Democracy and Rule of Law

Law and Technology

How Aadhaar can rig the electoral system

Aadhaar data-linked sensitive private information on citizens that Central and State governments, and by default, the political parties in power, have access to could easily be used to create caste and religion based voter maps. Such data would be invaluable to a Delimitation Committee mandated with the task of redrawing the boundaries of constituencies, and could well empower such a Committee with the potential to influence the delimitation process in a manner that could influence the outcome of an election in favour of a particular political party/group, thereby unethically influencing the electoral system and undermining democracy.

August 30,2018

Case update

#BhimaKoregaonArrests: Maha government sitting on NHRC notice

NHRC had issued notice on June 29, 2018 to the Director General of Police (DGP), Maharashtra calling for a report in connection with the illegal arrests of five human rights defenders namely Surendra Gadling, Rona Wilson, Sudhir Dhawale, Shoma Sen and Mahesh Raut by Maharashtra police on June 6, 2018.

August 29,2018

Civil Society

#BhimaKoregaonArrests: Mumbai civil society condemns police action

'We the undersigned civil society organisations/ groups/ collectives, have jointly convened this urgent Press Conference to condemn the appalling state actions of reprisals against noted human rights activists and intellectuals, which are clearly politically motivated and an attempt to stifle voices of dissent. The unjustified raids on and arbitrary arrests of the above public spirited individuals who have tirelessly worked for the cause of the poor and marginalized sections of society, are nothing but an attack on Indian democracy and an attempt to undermine the democratic fabric of our society.'

August 29,2018

Democracy and Rule of Law

Don’t turn Constitution into a piece of paper

A constitutional republic can only survive if there is a semblance of the rule of law. But yesterday the rule of law broke down. Raids and arrests occurred. Those who were arrested didn't have the charges read out to them. Arrest memos were presented in a language the courts couldn't follow and courts granted remands based on those memos.

August 29,2018

Civil Society

Sudha Bharadwaj arrest: NLU, Delhi issues statement

‘Sudha Bharadwaj is an embodiment of the best in our profession — a fearless critic of governmental lawlessness, an emphatic and empathetic advocate amplifying the voices of those who are rarely heard within the corridors of power, and a beacon for future generations of lawyers in this country.’

August 29,2018

Civil Society

Read Professor Anand Teltumbde’s statement

Teltumbde writes: “The entire process is conducted as though I was a dreaded terrorist or a criminal. The police could have enquired with me whatever they wanted to, either by sending a police official or calling me to the Police Station. But the entire intention is to create an atmosphere of terror and project that I had already done some dreaded crime.”

August 29,2018

Human Rights

Now, who will remain to defend the defenceless?

We are going through times when lawyers who are on the front lines taking up unpopular causes are being maligned, attacked, arrested and held in prolonged detention, and/or killed. If this does not stop, one day there will be no one to defend the rule of law, one day there will be no rule of law to defend.

August 28,2018

Original Reportage

In the Gompad trail: Anatomy of an ‘encounter’

In a ‘historic’ encounter, as was reported by the DIG, Anti-Naxal Squad, DM Awasthi, 15 ‘Maoists’ were shot dead in Sukma by the District Regional Guards (DRG) on the early morning of August 6, 2018. However, the villagers from Gompad, Nulkatong, Vellpocha, Kinderpad and Etagata have a completely different story to tell — stories of haunting memories of the past and terror of today. Accompanying a fact-finding team called for by the adivasi activist Soni Sori to look into the incident, The Leaflet’s Kritika Agarwal heard and recorded the unspeakable stories as recounted by the eyewitnesses, as she came face-to-face with the terrifying and recurring truth of unparalleled violence on innocents perpetrated in the name of security.

August 27,2018

Transparency and Accountability

Live-Streaming: SC agrees to test Jaising’s plea

The petitioner, Senior Advocate Indira Jaising herself, had filed a Writ Petition on January 18, 2018 to permit the live streaming of Supreme Court case proceedings of constitutional and national importance, having an impact to the public at large. The primary grounds for the request was based on the mandates under Article 19 and Article 21 of the Constitution of India, which upon a conjoint reading correspond to the right to receive information, and the access to justice through open courts

August 24,2018

Civil Society

Why I won't appear on Republic TV

As a lawyer I believe in the Rule of Law and not in media trials. So I prefer to continue going about my work and duties as a trade unionist, a lawyer and a teacher; serving people as best I can and as I have been doing for the past three decades. Let my love for my country and its citizens speak, not through words, but through my work.

August 21,2018

Case update

SC rejects NOTA for Rajya Sabha polls

The Petitioner contended that the EC’s circular is contrary to the mandate of Article 80 (4) of the Constitution of India and the case of People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) and another v. Union of India. They further argue that the EC’s circular is unconstitutional as the Rules relied upon to make the voting provisions do not even remotely conceive of NOTA.

August 21,2018

Law and Religion

Why India’s ‘blasphemy law’ should go

Paired with the fact that a suit can be filed at any of the 600 district courts across the nation, Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code prima facie seems facilitative of abuse and harassment. This misuse was pre-empted by the Section’s drafting committee which feared that it might be used to target not just the ‘scurrilous scribbler’, but also any form criticism or mere comment upon religious matters.

August 21,2018

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