Law and Sexuality

Labour Rights

#MeToo: First live by ‘due process’

Justice for women means the right to work, expecting their employers to understand and prevent sexual harassment at the workplace, zero tolerance of sexual harassment by employers, providing a mechanism to raise complaints when it happens. When employers fail in their duty to prevent sexual harassment, or even to recognise its existence under their nose, where is the question of ‘due process’? 

October 22,2018

Analysis

#MeToo: Time to revisit defamation judgment

M J Akbar’s resignation is a testament to the sheer power of the #MeToo movement, and the horror of its stories and experiences. In fact, Akbar tried to emulate this government’s bullying tactic by initially denying all the allegations, and then filing a criminal defamation case against Priya Ramani, a senior journalist.

October 22,2018

Analysis

#MeToo will fortify the use of 2013 Act

It is evident that neither Vishaka guidelines nor The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 (‘SHW Act’) were followed by the organisations, as most of the complaints were either not investigated properly, or women could not complain.

October 20,2018

Women's rights

#MeToo and the legal way forward

We are in a situation where the allegations of sexual harassment are so pervasive — ranging from the judiciary, the legal profession, the newsrooms, the entertainment industry, academia, and politicians — that it would be counterproductive to deal with each case individually. What is required is a commission of inquiry to inquire into the failures of the existing legal systems and the Sexual Harassment Act to prevent the happening of these incidents.

October 11,2018

LGBTQI

377 & More

October 1,2018

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

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

Law and Religion

#Section377: Bigotry disguised as religious sentiments

One of the most fierce and vociferous opposition to LGBTQ+ rights has come from religious lobbies — be it the evangelical Christians in the USA running gay conversion therapy camps, or Baba Ramdev claiming that he can “cure” homosexuality through yoga, or the All India Muslim Personal Law Board. But the premise of human rights and liberty cannot be somebody else’s right to religion.

September 12,2018

Section 377

#Section377 read down: The road ahead is long and arduous

Section 377, as observed by the Supreme Court in its judgment on September 6, 2018, is, “irrational, indefensible and arbitrary. The majoritarian views and popular morality cannot dictate constitutional rights.” While the outcome of this was a somewhat foregone conclusion, this forward-looking development, is bound to raise other significant issues.

September 6,2018

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

Women's rights

The question of female consent

With both the adultery and the marital rape issues being now considered by the Court, it is important to acknowledge that the fear of frivolous litigation should not stop protection from being offered to those caught in abusive traps, where they are degraded to the status of a chattel. The questions involve impairment of the rights conferred under Article 21 of the Constitution.

August 10,2018

LGBTQI

Memorandum to Kejriwal on Alka Lamba's transphobic remarks

Alka Lamba has been criticised on social media for stereotyping the trans community by calling them "beech wale" who clap loudly ("thaali peetna"). Despite being called out on Twitter for her transphobic remarks, she has neither pulled down her tweet, nor has apologised for it.

August 7,2018

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