Analysis

Law and Technology

#AadhaarVerdict: Right to Privacy restricted

The September 26 judgment violates the court’s own landmark ruling on citizen’s constitutional right to privacy by failing to address why biometric data is required at all for benefits and services received from government. It also fails to take account of the fact that its own orders were violated by both government and private companies during the pendency of the hearings and that passing of Aadhaar Act as a Money Bill was simply unconstitutional, as echoed in Justice Chandrachud’s strong dissent.

September 28,2018

Social Justice

Removing biases against promotions for SC/STs in public employment

Given that the marker of identity of Scheduled Castes is the historic disadvantage of the untouchable, the question of proving backwardness by quantifiable data does not arise. This was the basic flaw of the Nagaraj judgment; its failure to recognise these markers of identity. This now stands corrected.

September 28,2018

Law and Technology

#AadhaarVerdict: Which judge said what

The is a table detailing the provisions and of the Aadhaar Act that were challenged and the grounds argued for their unconstitutionality by the Petitioners; the responses of the respondents, along with the decision on each of the provisions by the three separate opinions.

September 27,2018

Law and Technology

Aadhaar verdict: A predictable letdown

In the majority judgment passed by the five judge bench of the Supreme Court in the Aadhaar matter (referred to as “the Aadhaar judgment”) yesterday — September 26, 2018, the Supreme Court by a 4:1 majority has held that the Aadhaar project does not tend to create a surveillance state and further declared the Aadhaar Act, save and except some provisions, to be constitutionally valid.

September 27,2018

Law and Technology

The Aadhaar verdict: Not good enough

Time will tell how Justice Chandrachud’s judgment will be regarded given that the constitutionality of the Aadhaar scheme and the Act of 2016 has been upheld by Justices Sikri, Khanwilkar, Bhushan, and the CJI Dipak Mishra. The only silver lining in this aspect is that the court declared that Money Bills, under which the Aadhaar Act was passed, are open to judicial scrutiny.

September 27,2018

Law and Religion

Babri conundrum: Ismail Faruqui verdict

On July 20, 2018, after nine hearings of vociferous and heated arguments stretching from March 14, 2018, the Supreme Court of India, the repository of the best amongst the intelligentsia, reserved its verdict on the issue as to whether the 1994 verdict of theirs in Dr. M. Ismail Faruqui Vs. Union of India [(1994) 6 SCC 360] needs a reconsideration or not. It is yet to be seen whether the Supreme Court, represented by the select intelligentsia of the country are convinced enough to walk the path of secularism in a way that ensures equal treatment to all.

September 27,2018

Section 377

#Section377: Criminalising love is cruel and inhumane

Throughout the judgement, the Indian Supreme Court makes a distinction between ‘social’ or ‘majoritarian’ morality and ‘constitutional’ morality. Applying this distinction to the case at hand, the court rejects homophobia and popular sentiments that marginalise and discriminate against those who go against heteronormativity. This judgment has great resonance in Sri Lanka, where at present LGBTQI activists are agitating to strike Section 365 and 365a from the Penal Code, which is akin to Section 377 of IPC.

September 21,2018

Democracy and Rule of Law

NSA has no place in a democracy

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 unconstitutional 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.

September 20,2018

Analysis

Section 498A: The ‘misuse’ non-argument

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.

September 20,2018

Social Justice

Ambedkar's feminism

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.

September 18,2018

Analysis

Understanding ‘Sedition’ in India

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?

September 17,2018

Politics

NRC bogey is a cynical election tool

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.

September 17,2018

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