Latest Updates

Notes on Allyship

October 12, 2022 | Rajeev Anand Kushwah

In this opinion piece, published by Gaysi, Rajeev Anand Kushwah explores the understanding of Allyship, exploring what constitutes effective allyship, and what support straight allies can extend to queer movements and communities.


On abortion, Supreme Court has listened to Women

October 3, 2022 | Jayna Kothari

CLPR Executive Director Jayna Kothari writes for the Indian Express on the recent Supreme Court judgement which expanded the abortion rights of women and persons who require safe medical termination of pregnancies. She argued that the judgement upheld the right of all women and girls to make reproductive choices for themselves, without undue interference from the state. She emphasised that any deprivation of reproductive healthcare services negatively affects the dignity of women.


Priya Ramani verdict has expanded the law on sexual harassment

February 24, 2021 | Jayna Kothari

In this article published by Indian Express, Jayna Kothari, Senior Advocate & Executive Director at Center for Law and Policy Research argues that the recent Priya Ramani judgment has expanded the law on sexual harassment and provided the opportunity to widen the defences against defamation law. Most importantly, she states that now, victimisation should also be recognised as a form of sexual harassment and discrimination.


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

January 8, 2021

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.


Child Marriage FAQs Brochures: Kannada

September 25, 2018

As part of our collaborative work with Centre for Reproductive Rights, we translated easy-to-understand FAQ Brochures on Child Marriage for our outreach in Karnataka. The brochure contains the relevant legal framework around Child Marriage in India.


Child Marriage Posters: Kannada

September 25, 2018

As part of our collaborative work with Centre for Reproductive Rights, we translated easy-to-understand Posters on Child Marriage for our outreach in Karnataka. The poster contains the relevant legal framework around Child Marriage in India.


Child Marriage Posters: English

September 7, 2018

As part of our collaborative work with Centre for Reproductive Rights, we disseminated easy-for-reference Posters on Child Marriage for our outreach. The poster contains the relevant legal framework around Child Marriage in India.


Child Marriage FAQs Brochure: English

September 7, 2018

As part of our collaborative work with Centre for Reproductive Rights, we disseminated FAQ Brochures on Child Marriage for our outreach. The brochure contains the relevant legal framework around Child Marriage in India.

Child Marriage before the Indian Supreme Court

November 16, 2017

A little more than a month ago, on 17th Oct 2017, in the Child Marriage and Marital Rape [Independent Thought vs Union of India] case the Supreme Court ruled that sexual intercourse or sexual acts between a man and his minor wife was marital rape. In legal terms the Supreme Court had read down Exception 2 to Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code. This exception had deemed that a man could not be accused of marital rape if he had marital intercourse with his minor wife as long as the wife was not below the age of 15. Reading down the exception now meant that this exception would not apply to cases where the wife was between 15yrs and 18yrs.
Disha Chaudhry wrote about the reasoning behind this judgement in the Oxford Human Rights Hub.


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

October 17, 2016 | Jayna Kothari

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.


Special courts don’t follow Act provisions

January 16, 2016 | Jayna Kothari

This article, reviews the performance of Special Courts established under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act 2012. Using empirical data, from a study conducted by the Centre for Law and Policy Research, the author exposes the failure of these courts in meeting their objective.


The Myth of Speedy and Substantive Justice : A Study of the Special Fast Track Courts for Sexual Assault and Child Sexual Abuse in Karnataka

June 9, 2015 | Jayna Kothari

Fast track courts have often been mooted as a solution to the extensive delays that plague the functioning of “normal” courts in India. In 2012 a special court to exclusively try cases of child sexual abuse under the “Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (“POCSO”)” was set up. In 2013, the Karnataka state government set up 10 special fast track courts in the state only for trying cases of rape and sexual assault against women under Section 376, IPC.


Who is Tracking Fast Track Courts?

November 4, 2014 | Jayna Kothari

The Justice J.S Verma Committee Report had recommended the setting up of Fast Track courts for dealing with rape and sexual assault as a way to ensure speedy justice. In this article, the authors conducted a detailed study of the working of three such courts in Bangalore that were set up in December, 2013 and examine whether these courts live up to their objective. The article makes a case for the need for witness protection services, so as to safeguard the interests of the victim of sexual assault before and after they have provided evidence.


Legal Accountability of the Police in India

June 4, 2014 | Dr. Sudhir Krishnaswamy

This report argues for the introduction of a judicial remedy in the form of a cause of action against police officers in their individual capacity for violations of constitutional rights. This recommendation was made in light of the government’s failure to implement the reforms mandated by the Supreme Court in Prakash Singh v. Union of India (2006) 8 SCC 1


Sexual harassment in the Indian legal profession

September 9, 2013 | Jayna Kothari

In this article, Jayna Kothari has brought to light the manner in which guidelines on sexual harassment laid down by the Supreme Court in the Vishakha judgment are being flouted. She also talks about the inherent bias in the legal profession against women lawyers and the need to recognize such biases while interpreting the law in relation to sexual harassment.

What rights do women in India in relationships akin to marriage have?

July 17, 2013 | Jayna Kothari

The India at LSE Blog has featured a guest post by Jayna Kothari on the Madras High Court judgment of Aysha v Ozir Hassan. This judgment had made headlines for suggesting that couples who have premarital sex can be considered to be married. In her post, Jayna argues that contrary to the popular understanding, this judgment strengthens the position of women in relationships akin to marriage.


A difficult road to her roots

March 30, 2013 | Jayna Kothari

Chaya’s six-year-old legal battle to search for her roots came to a fruitful end this week. The Karnataka High Court allowed her petition and directed the police to investigate the details of her biological mother and the conditions under which she was given up for adoption by the orphanage. This article examines this case in the light of a person’s right to know her biological or genetic origins.


Undermining the domestic violence law

March 9, 2013 | Jayna Kothari

The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 aims to provide women with quick decisions on protection, residence, maintenance and child custody. This is an account of how the best intentions of the law are thwarted in the process of implementation.


When Sexual Harassment Law Goes East: Feminism, Legal Transplantation, and Social Change

November 4, 2011 | Jayna Kothari

Every legal system has its own story and unique experiences with the sexual harassment law. This article engages in a comparative study of sexual harassment in India and Israel, which seem to share a very similar trajectory. This article tracks the processes that shaped the reforms in both countries and uncovers significant similarities and differences in the Indian and Israeli sexual harassment law. It suggests that while the Israeli law is more robust in both its substantive scope and its enforcement, it has for this very reason, also experienced a significant backlash which is, interestingly not traced in the Indian context.

Criminal Law on Domestic Violence

November 5, 2005 | Jayna Kothari

This article analyses the role of the criminal law system in dealing with domestic violence. It argues that Section 498 A of the Indian Penal Code can only be effectively implemented if a new model of policing and a victim empowerment criminal law model is developed.


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Women’s Voice v. State of Karnataka & Ors | Hijab Ban Appeal in Supreme Court

October 13, 2022 | Sriraksha V Srivatsav

CLPR on behalf of Women’s Voice, an organization which works specifically for rights of marginalized women filed a Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court challenging the order dated 15.03.2022 passed by the Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka in Writ Petition No. 2347 of 2022. The Judgment not only held that the wearing of Hijab by Muslim women does not form a part of essential religious practice in Islamic faith, but also that the prescription of school uniforms which prohibit head scarves is a reasonable restriction and that it does not violate Articles 14, 15, 19(1)(a), and 21 of the Constitution of India, and that the Government Order dated 05.02.2022 which prohibits head scarves in universities is valid

Nausheen Bano v. State of Karnataka & Ors.

November 20, 2019

This Writ Petition was filed by a 24 years old married woman seeking permission of the High Court to terminate her pregnancy of over 30 weeks as the fetus suffered from multiple abnormalities. By order dated 31.10.2019, the Hon’ble High Court permitted the Petitioner to seek termination of her pregnancy, in recognition of her rights under Article 21 of the Constitution and the mental trauma that is likely to be caused to her on account of the fetal abnormalities, if the termination is not permitted.

Saraswati Kumar v. Lokesh Kumar

October 23, 2018 | Deekshitha Ganesan

The present petition has been filed by Saraswati Kumar, a minor aged 15 years seeking annulment of her marriage under Section 3 of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006  (PCMA) as it was solemnized when she was a minor and she was forcefully taken away from the custody of her parents.

Joseph Shine vs. Union of India

October 9, 2018 |

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.


Aug 2022

Why (Queer) History Matters: The Politics of History

Venue Online

Time 12:30 PM

University of Bergen is organising "Why (Queer) History Matters: The Politics of History" an international and interdisciplinary conference on 29–30 August 2022.

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Aug 2022

Bergen Exchanges on Law and Social Transformation 2022

Venue Zoom

Time 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM

Jayna Kothari, Senior Advocate & Executive Director at CLPR, will be a speaker at Bergen Exchanges on Law and Social Transformation 2022, scheduled on 22nd to 26th August.

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Deccan Herald

Marriage equality: Setbacks, silver linings

October 30, 2023

CLPR Executive Director Jayna Kothari pens her thoughts on the latest Supreme Court ruling regarding the Marriage Equality case stating that the rejection of right to marry as a fundamental right is certainly a setback, not just to the queer community, but for everyone.

Deccan Herlad

Should we rely on astrology or on the Constitution?

June 19, 2023

Executive Director at CLPR and Senior Advocate at the Supreme Court, Jayna Kothari pens her thoughts about the reliance of our courts on astrology, horoscopes, and the Manusmriti for making observations that indirectly deny women’s equality & dignity in society.

CNN India

Brutal killings of two young girls show one of India’s biggest problems is getting worse, advocates say

June 8, 2023

In this article, Jayna Kothari, Senior Advocate & Executive Director at CLPR talks about the recent surge in violence against women and the alarming number of teen murders which are indicative of a deeply rooted societal issue in India.

India Today

Same Sex marriage hearing Day 10: Key Takeaways

May 30, 2023

Jayna Kothari, Executive Director at CLPR & senior advocate at the Supreme Court, alongwith other senior advocates for the petitioners argued that “marriage” should also include the larger bouquet of rights, including not just “cohabitation”, but also the “socio-legal recognition” of “marriage”.