Lead Opinion

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

Judiciary

Lessons from Kavanaugh hearing

Why is it so important for you to know your judges before they are appointed? The IB has no mandate to check for predatory behaviour of the Supreme Court nominee towards women and such behaviour can pass through the net very easily. This would be the contribution of the #MeToo movement to accountability in the judiciary.

October 9,2018

Law and Religion

Victory or defeat for Muslims?

Since the challenge in Ismail Faruqui was based upon the argument, inter alia, that a mosque cannot be acquired and the observations made by the Constitution Bench were in the context of acquisition only and are not to be read broadly, nor will have any effect whatsoever upon the present appeals against the 2010 High Court verdict, the apprehensions of the Muslim side, upon whom reference of Ismail Faruqui to a larger bench was sought, stands addressed to a large extent.

October 6,2018

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

Constitutional Law

Whither ‘right against moral paternalism’?

The right to privacy squarely includes an individual’s right to make a moral choice, whether it is with regards to marriage, food, attire, ideology or religion, inter alia. While there is not much judicial discourse on this essential right against moral paternalism, the Kerala High Court recently passed a remarkable judgment recognising an individual’s right against moral paternalism.

October 1,2018

Social Justice

Removing biases against promotions for SC/STs in public employment

Given that the marker of identity of Scheduled Castes is the historic disadvantage of the untouchable, the question of proving backwardness by quantifiable data does not arise. This was the basic flaw of the Nagaraj judgment; its failure to recognise these markers of identity. This now stands corrected.

September 28,2018

Law and Technology

Thank you to those who fought against Aadhaar

The petitioners are an interesting array of parties, two former judges, several academics, technologists, a few organisations that work for social justice, two retired army personnel who claim that Aadhaar is a massive national security threat, and individuals who have been not given their due services and benefits due to non possession of Aadhaar.

September 25,2018

Law and Religion

Blasphemy laws: Philosophically fallacious, legally unconstitutional

Already, religious lobbies use Section 295A and insist on the importance of its existence is representative of their intentions to attack free speech and silence criticism. IPC 295 AA, as it is called in Punjab, now proposes to punish ‘whoever causes injury, damage or sacrilege to Sri Guru Granth Sahib, Srimad Bhagwad Gita, Holy Quran and Holy Bible with the intention to hurt the religious feelings of the people’ with imprisonment for life.

September 25,2018

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 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

SC reading down Section 377 goes beyond law

In a judgment running into 493 pages, with four concurrent opinions from Chief Justice Dipak Mishra (who also wrote on behalf of Justice AM Khanwilkar) as well as Justices Rohinton Nariman, DY Chandrachud, and Indu Malhotra, the Supreme Court unequivocally upheld the constitutional rights of equality, non-discrimination, freedom of expression, privacy, autonomy, dignity, and health of LGBT persons guaranteed under Articles 14, 15, 19, and 21 of the Constitution. The arc of justice and freedom has finally come home, into the lives of LGBT persons, into the law, and hopefully will soon penetrate to their families, work spaces, public places, and in private domains.

September 12,2018

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