Name, College, Year of Study, Email ID
Harleen Sethi, Symbiosis Law School Pune, 4th year, [email protected]
Name of Organisation, Location, Team Strength
District Court, Meerut
I interned under Advocate Mukesh Walia, who is a very well-renowned Civil lawyer in the District Court of Meerut.
I had to email him my Curriculum Vitae along with a statement of purpose. I got a response from him within a week confirming the dates of the internship.
After interning with him for a period of 15 days, he recommended me to a criminal lawyer, under whom I pursued the criminal part of my internship.
Duration of internship and timings
My internship was divided into two parts. The first part of it was under a Civil Advocate from 1st – 15th March, 2014 and the second part was under a Criminal Advocate from 16th March – 31st March, 2014.
The timings were the regular Court timings from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., after which I used to go to the office to research further and study cases.
First impression, first day formalities, infrastructure
Meerut is a small city in Uttar Pradesh, but the number of Criminal as well as Civil cases registered has increased considerably. Frankly, my first impression was of horror. The District Court of Meerut is in utter chaos.
The building is old and the streets go through some parts of the Court making it seem nothing less than a fish market. It was a little hard at first, but then I got used to it and started learning a lot more than I had expected.
In the first part of the internship, I specifically dealt with cases of a civil nature. I was exposed to the working of the District Court in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh and the procedures involved in carrying out the day to day proceedings in the court.
I studied various sections and rules under the Civil Procedure Code, 1908. I was also exposed to the State Amendments of Uttar Pradesh and the Acts under it for e.g. I came across cases dealing with the U.P. Panchayat Raj Act 1947, U.P. Urban Buildings Act 1972.
The civil cases I was mostly exposed to were dealing with Property Law including rent, lease, partition suits, the role of Rent Control and Eviction Officer.
I learnt about the intricacies involved in drafting an amendment application, the law of limitation, affidavit, ‘kurra’.
In the second part of the internship I dealt with the criminal aspect of law. I was exposed to various sections in the Indian Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code. Not only did I study these sections in theory, I also learnt about their practical application in the Court.
I studies cases related to dowry death, applicability of various sections of the Indian Penal code, 1860. I was also exposed to the specific U.P Police Regulation Act.
I gained practical knowledge about the fundamentals of the First Information Report, the Statement of the Witnesses, the documents annexed to the FIR, the Post Mortem, Inquest, Bail Application, Criminal Revision etc.
I attended the court proceedings during the internship and gained knowledge about the intricacies involved in a Trial before the Court of Sessions.
Work environment and people
So the District Court of Meerut is not a very ‘suitable’ place for internship unless you are lucky enough to work under a renowned and respected lawyer. I was lucky that way and I got to learn a lot about the procedures of the District Court.
It is important to intern at the bottom level to gain knowledge about the basics involved in the working of the judiciary. Once your basics are strong, it becomes easier to understand the higher levels of judiciary and the administration.
The people I was working with were extremely friendly since they helped me a lot to understand how the Court works and where to go and what to do, particularly because I was so lost during the first two days.
I had no idea as to what to do and where to go even though I have interned in the Andhra Pradesh High Court before.
The reason being there is a huge difference between the two places in terms of culture and the way people deal with things. Also, because in India there is a vast difference between the working environment of a District Court and a High Court.
The best part about the internship was that I got to learn a lot more about the nitty-gritties of the judiciary, especially, the way the advocates deal with cases and the response of different judges in terms of different situations arising in the Court.
This internship definitely helped me to study the different aspects law at the root level and the practicality of such aspects in the Court of law.
The worst part was that all the documents related to the cases are drafted in Hindi and it was extremely difficult for me to comprehend the difficult words into English and understand the essence of the document.
It is not that I don’t know Hindi, I know it pretty well! The only problem is that we are not used to conversing in proper Hindi and it becomes hard to understand the important terms, as compared to English.
The biggest lesson was that I should have known better and carried a Hindi dictionary with me to the Court, but I guess, there is always an advantage in learning the hard way and knowing how to get around these small issues while interning.