In this article published by news9live.com, Jayna Kothari and Mihir Rajamane discuss the recent order by the Karnataka Government for providing 1% horizontal reservation for transgender persons.
In this article published by The Wire, Ritambhara Singh and Mihir Rajamane question the Government of India for not implementing the Right to Education Act 2009 and National Education Policy 2020 in the wake of current pandemic.
In this article published by Article 14, Jayna Kothari, Senior Advocate & Executive Director at Center for Law and Policy Research, and Champaka Rajgopal argue that the Supreme Court’s hurried clearance of Delhi’s Central Vista Redevelopment Project on technical grounds has compromised the very fundamentals of the public-trust doctrine.
In this article published by The Hindu, Jayna Kothari, Senior Advocate & Executive Director at Center for Law and Policy Research argues that how the recent Supreme Court judgment in Patan Jamal v. State of Andhra Pradesh missed an opportunity to use the concept of intersectionality to uphold the conviction under the Prevention of Atrocities Act (PoA) 1989. Despite highlighting the need for an intersectional approach that takes into account the multiple marginalities faced by the victim, the apex court failed to set a larger precedent recognising caste-based violence against women.
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.
In this article published by Indian Express, Jayna Kothari, Senior Advocate & Executive Director at Center for Law and Policy Research argues that new UP Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance 2020 leads to serious violation of the right to equality based on religion. She also adds that there is no evidence to support the argument of harms if any, of inter-faith marriages.
In this article published by Deccan Herald, Jayna Kothari, Senior Advocate & Executive Director at Center for Law and Policy Research argued that proposed laws prohibiting the practice of ‘love jihad’ violate the constitutional guarantees of the right to life and liberty under the Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.
In this article published by The Caravan, Thulasi argues that the Supreme Court of India has become a helpless spectator to executive actions.
In this article published by the Thinking Republic, Jayna Kothari, Senior Advocate & Executive Director at Center for Law and Policy Research talks about the intersection of caste and gender highlighting the discrimination faced by Dalit and Adivasi trans persons. She also argues that the urgent for all activists, lawyers, researchers and civil society members to be intersectional in its approach to be able to understand the multidimensional discrimination faced by the persons at the intersections of race, caste, and gender identity.
In this article published by Frontline, co-authored by Thulasi K Raj along with Kaleeswaram Raj & Bastian Steuwer, they argue that even though a right to the reservation may not be culled out from the equality code of the Constitution, it nevertheless remains a significant political and moral duty.
In this opinion piece published by Huff Post, Vikramaditya Sahai argues that how trans politics and their demands challenge the logic of representative democracy that holds the formation of the National Council for Transgender Persons as signs of development and progress itself.
In this discussion published by The Hindu, Jayna Kothari commented that the law should declare the child marriages void rather than making it a criminal act.
In this article published by Deccan Herald, Thulasi K Raj argues that Supreme Court needs to introspect the decisions taken in the contempt case on Prashant Bhushan.
In this article published by The Telegraph online, Thulasi K. Raj argues that Judiciary can not abdicate the responsibility of adjudication in issues where executive action is under judicial review.
In this piece published by Deccan Herald, Jayna Kothari argues that this is a high time when India needs an equality law that would provide a broad framework to address stigma and discrimination prevalent in the society which is quite openly visible during this pandemic and also impose positive duties and obligations on governments and private actors to ensure that all their actions and measures are non-discriminatory.
In this opinion piece published by The Statesman, Equaliy Fellow Thulasi K Raj argues that…
Article 14 website published an opinion piece on Karnataka High Court Judgement recognising the need…
In this piece published by The Indian Express, Jayna Kothari argues that Bar associations in Karnataka instructing members not to represent accused in sedition cases violates constitutional morality.
In this Deccan Herald piece, Kruthika looks at the Indian Constitution making process as a project grounded in an argumentative tradition.
CLPR associate Mathew Idiculla writes for the Hindu about argues that the rights of a legislative assembly of a Union Territory should be seen as an integral element of federalism and that the Supreme Court should affirm the primacy of the elected government.
CLPR associate Kruthika R, writes for TheWire about the FPTP electoral system and why it was chosen in the first place. Looking at the arguments for and against the system as opposed to one of proportional representation and transferable votes, she assesses whether they still stand in today’s context.
Writing for the Deccan Herald, Senior Advocate Jayna Kothari responds to recent controversy concerning Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi. With a review of the present state of justice when it comes to violence against women, she argues that the problem lies in implementation.
Contributing to The Print’s Talk Point, Satya Prasoon argues that the Supreme Court of India must embrace “substantive due process”, in order to regain credibility. The Supreme Court is an credibility crisis after sexual harassment allegations were raised against the Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi.
Jayna Kothari, Maya Unnithan and Siri Gloppen note how political parties have been virtually silent on sexual and reproductive rights policy, in the on-going 2019 general election. They urge political parties to “steer the public debate to [often overlooked] crucial issues”.
Prajavani carries Dolashree Mysoor’s piece on the BJP and INC’s education vision in Kannada. Mysoor analyzes the election manifestos of the BJP and INC and asks, “what do political parties have in store for school education in 2019?”
Writing for The New Leam, Dolashree Mysoor analyzes education and the 2019 Lok Sabha election. In particular, she dissects the election manifestos of the BJP and INC and asks, “what do political parties have in store for school education in 2019?”
Satya Prasoon joins Alok Prasanna Kumar, Ishkaran Bhandari and Apurva Vishwanath in answering the question: ‘Does the Supreme Court’s sealed-cover doctrine ensure secrecy or does it exclude Indians from public debate?’
CLPR Research Consultant Mathew Idiculla asks, will the nationalist card be enough for the NDA to retain power? Writing for the Deccan Chronicle, he looks at whether Bengaluru voters will be prioritize national or local issues when deciding whom to vote for.
CLPR Research Consultant Mathew Idiculla analyses Rahul Gandhi’s plan to directly elect mayors. He asks, ‘is it a workable idea for India?’ On Tuesday, 2nd April 2019, the Rahul Gandhi released the Congress Manifesto. He wants to introduce a system that directly elects mayors to provide leadership that builds ‘real smart cities’.
Mathew Idiculla, Rajendran Narayanan and Amit Basole analyse what an urban employment guarantee might look like. They argue that it would not only improve worker incomes, but also have a multiplier effect on the economy.
CLPR Research Consultant Mathew Idiculla asks, is the CBI an institution worth saving? Writing in the Scroll, he traces the historical origins of the Central Bureau of Investigation, the concerns over its legal validity, and growing public distrust, to argue that CBI is one institution that does not deserve to be “saved”.
In the article in The Hindu, Thulasi K. Raj argues that the repatriation of Rohingya refugees by India violates both domestic and International law.
Centre for Law and Policy Research Consultant Mathew Idiculla writes on local government elections in Rajasthan for The Hindu. He discusses the minimum educational qualification criteria in Rajasthan’s local body polls.
Jayna Kothari criticizes the Transgender Persons Bill 2018, stating that it is “a law that defeats its purpose”. She emphasizes that it does not provide transgender and intersex persons with positive rights and ignores the protections provided by the Supreme Court in NALSA, 2014.
In this article, published on Consitution Day 2018, Vineeth Krishna warns against assuming that India will always remain a constitutional democracy. He argues for viewing the Constitution as a ‘civic’ and emphasises the need to create a popular constitutional culture in India.
The State Election Commissions of Maharashtra and Haryana recently ruled that if the NOTA option receives the…
In this article Jayna Kothari argues that – In the last few years, public interest litigation at India’s Supreme Court has brought significant wins for human rights—but success is best assured when litigation is linked to broader mobilization.
Mathew Idicualla writes an essay in The Caravan on urban governance issues in India.
While unchecked institutions can pose a hurdle for constitutional democracy in India, autocrats with their ability to subvert the entire institutional landscape are far more dangerous
Last week, Paul Romer (along with William Nordhaus) was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics for his work on “endogenous growth theory”. Interestingly, Romer has also been championing the creation of Charter Cities – new cities with distinct laws that seek to attract investment and economic growth. In this op-ed, Mathew Idiculla critically examine the motivations and the realities of such an idea in the Indian context.
Sudhir Krishnaswamy argues that the no leave policy for judges is a partial and incomplete way to understand delay and congestion in the court system. He puts forth three ways in which this problem could be tackled.
In this article in the Deccan Herald, Thulasi K. Raj and Bastian Steuwer make a case against the constitutionality of blasphemy law.
In this article in The Times of India, Thulasi K. Raj and Kaleeswaram Raj argue that the judgment in Joseph Shine v. Union of India contributes to developing the doctrine of unprincipled criminalisation.
Vineeth Krishna, Lead Associate Editor at CLPR, adds a historical perspective to the recent debate on the role of criminal law in Muslim personal law reform triggered by the passing of the Muslim Women (Protection of tights of Marriage) Ordinance, 2018.
This piece is part of ConQuest-ThePrint series of articles on Indian constitutional and political history
In this article in the Deccan Herald, Thulasi K. Raj and Bastian Steuwer argue that the rejection of the CJI impeachment motion by the Rajya Sabha Chairman is undemocratic.
A 5-Judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court reserved its judgment in a PIL demanding the disqualification of legislators with pending criminal charges. In today’s Deccan Herald, Mathew Idiculla examines whether the Court is the right institution to introduce such electoral reforms.
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.
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
This article explores the constituent assembly members’ views on fraternity.
In this article in The Hindu, Thulasi K. Raj argues that the Sabarimala case is significant for an alternative reading of the Constitution.
In an article i n Orinam, Jayna Kothari examines the unexpected and far-reaching impact of the Right to Privacy verdict by the Supreme Court in the Aadhaar case, on gender identity, transgender rights and women’s rights.
Vineeth Krishna E, Lead Associate Editor at CLPR, writes in The Caravan Magazine’s web exclusives ‘Vantage’ on how the framers of the Constitution engaged with the question of representative government for Delhi. He traces the conflict that emerged at the committee and debate stages of the Constituent Assembly.
This article analyses the main constitutional questions and looks at the various options available to the Court regarding the practice of triple talaq.
Vineeth Krishna E, Lead Associate Editor at CLPR, argues in The Print against reading too much into the imagery found in the original manuscript of the Indian Constitution. He further points out that the framers of the Constitution saw the constitution-making process as a break from the past rather than a continuation.
Sudhir Krishnaswamy, Managing Trustee at CLPR, writes LiveMint on the Karnataka Elections 2018. He analyzes two elements of the campaign strategy. Firstly, he argues that Congress’s choice of Kannada linguistic nationalism as a campaign frame did not fare well against the cultural and religious national sentiment. Secondly the double-layered campaign structure of the BJP helped them secure the highest seats – leaders from centre and state and the grassroots political workers carried out a well designed campaign strategy.
Mathew Idiculla, Research Consultant at CLPR, provides his opinion on the Karnataka Elections 2018. He argues that there was no visible anti-incumbency against the Siddaramaiah government. However anti-incumbency operated against specific Congress MLA’s. This compounded with the efforts of Modi-Shah-Yedurappa could explain BJP securing highest number of seats.
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.
Sudhir Krishnaswamy writes for The Print on the judgement in Dr. Subhash Kashinath Mahajan vs. The State of Maharashtra. Sudhir reviewed and assessed the judgment and public reaction to it. He argues that this case is bad in law and does not meet the standards of judicial decision making.
Mathew Idiculla’s op-ed titled ‘Federalism and fariness’ appeared in The Hindu on 3rd April 2018. In this article, in the context of South Indian States’ demand to rethink federalism, Mathew analyses these demands by making constitutional and historical arguments.
Karnataka State elections are scheduled for the 2nd week of May 2018. Matthew Idiculla of CLPR writes in The Print, that since 2017 Mr.Siddaramaiah has started fashioning a campaign based on the “Karnataka Model of Development”. This model leverages the halo effect created by putting forward development policies and employs the communication power of Twitter to promote “#NavaKarnataka2025”.
Ashwini and Satya posited that the decision in the Abhiram Singh v Commachen case, in which Hindutva was declared a “way of life”, emboldened this type of action. The view of the RSS seems to have been that action rooted in the Hindu faith, which was a “way of life”, did not violate secularism (Section 123). This gave rise to the question – is the Supreme Court responsible for ensuring that the verdicts it delivers are not misinterpreted by the government?
Ashwini Tallur and Satya Prasoon, associates at CLPR, discussed the role of the Supreme Court as a conflict manager, in The Print on 8th Feb 2018. The context for this article was the Babri-Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi case (Ayodhya matter) that was heard on the same day. They proposed that the Supreme Court’s decision to tag this case as a title dispute, and have it move through the appeal process like any other title dispute, has helped establish its legitimacy as a neutral entity which has avoided populist measures and instead employed the tools available to the Judiciary to resolve this conflict.
On 8th Feb 2018, Satya Prasoon and Ashwini Tallur of CLPR wrote in The Wire that speech could only be free if it was not protected for its “external” value but only when it was protected when used to express “uncomfortable” and “unconventional” ideas. This analysis of what constitutes free speech was triggered by the recent rise in “Triranga Nationalism”. They examine the appropriation of national symbols by certain groups in the name of “patriotism” and explore how certain public demonstrations demanding social justice or against government actions would be deemed “unpatriotic” if national symbols were used by the protestors.
On Jan 21st the President Ram Nath Kovind approved the recommendation of the Election Commission to disqualify 20 MLAs of AAP, as it was deemed that they were holding offices of profit. Matthew Idiculla details out the actions that led to this order. In this op-ed in The Hindu, he also looks at the history of and the reason for this practice and delves into why this practice has continued to flourish in the Indian legislative system.
In this article in The Hindu, Thulasi K. Raj argues that the right to sexual privacy is significant in the discussion on decriminalising adultery.
On 07.12.2017 the Supreme Court started listening to arguments on the the Goolrokh Gupta vs Burjor Pardiwala and Others [Parsi Identity, Parsi Woman Excommunication] case. In The Wire Ashwini Tallur and Satya Prasoon, associates at CLPR, examine the tension between individual rights and group rights in the context this the primary argument in this case – does the Indian Constitution prioritize individual rights over group rights?
They start with a review of the interpretation of the Special Marriage Act by the Gujarat High Court and then go on to analyze the individual’s Right to Freedom of Religion, the Constitution as a document for “social revolution”, the separation of state and religion, and the role of group rights in minority religions.
The Supreme Court passed judgment on 29th Aug 2017 on the whether the State of Gujarat should pay for the repair of those shrines that were destroyed during the Gujarat riots. The 2 Judge Bench overturned the Gujarat High Court decision and ruled that using income tax revenue to repair the religious buildings would amount to “promoting” religion and run counter to maintaining secularism which was the objective of Article 27. Satya Prasoon, an associate at CLPR, examines this judgement in the context of formal secularism and constitutional citizenship and puts forward an argument for substantive secularism.
In this piece, Jayna Kothari and Payal Shah, analyse the Independent Thought judgment. They suggest policy and law reforms to translate this decision into respecting the bodily autonomy of every woman and girl.
In this article in The Wire, Thulasi K. Raj argues that the exclusion arguments based on the right to religious freedom are not constitutionally protected.
Ashwini Tallur and Satya Prasoon, associates at CLPR, wrote in The Wire about the Azam Khan case and the role of the judiciary in protecting the Freedom of Speech. They analyze the judgements passed on this right over the past two years and identify a worrying trend of imposing restrictions on free speech. They contend that it is unconstitutional for the judiciary to impose these restrictions on the grounds of “constitutional compassion” and “constitutional sensitivity”. They conclude that the singular focus on outcomes, by the public and the judiciary, while ignoring the reasoning could lead to untenable or biased verdicts that could take years to overrule.
Satya Prasoon, an associate of CLPR, analyses the cases heard and verdicts delivered by the Supreme Court in its 2nd session (July 3rd – September 22nd 2017) in an article published in Pragati. He weighs the judgements passed by the Court against the judicial process and thinking followed to arrive at these decisions. He points out the seemingly capricious nature of the Court and stresses the need to apply rigorous reasoning and justification to both its administrative and judicial activities. He asserts that by following rigorous reasoning and offering balanced justifications for its actions the Court could set a high bar for public debates and legislative policy decision making.
In this co-authored piece for the Wire, Satya Prasoon examines the “good faith” armour of cow protection legislations which gives legitimacy to Gau Rakshaks, the civilan vigilante group. While drawing parallel with Salwa Judum, he argues that legitimacy to Gau Rakshak stands on even sloppier moral and legal premise. The argumentative gist is that the ‘good faith’ clause under the cow-protection legislations can even legitimise killing by gau-rakshas as long as done in “undefined” good faith and so, it needs to be struck down.
Mathew Idiculla in his article published in The Hindu, draws upon constitutional provisions, legislative history and political science scholarship to make a brief argument on why subnational politics is not necessarily antithetical to Indian democracy.
In this article in Bar & Bench, Thulasi K. Raj discusses the contours of the right to privacy.
In this article in LiveLaw, Thulasi K. Raj argues that Justice Karnan Gag order violates free speech at three different levels.
In this article in The Wire, Thulasi K. Raj argues that the actions of the state must be limited by constitutional principles and judiciary must ensure this check.
In an article published in the Oxford University Commonwealth Law Journal titled, ‘A battle of rights: the right to education of children versus rights of minority schools’, Jayna Kothari and Aparna Ravi trace two Supreme Court Judgements which have effectively exempted minority schools from the coverage of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009 (RTE Act). They critically analyse the developments that led to these judgements and argue that it results in undermining the core value the RTE rests upon, namely the guarantee of the right and access to quality education.
Apoorva Sharma writes that a fascinating new challenge has been brought against the newly printed Rs 2000 and Rs 500 notes in the Madras high court. A recent PIL brings into question the fact that the new notes have international numerals and Devanagari numerals printed on them, and argues that they should hence be declared “invalid” since the Indian constitution does not permit the use of Devanagari numerals on currency notes.
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.
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party is famously obsessed with the cow, which is venerated in Hindu cosmology. Most Indian states have now banned cow slaughter. The government of Punjab wants to tax alcohol to pay for shelters for stray cattle. Last year, after a Muslim man in Uttar Pradesh was lynched by a mob for eating beef, a cabinet minister from the B.J.P. demanded to know who else was “involved in the crime” — meaning the beef eating, not the man’s killing.
In this article, Ms. Jayna Kothari talks about how the tobacco industry and its political backers have delayed the implementation of health warnings constituting up to 85% of the packaging, an important anti-smoking measure, even as countries around the world are moving to the next stage of reform.
India’s National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy, released in mid-May, is a bewildering document. There are two ways to read this policy. The first is as a gigantic exercise in dissimulation, with a terse declaration — India is not changing its IPR laws — tucked inside a mountain of hot air to keep the U.S. and the European Union warm and happy. The other way to read it is as a serious attempt to make policy of tremendous national significance. A serious reading, however, reveals critical problems.
The National IPR Policy is keenly concerned with generating “awareness” of intellectual property (IP) in the country. (So much so that the word “awareness” appears at least 20 times in the policy.) The policy calls for nothing less than a new gold rush towards IP — roping in everyone from university professors to people in “rural and remote areas”.
In this article in the Deccan Herald, Thulasi K. Raj explains the issues of gender justice and religious freedom revolving around the Sabarimala case.
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.
Nina de Puy Kamp who interned with CLPR has an article on granting interim compensation to rape victims in Karnataka published Deccan Herald. (September 21,2015)
Jayna Kothari and Aparna Ravi recommend that political parties be classified as ‘public authorities’ so as to be brought within the purview of the RTI Act.
Sudhir Krishnasway’s piece on the current crisis in the Karnataka Lokaayukta appeared in The Hindu on August 15, 2015. In the article, he delved into the the root of the Karnataka Lokayukta crisis: the process of appointment and removal of the Lokayukta.
Jayna Kothari and Nina de puy Kamp write on Disabilities Law in the Wire.
This article provides an insight into the performance of fast track courts set up for sexual harassment in Karnataka. The authors analyse the performance of such courts on the basis of an empirical study conducted by them.
Jayna Kothari examines the procedure to investigate, try and impeach the apex anti-corruption body of the state, the Lokayukta, for corruption. The article is a narration of the provisions of law, relevant authorities and designated police personnel competent to try and investigate such matters.
In this article, the author calls for the implementation of internationally accepted guidelines to protect public health policies from being influenced by the vested interests of the tobacco industry. This article was written with reference to Rules that made it mandatory for health warnings to cover 85% of the total display area on packages of tobacco products. The author suggests several proactive measures to address conflicts of interest.
The op-ed criticizes the Union Government’s decision to put a hold on the amendments to the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labelling) Rules, 2008 which sought to increase the size of health warnings from the current 40% to 85% of the packets’ surface area.
Jayna Kothari examines whether public bodies like Municipal Corporations can be held liable for accidents and deaths of individuals due to their negligence in the maintenance of roads, open drains, and other such hazards. She also delves into using human rights principles to instill a sense of duty of care that public authorities should owe to the public and those who are affected by this negligence in care.
The article critically examines the basis of the decision of the Supreme Court to strike down section 309. Further, the author argues for the need for policy initiative, better access mental health care, and recognition of mental health care and health rights as a necessity for those contemplating and committing suicide.
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.
The author probes the question of whether the courts should have the right to decide on matters as personally, religiously, and morally divided as euthanasia. She argues for the need of the Parliament to have authority to decide the issue of Right to Life and the Right to Die instead of allowing the Supreme Court to make judgments on such cases.
This article discusses how the re-enactment of the Juvenile Justice Act is linked to the “moral panic”, which struck the government in the wake of public outrage post the Delhi gang rape. The author argues that the new Juvenile Justice bill deprives children of the protection granted to them by the former Act, and criticizes its provisions on rehabilitation as the Bill does not provide a conducive environment for conduct of trials and levies retributive punishment for some cases.
The authors argue that courts have become a forum for politically partisan disputes by allowing over-representation of the interests of individuals and groups who are already deeply embedded in political and legal institutions. The article points to the absence of any ‘publicly articulated rationale’ for the courts to take suo motu cognizance of any matter as PIL to have rather ‘atrophied and morphed’ PIL from a counter-majoritarian instrument to a counter-democratic one.
The author argues that although artistic works should be judged only on artistic merit, the novel is a product of carefully studied and researched literature which is already set in a politically charged context. The author nonetheless contends that considering every person who takes a political stance as a fascist would be absurd.
In this article published in The Hindu, Jayna Kothari and David Seidenberg argue that when an electoral system structurally discriminates against particular categories such as persons with disabilities, it is tantamount to a failure of the democracy as a whole.
The author alludes to the 2004 Supreme Court order in Disability Rights Group v. Election Commission (EC) which had directed the Election Commission to facilitate favourable voting conditions in all states for persons with disability. The author contends that despite the EC’s immediate directive to all state commissions to comply with this order, the actual level of accessibility in voting has not improved. The author proposes technology solutions like voting through mobiles for easy exercise of the right to vote by persons with serious disabilities.
In this article, the authors stress on the necessity of ensuring an enabling atmosphere for disabled persons to exercise their fundamental right to vote, which is an essential aspect of democracy. They urge that electoral participation should go beyond the installation of ramps at polling booths, in order to make polling sites accessible.
This article analyses the Karnataka Police (Amendment) Act, 2012 which established the State and District Police Complaints Authority (“PCA”). It notes that the PCA is incapable of curbing police misconduct.
The article notes the rise in the creation of ‘strangers’. ‘Strangers’ are people from outside the mainstream culture of India and who are increasingly marginalised and targeted.
The Rights to Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2014 was meant to be a substantial improvement over the existing Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation), Act, 1995. However, this article highlights in two crucial ways how the Bill fails to make a meaningful departure from the existing legislation. Firstly it retains the medical model of disability and does not acknowledge the role of the social environment is disabling certain individuals. Secondly, it does not put any obligations on the private sector to reserve jobs for the disabled.
The following article argues for the Union’s power to redraw state boundaries unfettered by constitutional restraints, as imposed by the Parliament or the Supreme Court under Article 3 and critically examines how the absence of the State Assembly resolution in the case of creation of the state of Telangana is not a constitutional barrier. The creation of state-nation arrangements, according to the author, sustains Indian Federalism and political unity.
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.
The Novartis case was a landmark judgment of the Supreme Court on the question of the evergreening of patents. This article examines the judgment and notes that the Supreme Court had taken a vital step in ensuring that life saving medication is freely and cheaply available to the public.
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.
Sudhir Krishnaswamy from CLPR and Abhayraj Naik from the Law, Governance and Development Initiative of the Azim Premji University, jointly authored the article “Poke Me: Why the Supreme Court is not the Bulwark of the Constitution it is made out to be” published as a part of the “Poke Me” series by the Economic Times on January 3, 2013.
The article seeks to reassess the character of the Supreme Court of India by examining three propositions highlighted by Nick Robinson’s working paper titled “The Indian Supreme Court by the Numbers” which analyzes the Supreme Court’s case records during the period between 1993 and 2011.
The author in her article elaborates on contrary stances taken on the allotment of spectrum. She concludes by suggesting that the government should play a greater role in deciding modes of allocation and that compelling any one mode of allocation as a constitutional mandate can never be in the interest of the larger common good.
The author questions the Supreme Courts ignorance of the “Best Interests” test, where the patient’s best interests need to be kept in mind before making a judgment, in the Aruna Shanbaug case. She argues that such a ruling ignores the right to autonomy and self-determination of an individual and the judgment could, in future, affect the rights of those who are severely sick, disabled, and the elderly, adversely.
Jayna Kothari in this article explores the idea of whether the Right to Housing can be seen as a right in itself. She discusses the landmark Olga Tellis judgement and subsequent developments. She examines whether the right to housing exists in International Human Law and argues for the right to housing to be recognized both nationally and internationally.