That Azad was kept in prison for 15 months, despite a court order saying his arrest by ‘politically motivated’, is quite the proof that preventive detentions are extra-judicial laws that equip the executive with judicial powers. Under these preventive laws, the State is the victim, the arbitrator and the judge. And NSA is being used widely, especially in Uttar Pradesh under Yogi government, to target Muslims and Dalits protesting the oppressive Hindutva regime.
A bench consisting of Justices Kurian Joseph and Sanjay Kishan Kaul of the Supreme Court has today permitted a total of 208 candidates to participate in the main examination for the post of the Madhya Pradesh Additional District Judge. Grievance of the candidates was that they had qualified the preliminary examination, but was debarred from appearing in the main examination on the ground that their applications did not reach the High Court on or before August 25, 2018.
In the Rajesh Sharma case, the Court had legitimised the argument by directing the setting up of ‘family welfare committees’ to scrutinise a complaint by a woman before the police even take cognisance of it and to give its opinion to the police. However, the Court course-corrected in the subsequent Manav Adhikar case, when it accepted that social welfare committees have no role to play during investigation and prescribing duties to the social welfare committees will tantamount to judiciary overreaching its power as it is the Parliament which makes the law.
Ambedkar predates one of the most powerful feminist slogans of the twentieth century “the personal is the political”, yet his relationship with wife Ramabai, as well as his views on marriage and birth control, represent precisely this. His feminism is alert to the caste and gendered discrimination that governs our lives and our decisions — who we socialise with, who we hire, where we live, and who we marry.
The rare sight that Delhi witnessed on September 5, with workers, peasants and the farmers marching decisively demanding a fair share in the growing economy of the country, is a cry for help. They are demanding implementation of MSP in accordance with the Swaminathan Committee report, irrigation facility as well as loan waivers. Workers are demanding better conditions and salaries. But it’s also a war cry. The present ruling government has been sent an ultimatum before the 2019 general elections. Will things change?
The notable rise in the recent cases of sedition in India, urge the question of the origins and relevance of the law in contemporary times. Is the a law a mere colonial residue which treats citizens as subjects, or is it essential in troubled times to keep the fabric of the nation from falling apart?
The entire basis of the FIR against those arrested is that Sudhir Dhawale sang a song whose words were a call to bring down the State — he explained how these words are actually a translation of a poem in a play by Bertolt Brecht, The Good Person of Szchewan. He quoted CJI Dipak Mishra’s judgments rejecting the ban on the Malayalam novel Meesha where there SC upheld freedom of expression particularly cultural, artistic expression of a poet.
The Koodankulam anti-nuclear movement intensified following the catastrophic Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident in Japan in 2011. The accident, coupled with Tamil Nadu’s memory of the devastating Tsunami of 2004, and state apathy to the people’s concerns, all played a role in invigorating the agitation, which was met with unprecedented repression by the State.
Behind this orchestrated targeting of the immigrants is the party’s need to pose as the sole saviour of the nation in the run-up to the next general election when all other parties are unwilling, in its view, to denounce the “aliens” and take effective steps against them because they are a part of the Muslim vote bank of the “secular” parties.
Senior advocate Dushyant Dave on February 28, 2016 after assessing the situation advised the SBI team to immediately approach the Supreme Court the next day, February 29, seeking an order restraining Mallya’s overseas travel. But something happened in the next 24 hours after the crucial meeting between the SBI team and Dave. Dave waited but there was no response from the SBI team on February 29. Why?
The bench led by the CJI while modifying the said direction passed in Rajesh Sharma case held that ‘...there is introduction of a third agency which has nothing to do with the Code and that apart, the Committees have been empowered to suggest a report failing which no arrest can be made. The directions to settle a case after it is registered is not a correct expression of law’.
One of the most fierce and vociferous opposition to LGBTQ+ rights has come from religious lobbies — be it the evangelical Christians in the USA running gay conversion therapy camps, or Baba Ramdev claiming that he can “cure” homosexuality through yoga, or the All India Muslim Personal Law Board. But the premise of human rights and liberty cannot be somebody else’s right to religion.
In a judgment running into 493 pages, with four concurrent opinions from Chief Justice Dipak Mishra (who also wrote on behalf of Justice AM Khanwilkar) as well as Justices Rohinton Nariman, DY Chandrachud, and Indu Malhotra, the Supreme Court unequivocally upheld the constitutional rights of equality, non-discrimination, freedom of expression, privacy, autonomy, dignity, and health of LGBT persons guaranteed under Articles 14, 15, 19, and 21 of the Constitution. The arc of justice and freedom has finally come home, into the lives of LGBT persons, into the law, and hopefully will soon penetrate to their families, work spaces, public places, and in private domains.
In response to a PIL, the Government of India in an affidavit has said that it is looking at only four of the eight vacancies, and has also not committed any specific timeframe within which to fill in all the vacancies should be filled. The affidavit has also revealed that Modi Government has been intending to amend the RTI Act, 2005 since 2016 itself to change the very nature of the posy of Information Commissioners.
CBSE has been frustrating the students’ right the access to answer sheets by charging exorbitant fee of Rs. 1200 for obtaining the copies of board examinations which is in contravention to the RTI Act, and Rules framed thereunder that provides for only Rs 2 per page for accessing the information.
This piece comments on the Bhima Koregaon arrests, the multitude of problems with the UAPA as well as its empirically evident history of sinister targeting of those defending the powerless against State excesses. UAPA criminalises ideology and association. By virtue of declaring an organisation 'unlawful’ or/and ‘terrorist’ and banning them, it criminalises their ideologies de facto” and verily creates a regime of thought crimes. A disturbing pattern of targeting those working for the rights of minorities subscribing to ideologies at variance with that of the dominant state brass emerges if one were to look at those who were detained for years under the UAPA.
This part analyses the judicial biases manifest in legalising the ‘gender’ wage gap through perverse logic that has held patriarchal inequalities as the ‘intelligible’ differentia for ‘reasonable’ classification to premise further inequality in treatment and work/service conditions. It critically analyses the jurisprudence in this regard so far and leaves us pining as we often do, for nothing short of normative, structural overhauls in society to bolster law enforcement.
The judgment holds that Section 377, to the extent it criminalises sexual acts between consenting adults in private is in violation of Articles 14 and 15 (equality and discrimination); Article 19 (Fundamnetal Freedoms) and Article 21 (privacy and dignity). Very importantly, the judgment notes that it is not the popular morality but constitutional morality which will would prevail. And constitutional morality includes the values enshrined in the Preamble.
Senior Advocate Indira Jaising — appearing for the petitioner Tushar Gandhi — submitted to the Court that all states be directed to upload the compliance report on their respective websites and that due publicity is given to the directions passed by the Court to curb the menace of mob lynching.
Lawyers Collective examines Vidhi Legal Centre’s ‘Addict’ to ‘Convict’ Report on the NDPS Act and finds serious errors and omissions in its analysis of the law. ‘Addict to Convict’ contains sound recommendations but unsound reasons.
As Section 377 is read down today, we must not forget that ABVA filed the first writ petition to challenge the constitutional validity of Section 377 before Delhi High Court. The petition was dismissed in 1999 for non-prosecution just before Naz Foundation filed its petition in 2001.. On July 2, 2009 the Delhi High Court pronounced its historic judgment by declaring Section 377 unconstitutional, but it was overturned on December 11, 2013 by the Supreme Court on appeals filed by religious and cultural organisations. Today, the Supreme Court course-corrected again.
All public authorities under the RTI Act, whether within the public or the non-government sector are prohibited from charging GST for providing information under the RTI Act. he GST Act's exemption will directly apply to the duties that PIOs perform under the RTI Act. This exemption will apply to First Appellate Authorities (FAAs) also who are government servants, wherever the State RTI Rules empower them to charge appeal fees. Therefore, it would be brazenly illegal to charge GST for providing access to information or deciding first appeals under the RTI Act.
The Petitioner has contended that in the Uttarakhand State Elections held in February 2017, not only the Election Commission officials and employees of Electronics Corporation Of India Limited(ECIL) were allowed access to the EVMs, but also several persons belonging to a private firm M/s T&M Services Consulting Private Limited engaged by the ECIL were allowed to access the EVMs — thereby raising serious concerns and apprehensions about the possibility of a security breach.
This is a two-part series on the sociological and legal analysis demystifying the ‘gender’ wage gap, so ubiquitous and normalised in all sectors of the economy, that it rarely witnesses the holistic critical engagement it merits to uncover its sociological, cultural and legal aspects beyond the litany of outrageous statistics. We need to look at how voicing of women’s professional ambition almost unequivocally always backfires as obnoxious ‘self-promotion’, even as men scale ladders of success amidst generous acknowledgement for their ‘negotiation skills’ and ‘networking’.
International law recognises the practice of enforced disappearance as a distinct offence and States have an obligation under international law to not partake in such arbitrary deprivations of liberty and human dignity. Article 1 of the 2006 International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance places a non–derogable prohibition against enforced disappearance. While Pakistan has taken steps, India is woefully behind in recognising enforced disappearance as a distinct offence.
The arrests of human rights activists and lawyers on August 28 and earlier on June 6, 2018 are all part of a wider theatre of Hindutva’s state-sponsored repression on those demanding democratic rights and freedoms for the most marginalised of Indian citizens. What began with Bhima-Koregaon had actually begun long back, with the atrocities against Dalits and Adivasis crossing the political threshold, such as those in Una and Saharanpur, as well as the ‘institutional murder’ of Rohith Vemula in January 2016.
Upendra Baxi, reflecting on the continuation of a colonial policing system has noted that that when a decolonised society maintains its inherited police organisation, refusing to adapt to the aspirations of free society, it gets a colonial-repressive police organisation and colonial-repressive political regimes. This, he suggests is because of the intent of the governing elites.
Justice Gogoi’s participation in the January 12, 2018 press conference in the company of brother judges set his stock soaring in the legal fraternity. He expanded on the ‘vision of justice’ when he delivered this year’s Ramnath Goenka Memorial Lecture and said that India at present needs “not only independent judges and noisy journalists, but even independent journalists and sometimes noisy judges”, in order to be a truly democratic and just society.
While it creates a distinction between personal data, and sensitive personal data,the exemptions under Data Protection Bill include matters of security of state, for prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of contraventions of law, processing for purposes of legal proceeding, research, archiving, or statistical purposes, personal or domestic purposes, journalistic purposes, or manual processing by small entities.
'It is a totally concocted letter fabricated to criminalise me and other human rights lawyers, activists and organisations. It is a mixture of innocuous and publicly available facts and baseless fabrication. Various legal and democratic activities such as meetings, seminars, protests have been sought to be delegitimised by alleging that they are funded by Maoists.'
It has been important for Governments, both the Congress-led UPA and the BJP to disguise their attacks on Adivasis, and now, in the case of the BJP, their attack on Dalits— as an attack on “Maoists” or “Naxals.” This is because, unlike in the case of Muslims who have been almost been erased from electoral arithmetic, all political parties do have an eye on those Adivasi and Dalit constituencies as potential vote banks. By arresting activists and calling them “Maoists’, the Government manages to undermine and insult Dalit aspiration by giving it another name.
Courts in five different places, including Delhi High Court, Faridabad court, Pune sessions court, Punjab and Haryana High Court and the Supreme Court, have addressed the police’s recent targeting of lawyers, activists and writers, in connection with the Bhima Koregaon violence in petitions filed by concerned members of the academic fraternity.
Given the multi-state nature of the raids and the requisite inter-force coordination, it is fair to conclude that the clampdown flowed from the highest echelons of the ruling regime. This campaign of hatred, isolation, and trolling aims at maligning and subverting all dissenters and activists critical of the government (and the BJP) by either false-flagging them as “security threats to India” or labelling them as extended affiliates of militant movements without any solid evidence.
Aadhaar data-linked sensitive private information on citizens that Central and State governments, and by default, the political parties in power, have access to could easily be used to create caste and religion based voter maps. Such data would be invaluable to a Delimitation Committee mandated with the task of redrawing the boundaries of constituencies, and could well empower such a Committee with the potential to influence the delimitation process in a manner that could influence the outcome of an election in favour of a particular political party/group, thereby unethically influencing the electoral system and undermining democracy.
A constitutional republic can only survive if there is a semblance of the rule of law. But yesterday the rule of law broke down. Raids and arrests occurred. Those who were arrested didn't have the charges read out to them. Arrest memos were presented in a language the courts couldn't follow and courts granted remands based on those memos.
Teltumbde writes: “The entire process is conducted as though I was a dreaded terrorist or a criminal. The police could have enquired with me whatever they wanted to, either by sending a police official or calling me to the Police Station. But the entire intention is to create an atmosphere of terror and project that I had already done some dreaded crime.”
We are going through times when lawyers who are on the front lines taking up unpopular causes are being maligned, attacked, arrested and held in prolonged detention, and/or killed. If this does not stop, one day there will be no one to defend the rule of law, one day there will be no rule of law to defend.
In a ‘historic’ encounter, as was reported by the DIG, Anti-Naxal Squad, DM Awasthi, 15 ‘Maoists’ were shot dead in Sukma by the District Regional Guards (DRG) on the early morning of August 6, 2018. However, the villagers from Gompad, Nulkatong, Vellpocha, Kinderpad and Etagata have a completely different story to tell — stories of haunting memories of the past and terror of today. Accompanying a fact-finding team called for by the adivasi activist Soni Sori to look into the incident, The Leaflet’s Kritika Agarwal heard and recorded the unspeakable stories as recounted by the eyewitnesses, as she came face-to-face with the terrifying and recurring truth of unparalleled violence on innocents perpetrated in the name of security.
The RTI application was filed on July 5, 2014 which cited media report stating that Amit Shah, the national president of the Bhartiya Janata Party, would be provided Z-Plus security cover by the Government. This information was denied by the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) of the MHA, citing exemption clause (g) & (j) of the Section 8(1) of the RTI Act, 2005, and has now been upheld by the CIC.
The petitioner, Senior Advocate Indira Jaising herself, had filed a Writ Petition on January 18, 2018 to permit the live streaming of Supreme Court case proceedings of constitutional and national importance, having an impact to the public at large. The primary grounds for the request was based on the mandates under Article 19 and Article 21 of the Constitution of India, which upon a conjoint reading correspond to the right to receive information, and the access to justice through open courts
The privacy judgment pegged the right not just to Articles 19 and 21 of the Constitution but also held it to be a component of all other fundamental rights and to be treated as the “dark matter” pervading the fundamental rights chapter. The Aadhaar and LGBTQI rights cases are bound to be impacted by the decision of the Supreme Court in the Puttaswamy case.
The issue for debate was whether the States are required to collect quantifiable data to determine “backwardness, adequacy of representation, efficiency in administration” as laid down in M Nagaraj judgment. Senior Advocates PS Patwalia, Indira Jaising, Shanti Bhushan, Rajeev Dhawan argum that the M Nagaraj verdict be reconsidered.
A beacon of free and fair press, anti-Emergency warrior who had served jail time during Indira Gandhi’s regime, a pacifist and advocate of India-Pakistan peace process, and a fierce critic of Hindutva, Nayar was a ‘gentle colossus’ fondly remembered by almost every senior journalist in Delhi today.
The applicant, Sudhir Chaudhary, on May 12, 2016 filed an RTI application seeking information on the process of filing a criminal complaint on behalf of Government of NCT of Delhi. A criminal complaint was filed against Zee News, News X, and India News with allegations of having knowingly and with malicious intent caused damage to JNU students. Charges under Sections 465 (punishment for forgery) and 471 (using as genuine forged document or electronic record) of the IPC were pressed.
The past week has been a devastating period for the state of Kerala, for almost triple the estimated rainfall was experienced by the State. Yet, Central government’s puny financial grant of Rs 600 crore when the loss exceeds at least Rs 20,000 crore, its refusal to categorise the Kerala floods as a ‘national disaster’, and instead calling it a “calamity of a severe nature”, and finally not accepting foreign aid directed towards Kerala — indicate a strong bias against the southern state.
As a lawyer I believe in the Rule of Law and not in media trials. So I prefer to continue going about my work and duties as a trade unionist, a lawyer and a teacher; serving people as best I can and as I have been doing for the past three decades. Let my love for my country and its citizens speak, not through words, but through my work.
The Petitioner contended that the EC’s circular is contrary to the mandate of Article 80 (4) of the Constitution of India and the case of People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) and another v. Union of India. They further argue that the EC’s circular is unconstitutional as the Rules relied upon to make the voting provisions do not even remotely conceive of NOTA.
Paired with the fact that a suit can be filed at any of the 600 district courts across the nation, Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code prima facie seems facilitative of abuse and harassment. This misuse was pre-empted by the Section’s drafting committee which feared that it might be used to target not just the ‘scurrilous scribbler’, but also any form criticism or mere comment upon religious matters.
Often blandly described as a “conspiracy thriller”, JFK (1991), its artistic liberties notwithstanding, makes us sit up and ask uncomfortable and unrelenting questions about the government of the people, for the people, and by the people. Beset by yet another jingoistic round of nationalistic fervour, not seen since WWII, JFK, over and above its immediate subject, is actually re-examining the subversion of democracy and its institutions.
FGM is a harmful practice that scars girl children for life, resulting in severe psychological and sexual dysfunction, while being an assault on the dignity, autonomy and bodily integrity of its female victims. How can it be termed an ‘essential religious practice’ and protected as such under Article 25 when it violates Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution?
The Supreme Court has stated that the Allahabad High Court misdirected itself and dismissed the prayers of the Petitioners despite compelling facts and circumstances of the case, as well as a lack of due appreciation of the evidence and law. In the case, the accused is the current Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath.
Enquiries through the Right to Information Act have become a powerful facilitator of accountability of state institutions by the citizens of India. Recent developments have indicated however that the State Bank of India has been dodging pertinent information related to electoral bonds.
Adding to the historical tussle between the Indian Legislature and Judiciary, the Constitutional Bench is now questioning the eligibility of politicians involved in criminal allegations. The back-and-forth observed in the hearing is evident in realizing the anxieties surrounding the overlapping powers of the institutions.
A Standard Operation Procedure (SoP) to dispose of the claims and objections after the release of NRC as proposed by the Central Government was placed before the Supreme Court. As per the Government, the disposal of claims and objections will be done through holding of hearings. Claimants will be required to bring evidence including recorded oral evidence to support their claim.
Adhering to the true spirit of the Constitution and the NALSA judgment, Shanavi should be entitled to self-determine her gender and should also be able to avail the benefits of the affirmative actions. The Union Ministry of Civil Aviation dismissing her letter on the grounds that it is only open for “women” is going against the value of the judgment.
Social movements in India need to broaden their understanding of the prison politics and how the State is actively criminalising the poor, and locking up a large number of marginalised communities in prisons. The State and dominant groups use law as an instrument to perpetuate discrimination and violence against these marginalised groups, which is a replication and extension of the colonial practice of subjugation.
From its premature Cabinet clearance without any enforceable data protection framework in place, to its muddled approach to consent, in-built technologies of coercion leading to profiling and possible criminalisation of vulnerable groups, invasive information collection methods and mythicisation of the “infallibility” of the DNA technology — the Bill is a confused disarray of State arrogance fused with misplaced reliance on technology that’s still too nebulous for effective and wide-scale use
Tribunal in its long report running into 2,700 pages has recommended for changes in the Act of 1956 and as well as in the functioning of Central Water Commission as it found many shortcomings in its report. It has in total allocated 38.25 tmc of water of inter-state river Mahadayi, which consists of 24 tmc to Goa, 13.4 tmc to Karnataka and 1.33 tmc to Maharashtra.
Article 35A, being the right under the Constitution to define a permanent resident, and to consequently confer upon such citizens rights related to immovable property, is intrinsically connected to both land and law in the State of Jammu and Kashmir. Tampering with it, therefore, might itself give rise to claims of self-determination propelled by forces that will inevitably manifest under any forced ‘integration’ scenario.
It is now for the fist time in 73 years that I am made to remember by Hindu origins from across the border. But there is no comfort in it, only pain for the Republic of India, which is in danger of losing its secular foundational principles, its birth-pangs of great ideals, of pluralism and inter-faith harmony.
My father, who as a young boy marched in the freedom rallies, now at the age of 85, uses thick glasses to read newspapers only to find acute despair in them, with the news of mob lynching, crimes against women and politicians fuelling the fire of communal violence.
India's core strength lies in its inclusive secular tolerant and harmonious ethos. Each and every community in India, especially the two largest ones, Hindus and Muslims have a solemn responsibility to ensure that the idea of India is protected and preserved to be handed down as our outstanding legacy to our succeeding generations.
With his death, India has lost an outstanding parliamentarian and an exceptional leader. In times of diminishing reverence for politicians and parliamentarians, he was the cynosure of all, displaying exemplary statesmanship and commitment throughout his illustrious career. As a Lok Sabha Speaker, Chatterjee introduced landmark changes and brought great dignity and respect to the office.
Umar Khalid blamed the hate news channels that normalise everyday violence against those who question the government in his statement on camera after the incident at Constitution Club, the heart of the national capital. He said he remembered his mentor, the slain journalist Gauri Lankesh when he was attacked.
The Sub-Committee on Accreditation of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions underscored that the current selection process under the Act is not sufficiently broad and transparent since it does not mandatorily require the advertisement of vacancies and establishment of clear and uniform criteria upon which all parties assess the merit of applicants. The SCA also noted that the NHRC was not free from political interference.
While the Supreme Court will to decrimnalise consensual same-sex relationships is pretty clear to many, there are important issues to address, such as formulating anti-discrimination laws for private sector, making rape laws gender neutral to incorporate homosexual consensual sex acts, as well as move to recognize same-sex marriage.
With both the adultery and the marital rape issues being now considered by the Court, it is important to acknowledge that the fear of frivolous litigation should not stop protection from being offered to those caught in abusive traps, where they are degraded to the status of a chattel. The questions involve impairment of the rights conferred under Article 21 of the Constitution.
The Delhi High Court Bench, comprising the outgoing Acting Chief of the High Court, Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar, rightly declared the main provisions of the Bombay Act as ‘manifestly arbitrary’ and against the mandate of Article 21 of the Constitution which guarantees citizens right to live with dignity and with the necessities of life required for it.
Are ‘chores’ merely useful tasks that must remain unpaid and unintegrated in the economy because they are by nature different from conventional definition of work? Or, trying to point out a difference between work and chores is an exercise in creating a false binary? Read the first ‘Leaflet debate’.
The Bill intends to lay out that preliminary enquiry shall not be required for registration of a FIR against any person; or the Investigating Officer shall not require approval for the arrest of any accused person. For a Dalit, securing proper non-delayed investigation and successful prosecution is almost improbable which might result from intimidation of the victim and witnesses. The requirement of prior sanction would thus worsen the problem of delay in prosecution and hostility of witnesses.
279 teachers voted in favour of him being relieved, 8 voted in favour of the VC staying. In total, 300 out of 586 listed faculty turned up for the referendum. Eight votes were invalid and five voters abstained from voting. Out of the 51% of the faculty participating in the referendum, only 2.67 percent of the faculty wanted VC Jagdesh Kumar to remain in his office. While a staggering 93 percent of the faculty wanted him to vacate his office.
With 143 names recommended by the High Court Collegium pending with the Supreme Court Collegium, it seems the latter too must be blamed for staggering vacancies in the high courts of India.
Senior advocate Indira Jaising and advocate Sunil Fernandes — appearing for the petitioner, a relative of Talib Hussain — submitted that the moment there’s torture perpetrated against the accused/prisoner, the custody becomes unlawful. Supreme Court has issued a notice to the J&K Police to file a reply to the allegations. The matter will be next heard on August 21, 2018.
protest programme at Parliament Street in Delhi by Campaign Against State Repression on Rights Activists saw the participation of over four thousand people from Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu and all other parts of the country. The programme was presided by Professor G Haragopal. Justice BG Kolse Patil, D Raja, Manorajan Mohanty, Arundhati Roy, Dharamvir Gandhi, S Vanchinathan and others addressed the gathering.
Even as the Justices chided the officials for issuing statements to the press that were out of line, and “highly improper”, “touching upon matters which should have formed the basis of orders to be passed by the court”, the fact of the matter is the second draft of the NRC released on July 30 has opened a Pandora’s Box of uncertainties and communalisation of the bureaucratic exercise, leading to much anxiety among those affected, as well as every concerned citizen of the country.
The death penalty is another method of policing vulnerable communities and is symptomatic of what the current criminal justice system already is. All aspects of the criminal justice system are politically tinted, such as, who is to be arrested and investigated, who is likely to be unrepresented or poorly represented at trial, who the judge thinks is more likely to have committed the crime and deserves punishment, and whether the mercy petition is considered or not.
Alka Lamba has been criticised on social media for stereotyping the trans community by calling them "beech wale" who clap loudly ("thaali peetna"). Despite being called out on Twitter for her transphobic remarks, she has neither pulled down her tweet, nor has apologised for it.
Another eyewitness and a close aide of Talib Hussain has alleged that he was brutally beaten on August 5. ‘There is a huge bump in his skull. Blood is visible through the bandaged head. However, there are no records in the hospital.’ Talib’s aide further alleged that none of his relatives are allowed to visit Talib Hussain in the jail.
The notification comes days before the anniversary of Jaising’s ‘Gown Wapsi’ movement. On August 15 of last year, she shed her senior counsel gown to symbolise the discrimination inherent in the senior advocate designation process. The eligibility criterion for designation is a minimum of 10 years combined standing as an advocate or a District Judge, or as a Judicial Member of any Tribunal whose qualification for eligibility isn't less than that prescribed for a District judge.
While requesting the Court to stay the Order, KK Venugopal, Attorney General of India submitted that, ‘The insensivity of the Court towards social justice cause and judicial dilution of a stringent protective social justice legislation by resorting to judicial excess in total disregard to the legislative intent has been committed in passing of the directions.’
Jaising has specified in her written submissions that the M Nagaraj case erred in law to hold that Article 16(4-A) and (4-B) flow from Article 16(4). She insisted that such provisions draw source from Article 14 and 16 (1) instead of Article 16(4). She has next expressed her concern that the phrases "controlling factors" and "compelling reasons" as laid down in the M Nagaraj case have not been prescribed by the Constitutional language.
The Brazilian Supreme Court is holding a two-day public hearing about the decriminalisation of abortion, and Senior Advocate Anand Grover was selected through an open application to speak on the subject from India. At the hearing, which took place on August 3 and is taking place today, August 6, about 50 speakers can be heard, including health, law and social science experts, as well as feminist and international human rights organizations, and religious representatives.
The latest ‘Basic Law’ that was enacted by the Israeli Knesset on July 19, 2018 has adverse effect on Palestinians within Israel and in the occupied territories of Palestine, contravenes even the assertions made in the Declaration of Independence by the Provisional Government of Israel on May 14, 1948. The existence of at least 65 other laws that seek to discriminate Arab Palestinians vis-à-vis their Jewish counterparts provide proof of the existence of an Apartheid system in Israel, which is well captured in the ESCWA Report of 2017.
According to their warrants of appointments signed off by the President of India on August 3, 2018, Justice K M Joseph has been put below the other two justices in the seniority order despite the fact that Justice Joseph’s name was initially recommended by the Supreme Court Collegium much before the name of Justices Banerjee and Saran. The Collegium erred knowing fully that reiteration of his name along with the names of other Chief Justices could compromise his seniority further.
The police had been restrained from arresting Hussain by the J&K High Court in a case of domestic violence filed by his estranged wife. While the court order was issued on July 30, the sister-in-law of his wife filed a complaint of rape, committed allegedly a month and a half ago, on the very next day.
The Supreme Court’s Collegium consisting of the Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra, Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Kurian Joseph and Jutsice A K Sikri, had reiterated his name for the appointment as judge of the Supreme Court on July 16, 2018 after Centre government had returned his name for reconsideration in April 2018.
Supplementary charge-sheet has established through the evidence of money trail and call data analysis of the accused persons as to how the accused cops allowed a cover-up of the gruesome incident. It also reveals the location of Jangotra, son of Sanji Ram, alleged to be the mastermind behind the abduction and killing in January this year.
Kishore Kumar is my all-time favourite singer, a clear undisputed no.1, across all languages, genres and ages. A singer with no formal classical training in music, he was able to establish his popularity over far more classically accomplished and trained singers like Mohammad Rafi, Manna Dey and Mukesh, for almost two decades — from the late 1960s till his death in 1987.
The advocates for petitioners and interveners seeking decriminalisation of adultery (Section 497 of IPC) said that there is no compelling state interest or a valid rational behind the state to penalise an act of consensual sex between adults; that origin of adultery lies in treating women as property of the man, and that it is in violation of Articles 14, 15 and 21 of Indian Constitution.
Senior advocate Jaising presented that rights of the deity are restricted for to matters, limited to maintenance of properties and the taxation related issues. Jaising held that this principle has been consistently maintained in the Indian legal jurisprudence since the time of Privy Council and the Judicial Committee decisions, so must apply in Sabarimala as well, and shouldn’t infringe upon fundamental rights of women as citizens.
The MoS Law and Justice P P Chaudhary skirted the reply to the question which specially sought to know steps taken by the government to facilitate removal of Justice Shukla, therefore, making it appear that the government has not taken any initiative to remove the tainted judge.
The latest draft of the RTI Amendment Bill 2018 reflects a discriminatory approach towards a statutory body such as the Information Commission. There appears to be an uncanny intention on behalf of the Centre to acquire overarching powers to decide the salaries and tenures of the Information Commissioners. The proposed Bill has also been critiqued for being violative of various Constitutional provisions, especially that of Article 14.
The Supreme Court has held that the purpose of the exercise of the creation of the NRC in the State of Assam was not the determination of which person is an ‘original inhabitant’, but the sole test for inclusion in the NRC is that of citizenship under the Constitution of India and the Citizenship Act 1955. However, the constitutionality of Section 6A of the Citizenship Act 1955 was challenged in 2012 by way of a writ petition under Article 32 in the Supreme Court. The matter is currently pending before a Constitution Bench of five judges.
Women’s struggle through history has been to have access to what has been systematically denied to them for centuries. This purpose is defeated if we argue merely that women should work because it benefits the economy. The struggle is about equality, liberty and justice; about claiming what is rightfully theirs.
Four million people are “foreigners” in Assam, despite having lived there for decades. As the National Register of Citizens is released, here’s a look back at its tumultuous official history, stemming from the updation of the NRC being conducted as per the Supreme Court directive issued in 2005. This directive was in furtherance of the tripartite agreement entered into by the Central government, State government and the All Assam Students Union (AASU) to enforce the 1985 Assam Accords.
Ajit Nayak was the president and an active campaigner of the Kali Bachao Andolan, a movement to rejuvenate Kali river, that protested against the damming of the river, industries polluting the river and rampant sand-mining on the beds of the river. His murder is not a rare occurrence but a continuum in the line of attacks on human rights lawyers and Right to Information activists witnessed across the country.
Provisions that permit personal data processing without express consent are clearly overbroad in comparison to comparable frameworks such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) brought forth by the European Union (EU). The non requirement of necessity and proportionality with respect to personal data processing by the State prima facie seems regressive and violative of the tests laid down by the Puttaswamy verdict.
Ambedkar’s concerns were three-fold. How does representative democracy function (successfully) in a society that is fundamentally unequal? How can implementation and adherence by the Hindu majority be ensured? How does law function in a democracy where the lawmakers themselves are socially conditioned? As much as Ambedkar struggled with establishing a legal framework to protect marginalised groups, he left a lasting legacy in the form of an imagination for equality for the millions who followed his path and continue to negotiate within the system, against the system.
Though highly inspired by the Soviet model of planning, Nehru in his presidential address at Indian Institute of Public Administration (March 26, 1954) found Communism “as rigid as a religion”. Nehru believed in “administrative realism”; he planned for a planned development of independent India right after his visit to the Soviet in the British days but invited specialists like Paul H Appleby and Albert Meyer from the United States for evaluation and formative tasks in independent India.
Whether it is arbitrariness, lack of parity in verification requirements, placing the onus of men’s celibacy on women, treating men as a class of devotees whose interests require greater protection —each and every one of these conclusions requires the ban to be struck down as blatantly unconstitutional.
As the country makes progress at the cost of pushing the most vulnerable to the margins, the schemes like NFSA, MGNREGA have become the last thread for the survival of the poor. 7 out of the 12 starvation deaths in Jharkhand documented by the Right to Food Campaign were directly related to the problems with Aadhaar linking. Starvation deaths are not an aberration but an extreme manifestation of exclusions built into the system.
Leaders with far greater mandate than what Imran Khan Niazi, the head of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf, has achieved in the latest general elections have been hostage to the Pakistani Deep State insofar their India policy goes. However, if Imran the Prime Minister proves to be half as good as Imran the captain, Pakistan is in for some good times.
The Government’s tearing hurry and avoidance of the Standing Committee shows absolute disregard for democratic processes and parliamentary procedures. It also shows that the Government is not confident of its contents and is afraid that closer examination will expose the pompous claims and rhetoric that has surrounded the Bill.
The Constitution empowers both the legislature and the judiciary to have regulating powers over the personal laws, to bring them up to speed with the times. While it is with great dexterity that such powers should be exercised, it is still a better option than wiping out their existence and imposing a Uniform Civil Code, which comes too close to violation of Article 25, for comfort.
Justice Rajendra Menon has been subject to incriminating comments from a Joint Inquiry Committee led by Justice Banumathi, as per he he has been found guilty of wrongfully and punitively transferring a former woman ADJ who had accused Justice S K Gangele of Madhya Pradesh of sexually harassing her. Does Delhi High Court deserve Justice Menon as the next Chief Justice in place of Justice Aniruddha Bose of Calcutta High Court, the Collegium’s initial, and unblemished, choice?
Parasaran cited judgments highlighting the importance of God, before propounding Hindu religion’s ‘tolerance and non-discriminatory’ nature. He then advanced arguments pertaining to the celibate character of the deity of the temple, Lord Ayyapa, claiming that it enjoys constitutional protection.
The letter came in the wake of the recent Supreme Court judgment wherein the Court heavily condemned such “horrendous acts of mobocracy” and issued directions to the State and Central government to undertake preventive, remedial and punitive measures for the same.
Lawyers, members of the civil society, sex workers, queer rights activist, labour rights activists and child rights activists have criticised the Bill on grounds of increasing abuse of consenting adult sex workers, migrating labourers, targeting of transgender persons and the over-legislation resulting from the Bill’s scope and approach towards consensual sex work.
The bench of Justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan stressed the importance of ‘direct participation in public affairs where individuals and groups are able to express dissent and grievances, expose the flaws in governance and demand accountability’, especially in the Indian context to aid ‘the assertion of the rights of the marginalised and poorly represented minorities’.
The former woman judge pleaded that her resignation — given four years back in the wake of “unbearable circumstances” — amounted to an act of constructive termination. She claims that she was forced to put in her papers as a consequence of her being unlawfully and in a mala fide manner transferred to a conflict area for not bowing to the immoral demands of a Madhya Pradesh High Court judge.
Has our approach towards justice stopped taking any other factor into account except the need to immediately replicate the rallying cry of lynch mobs? Just like in the Nirbhaya incident, lynching too has emerged as another dark area representing the failure of governance that Justice Verma had alluded to. We cannot assume that making laws that strike fear will save us all from further collapse.
Given the widespread prevalence of lynching in the country now, it is time to introduce federal crimes, which affect the federation and are not to be described as affecting ‘law and order’ but as crimes that are ‘offences against the Constitution’ and hence for which the Union has to take responsibility.
The proposed amendment in the RTI Act, 2005 takes away the independence of Information Commissions that have been conferred with the adjudicatory power to decide the appeals and complaints arise out of violation of the RTI Act and denial of the information, whatever may be the case.
The High Court of Kerala by an Interim Order struck down the permission for women to trek to Agastyakoodam peak on a plea filed by Bhagavan Kani and Ors. on the pretext that that even tribal women were not allowed to enter the abode of sage Agasthya who was a celibate.
Jaising submitted that the ban on women's entry inside the temple is based upon sex alone, and the discrimination is solely based off physiological factors. She further argued that menstruating women being categorised as a different class is unconstitutional as it lacks constitutional morality.
The SMCH can reasonably be construed to be a surveillance mechanism encompassing the entire digital space, laying the groundwork for an information system where it only flows from a Statist source, with all dissenters silenced into fear of State sanction.
Jaising emphasises on harmonious interpretation of constitutional provisions, that is, Articles 14, 15, 25 and 26 of the Constitution and stated that the right to manage the affairs in the matter of religion does not encompass the right to ban entry inside a temple.
The CJI bench highlighted the threat posed by ‘frenzied mobs across the country instigated by intolerance and misinformed by circulation of fake news and false stories’, while chastising aggravating phenomena such as ‘bystander apathy, numbness of the mute spectators of the scene of the crime, inertia of the law enforcing machinery to prevent such crimes … and grandstanding of the incident by the perpetrators of the crimes including in the social media’.
Lawyers Collective is addressing the media on why the Bill, which has been in the making for over two years, miserably fails to address the legal and real-time challenges that arise in addressing trafficking in persons and securing the rights and dignity of trafficked victims.
The J&K bureaucrat’s resolve to not back down has initiated discourse regarding the Government gagging its employees via draconian laws, the importance of Fundamental Rights, and why Rules such as those in question need to be struck down as they deprive individuals of their civil liberties.
The petition contends that the SMCH aims at creating an advanced surveillance infrastructure via which the Government could “monitor” and “cut to size” all individuals who critique the government via social media, rather than its stated objective of being an analytical tool aiding the Ministry to gauge the effectiveness of its social media campaigns.
‘Justice is not something that is a standalone precept but an amalgam of other ideals like “socialism”; “democracy”; “liberty”; “equality”; “fraternity”, to name a few. They are not isolated silos because their undying endeavour is to establish one discipline - of overall justice, of an inclusive society.’
People are often caught in this kind of situation, individually or as a group. Their greatest problem is that there is nobody they can go to in order to complain or seek justice. Instead of helping them, the government often takes advantage of the situation (for instance, by using people’s discontent to recruit SPOs) and creates further danger for the villagers. We hope that the government will refrain from doing this in Phulpad and we demand from the Maoists that they not repeat such incidents and allow villagers the freedom to choose how they want to live
In what could at worst have been a bailable offence, the local court remanded the Canadian student protestor Lois Sofia to judicial custody for 15 days! She was later let off, but the fact that merely using the F-word now lands one in jail, is something to ponder on.
Once upon a time, a Milord from a neighbouring State strayed into Gook's favourite High Court as its Chief Justice so that he could relax and enjoy the good times for a few months before he was ready to be placed as a decoration on some Commission post-retirement.
The Leaflet Special Issue is a one-stop destination to get a wide-angle, rigorous perspective on raging debates of the day. Centred around one theme and investigating it from every possible direction, the Special Issue will focus on comprehensive, in-depth and wide-spectrum analysis of the biggest sociolegal and constitutional battles that are central to our understanding of the rule of law, justice as well as human and civil rights. A platform to both look back and look ahead, to tease out the nuances lost in chasing breaking news and views, our emphasis will be to foreground issues that are often neglected by mainstream media.
The significance of the judgment lies not just in its protection of the right to privacy but in its insistence that no government, majoritarian or otherwise can violate the rule of law. Life is not a gift of the state but is a natural right, because it is.
The historical import of such moments is not complete without a reflection of cases past and especially when ‘ghosts’ of certain cases need to be exorcised to enable a vocabulary of non-discrimination and equality in our daily lives inside and outside of the courtroom.
The silhouette of the Red Fort, the warmth of the winter sun softly glowing from across the Humanyun’s tomb, the rare visits of the peacocks in Lodhi gardens, the sprawling, beautiful chaos of the Jama Masjid, the deserted Adham Khan’s tomb, and many more such sites are governed by Acts aimed at conserving and protecting these heritage monuments.