Democracy and Rule of Law

Democracy and Rule of Law

What the AMU sedition row tells us

If there is a bona fide conspiracy against the Indian State, there are enough laws in the statute book to look into them. A mature, liberal democracy cannot fight its own citizens. The Law Commission in its August 2018 report pointed out that “while it is essential to protect national integrity, it should not be misused as a tool to curb free speech. Dissent and criticism are essential ingredients of a robust public debate on policy issues as part of a vibrant democracy”.

February 16,2019

Bhima Koregaon

After 12 days of solitary confinement, Gadling and Rao sent to judicial custody

Upon completion of the remand time, on February 11, after hearing both the sides, and noting that there was no progress shown in investigation after huge time giving in police remand with respect to the crime in question, the court directed to transport both Gadling and Rao forthwith to Yerwada jail. However, the court did not take any action on the issue of keeping the two in solitary confinement, even though it was completely unnecessary.

February 12,2019

Right to Information

Cabinet note on 10% quota law cannot be disclosed under RTI: Social Justice Ministry

On January 17, 2019, three days after the 10% Quota amendment came into force, the Union Ministry for Social Justice and Empowerment issued an Office Memorandum (OM) detailing the criteria for excluding persons who would not be eligible to lay claim to the 10% reservation of seats and posts. Interestingly, this OM is labelled: "For Internal Circulation Only" and cannot be located on the Ministry's website. However, it is included in multiple OMs issued by other Ministries and Departments to entities under their charge for identifying posts that may be reserved under the 10% quota law.

February 11,2019

Judiciary

#RafaleDeal: What would we call a Supreme Court judgment that's ‘not based on facts’?

But apart from the obvious implications of off-the-record “parallel negotiations” by the PMO, what does this mean for the Supreme Court judgment delivered on December 14, 2018, rejecting several petitions filed for a mandamus directing the CBI to lodge an FIR in relation to the deal? While the Court is entitled take a point of view on law which may be debatable, it is not at liberty to play fast and loose with the facts. We have a right to insist that court proceedings are not manipulated by the Government by presenting half-truths in sealed cover to the court.

February 9,2019

Democracy and Rule of Law

Why the inexplicable delay in reconstituting the Law Commission?

As per media reports, the Ministry of Law and Justice had cleared the proposal for the reconstitution of the 22nd Law Commission in September 2018 and sent to the Union Cabinet for approval. However, the Government has not acted on the files for the reconstitution of the Law Commission despite the recommendation of the Law Ministry.

February 7,2019

Democracy and Rule of Law

Kolkata face-off shows how Government of India has demonetised the CRPF

The procedure mandates that the local administrative authorities requisition Central Police Forces through the prescribed channels. What was the emergency that prompted the Centre to abandon the prescribed procedure? Argument that CRPF was not deployed in aid to Civil Authority but to protect an office complex does not hold good. The deployment of CRPF in Kolkata was patently unconstitutional.

February 6,2019

Case update

#CBIvsKolkataPolice: Nothing substantial in application to show that evidence being destroyed, remarks CJI

CJI Gogoi remarked that he had read the application filed by the CBI, but could not find anything substantial to show that the evidence are being destroyed. However, CJI asked SG Mehta to place the evidence on record to substantiate that West Bengal authorities are tampering with evidences. At the same time, CJI Gogoi also made it clear that even if Police Commissioner Kolkata is remotely thinking to destroy the evidence, court will come down so heavily on him that he would regret. The application filed by the CBI would be listed tomorrow at 10:30 AM, said CJI Gogoi.

February 4,2019

Lead Opinion

Attempt to arrest Kolkata CP an attack on federalism

By no stretch of imagination does it mean that the CBI has the power to make the raid at the office of  the Kolkata Police Commissioner in relation to the investigation, when  the High Court is seized of the matter and has passed an order keeping in abeyance the CBI summons to the Kolkata the police in relation to the investigation. India has no "federal crimes", only a federal investigating agency. Its powers are subject to the State giving its consent to investigate a crime within its territory.

February 4,2019

Bhima Koregaon

#BhimaKoregaonArrests: Now Gadchiroli Police takes custody of Surendra Gadling, P Varavara Rao

Gadchiroli police in the late hours of January 30, 2019, took custody of noted human rights lawyer and Nagpur-based Dalit rights activist Surendra Gadling and activist-poet-writer P Varvara Rao from Pune’s Yerwada Jail authorities. The Police made the arrests in connection with another alleged case of involvement of Gadling and Rao in so-called “unlawful activity” related to the Surjagadh case of 2016. With these arrests, the apprehensions of “ever-greening” of charges on the civil rights activities becoming a reality.

January 31,2019

Analysis

Sedition and State Sanction

Delhi Police, firstly, filed the charge-sheet with such serious allegations after almost three years from the date of incident, and secondly, since one of the charges alleged against Kanhaiya Kumar and others is of sedition which falls under Chapter VI of the IPC, the police is bound in law to obtain sanction from the appropriate Government, in this case from the Government of Delhi, which they have not.

January 29,2019

Case update

PIL seeking ban on prayers in Kendriya Vidyalayas 'propagating Hinduism' referred to larger bench by the Supreme Court

The Petitioner states that Sanskrit shlokas and prayers promote particular religious beliefs which any educational institution funded by state cannot do so. Since the prayers are based on Hinduism, the petitioner asks for a common prayer for students and teachers throughout the country.

January 28,2019

Criminal Justice System

Special law to protect minority rights

The criminal justice system in India vis-a-vis the minority rights, especially of the Muslims, Christian and the ethnic communities in the Northeast, is in virtual collapse. Members of these communities are being implicated in false cases, tortured and ill-treated. So what can be done? Here's a check-list.

January 28,2019

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