This week, we started really diving into the India Defense Manual. Kedhar, Kyle, and I were each assigned a chapter, and Siddarth would review them and make any necessary edits as we went along. Chapter 3, which I was assigned to, focuses on the rights of the accused. Many rights are the same—rights against unlawful arrest, for example--but the two systems vary in several ways as well. In some ways, rights afforded to the accused in India are more expansive than those in the United States—handcuffing is only permitted when someone is trying to actively flee, for example. However, in India, there is still a stark difference between what is written into law and how it is applied by officials. Ajay informed us that the courts are so overcrowded that there are times where several hearings of different stages will appear in front of a singular judge at the same time. This allows for individuals, especially the poor who cannot afford counsel (nor know about their Constitutional right to be provided with it) to fall through the cracks of the justice system. I spent most of my workdays sifting through the Indian Code of Criminal Procedure, the Evidence Act, and the Indian Penal Code, in addition to reading court cases where the Indians Supreme Court and High Courts interpreted and expanded certain constitutional provisions. As there are 12 chapters to the Indian Defense Manual, it is not likely that the four of us will finish it by the time Kyle and I depart, so we have been discussing finishing the work remotely at the end of our internship.
In terms of my non-work life, this week I took things pretty easily after the last several weeks of non-stop activity (Victoire -> Colin -> Covid -> Chalet). On Monday at lunch, some of the interns and I went to a Swiss Army knife store with an underground showroom displaying of all of the available models. One of my friends bought one for herself and had it engraved, a 5 franc process that took less than 5 minutes.
After work on Tuesday, I decided to grab dinner by myself in Geneva’s old town. I walked around for an hour and finally settled on a Thai restaurant called Noodl. From the outside, it looked like a casual, unassuming restaurant—I was not expecting the white table clothes and starched button-up-clad waiters. I sat on the patio by myself, ordered a house white, and felt as if I was undercover as a food critic. I ordered what the waiter suggested, chicken Phitchit. My mouth dropped after the first bite. Most food in Geneva is very fresh—even the kebab restaurants have a card near the menu that tells you where each ingredient came from. Something about this dish, however, was ambrosial in regards to its freshness and the quality of the ingredients. I left bloated and happy and made my way back to my apartment.
On Friday, Kyle, Talia, Youseff, Eoin and I met for drinks at the lively Rue De l’école de Medicines, where university students flock to the bar-lined streets. We stopped at two different bars- my favorite being one called the Kraken, its dark interior adorned with decorated with macabre and gothic-style decor. Besides our switch from one bar to the other, the night was filled with simple banter between friends, reminiscing on the past couple of weeks, planning for the upcoming ones. We finished up at the second bar and all grabbed a kebab, after which Kyle and I grabbed a tram back to Cité Universitaire.
Saturday night, the Indian Defense Manual team (Kyle, Kedhar, and myself) got together at Siddarth’s house, where his wife prepared us a full 6-course meal of Punjabi Indian food. The five of us laughed, sang, and ranted until the early hours of the morning. Accordingly, I slept in until noon the next day.
On Sunday, I walked down to Eaux Vives, one of the neighborhoods alongside Lake Geneva, and soaked in the energy of the the hundreds of families, school children, and couples strolling along the lake. There were public games and relaxation areas set up along the promenade—an outdoor hammock lounge, a projector playing women’s football, and copious foosball tables. The sunny summer energy on a Sunday afternoon was a perfect end to my week.