Constitutional Law

The Kashmir Conversation

Why Article 35A matters

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.

August 15,2018

Section 377

Challenges beyond 377

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.

August 13,2018

Women's rights

The question of female consent

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.

August 10,2018

Analysis

NRC: Don’t ignore constitutional questions

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.

August 7,2018

Constitutional Law

Adultery law treats women as chattel, violates dignity

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.

August 3,2018

Law and Religion

Deity as juristic entity only for suing and being sued: Jaising

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.

August 2,2018

Democracy and Rule of Law

Chasing shadows of citizenship

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.

August 1,2018

Law and Religion

The ‘celibacy vs menstruation’ non-debate

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.

July 28,2018

Law and Religion

To codify or not to codify

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.

July 26,2018

Democracy and Rule of Law

Lynching, a crime against the Constitution

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. 

July 23,2018

Law and Religion

‘A form of untouchability in Sabarimala’

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.

July 18,2018

Case update

Sabarimala: Read Indira Jaising's written submissions

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.

July 17,2018

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