Facebook, Hate Speech & Corporate Criminal Liability: Business & Human Rights Obligations of Communication Technology-Based Platforms

February 12, 2021 | Almas Shaikh

With the recent event of the US Capitol Hill Siege, the question of corporate criminal liability has yet again come to the fore. Though the basic intent of the communication technology platforms remains communication, businesses and states are using it to evoke feelings of anger, hate and certain instances of violence. In this article, Ms Almas Shaikh, Research Associate at Centre for Law and Policy Research discusses the need for corporate criminal liability to stop human rights violations and ensure the development of technology in a responsible manner.


Situating Access to Justice During COVID-19: India’s Business and Human Rights Obligations

September 30, 2020 | Almas Shaikh

In this paper published by Socio-Legal Review, Almas Shaikh writes about India’s obligations under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs). Focusing on the 3rd pillar, access to remedy, She shows the specific need for an accessible framework to address business and human rights violations, especially in the context of COVID-19.


Trans Equality in India : Affirmation Of The Right To Self-Determination Of Gender

September 28, 2020 | Jayna Kothari

In this paper published by NUJS Law Review, Jayna Kothari, Senior Advocate & Executive Director argues that the verdicts in NALSA and Navtej had the negligible impact on preventing deprivation of basic rights and legal recognition for the transgender community. She examines how the right to life also includes the right to bodily integrity which precludes the reliance of a medical model to decide gender identity, as is required in Indian law at present, and examines Indian and comparative jurisprudence on this issue.


NEP Gets the Language Problem Wrong

September 22, 2020 | Madhavi Gopalakrishnan | Kruthika R

In this essay published by Socio-Legal Review (SLR), Madhavi and Kruthika, Research Associates at CLPR, argue that English is actually an emancipatory language that is key to socio-economic mobility in India. Further, the essay depicts how the language aspect of the NEP does not fulfil its historical mandate of protecting linguistic minorities and needs to be re-evaluated keeping in mind its outsize impact on disadvantaged students and minorities.


Commercial Courts In India: Three Puzzles For Legal System Reform

September 2, 2020 | Dr. Sudhir Krishnaswamy

In this paper published by the Journal of Indian Law and Society, Dr Sudhir Krishnaswamy & Varshan Mahadeva Aithala made an effort to answer the performance of the commercial courts set up under the Commercial Courts Act, 2015 using quantitative and qualitative methods, nearly four years after the 2015 Act was introduced. As per the research findings, the authors have reached to a conclusion that the objective of speedy and effective justice for commercial matters has not been achieved.


A Brief Response to “Law-Making by and for the People: A Case for Pre-legislative Processes in India”

August 30, 2020 | Ritambhara Singh

In this article published by Law and Other things, Ritambhara Singh and Arun P S have briefly responded to Prof. Dipika Jain’s paper, ” Law-Making by and for the People: A Case for Pre-legislative Processes in India”. They also reiterated that there is a need to institutionalise the pre-legislative framework that imposes a statutory obligation on policymakers to facilitate pre-legislative consultations while prescribing punishments for defaulting officials and laying down clear timelines etc.


10 Cases that Shaped India in 2018, pt. 2

March 8, 2019

We analyse how the Supreme Court of India, in 2018, countered both the dominant political power of a single party majority government and social customs and practices that have excluded sections of the Indian population. In part 2, we focus on the Bhima Koregaon, NCT Delhi, Aadhaar and Sabarimala cases.


10 Cases that Shaped India in 2018, pt. 1

March 1, 2019

We analyse how the Supreme Court of India, in 2018, countered both the dominant political power of a single party majority government and social customs and practices that have excluded sections of the Indian population. In part 1, we focus on the Section 377, Adultery, Jarnail Singh, Cow Vigilantism and Hadiya Marriage cases.


Inside the glittering façade

August 17, 2018 | Mathew Idiculla

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.


Draft RMP-2031 for Bengaluru: Institutional gaps and flawed outcomes

January 10, 2018 | Dr. Sudhir Krishnaswamy

In the second article on the Draft Revised Master Plan 2031, published in The Hindu, Sudhir Krishnaswamy, Champaka Rajagopalan and Matthew Idiculla highlight the lack of ownership (of the Plan) felt at the local level. They attribute this lack of engagement to the outsourcing of the plan to a private entity (this was done for the previous plan as well) which might have brought in expertise lacking in the BDA, but also led to a disregard for the diversity and local history of Bengaluru. Further complicating the possibility of a successful outcome – the implementation of a plan that creates an economically, socially and environmentally friendly urban living space – is the estrangement of the BDA from the communities it is restructuring. They note that the proposal put forward by the BBMP Restructuring Committee 2017 has unfortunately not been evaluated in the context of moving away from the supply-based planning that is currently being followed.


BDA’s master plan goes from ‘compact’ to ‘urban sprawl’

January 4, 2018 | Dr. Sudhir Krishnaswamy

Can 21st century Bengaluru reject the principles of new urbanism with dense, mixed neighbourhoods that promote public transport and walkability to reduce environmental and resource costs and yet be a liveable, affordable and ecologically smart city? The question that Sudhir Krishnaswamy, Mathew Idiculla and Champaka Rajagopal have about Bangalore Development Authority’s (BDA) draft Revised Master Plan 2031 (RMP 2031).

The Vision Plan, 1 of the 6 documents that make up the draft RMP 2031, outlines a strategy to accommodate a projected population of 24.7 million that, the authors posit, is bound to encourage urban sprawl. The restriction of development in the city core combined with intensive development at the periphery is the antithetic to creating an urban environment that is economically, socially and ecologically progressive.


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.


The Indian Supreme Court Declares the Constitutional Right to Privacy

October 4, 2017 | Jayna Kothari

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.


Case for Inclusive Courts

July 21, 2017 | Jayna Kothari

In the article titled “Case for inclusive courts” in Frontline, CLPR’s Executive Director Jayna Kothari shares her views on the book titled “Courting the People: Public Interest Litigation in Post-Emergency India” by Anuj Bhuwania. She analyses the basis of the arguments brought out by Bhuwania, placing them within the larger context and framework of the legal system within India. Whilst tracking the development of Public Interest Litigation in India, she advocates for a balanced role of the amicus curiae, the need to rid the anti-poor bias, and deliberates on the path ahead.


Judicial Appointments: A Breakthrough?

February 11, 2017 | Dr. Sudhir Krishnaswamy

On February 6 the Supreme Court collegium recommended 9 High Court judges be appointed as Chief Justices of various High Courts. It appears that this recommendation follows an earlier collegium recommendation to appoint 5 High Court judges to the Supreme Court made the previous week. Taken together, these moves have been hailed as a breakthrough in the ongoing impasse between the judiciary and the executive. Arguably till the Executive confirms these appointments, the only breakthrough is that the collegium has recommended names to the Supreme Court for the first time since December 2015!


The People’s Court

November 24, 2016 | Dr. Sudhir Krishnaswamy

Sudhir Krishnaswamy suggests that the Court needs to formulate a strategy of transparency in the appointments process to win over public opinion and perception. A failure to do so could result in an unacceptable loss of autonomy and erode the power that the Court has to keep a check on the executive and the legislature.


A Critique of the Draft Equality Bill

August 3, 2016 | Dr. Sudhir Krishnaswamy

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.


Submissions to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on the Enforcement of Security Interest and Recovery of Debts Laws and Miscellaneous Provisions (Amendment) Bill 2016

June 16, 2016 | Jayna Kothari

On June 16th 2016, CLPR was invited to appear before a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) formed to discuss the Enforcement of Security Interest and Recovery of Debts Laws and Miscellaneous Provisions (Amendment) Bill 2016. This bill sought to amend four laws: (i) Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002 (SARFAESI), (ii) Recovery of Debts due to Banks and Financial Institutions Act, 1993 (RDDBFI), (iii) Indian Stamp Act, 1899 and (iv) Depositories Act, 1996. The primary aim of the bill was to simplify the procedure involved in the recovery of debt owed to banks and other financial institutions. CLPR limited itself to the proposed amendments to the RDDBFI in its submissions before the JPC.

Jayna Kothari presented CLPR’s submissions before the JPC.


Redressing Teacher Grievances

June 20, 2015

This article addresses teachers’ grievances, analysing the role of courts in redressing grievances of teachers in government and government aided schools. The authors have also explored the possibility of alternative grievance redressal forums that could serve as more efficient and accessible alternatives to high courts.


Behind the Smokescreen

April 2, 2015 | Jayna Kothari

In this article, Jayna Kothari and Aparna Ravi highlight the conflicts of interest between the government and the tobacco industry and note how the intervention of the tobacco industry led to the indefinite suspension of the proposed tobacco packaging rules by the Indian Government. The new rules mandate that warnings should cover up to 85% of the cigarette packaging. The halt in implementation indicates the industry’s influence on government policy making and the serious implications this can have on public health. The article concludes that immediate steps need to be taken to isolate the tobacco industry from the Government’s policy-making wing.


Aam Aadmi Party: Making the citizen politician? – A debate

February 24, 2014

In the light of the recent 49 day tenure of the Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi, the panelists, Sarah Joseph (winner of the Sahitya Akademi Award, founder of Manushi and member of AAP) and Rajgopal Saikumar (Research Associate at CLPR) debate the impact that the AAP has had on the dynamics of Indian politics and its relevance in the upcoming elections.


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.


CTLR: “Regulation of consumer protection in Indian telecommunications sector: two steps forward?”

November 12, 2012

Dharmendra Chatur published a review in the Computer and Telecommunications Law Review (C.T.L.R. 2012, 18(8), 240-245, available on Westlaw) of two sets of regulations on telecom consumer protection issued by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India in 2012. The review titled ‘Regulation of consumer protection in Indian telecommunications sector: two steps forward?’ assesses if these regulation effectively served their statutory purpose in securing effective protection given the pace at which telecom technology and access is growing in India.


Healthcare Law in the US and the RTE in India

September 1, 2012 | Dr. Sudhir Krishnaswamy

Sudhir Krishnaswamy analyzes attempts by the India and the US to clarify the relationship between the state and private sector, and their respective roles and responsibilities to secure social welfare. He focuses on India’s Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009 and the United States’ Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, 2010.


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.


Right to Public Health

April 30, 2005 | Jayna Kothari

The article is about a Public Interest Litigation filed in the High Court of Karnataka, Bangalore on the pitiable state of the government hospitals in Bangalore which are short of doctors, beds and equipment, thereby raising pertinent questions about public health being a right for people. The court, however, has taken up this issue quite seriously and this is very essential given the state of government hospitals now. One hopes that more pressure is applied to ensure quality in public healthcare because this is a basic constitutional right in a welfare state.


Social Rights and the Indian Constitution

February 28, 2005 | Jayna Kothari

The paper critically examines what social rights are, the constitutional understanding of social rights, how social rights can be made justiciable, can be implemented, and enforced. The author looks at Supreme Court judgments, constitutional litigation, debates, and discussions around three specific rights: right to food, right to health, and right to education.


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