Publications

Equality Bill 2021: Takes a New Step in Addressing Discrimination, Recognising Intersectionality & Promoting Equality.

CLPR’s draft Equality Bill 2021 takes a new step in addressing discrimination experienced by people on the basis of caste, gender, religion, transgender and intersex identity, disability and other grounds. It aims to promote equality, prohibit different types of discriminatory conduct, provide adequate civil remedies and set up fora for redressal that are accessible and effective in addressing discrimination.

Blog

Equality Bill 2019 | May 15th Consultation

On 15th May, we organised a consultation on our Equality Bill 2019 (“Bill”) in Hyderabad. The CLPR team presented the provisions of the Bill and sought suggestions, inputs and feedback from the participants, which included various academics and members of civil society organisations working with marginalised groups. This blog post presents the key points of the consultation.

Events

CLPR | Equality Bill 2019 | Consultation

Through this consultation, we hope to get critical feedback on the text of CLPR’s draft Equality Bill 2019. We hope to learn from experiences of civil society organisations and activists who routinely tackle different forms of discrimination and incorporate key insights into the draft.

Publications

A Critique of the Draft Equality Bill

This article is a comment on the Draft Equality Bill, 2016 drafted by Tarunabh Khaitan. It focuses on two central issues. The first is the very concept of equality the Bill propounds and its conflict with other rights guaranteed under the Constitution. The other, is the standard of judicial review envisaged under the bill. It casts doubt on the premise that a court centric model of achieving equality is the best way to achieve equality in a country where millions do not have access to justice.

Publications

Working Paper: Moving Towards Autonomy and Equality: An Analysis of the New Mental Health Care Bill, 2012

India ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2006 (UNCRPD) and the Optional Protocol to it in 2007.  The UNCRPD‘s objective is to protect and promote the rights of persons with disabilities from a social model unlike the earlier medical model of disability. It ensures that persons with disabilities become holders of rights rather than being objects of welfare measures and medical treatment (UN et al 2007). To that extent, ―the UNCRPD marks a paradigm shift in attitudes and approaches to persons with disabilities and views them not as objects of charity, ‘but subjects with rights'(Murthy 2010: 153).

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Conversations on Equality, Gender Identity, and Anti-Discrimination at Church Street

On 21st February 2021, the Centre for Law and Policy Research (CLPR) set up a ‘Social Justice Café,’ with equal rights on the menu, at Church Street, Bengaluru from 2:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. The Sunday Church Street frolickers were treated to two parts of the event: Activities designed to raise awareness on transgender rights, right to Equality, and prohibition of discrimination based on race, caste, sex, and religion; and discussion with an esteemed panel of Jayna Kothari,  Arvind Narayan, and Sanjay Kabir Bavikatte.

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Equality, Non-Discrimination & the Guarantee of Healthcare

The right to equality and non-discrimination involves not only formal equality in law but obligations on the State to provide substantive non-discrimination for those persons and groups who suffer differential impacts. In the context of healthcare, this means recognizing stigma, discrimination, and exclusion as a result of disability, health status, gender and gender identity, and other social, economic, and cultural categories. Positive obligations, in that case, should extend beyond the prohibition of discrimination, to inclusive policies, reasonable accommodation, and affirmative action’s accounting for special needs and acknowledging existing barriers in the access to healthcare. As the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted, healthcare as an occupation is also in need of protection with multiple reports of attacks on healthcare workers stigmatized as carriers of the virus.

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(IN)-EQUALITY in Private Actions

India has witnessed a rise in intolerance over the past few months. From intolerance towards dissent, housing decisions taken based on political leanings to violence towards minorities (religious or socio-economic), show a growing unease and divide in the citizens of India. These acts of violence, discrimination or unequal treatment can be divided into two categories.

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Rajya Sabha Debates on the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill 2019

The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill 2019 was strategically introduced in the Rajya Sabha on 20th November 2019, being the Transgender Day of Remembrance, by the Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Mr. Thawarchand Gehlot. The Bill had previously lapsed after the dissolution of the Lok Sabha on account of the general elections and was reintroduced and duly passed by the Lok Sabha on 5th August 2019. This post captures the key debates held in the Rajya Sabha on the Bill.

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Pakistan’s Historic Transgender Rights Act: A step towards Trans Equality

The Parliament of Pakistan passed The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act on May 8th 2018 marking a historic victory for the trans community in Pakistan. The Act, which protects the rights of gender non-conforming persons and outlaws discrimination both by the State as well as private entities and persons, grants an individual the right to self identity their gender.

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Repeal and Re-enactment of Juvenile Justice Act – CLPR’s Comments on proposed Juvenile Justice Bill, 2014

The Union Ministry for Women and Child Development has proposed a repeal and re-enactment of the existing Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 (the JJ Act 2000), the primary law in the country dealing with children in conflict with the law and children in need of care and protection. CLPR provided its comments to the Ministry on two aspects of the proposed draft Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children), Bill 2014 – the treatment of children between the ages of 16 and 18 who are alleged to be in conflict with the law and the provisions relating to foster care.

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The Mental Health Care Bill 2012: An Overview

After India ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) which came into force in 2008, there was a clear need to overhaul the existing disability laws in India to bring them in compliance with the UNCRPD. It is in pursuance of this that the Mental Health Act 1987 (“MHA”) is sought to be replaced the new Mental Health Care Bill 2012 (“2012 Bill”). This is a brief overview of the 2012 Bill.

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Do entrance exams discriminate against the poor?

Clause 3 of the CLPR Equality Bill prohibits discrimination on the basis of protected characteristics. 2(oo)(i) lists socio-economic disadvantage as a protected ground, defined as a condition of a person “disadvantaged by poverty, low income, homelessness, or lack of or low-level educational qualifications.”

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Thou Shall Not Eat: Discrimination on the basis of food preference

Clause 3 of the CLPR Equality Bill,2020 prohibits discrimination on the basis of protected characteristics. Clause 2(oo)(i) mentions food preference as one of the protected characteristics. Prohibition of discrimination on the basis of food preference is refreshingly new in the Indian socio-legal context.

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Tackling Caste Discrimination Through Law: Lawyer Learning Session at Ernakulam

On 18 January 2020, CLPR organised a Learning Session for Lawyers on ‘Tackling Caste Discrimination Through Law’ in Ernakulam in association with the Kerala High Court Advocates’ Association. The workshop aimed at enabling and facilitating a better understanding of caste discrimination laws such as the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, The Protection of Civil Rights Act, and 1955, Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013 (PEMSRA) as well as Equality Bill, 2020.

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Introducing Intersectionality | Course

The course uses academic writing, legal texts, commentaries, personal narratives, fiction and cultural texts to understand how intersectionality affects our study of the law, advocacy, and activism; how the law, legal studies and legal practice is transformed by intersectionality; and how intersectionality challenges, resists, and reimagines legal normativity.

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Disability Rights to Disability Justice: India’s Case for a Transition

There are two competing, often overlapping, movements regarding persons with disabilities – disability rights and disability justice. The former focuses on securing equal opportunities and equal rights for all people with disabilities, while the latter is a framework that examines disability and ableism as it relates to other forms of oppression and identity. “Disability justice” is a term coined by the black, brown, queer, and trans members of the original Disability Justice Collective, founded in 2005 by Patty Berne, Mia Mingus, Stacey Milbern, Leroy Moore, Eli Clare, and Sebastian Margaret.

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Conversations on Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019

Transgender rights are at the forefront of gender inclusivity in India since the landmark decision of the Supreme Court in NALSA v. Union of India. These dialogues gained significant momentum when the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019 was enacted. Taking into consideration the vehement opposition to the legislation, CLPR held a community meeting “Conversations on Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019” to discuss the legal issues and challenges to the law.  The meeting saw participation from the transgender community, lawyers, and human rights activists alike. Strong voices of Anindya Hajra, Vyjayanti Vasanta Mogli, Grace Banu and Akkai Padmashali guided the conversation through the various issues that are constitutionally and procedurally problematic.

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Indian General Elections 2019: Election Manifestos and Deprived Electorates

In the run up to the 17th Lok Sabha Elections 2019, India’s major political parties have released their manifestos to woo the Indian electorates. In this blog post, Avinash Shahi critically explores the pledges committed by national political parties for the upliftment of marginalized groups, which routinely confronts deprivations and indignities.

Publications

Inside the glittering façade

In this article published in the Hindu Business Line, Mathew Idiculla, Research Consultant at CLPR reviews James Crabtree’s book: The Billionaire Raj: A Journey Through India’s New Gilded Age.

Perceptive and detailed, James Crabtree’s book advances a familiar argument about the story of India’s uneven growth.

Publications

Closing the care-gap

The new Mental Health Care Bill, 2013, based on the principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and moves the current mental health care law from a medical to a social model based on human rights. Some of the progressive aspects of the new bill include the recognition of the legal capacity of persons with psycho-social disabilities and of advance directives, as well as the protection of the rights to equality and dignity. But the bill also has several conditions that could negate the guarantee of these rights. In this respect, the bill has been debated intensely within the disability community. Widely speaking, the need to decriminalise attempts to suicide have been considered by the courts, but only from the perspective of the right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution, not from a mental health perspective. By recognising the link between suicide rates and mental health, the bill is progressive in that it imposes a duty on the government to provide care, treatment and rehabilitation for a person with a mental illness and who has attempted suicide. However, the bill does not give any guidelines on how care and treatment should be provided for such vulnerable persons.