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NALSA Internship

Day-1 (17th of May, 2017)

Although I reached Delhi in the afternoon of 16th May yet it was very difficult to find any PG for
only one month (since most PG owners had reserved their rooms for the students of different
coaching centers for a contract of one year), therefore, I couldn’t find any Hostel or PG that day
which compelled me to stay in a hotel in Pahadganj near railway station making it extremely
difficult to attend the first day of my internship since I haven’t arranged for any hostel upto
now.

Day 2 (18th of May, 2017)

I went to Court no. 310 in the Saket Nagar District court in New Delhi and introduced myself as
an intern through NALSA and pursuing law from NLU Lucknow. I first met the chief staff in the
front office and he enquired about me. Then one of the staff took me to Justice Tanvi Khurana
the Secretary of the South-East Court. She was a soft spoken officer of a very kind nature. She
introduced herself and asked me about the reason of choosing NALSA for internship. Thereafter
she made me introduced to all the staff members of the front office room. According to the
internship schedule my Day-1 schedule was in the front office. I took a seat adjacent to the
Governmental legal advisor (Adv. Rakshan Ahmad). She was an active lady as well as a good
lawyer. Litigants came one after the other and she provided legal advice and aid to them.

She told me that there is a provision of free legal aid to some category of individuals:-

(a) Free legal aid to every woman irrespective of her annual income, age and status.
(b) Free legal aid to the SC/ST community.
(c) Free legal aid to Children.
(d) Male senior citizen having annual income less than 2 lakh rupees.
(e) Male (other than senior citizens) having annual income of less than 1 lakh rupees.
(f) Free legal aid to the people rehabilitated from war, caste or community riots, natural
calamity etc.
Procedure for working of the Front office

Step 1-A person/litigant first approaches the front office and speaks out his/her grievance to the
governmental legal adviser (a legal adviser from the panel of lawyer in the South-East Court who
were selected by DLSA for providing legal aid to the litigants). Then the legal adviser records
the litigant’s name, address, father’s name and his/her grievance in the front office register and
provides legal advice to the litigant.

Step 2-The Mr. Mohan (a data keeper) allots a government lawyer to the litigant if the litigant
falls within the ambit of ‘free legal aid beneficiary’. He also demarcates the cases into civil and
criminal one.

My experience with Adv. Rakshan Ahmad Ma’am-

Litigant No 1- Mr. H. Mohan (litigant) was a typist under Mr. Arjun Garg (Advocate, Supreme
Court). He was not paid complete salary and was fired from the service. Mr. Garg had been
given legal Notice by Mr. Mohan. He was given a receipt for appointment of a governmental
lawyer.

Litigant No 2- Litigant was not living with her husband and wanted maintenance for her
daughter’s education and HRA (House rent allowance). She was also provided a governmental
counsel.

Ques. Upto what extent can a husband be compelled by the court to maintain her wife and
children

Litigant 3- Mamta (litigant)’s husband left her. He worked as a typewriter in Apollo Hospital
and his salary was 11,000 Rupees. The husband use to drink too much and abuse her.

Litigant 4- This litigant asked for the change of her counsel. She complained that her counsel
was not pleading the case properly and was not reporting timely in the court besides this the case
has been in court for more than 8 years.
Litigant 5- Litigant (a senior citizen) named Y. R. Soni, an eminent engineer based in England
during his working days, fired his maid servant. After some days the servant’s sister entered the
house without any prior permission and stole some jewellery and assets from the litigant’s house.
He filed an F.I.R. He wanted a criminal proceeding against the maid.

Litigant 6- Someone fraudulently embezzled money from the litigant’s bank account and filed a
wrong F.I.R against the litigant.

Litigant 7- Litigant’s wife has filed a case of domestic violence against him. Annual Income- Rs.
8,000

Litigant No. 8- Litigant approached DLSA to protect his FIR lying in Hyderabad. Since the same
in not within the jurisdiction of this authority therefore she was advised to approach Hyderabad
Legal Services Authority.

Litigant No. 9 – The Litigant had taken a gold loan and was unable to pay premium during the
time of demonetization. In spite of that the loan providing authority is denying to return the gold
and said that the same had been auctioned.

Then I went to the Ombudsman Office-

My experience in the Ombudsman office was really interesting. His approach of dealing with the
litigants was very lenient, supportive, humble and satisfying. He was a soft spoken person with
no arrogance of his designation. His one of the chief function is to act as a check on the
government legal advisers allotted to the litigants (to check whether they are working properly or
not, and in case of finding any recklessness in performing their legal obligation they were
changed/replaced with the others).

Day-3 (19th of May, 2017)

On day-3, I went to the front office and waited for the advocate (government legal advisor). But
after a few minutes a newly appointed advocated (Pammi Chauhan) came and told us that she
was there to accompany us for the court visit. We went to the MM courts (Metropolitan
Magistrate) courts and witnessed few court proceedings. She told us about the Judge (MM
Court), public prosecutor, reader, court functioning process etc. Then the time came for our
“Vulnerable Witness Court visit” which was a unique feature of Delhi Courts i.e. only this state
in the country has such facility. She told us how a child is enquired regarding any case by giving
the child a homelike and child-friendly atmosphere. Then I went to the Mediation Centre of
‘Saket’ which was established in another building situated on the backside of the court. I
witnessed a mediation proceeding which was regarding ‘Talaq’ and ‘Maintenance’. This was an
interesting issue since the decision about “Triple Talaq has not yet been given by the Hon’ble
Supreme Court and both the parties were in ambiguity whether to indulge in legal intricacies (by
filing a suit) or not.

Day 4 (20th of May, 2017)

Litigant 1:- Litigant (a woman) was forcefully asked to leave her home and was being abused.
(Domestic violence). She has done counseling thrice with her husband. She also alleged that her
husband was having an extra-marital affair. She was advised for the counseling again and if no
positive results occurs then for domestic violence case.

Litigant 2:- A woman left his husband (the litigant) and her four children. She ran away with
another man. The litigant is now willing to give divorce. He was given suggestion for a joint
application for divorce in family court. In it both the spouses will confess for divorce and shall
be left for six months (for the probable future chances of intimacy between them). After the
completion of the period of six months another statement of both the spouses shall be recorded.
After this stage if they will still be willing to give divorce then they shall be given the same by
the court.

Relevant legal terms and sections:- Section 13 (1) (ia) of the Hindu marriage Act (cruelty
grounds).

Litigant 3:- He wanted to file a ‘Protest Petition’. (A Protest petition is filed by a party who
wants to sustain their FIR. Sometimes after investigation, and after finding no evidence on the
matter, an investigation officer tries to close the case and presents “a closure” to the judge.
Thus for insisting that there is a matter for investigation, the party files a “Protest Petition”).
Litigant 4:- The litigant wanted compensation under Delhi Victim Compensation Scheme Act,
2015. The litigant was mother of the victim. The victim was a girl of 18 and half years and was
mentally challenged-Rape case-Section 376 of IPC.

Litigant 5:- After engagement, the marriage was refused to be solemnized by the bride and his
family. Litigant was the father of the bridegroom and wanted the restoration of the cost of
materials purchased and expenditure during and before engagement. He was suggested for the
counseling.

Day-5 was “Sunday” (21st of May, 2017).

Day-6 (22nd of May, 2017)

Litigant No 1:- S.498, FIR, 406, 34 IPC, Domestic violence. The litigant wanted to file a petition
u/s 154 of CrPc & for domestic violence. She had got a lawyer for (sec 125) i.e. maintenance but
not for Section 498, 406, 34 IPC, Domestic violence. (one can ask for maintenance either under
domestic act or under sec 125 of CrPc).

Litigant No 2:- Litigant was working under an employer and he was sent to Moscow for
transferring some goods to the plaintiff. Plaintiff didn’t pay for the same to the litigant’s
employer. In anger Litigant’s employer annexed plaintiff’s property (flat) which was situated in
New Delhi and ordered his employee (the litigant) to announce it open for rent. The litigant did
the same in good faith. Seeing this, plaintiff’s advocate sent a summon to the litigant, therefore
the litigant wanted the free legal aid.

Litigant 3- this was a Cheque-bounce case. The litigant didn’t get the payment. Relevant Laws
are: Section 138 and 142 of the Negotiable Instrument Act, 1881.

Litigant 4- Domestic violence case against Women. She wanted maintenance as well as divorce.
Writ petition under domestic violence act. She also wanted custody of her children.
Day 7 (23rd of May, 2017)

Today was the Para-Legal Volunteer Training Programme. To be more specific, the PLV
Group was contained with those volunteers who have been rehabilitated after their serious habit
of drug abuse. Now they were being trained in legal services by the judges, bureaucrats, NGO
executives etc so as to contribute to the society and acting as an “eye and ear” of the Legal
Services Authority of our country. I noted the following points during the first day training
session:-

1) Helpline Number-1519.
2) Fundamental rights and duties.
3) 14 categories for providing compensation to the victims through Delhi Victim
Compensation Scheme, 2015. Some among them were, loss of life (3 lakhs-10 lakhs),
Gang rape, rape (3-5 lakhs), Sexual assault (2-5 Lakhs), permanent disability (20,000 to 5
lakhs), Rehabilitation from human trafficking, grievous injury, burning etc.
4) Bailable and non-bailable offence.
5) Cognizable and non-cognizable offence.
6) Four elements of crime:- 1) Human Body, 2) Mens rea, 3)Actus reus, 4) Injury.
7) Section 182 of the IPC: False complaint.
8) Metropolitan Magistrate Courts→ Chief Metropolitan Courts→ Session Courts→ High
Courts→ Supreme Court.

Rights of accused:-

 Right to Silence
 To ask for the grounds for arrest.
 Production in the nearest court within 24 hours of arrest.
 Advocate/ Free Legal Aid.
 To inform his/her relative or nearest friend.
 Medical examination (In order to check if he had been physically tortured by the police).
Day 8 (24th of May, 2017)

Other lessons-

 For the purpose of property, majority age in 21 years.


 Women always have a right in her husband’s property.
 Section 498-Dowry harassment.
 About Protection officer.
 Before FIR, CAW cell tries to resolve the issue only then he files an FIR.
 Foeticide, Sexual harassment at workplace.
 Section 304 of IPC, dowry death.
 In POCSO Act, interim compensation can be given.

Interview of the PLV members so as to enquire how they got addicted to drugs

PLV-1:- “I started taking drugs at the age of 12 because my friend insisted to do so and I started
to like it.”

PLV-2:-“I am a vegetable vendor and lives in a drug affected area. I was influenced by my
surroundings and peers. I enjoyed much during my first drug intake.”

Then a learned doctor who runs an NGO gave some important information regarding Drugs and
its effects. He told about the ‘Dopamine’ hormone (happiness hormone), two categories of bhang
plants i.e. male and female plant. Male plant is useless and only female plant is used for making
bhang. He also informed us about Charas, Afeem (best pain healer), Cocaine, 10 no. ki goli etc.
He instructed that OST medicine helps to de-addict drug affected people. OST is a sub-type of
“Afeem”.

Then a retired officer from the defence ministry took the charge of the session. He explained
about the RTI( Right to Information) Act, 2005 in a very lucid manner so that even a layman can
easily comprehend it.
Day 9 (25th of May, 2017)

The schedule for the day-7 was “Children Home visit to attend legal awareness programme” but
unfortunately due to a misunderstanding of time I couldn’t go there. Therefore, I decided to go to
the library in the Lawyer’s Block building. There I read some books on Family Law and returned
to the front office and observed some work there.

Day-10 (26th of May, 2017)

I committed a blunder today. I woke up very late in the morning because of which I couldn’t
accompany the Secretary of South-East DLSA (J. Tanvi Khurana ma’am) for the visit to
“Children’s Home”. Regretting the same I went to the library in order to utilize the time but in
between another mishap occurred. Tanvi ma’am had planned for a jail visit for me but I also
missed it since I came in library without informing any of the staff in the front office. Today was
really a very bad day of my internship. I suffered because of my own mistakes and faults.

Another thing which negatively pinched me was the governmental legal adviser appointed for
today (Adv. Harish Yadav). He was vice to the virtue of free legal aid system. His inappropriate
etiquette of dealing with the grievance of the litigants, his use of ‘complex legal terms’ in front
of illiterate and socially downtrodden people who were even unable to comprehend basic English
language was really surprising for me. I came across one of the lacunae of the system i.e.
lawyer’s visit to courts for their hearings on the day and during the time for which they have
been appointed as a legal adviser in the front office. Two out of 3 legal-aid lawyers were having
this practice which created much trouble to the litigants.

Day –11 (27th of May, 2017)

I came to the front office at sharp 9:45 today. Ld. Secretary of the South-East DLSA had planned
a jail visit for me (if possible) otherwise court-visit to the court of ASJ and ADJ was a
complementary to it. I stayed at the front office till 12 pm and went to different courts on my
own. O)ne of the courts was court room no 307 which I find interesting because the Hon’ble
judge presiding there was giving plenty of time for arguments.

Day-12 (28th of May, 2017)-‘’Sunday”

Day-13 (29th of May, 2017)

Today was scheduled for an Old age home visit named ‘Guru Vishram Vriddh Ashram’ managed
by an NGO called ‘SHEOWS’. This NGO was situated in Gautampuri, near Ali village,
Badarpur, New Delhi. At first I went to the front office, waited there for some couple of minutes
and directly went to the Hon’ble Secretary’s office room and asked for the programme today.
She instantly gave me a brief of directions for which I had to visit the Old age home besides she
also contacted to an advocate Mr. Sanjay Dutt whom she employed for a visit there representing
South-East DLSA and commanded him to accompany me. I went there on 12:10 pm and
presented an authorized letter sanctioned by the Ld. Secretary of South-East DLSA and entered
the main premises of the old age home. My eyes glittered with happiness when I observed the
facilities which the NGO was providing to those old hapless people suffering from the mar of life
and post-industrial society where values are replaced by material gains. The NGO was providing
the following facilities:-

1) Prominent medical care with modernized medico-equipments and technology which


included Nebulizer, Oxygen concentrator, necessary life saving facilities, Digital X-ray,
fully air conditioned ICU, Neurologists for elderly having neuro-disorders and eminent
doctors along with caring nurses.
2) Nutritious meal having a balance of minerals and nutrients (Since I also got the
opportunity to enjoy the lunch thus witnessed the good-quality food been provided to
those old-angels).
3) Care givers.
4) Proper Accommodation
5) Leisure activities.
6) Cremation facilities following appropriate rituals.
Day 14-

Today I directly went to the office of Ld. Secretary of South East DLSA so as to receive my
‘Internship and Observational report’ after getting scrutinized by her. She made many
corrections regarding my understanding of the procedure and functioning of the District legal
Services Authority besides she also clarified all of my doubts whether legal or procedural since
she has always been open to my every question throughout the internship. She was more or less a
guardian for me in the court premises. After getting my work report scrutinized I came down to
the front office to make those corrections in my report.

The best part of the day was that when she


permitted and offered me to attend the UTRC (Under Trail Review Committee) meeting. I was
extremely happy to hear this

Brief History of UTRC meeting- In 2013, based on a letter by the then Chief Justice of India,
Justice R.C. Lahoti, the Supreme Court in a case named ‘Re-Inhuman Conditions in 1382
Prisons’ has taken up, suo moto, the issue of prison conditions and particularly the situation of
under-trial prisoners by writ petition. One of the orders of the Hon’ble Supreme Court compels
the ‘National Legal Services Authority’ and the ‘Ministry of Home Affairs’ to constitute Under
Trial Review Committees in every district. With its insistence on the constitution of UTRCs in
each district, regular prison visits, checking length of stay and legal representation of undertrials
the Supreme Court has moved the periodic review of undertrials from the realm of uncertainty
and discretion to the realm of the mandatory for every state.

UTRC is a district level committee headed by the District & Sessions Judge, with District
Magistrate (although because of some reason the District magistrate was not present yet the
SDM attended the meeting) and Superintendent of Police and Secretary, District Legal
Services Authority as members. The Supreme Court in its order1, dated 24 April 2015, directed
the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) along with the Ministry of Home Affairs
(MHA) and the State Legal Services Authorities (SLSAs) to ensure that the UTRC is formed in
every district of the country and meets every quarter. The court relied on the MHA advisory

1
Supreme Court order dated 24 April 2015 in ‘Re-Inhuman Conditions in 1382 Prisons’, Writ Petition (Civil)
406/2013.
issued on 17 January 2013 for the purpose of implementation of S.436A of the Code of Criminal
Procedure, 1973. Additionally, the court mandated these committees to review the cases of
undertrials who are unable to furnish surety after being granted bail by the court and of those
accused of compoundable offences.

Important points raised in the meeting were:-

(1) Reduction of the amount of the Under trial prisioners who are unable to afford them.
(2) “Let the LAC bring application for the reduction of surety amount”.
(3) Bring awareness to the compoundable offence prisoners that their offence can be
compounded.

When Tanvi Ma’am (Ld. Secretary of the South East DLSA) asked the Ld. District and Session
Judge regarding probable lenient approach for granting bail to two female offenders (accused
under POCSO Act) who had been reported by the Tihar Jail Authority that they were suffering
from sleep disorder. The District judge replied in negative and elaborated that the committee
cannot rely on the medical-comment of the jail authority since they are reckless in this regard
and are unable to report properly. He contemplated many incidents which he witnessed during
his judicial career when the jail authority were even reckless to the extent that they couldn’t
recognize an under trial prisoner suffering from Tuberculosis and reported his medical condition
by putting the remark “Suffering from sleep disorder”.

 The committee expressed displeasure with the Legal Aid Counselors (LACs) for not
providing complete data as to whether material witnesses have been examined or not. The
committee decided to warn the LACs that they will be permanently de-panelled if any
discrepancy or recklessness occurs in providing details in this regard.

 The committee decided to write a letter to the jail authority regarding information about
any prisoner.tto the District Judge Headquarter to enquire under which court’s
jurisdiction does the Tihar Jail comes.

 The Ld District Judge asked to write a letter


My queries-

(1) How can a district judge order for hand-cuffing if it is against the violation of Human
rights?

(2)What is Transit Jail?