

Year of study – 3rd year

Duration of internship

1st July to 25th July, 2015

With pleasure, here I would love to share my experience of interning at State Legal Services Authority, U.T., Sector 9, Chandigarh. Although it was mine second internship but now when my mind flashbacks I always recall it as mine first step towards the boldness. The internship made me stronger and changed my habit of blind reaction to the situations.

I did the internship in the month of July, 2015. It was an internship programme of 25 days. But as the institute remained closed on Saturdays and Sundays, so I hardly worked for about 18 days with the institute.

On the very first day of my internship, I and my teammates were introduced to the institute by Mr. Lal Chand, Member Secretary, SLSA. Then on the guidance of Sh. Rajeshwar Singh, Law Officer, we made a number of visits to different adorable places which could never be possible if I didn’t chose SLSA as a guide to my flourishing career.

My first visit was to the “Mediation Centre, District Court, Sector 43, Chandigarh”, where I came across Advocate Manjeet Kaur (Mediator) who helped me to recognize what actually Mediation meant. Under her guidance I observed Negotiation between the parties and assisted her in deriving the reasons of the fight between the parties.

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Before joining her I heard the name of Mediation but now I can actually say that, Yes mediation is a boon for society. Mainly Mediation is an informal process which does not bind the parties by its rule. It is completely a voluntary process which enables the parties to be the key players in the dispute settlement process.

In this Mediation centre I came across a few cases through which I came to a conclusion that the society fights for the petty issues and the mediation is the one which prevents the conversion of conflicts to war. The main problem which I suffered in this Mediation centre was that I was unable to see session of even one case due to lack of time.

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My second visit was to SLSA itself where once again me and my teammates were thoroughly explained the process of Legal aid by Sh. Rajeshwar Singh, Law Officer.

The Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 has been enforced to provide free legal aid for filing or defending a case in court of law by a member of SC and ST s, victim of trafficking of humans, women, child, person in custody including in a protective Home, Juvenile Home, Psychiatric hospital or a person whose annual income from all sources does not exceed Rs. 1 lakh.

The legal aid could be provided by:

a) The payment of court fees,

b) Lawyer fees,

c) Through representation by a legal practitioner in legal proceedings,

d) By supplying certified copies of judgments, order, notes or evidences and other documents in legal proceedings,

e) By drafting of legal documents,

f) By giving legal advice on any legal matter,

g) Through Mediation centres and Family Counseling Centres

My next visit was to an Old age Home in Chandigarh only. It was a small visit as here I just got personally interacted to the humans of the home. They shared their life experiences with us. I would like to share a funny yet sad instance in which we were being told by an old man that how he pursued his law degree from Lahore before Partition.

As he told, he was the most selfish person of his time and how he misused his legal profession. He married thrice and his third wife was 25 years younger to him. Further he narrated that he was the one who helped a young lady to fraud his parents only to procure the will and as he narrates, even after having four rich and successful sons, he was in the old age home as a result of his sins….

Under the guidance of Adv. Manjeet Kaur I attended my first workshop i.e. on the implementation of POCSO (Protection of children from sexual offences). It was a wonderful experience as for the first time I came across a number of offences committed against the children.

Taking a guidance note and influencing my knowledge on the advice of Sh. Rajeshwar Singh I gave five lectures on POCSO and fundamental duties in different model schools of Chandigarh such as:

a) Model Sr. Sec. School , Sector 15 Chandigarh ( 2 times)

b) Model  Sr. Sec. School, Sector 16 Chandigarh ( 1 time)

c) Model High School, Sector 22 Chandigarh ( 1 time)

d) Shri Guru Harkrishan Model School , Sector 38D Chandigarh (1 time)

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These lectures helped me in gaining a personal interaction with youngsters. Students as well as I myself enjoyed a lot in delivering wonderful lectures which could be well quoted as a discussion or a healthy discussion among people of different strata.

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My last visit was to a well known “Transforamation Centre” i.e. Burail Jail, Sec-51, Chandigarh. It was the most adventurous visit of my internship. It is a well known fact that no private person can enter the jail premises without pre – police verification and I was the only student who didn’t get verified.

It was the most painful moment for me when I got to know that my name was not on the jail visit list. I was the only one who was the most curious to visit the jail and only my name was not in the list it was a big shock.

But fortunately it was my Dad who himself took whole of the burden and went to the police station for the verification and got the application signed from the officer-in-charge and after taking application he went to the prison authorities to deliver the signed (verified) application and then again he went to SLSA building to check that whether the name was still missing.

But no, this time my name was in the list, which was the proud moment because once again he proved that he was my real hero.

The last visit was to the BURAIL JAIL. How could I forget it? I entered it not as a prisoner but as a law student. I couldn’t forget those prisoners with white kurta pyjamas, cooking food, making furniture (convicted ones) and those under trials who were without proper clothes only for the sake of sympathy of the Law officer and the visitors.

We met some of the women prisoners also who were being given vocational training of stitching etc. The best thing which I loved about the Transformation Centre was that the prisoners were being paid off for their work which would further enhance them in living a prosperous life.

In the end I could say that Yes it was really a Transformation Centre where the convicts are actually trained to have a new life after getting free.

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I would like to conclude that I had gained a wonderful experience while working with SLSA as it helped me a lot in enhancing my knowledge in the field of law and taught me that how could I work legally for the welfare of the society.

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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