About the Author: Aastha Ananya, a second-year student at the College of Legal Studies, UPES, Dehradun, interned at Bihar Human Rights Commission (BHRC), Patna during her summer break. Read on to find exciting details from her journey.
I applied in the month of April for an internship in the month of May. The application procedure was quite simple. The documents required were my CV, a letter from my Head of Department, and my ID Card. The Human Rights Commission is an autonomous high power Human Rights watch body that looks after all the work procedure of the State within the BHRC office. The Commission ordinarily has the power to make inquiry where there is a violation of Human Rights (or abatement thereof). The office was big and spacious but messy and unarranged at the same time. In total, there are around 20-25 people associated with the working of the office including the Chairperson, Secretary, and other dignitaries.
My first day began with submitting the original copy of the recommendation letter writing a letter expressing my interest in working at BHRC. They cross-checked my name and details in the list, after which I was taken to the conference room for the first interaction. The conference room was meant to be our training room. There was a formal session by Sri Neelmani Sir, Hon’ble Member of BHRC wherein we were told about the basic concept working behind the organization, along with the functions and achievements of BHRC. We were introduced to our training head – Pandey Sir, who was the Research Officer for the Commission. Post lunch, we were divided into batches and were introduced to the type of work we had to do till the completion of our internship.
We were given fully redressed case files related to different kinds of cases that the Commission took cognizance of. The cases include both – the ones which were pending and the ones which had already been disposed of. Our main task was to read the case files and analyse the basic essence. After the completion of 15-20 cases, we were required to submit a case study of all the cases that we have studied during the internship. The case study followed a particular pattern – name of the case, subject, complainant name and address, final judgement, and views. The last criterion was my personal favourite; giving our own views about the judgement and relief granted to the victims was a great experience. It significantly enhanced my thinking, analytical, and writing skills.
The case study reports had to be written in English but most of the cases were in Hindi. A difficulty that frequently cropped up was the understanding of the strict and difficult Hindi and Urdu words! We also learnt a lot about the cases which involved ‘suo motu’ cognizance by the Commission. Frequent sessions were taken by the esteemed panel of the Commission to let us know about the importance of Human Rights and the multiple cases that were ignored due to the lack of knowledge among the masses. It really motivated us and helped boost each one of us with a lot of confidence. On our last day, we had to submit the project. Upon submission, we had to share our experience and the kind of cases that we dealt with in our case studies.
Surprisingly, one has to give an online exam in order to be eligible for the internship certificates (yes, you heard it right). The concept seemed shocking and quirky at the same time. They introduced this concept this year itself, which consisted of multiple choice questions majorly focussing on the information shared during the internship. Also, some basic questions related to the Constitution were asked (you can easily answer the questions if you’ve studied anything related to it in your college). Apart from the internship certificate, I took with me lots of passion and knowledge about the importance of Human Rights, along with a purple bounded book by the Commission! If you really want to know how a government office functions, this is the right place!
Editor’s Note – To kick-start your law career, apply for these awesome law internships.