Human Rights

International Law

Humanity deported

The apex court refused to stop the deportation from taking place, citing that as per the Government’s statement the men had consented to being repatriated, and that Myanmar had accepted them as “citizens/nationals”. The key considerations based on which the Supreme Court refused intervention in the deportation of the Rohingya men were gravely misplaced, and raises grave concerns about its willingness to preserve basic human rights.

Case update

Supreme Court allows deportation of 7 Rohingya men

A three-judge bench consisting of Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and K M Joseph on October 4, 2018 dismissed an application filed through Advocate Prashant Bhushan praying for the restraint order against deportation of any Rohingya refugee lodged in jails or detention centres in Assam or any other part of the country.

October 5,2018

On Screen

#Section377: Sridhar Rangayan’s ‘Breaking Free’

Sridhar Rangayan’s Breaking Free (2015) is a 90-minute documentary on the LGBTQI movement in India until the great heartbreak of the 2013 Supreme Court judgment. Much like the four-part SC judgments, it explores the link between sexuality and love, questions of identity that the LGBTQI peoples have faced, the systemic abuses from family members, society as well as law enforcement agencies, while celebrating the collective will of the people who kept the faith.

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

Case update

Mob-lynching: SC wants compliance reports within a week

Senior Advocate Indira Jaising — appearing for the petitioner Tushar Gandhi — submitted to the Court that all states be directed to upload the compliance report on their respective websites and that due publicity is given to the directions passed by the Court to curb the menace of mob lynching.

September 7,2018

Section 377

#Section377: The long road to freedom

As Section 377 is read down today, we must not forget that ABVA filed the first writ petition to challenge the constitutional validity of Section 377 before Delhi High Court. The petition was dismissed in 1999 for non-prosecution just before Naz Foundation filed its petition in 2001.. On July 2, 2009 the Delhi High Court pronounced its historic judgment by declaring Section 377 unconstitutional, but it was overturned on December 11, 2013 by the Supreme Court on appeals filed by religious and cultural organisations. Today, the Supreme Court course-corrected again.

September 6,2018

Human Rights

Enforced disappearances: Here, India must emulate Pakistan

International law recognises the practice of enforced disappearance as a distinct offence and States have an obligation under international law to not partake in such arbitrary deprivations of liberty and human dignity. Article 1 of the 2006 International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance places a non–derogable prohibition against enforced disappearance. While Pakistan has taken steps, India is woefully behind in recognising enforced disappearance as a distinct offence.

Democracy and Rule of Law

#BhimaKoregaonArrests: Anatomy of a clampdown

The arrests of human rights activists and lawyers on August 28 and earlier on June 6, 2018 are all part of a wider theatre of Hindutva’s state-sponsored repression on those demanding democratic rights and freedoms for the most marginalised of Indian citizens. What began with Bhima-Koregaon had actually begun long back, with the atrocities against Dalits and Adivasis crossing the political threshold, such as those in Una and Saharanpur, as well as the ‘institutional murder’ of Rohith Vemula in January 2016.

September 3,2018

History and law

Is abolishing the Orderly System enough?

Upendra Baxi, reflecting on the continuation of a colonial policing system has noted that that when a decolonised society maintains its inherited police organisation, refusing to adapt to the aspirations of free society, it gets a colonial-repressive police organisation and colonial-repressive political regimes. This, he suggests is because of the intent of the governing elites.

September 3,2018

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