Gender & Sexuality

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.


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.


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.


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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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.

Shiv Kumar vs Union Of India

February 3, 2014

Mr. Shiv Kumar challenged the constitutionality of Section 10A of the Indian Divorce Act, 1869 alleging that this provision amounted to discrimination based on religion and violated the constitutional guarantee of equality under Article 14. CLPR represented Vimochana and supported the petition and argued additionally that in cases where women are facing domestic violence and harassment at the hands of the husband, in many instances they opt for a quick separation.


Dec 2019

Book discussion on Sameena Dalwai’s ‘Bans and Bars Girls – Performing Caste in Mumbai’s Dance Bars’

Venue Centre for Law and Policy Research, Bangalore

Time 4:30pm

On August 16, 2005, the Maharashtra government summarily banned dancing by bar girls in Mumbai’s 1,250 dance bars. The amended Bombay Police Act prohibited dancing in any establishment where alcohol was served, but the prohibition was selective: five star hotels, clubs and upscale discothèques were exempt.

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Apr 2019

CLPR | Sexual and Reproductive Rights in India | Social Movements and Legal Battles

Venue Bangalore International Centre

Time 9.30 AM - 5.00 PM

This conference aims to bring together prominent Sexual & Reproductive Rights (SRR) activists, academics and lawyers to evaluate the past, present and future of SRR work in India. Our objective is to draw attention to the issues that are often implicitly or explicitly excluded from the ambit of SRR.

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Oct 2018

Shaping Law. Shaping Gender – Experiences from India

Venue Humboldt University of Berlin


Jayna Kothari participated in the Interdisciplinary Workshop held on 11 – 13 October 2018 at Humboldt University of Berlin. She was one of the panelists in ‘Systems of Inequality’ and presented her paper titled ‘Is the Supreme Court Cherry Picking its Gender Battles?’

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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.

Live Law

Enquiry On Sexual Harassment Allegations Against CJI Should Not Proceed In Complainant’s Absence

May 2, 2019

LiveLaw reports on two press statements released by civil society groups regarding the enquiry into sexual harassment allegations against CJI Gogoi. Senior Advocate Jayna Kothari’s name listed among others expressing solidarity with Complainant’s decision to withdraw from case. 

Radio Active CR 90.4 MHz

Radio Active interviews Jayna Kothari on Child Marriage

March 20, 2019

In Episode 2 of its Ba Baduku series, Radio Active interviews Senior Advocate Jayna Kothari on the various laws prohibiting child marriage. They focus on the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act (PCMA) and the 2016 Karnataka amendment to the Act.

The Need for a Law on Honour Crimes

May 13, 2022 | Mansi Singh

Last month, a Special Court at Madurai convicted 10 of committing an honour crime in Tamil Nadu. The verdict led to renewed demands for a separate legislation that targets the heinous acts known as ‘honour killings’. This piece outlines the current legal framework for dealing with such acts and how a targeted law will be better equipped to ensure their deterrence.