Politics

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

Lead Opinion

Effigies can’t kill Gandhi

The attempt to demonise Gandhi and sacralise the man who killed him is however, a deeply worrying sign for India’s polity. The burning of Gandhi effigy is a political motive to invert the symbols of good and evil, right and wrong, and create moral confusion in the social sphere. It is an attempt to forcibly establish a new morality into the nation’s psyche. 

February 3,2019

Lead Opinion

The second-class soldiers?

The working conditions of BSF are much tougher than that of the Army. An infantry soldier after two years deployment in field gets to live with his family in peace station. Other arms and services of Army have it much easier. This luxury is unimaginable for a BSF soldier because he is deployed almost round the year on borders where he performs long hours of duty — mostly extending beyond sixteen hours a day. To add insult to injury, the Seventh Pay Commission has declared BSF and other paramilitary forces employees as civilian employees, even though the service conditions and duties performed by them are much harsher than that of the Army.

February 2,2019

History and law

Partition and minority rights

If we move beyond the first glance and conduct a closer examination of Constituent Assembly debates, it’s amply clear that the Partition indeed was the running sub-text of the drafting process. In fact, the Constituent Assembly took notice of the unfortunate manner in which the Partition was unfolded, and certain members also referred to the uncountable deaths caused by the partition, a holocaust of massive proportions. The rights of the minorities guaranteed by the Constitution are quintessential examples of the fundamental rights which were deeply influenced by the Partition.

Lead Opinion

Rahul Gandhi, the 21st century socialist

Like Bernie Sanders in USA and Jeremy Corbyn in Britain, who are leading the young brigade giving the hope of a new society based on socialist ideals, it’s Rahul Gandhi’s mandate to reconfigure socialist ideals for the 21st century. The Congress has to take the major role in framing the common minimum programme of the anti-BJP opposition for the 2019 Lok Sabha election putting this basic minimum programme as the prime agenda. The other should be the free medicare for the poor and the senior citizens.

January 29,2019

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

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

Republic Day 2019

Open letter to P Chidambaram: Include promise to repeal sedition law, Section 124-A, IPC in 2019 manifesto

We would like to reiterate the request that the Congress Party consider the inclusion of repeal of Section 124A in its 2019 election manifesto. I hope that State Governments in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Puducherry and Karnataka will also be urged to take immediate steps for its repeal through State Amendments in order to send a salutary signal to the present Union Government and the BJP ruled states that harassing citizens for exercising their democratic right to question the government and its agencies goes against the idea of India.

January 26,2019

Republic Day 2019

Thoughts on Republic Day: Safeguard the rule of law

The erosion of the rule of law, fundamental freedoms and divisive politics are more immediate threats as it has taken away the real meaning of our living constitution. In the life of the Indian Republic, the State Executive has, unfortunately, never seen itself as the protector of fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in the Constitution.

January 26,2019

The Long Read

Re-employment of persons holding constitutional positions

The answer to the haunting question of whether those in constitutional positions should accept plum post retirement postings is one that has a long-standing effect on the here and now of the decisions of those who occupy those positions. To incentivize the work of those in constitutional positions by a promise of brighter career prospects post retirement is dangerous as it could impact the impartiality of their decisions and compromise the functioning of India’s democracy.

January 22,2019

Case update

Appointment of M Nageswara Rao as interim Director CBI challenged in SC

CJI Ranjan Gogoi has recuses himself from hearing a PIL challenging the appointment of M Nageswara Rao as interim director of CBI. The PIL will now be listed before a bench presided over by Justice A K Sikri.

January 21,2019

The Long Read

Supreme Court on senior designation

The Committee for Designation of Senior Advocates of the Supreme Court has been constituted pursuant to the judgement dated October 12, 2017 of the Supreme Court in Indira Jaising v. Secretary General Supreme Court. This judgement introduced the objective system for assessing the Advocates based on 100 Point Index with an emphasis on domain expertise and pro bono work.

January 19,2019

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