My day started with the usual joining formality. I got the opportunity to meet and interact with Justice Rao for a short while. Later, Neena Ma’am, the Personal Secretary to Justice Rao helped me with the administrative formalities of issuing the letter that I am a judicial intern at Justice Rao’s office necessary which helped me get the monthly pass issue with access to attend all courtrooms in the Supreme court.
At the Court, the day started with the hustle to get the pass made. Being a miscellaneous day, the day, the day involved hearings in matters mostly comprising of fresh Special Leave Petitions (SLPs) and certain matters (in which notice has been issued to the other side). After the Court, I proceeded back to the residential office of Justice Rao with his Law Clerks where we started work for the next day.
Each day was divided into two parts:
Attending Court Proceedings and
Working at the Residential Office of Justice Rao after Court hours.
In Court, I used to observe and write down the notes of the oral arguments in the courtroom proceedings. Justice Rao was especially keen on his clerks and interns attending the Court regularly as he believed that hearing the proceedings also hones a lawyer’s skills.
During my internship, I also got the chance to observe the proceedings in the Chief’s Court (Court No. 1) on the regular hearing days. I heard illustrious lawyers (Mukul Rohtagi, Abhishek Manu Singhvi and more) argue in the course of my hearings in a range of matters- civil, criminal, tax, and constitutional. Listening to the dialogue between the bar and the bench was not just interesting but also taught me the importance of advocacy skills in the courtroom.
In office, our task was to prepare case briefs for the matters where we were expected to summarise the main facts, the major arguments of both the sides, the key findings of the impugned judgement or order, and conduct legal research on the points of law involved. Some of the areas of law I worked on were:
Commutation of death penalty;
Conversion of sentence from Section 302 to one under Section 304 Part-I of IPC
Conviction under Section 306 IPC;
Civil Courts Jurisdiction on matters where power is conferred on NCLT;
Section 67 of NDPS Act;
Perjury and conviction under Section 193 of IPC;
Reorganisation of UP Act and its impact on sugarcane distribution in the two divided states
I got the first-hand experience of the way matters are listed in the Supreme Court, learnt how to work in a time-bound manner, and gained immense exposure to the nitty-gritty of litigation at the highest appellate stage.
There are three law clerks cum research assistants attached to his office. Along with me, there was another intern in the month of January 2019. The law clerks of Justice Rao were cooperative and helping and willing to explain the proposition of law whenever I faced a doubt. The office staff at the residential quarters of Justice Rao was equally nice.
Since I was put up in Dwarka, I was given the option to reach the Court directly by 10:30 am and leave the office by 7 pm. Though the clerks were working through the week and since there were two interns, we took turns to come on Saturday and Sunday. The overall work environment was very good.
None. But I think you would want to do this internship for the experience rather than for a stipend.
Disclaimer: Internship experiences are opinions shared by individual law students and tend to be personal and subjective in nature. The internship experiences shared on Lawctopus are NOT Lawctopus official views on the internship.