Human Rights

Parliament Watch

Democratising human rights commissions

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.

August 13,2018

Democracy and Rule of Law

Talib’s plea: Torture makes custody unlawful, say Jaising and Fernandes

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.

August 8,2018

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

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

Labour Law

Women’s work, unpaid and invisible

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.

August 1,2018

Analysis

All about NRC, a dangerous list

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.

July 30,2018

Human Rights

Ajit Nayak’s murder a dangerous sign

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.

July 30,2018

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

Human Rights

Food, not charity but entitlement

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.

July 27,2018

Independence of judiciary

Don’t pick Justice Rajendra Menon as Chief Justice of Delhi High Court

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?

July 26,2018

Democracy and Rule of Law

Who’s afraid of the law?

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.

July 23,2018

International Law

Israel’s new ‘basic law’ akin to apartheid

The legislation lays down that the state shall ‘act within the Diaspora to strengthen the affinity between the state and members of the Jewish people’ and ‘views the development of Jewish settlement as a national value and will act to encourage and promote its establishment and consolidation’.

July 19,2018

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