Events

Release of Policy Brief on Reservation for Transgender and Intersex Persons in Education and Public Employment

CLPR’s policy brief on reservations for transgender and intersex persons proposes the manner of implementation of reservations for the community. The policy brief traces the legal and constitutional framework on reservations in India, considers the manner in which courts have implemented reservations for trans and intersex persons so far, and suggests the way forward in implementing horizontal reservations.

News & Media

India – promoting transgender rights

Friedrich Neumann Foundation for Freedom shares its views on CLPR’s work on transgender rights. This includes a transgender rights course taught at the National Law School of India University, Bangalore, as well as the Trans Law cell headed by CLPR.

News & Media

377 judgement aids fight for transgender rights

This is a video response of Jayna Kothari on the Section 377 verdict.
While the transgender community is fighting their own separate legal battle in recognition of their rights, the decriminalisation of homosexuality by the Supreme Court today will aid the fight for transgender rights, says Jayna Kothari.

Blog

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.

Blog

Announcement: Selected Student Journalists for Transform– 2nd International Conference on Transgender Rights and the Law

On 14th and 15th April 2018, Centre for Law and Policy Research (CLPR) is organizing Transform – 2nd International Conference on Transgender Rights and the Law. On 4th April 2018, CLPR had called for Student Journalists for the Conference.
In a short span of 2 days the CLPR team received over 30 applications from students across the nation. We carefully assessed the applications and are happy to announce the following students who we have selected to as Student Journalists for the upcoming Conference.

Blog

Panel on “UCC in India: An Endeavor towards seeking Gender Justice” at IFIM Law College

IFIM Law College hosted panel discussions on Uniform Civil Code in India. Satya Prasoon, an associate at CLPR was a panelist at the IFIM law school where he presented a paper titled ‘Of Constitutional Mythos and Nervous Nationalism: The Pathologies of UCC.’ The discussion was spilt into two panels, the first discussing the topic: “Constitutional Perspectives of the Uniform Civil Code” and the second, “The conflict of the UCC and personal laws in India”.

News & Media

Cell to provide free legal advice to Transgenders

The Deccan Herald’s issue dated 12.10.2017 offered an in-depth coverage of the efforts undertaken by the Centre for Law & Policy Research towards empowering the Transgender community by setting up a free weekly legal aid cell for their assistance.

News & Media

CLPR launches 4 Week Course on Transgender Identity & Laws

The Times of India covered CLPR’s course on transgender Identity & the Law. The course consisting of seven sessions was designed by Jayna Kothari, Executive Director of CLPR and introduced at the National Law School of India University, Bangalore on 30.08.2017.

Blog

The Transgender Welfare Development Board, West Bengal – A Wasted Potential

Three years down the line however, the Board seems to be languishing in bureaucratic lethargy. This is not because of the lack of initiative on the part of its members. The Board comprises of well-known and respected members of the trans community. Rather, the disenchantment with the Board stems from the lack of transparency in its creation, non-inclusiveness, internal divisions within the community and lack of a steady funding supply

Publications

Courts Recognizing Transgender Rights

In an article published in the Oxford Human Rights Hub, Jayna Kothari and Diksha Sanyal discussed the legal landscape of transgender rights in India, referring in particular to the recent amendment of Section 36A of the Karnataka Police Act.

Blog

Violence that is Not Gender Neutral

With utmost respect to the Supreme Court, it is absolutely incorrect to state that domestic violence is gender-neutral. It is not. The world over, a vast majority of domestic violence is experienced by women at the hands of men. It is not a random event of violence but is a consequence and a cause of women’s inequality and is linked to the discrimination and devaluing of women. As per the National Crime Records Bureau, reported cases of domestic violence in India went up from 50,703 in 2003 to 1,18,866 in 2013. These are all cases of domestic violence against men. The U.K. Violent Crime and Sexual Offences study of 2011-2012 reported that 80 per cent of offenders in domestic or sexual violence were male.

Publications

Findings of the CLPR’s Research on Intersectional Discrimination

CLPR has conducted qualitative and quantitative research on discrimination faced by persons at the intersection of caste with gender, gender identity and disability. We presented the preliminary findings of the study on 21 November 2018 at a consultation organised with community members and other stakeholders. CLPR intends to prepare and publish a detailed report on the methodology and results of the study shortly.

Blog

Caste Discrimination in India: A study of NCRB data (Part IV)

The recent gruesome report of the beheading of a minor SC girl in Tamil Nadu for rejecting the advances of an upper caste male once again throws the issue of caste discrimination into sharp focus. Women from Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes are particularly vulnerable to discrimination and violence due to the intersection caste and gender. Despite this, we note that crimes against SC and ST women are viewed as either caste based crimes or sex based crimes. Further, while data on caste based crimes is readily available in the NCRB reports, which we have analysed in our previous posts I, II and III, disaggregated data on crimes against women is not presented.

News & Media

Teenager beheaded in southern India in caste-based violence

The beheading of a 13 year old girl in Tamil Nadu is another example of caste based violence perpetuated against women. In this article CNN quotes Jayna Kothari who argues for looking at these crimes in an intersectional way: as caste and gender based violence.

News & Media

Order, order

This article looks at the judgments of the Supreme Court in Section 377, adultery, and Sabarimala cases. It quotes Jayna Kothari  on Akkai Padmashali, transgender rights activist, who was one of the Petitioners in Section 377 case. Jayna says ““Akkai insisted on telling her story”.

Litigation

Joseph Shine vs. Union of India

CLPR represented the intervenor Vimochana in the Supreme Court and challenged the constitutionality of the offence of adultery under Section 497 of the IPC. We argued against adultery as an offence by invoking the fundamental right to privacy and argued that the right to intimate association is a facet of privacy which is protected under the Constitution. The Supreme Court unanimously struck down Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code as being violative of Articles 14. 15 & 21 of the Constitution.

Blog

National Constitution Society 2018

The Convention will be an opportunity to critically engage with the Indian constitution and develop a plan to preserve, protect and promote constitutional values in the 21st century. The Convention will facilitate collaboration and engagement between student members of the NCS along with eminent lawyers, civil society leaders and retired Judges who will be patrons and will be the first step towards the establishing the NCS as an independent Society.

Publications

The Supreme Court trans-formed

Jayna Kothari, Executive Director at CLPR and Advocate, Supreme Court of India, writes in The Hindu. In this article, she examines Navtej Johar judgment’s special relevance for transgender rights: the contributions of the trans community to this outcome and how the judgment takes transgender rights forward.

Publications

The rainbow in our clouds

Jayna Kothari, Executive Director of CLPR and Advocate, Supreme Court, had represented transgender rights activists, Dr. Akkai Padmashali, Sanaa and Umi Umesh, in the Supreme Court on Section 377 challenge case. Deccan Herald carried Jayna’s piece today where she analyses the key themes the Court relied on to read down Section 377

Litigation

Dr. Akkai Padmashali & Ors vs. Union of India

CLPR represented Dr. Akkai Padmashali, Uma Umesh,  and Suma M in the Supreme Court to challenge Section 377 of the IPC. The Supreme Court held Section 377 as unconstitutional to the extent that it criminalised consensual sexual activity of any kind between adults. It was further held that the provision was manifestly arbitrary and violative of an individuals right to autonomy.

News & Media

TRANS-forming Courts | Jayna Kothari

“TRANSformation of courts” throws light on the drastic conditions of the transgender community. Jayna feels that it is important that stories of the daily lives and experiences of trans people must be told in the court.In a world full of muffled silences, she made sure their voices were heard. By fighting these cases, she hopes that the courts, the State, public authorities, and society see trans persons not as criminals, but as citizens, with equal constitutional rights. Watch this video to understand the burning need to make our society inclusive of all the marginalised communities.

Blog

Movie Review: “Njan Marykutty”

The media rarely portrays a transgender woman accurately. In fact, they are consistently shown in a negative light. However, “Njan Marykutty” released in June 2018 is a Malayalam movie which delivered a pleasant surprise during Pride month.

News & Media

Fall of Sec. 377 will embolden LGBTQ people: CJI

Ms. Jayna Kothari, Executive Director of CLPR, represented Dr. Akkai Padmashali, a trans-rights activist, in Section 377 challenge. Ms. Kothari argued for scrapping Section 377 and cited several state laws which target transgender community and classify them as ‘criminals’. Her arguments were covered by The Hindu.

Blog

Caste Discrimination in South India: A study of NCRB data

On 21 May 2018, The Wire reported the death of a Dalit man in Gujarat who was allegedly beaten to death when he protested the fact that his wife was asked to clean filth, free of charge. This reporting comes only two months after the decision of Subhash Kashinath Mahajan, where the Supreme Court diluted some of the protections under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 (‘Act’). The incident is a striking example of the pervasiveness of caste bias and the prevalence of atrocities in India.

Blog

Transform

Expanding on TransForm 2016, we hosted TransForm 2018 on 14th and 15th of April 2018, at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements, Bangalore. It marked the fourth anniversary of the National Legal Services Authority v Union of India judgment, as well as the 127th birth anniversary of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. At a time when transgender rights had been gaining attention globally, this conference involved international speakers such as Prof. Stephen Whittle (United Kingdom), Prof. Carlos Zelada (Peru), Busisiwe Deyi (South Africa), and Audrey Mbugua (Kenya). Together, they broadened our understanding on the trans-law movements in other parts of the world.

Publications

A promise falls short

In this article published in The Hindu on the 4th anniversary of NALSA judgment , Jayna Kothari argues that it is time to push for reforms to give transgender persons their rights.

Events

CLPR Occassional Talks #16: Prof Maya Unnithan on ‘Making Rights Real: Fertility Politics and Legal Activism’

Prof Maya Unnithan is a Professor Of Social And Medical Anthropology (Anthropology, Sussex Centre for Migration Research, International Development). Maya is a Member of Centre for Innovation and Research in Childhood and Youth  and Director of the Centre for Cultures of Reproduction, Technologies and Health. Her research expertise and interests include: caste and kinship, childbirth and infertility, gender and development, health and migration, human rights and reproductive health, maternal health inequalities, reproductive technologies, social anthropology.

Blog

Celebrating Republic Day with Mallya Aditi International School

The CLPR team celebrated Republic Day on 26th January 2018 with the students and staff of Mallya Aditi International School, Bengaluru. We created an immersive experience for students from the 1st to the 12th grade, educating them on the Indian Constitutition and the significance of Republic Day through quizzes, debates and puzzles.

Blog

Last Week at CLPR: 12th November– 18th November, 2017

Weekly roundup of the last week at CLPR. The Supreme Court verdict in the Child Marriage and Marital Rape case, Karnataka State Policy for Transgender Persons, Children’s Day and hearings in the Special Status for Delhi case were discussed this past week.

Blog

Last Week at Centre for Law and Policy Research: 8th-14th Oct 2017

The Centre for Law and Policy Research encourages and facilitates civic engagement with India’s Constitution through the CADIndia project and Supreme Court Observer. CADIndia promotes an understanding of the Indian Constitution by enabling easy and intelligent access to the Constituent Assembly Debates and the Indian Constitution at the centre of discussions on contemporary political and economic issues. The SCObserver website endeavors to make the workings of the Supreme Court accessible and understandable to the citizenry by translating the hearings and judgments of a few constitutionally relevant cases into everyday language.

Publications

The Indian Supreme Court Declares the Constitutional Right to Privacy

Jayna Kothari wrote in the Oxford Human Rights Hub about the recent unanimous decision by the Supreme Court to declare the Right to Privacy as a Constitutional Right. She details how the Right to Dignity formed the core of the reasoning that led to the definition of the Right to Privacy. The acknowledgment by the Court of the importance of the principles of autonomy, the individual’s right to choose, the right to move freely, right to self-identify one’s gender, right to bodily integrity and reproductive makes this one of the most progressive verdicts passed by the Supreme Court of India.

Blog

NALSA Judgement Orientation by Swatantra and CLPR on 1st Aug 2017

hile the NALSA judgment recognises the ancillary rights to vote, marriage, adoption, hold property etc., transphobia and the limited perceptions of society prevents equal access to education and employment. Prejudiced societal norms that manifest in biased behaviours have forced the transgender community to take up begging and enter the sex trade to make a livelihood. While the judgment is progressive and promising, there is much work pending at the ground level.

Publications

Article on the Supreme Court decision seeking to amend Section 2(q) of the Domestic Violence Act

In this Article published in the Kannada Daily, Prajaavaani, Jayna Kothari critiques the decision of the Supreme Court holding Section 2(q) of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, to be unconstitutional. The impugned section defines “respondents” under the Act to only include “adult males”, thus allowing aggrieved persons under the Act to file a case only against adult male relatives.
Jayna Kothari argues that provisions of the Domestic Violence Act are not meant to be construed as gender neutral. She elaborates how it is necessary and intentional that legal provisions on violence against women  should apply only to males as perpetrators of such violence.

Blog

Fast Track only in Name

The gruesome gang rape in Delhi in December 2012 re-ignited popular demands for fast-track courts to be established to conduct speedy trials in cases of sexual violence against women and on August 13, 2013, the Government of Karnataka passed an order (G.O. No.74 LCE 2013, dated 13.08. 2013) directing 10 fast track courts to be set up in Karnataka solely to try cases of rape and sexual assault against women. CLPR conducted a detailed study of the setup and working of these fast track courts.

Publications

Recasting the Judicial Appointments Debate

The Centre for Law and Policy Research presents its working paper on “Recasting the Judicial Appointments Debate: The Constitutional (120th Amendment) Bill, 2013 and Judicial Appointments Commissioner Bill, 2013”

Publications

Denying the disabled.

SINCE 1996, when the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 (PWD Act), came into force, by far the majority of cases taken to court have been about equal opportunity in public employment, that is, reservation of jobs for persons with disabilities and related matters such as promotions, identification of posts and eligibility. This struggle is in many ways not that different from the caste and gender battles for affirmative action in government employment.

Blog

Justice Verma Commitee Report: A manifesto of change

On 23rd, January 2013 the Justice Verma Committee on amendments to Criminal Law, was constituted to look into possible amendments of the Criminal Law to provide for quicker trial and enhanced punishment for criminals committing sexual assault of extreme nature against women. It was constituted a few days after the brutal gang rape in Dehli on December 16, 2012. The urgency of the matter impelled the Committee to undertake the performance of the assigned task within the short span of 30 days, so the Committee has been facilitated in the task by an overwhelming response to the Public Notice, an oral consultation with the women’s social action groups and experts in the field.

Events

CLPR Occassional Talks #3: Sonal Makhija on The Challenges faced by women lawyers in India

ainmaker has recently released a report on the challenges faced by women lawyers in India. The report looks into the presence of women in law firms, litigation practice, and the legal departments of companies contains data on work-life balance, gender bias in the legal workspace, parental leave policies, transition from maternity leave to work, and the rating of employers on their policies and practices. The report also offers solutions to aid employers in retaining talent and making the workspace conducive for working mothers.