Democracy and Rule of Law

Public Statement

Indira Jaising: I do not intend to continue to appear on behalf of Talib Hussain anymore

It  is the obligation of lawyers to uphold public interest.  My  social commitment to the #MeToo movement overrides my professional engagement, and therefore  I have taken a conscious decision to stop representing Talib Hussain in any court. 

October 20,2018

Democracy and Rule of Law

In pursuit of justice

The Bombay Lawyers Association was found in 2012 by lawyer Ahmed Abdi, who has been doggedly pursuing legal course in two curiously connected cases — the deaths of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Judge BH Loya — both of which are in turn connected to Amit Anilchandra Shah, now the national president of the BJP.

October 9,2018

Democracy and Rule of Law

#BhimaKoregaonVerdict: Under a shadow

The stark difference between the majority judgment authored by Justice AM Khanwilkar and signed on by the then CJI Dipak Misra and the one written by Justice D Y Chandrachud outline how starkly divergent Supreme Court’s understanding of a complex political and legal issue that is the Bhima Koregaon arrests and the subsequent case hearing can be. While Justice Chandrachud’s judgment is a fine example of constitutional morality, the same simply be not said of the other.

Judiciary

A liberal court

The September judgments of the Supreme Court of India under the judicial stewardship of the 45th Chief Justice Dipak Misra have made the popular media to say that the Supreme Court has emerged as a ‘liberal court’. The tag isn’t incorrect.

October 3,2018

Lead Opinion

That bitter-sweet feeling: CJI Misra’s mixed legacy

CJI Dipak Misra is perhaps the first Chief Justice of India in recorded history who has had to face a proposed motion for removal under Article 124 of the Constitution of India. That said, his legacy is a bag of highs and lows, with many failures on the administrative side that led to allegations of Executive interference into the Judiciary, while being a judge whose sensitivity towards gender justice remains unparalleled in the history of the Supreme Court.

October 2,2018

Democracy and Rule of Law

Need for a law on ‘lynching’

Mob lynching in India in many cases has received the sanction of the State, just like how the U.S. Senate kept silent while thousands of African Americans were lynched over many decades. To recognise the deep-seated abhorrence in the society, and calling it what it is, that is “lynching”, sends a very powerful message that criminal acts of hatred are not tolerated in an equitable society.

October 1,2018

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

Case update

Cannot debar persons with criminal charges from contesting elections: SC

Though the Court refused to declare that a candidate with criminal antecedents stands disqualified for contesting an election upon framing of criminal charges, has issued slew of direction with regard to the disclosure of the antecedents of the candidates and the responsibilities of the political parties.

September 25,2018

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

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

Democracy and Rule of Law

Remembering the ‘anti-nationals’ of Koodankulam

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.

September 17,2018

Law and Conflict

UAPA: An obituary for democracy

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.

September 10,2018

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Our Columnists


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