Full name of the Lawyer, City and State
Advocate Kamal Gupta, Zilla Court Compound, Chamber No. 33, Indore City, Indore, Madhya Pradesh- 452002
About the Advocate
Advocate Kamal Gupta is a well-known and a reputed defence advocate in city. He is practising since 1983. His forte is criminal law, but he also excels in civil and family court matters. He also provides legal assistance. Along with him, I also worked under his son Advocate Amod Gupta, who is also well-known in court premises and does full justice to his father’s work with his enthusiasm and experience.
Student Name, College and Year of Study
Khyati Tongia, Department of Law, Prestige Institute of Management and Research, Indore
18th June 2018 to 17th July 2018
There was as such no application process. I interned with my friend. Her father and Advocate Kamal Gupta sir happened to be friends.
So, one day we went to his chamber and gave her father’s reference and asked can we work under him for a month as interns. To which he replied from next Monday, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm. So, we joined from next Monday.
First Day Formalities Initial Impressions
We were asked to report at 11:00 am in formals, behind Courtroom Number 15, as sir’s table was set behind Courtroom No.15 where all the clients came. We reached court at 10:50 am, but it took us more than 15 minutes to find courtroom number 15 and it is at this time where the realization struck that the court is no less than a labyrinth where a person can be easily lost. Also, the real courts are nothing close to the courts as shown in movies and tv-series.
We were greeted by Advocate Amod Gupta Sir, who greeted us and had a quick chat with us, asking us our names and colleges and telling us about the seniors who also happened to intern under him in the previous years. Ending the chat before serious work, he told us that by the end of the internship we would definitely improve our Hindi vocabulary (which is true). His junior stating that we’ll learn which courtroom is where and not get lost. The court had more than 40 Courtrooms.
Around 12:00 pm, Sir showed the Advocate’s Diary saying that without having this diary, the advocate’s day in the court gets difficult. The advocate’s diary contains heads like Case Numbers, Name of the Parties, Courtroom Numbers, Judge’s Name, Stage at which the case is and lastly when the next hearing. On the first day itself, sir gave us the diary to maintain it for the next month. It was a responsible job for any error, not only would we be held accountable but even the clients and Sir would face problems.
Around 12:30 pm, following that day’s page on advocate diary, we went from courtroom to courtroom to another courtroom, for the cases that were scheduled. On the way, sir told us the case summary in hand and also explained various things about courts. For example, how the same courtroom heard both civil and criminal cases, while hearing civil matters it is called the civil court and while hearing criminal matters it is known as sessions court. Also, on way, he introduced us to his colleagues and answered all our doubts and queries.
We had our break from 2-3 pm. The court had various joints outside, but interestingly there is an Indian Coffee House located inside the court premises, which sir told us about and also took us there so that we don’t get lost.
Around 3-3:30 pm, Kamal Gupta Sir came to the table, greeted us and told us about the hierarchy of courts and about the various steps how the case proceeds. Steps including plaint presentation, summons are sent, evidences are presented, witnesses are called, parties are cross-examined etc. And then also asked us to start reading CPC, CrPC and IPC at home. With that, he introduced us to his colleagues who had their tables next to us. They were also very helpful and wished us luck for the internship and the career ahead.
Lastly around 4-4:30, Sir gave us a case file to read. It was in Hindi and was thick. Sir, saw something on our faces and told us to read it tomorrow and gave an early-off!
The first-day impression was that the first internship is going to be interesting with lot to learn, something which is not in theory. Application of law in a practical manner, surrounded by people from legal background always discussing laws and politics and cases they have. Most importantly, our Sir was helping and encouraging and also friendly and understanding. All of this prompted us to come the next day.
- Main Tasks included was to maintain Advocate’s Diary and update it daily and if the next date is given is 13th September then to write the details on the 13th September Page.
- Following sir from the courtroom to courtroom and observing the whole process and asking doubts.
- We were asked to read case files and study in detail the important sections.
- By the third-fourth day, we started filing Bhatta Forms, Ferris Forms, Vakalatnama’s and Aavedan Patras and getting it checked by sir and getting his signature and submitting in the court.
- Also, we were asked to go to the library and look for case digests and commentaries which helped us in studying the cases and finding references (this exercise helped us later in moot court research).
- We also went twice-thrice times in a week to family court, which was an experience of its own. Here we accompanied sir while he had conversations with his clients.
THERE IS SO MUCH TO LEARN. EVEN IF A PERSON IS NOT INTERESTED IN GOING IN LITIGATION, I WOULD REALLY RECOMMEND THAT HE/SHE MUST HAVE AN INTERNSHIP EXPERIENCE AT DISTRICT COURT.
It is the district court where the case comes for the first time and the facts are scrutinized. It is where the reality of the judicial system strikes as it is the place where the fight for justice begins. The atmosphere of the district court is totally different. There are all kinds of people and all types of crimes.
It is at the district court where the judiciary and the police system work together. There is police deployed everywhere who are very helping. They helped us many times in finding the courtroom.
Good things about where we interned were, we were given independence to ask doubts and opinions and at times also for an off. We asked all types of questions. Also, sir being in the legal field for years told stories about his cases and incidents. Since he is so well-known and reputed that at the end of the month everyone came to know us by names. Even at times when there were some important cases with his colleagues, they even took us with them to observe the proceedings.
Amod Sir is very helping, we spend most of the time with him. He took interns for lunches and was frank with them. He always taught us to have faith in ourselves.
There is as such no bad thing. But the infrastructure of court and courtrooms could be improved. The courtrooms are small and full of case files. There is a lot of paperwork, though it is being reduced in coming times with digitalization taking place. It is a long way too.
In this time too there are chairs and tables tied with chains. Fans, chairs and tables are decades old. The court walls are red with spits.
Lastly, joining the court just after the summer break gets over is something which is not recommended. We were lucky that our sir had 6-7 cases every day and when we went with his colleagues, the count reached 9-10 cases a day. But, we happened to meet students who were also interning at the district court, that they didn’t have much work.
Also, some gender prejudices still exist in the district court.
No stipend. But our sir asked our clients to give us a minimal amount of Rs. 50 or Rs. 100 for any work that we did like filing of various forms like Bhatta, Ferris or Aavedan Patra, or getting any photocopies or getting the stamp tickets or getting the translation done by the expert, which in a way did became a source of motivation, as the amount ensured our daily expense of chips and teas and sodas outside court. At times, when the client is not able to pay, Sir ended up giving us a minimal amount.
I am a resident of Indore so there was no issue of accommodation. The court is 5 kilometres from my place, so I commuted by my 2-wheeler.
Since this was my internship and I did it with my friend, we were so excited that we made various district court and lawyer puns to post it on our Social-Media handles.
It was fun to discover various food joints where Advocates chilled which I was unaware of. One of the memorable experience being when it was raining heavily and we were sitting at our table when a vendor selling chana-chor happened to come, we asked him to make it extra-spicy and simply we were unable to finish it.
Yes, there are vendors selling these food snacks, because there are people lying on seats waiting for their turn to be heard, mothers bringing their small children for their father’s hearing and its a scene where lawyers can’t melt and can never be emotional.
Lesson Learnt: Never be afraid to ask any questions, there is nothing right or wrong, it is all about how you interpret and back-it up.