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Analysis of use of UAPA from NCRB data

July 1, 2020

The use of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967 (“UAPA”) in the last few years needs critical analysis, especially in light of the increasing use of the UAPA. What is surprising is that while the UAPA was enacted in 1967, its constitutionality has never been challenged in any of the High Courts or the Supreme Court. The UAPA has had several amendments, and the most recent amendments being made in 2019 amending Section 35. This amendment allows the Government to even categorize individuals involved in terrorism and not just organizations. It is only the 2019 amendments that have been recently challenged in the Supreme Court in two recent petitions.

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Unemployment Protections in Indian Constitutional History

April 20, 2020

The COVID-19 outbreak has severely impacted labourers in India especially those working in the informal sector who constitute 90% of India’s workforce. The recent cases in Surat and Mumbai of the unemployed migrant labourers seeking to go back to their hometowns are worrisome. According to the International Labour Organization’s report, Indian informal economy is looking at a job loss for 400 million people.

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Need to introduce the concept of ‘vicarious liability’ for the Police

April 7, 2020

The mark of a democracy is to let people express their dissent without any reprehension or threat. Democracy itself can only work so long as the differences between groups do not impair a broad substrate of shared values.

The right to assemble peacefully has been enshrined in Article 19(1)(b) of the Indian Constitution. Amid the increasing police brutality against the anti-CAA protestors, the Allahabad High Court’s recent decision of directing the state to give compensation to the AMU students who were injured during lathi-charge and asking the authorities to take action against the erring police officials is nothing less than the silver lining in this saga of despair.

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The Women’s Indian Association and Indian Constitutional Thought: Part II

March 16, 2020

In Part I, we looked at the Women’s Indian Association’s (WIA) involvement in constitutional negotiations with the British in the late 1910s. The WIA vociferously demanded equal voting rights for women – but the British did not budge.  During this time, Indian leaders were also demanding measures for greater levels of self-government. These too, the British dismissed. Indian legislators across the country were becoming restless.

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The Women’s Indian Association and Indian Constitutional Thought: Part I

March 8, 2020

Unlike the American constitutional founding – spearheaded by men, the Indian Constituent Assembly, that drafted the Indian Constitution, comprised women. Until recently, public memory had discarded the contribution or even the presence of these women. But what about the period before the formal constitution-making process?

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Why India needs both more and less of Article 370

March 3, 2020

As of 2020, constitutional democracy in India has taken a less recounted journey, one towards a more imperial Centre and less autonomous states. Democratically elected state governments have been dismissed, States have been demoted to Union Territories, independent constitutional bodies have been subjugated and now the most existential test of all that faces the peoples of India is one of citizenship!

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Freedom of the press: A Constitutional History

February 22, 2020

Last month the Supreme Court in Anuradha Bhasin v. Union of India dealt with the issue of continued internet shut down in Kashmir. While the Court did not direct the restoration of internet services, it recognised the internet as a mode to exercise one’s fundamental rights. The judgment also addressed the freedom of press claim: even though it was not encoded in the Constitution, the judgment reiterated the fundamental right to freedom of the press within Article 19 (1) (a). While freedom of the press is not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution of India, 1950, there were longstanding demands to make it a part of the constitutional text.

litigation

CLPR files petitions before KAT seeking reservations for transgender persons in Division Assistant posts in Karnataka

October 21, 2019

The Petition was filed challenging the Notification No. E(2) 7271/2018-19/PSC dated 11.02.2019 (hereinafter the Impugned Notification) calling for applications from eligible candidates to fill up posts of First Division Assistant (FDA) and posts of Second Division Assistant (SDA) of the Bangalore City Civil Court and the different District and Sessions Courts across the State, issued by the Respondent No. 1, seeking that separate reservations be provided for transgender persons.

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Bail Decision Making: Are the conditions of bail imposed by courts restrictive?

June 27, 2019

In the previous posts on bail decision making in India, we noted the relationship between decision making in lower courts and the under-trial prison population. We suggested that substantive law should separately recognise pre-trial and under-trial detention as considerations while granting bail should be different at each stage. An extension of this is that conditions of bail should also vary depending on the severity of the offence and the stage of the criminal justice process. In this post, we explore the different kinds of conditions that courts regularly imposed in Bengaluru, Tumakuru and Dharwad.

litigation

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.

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The Constitutional and Civic Citizenship Project

October 4, 2018

CADIndia website: a digital archive and database of Indian constitutional history with human-tagged original documents that explains and illuminates the contemporary relevance of this history to our contemporary lives [cadindia.clpr.org.in]. Supreme Court Observer website: a living archive of the Supreme Court of India that compiles original materials and daily reports of selected ongoing cases to make apparent the Court’s role as the final interpreter of the Constitution to resolve contemporary problems [scobserver.clpr.org.in].

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National Constitution Society 2018

October 4, 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.

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Rights in Review | Overview

March 15, 2018

“Rights in Review″ is our annual review of key Supreme Court judgements. We critically analyse judgements relating to fundamental rights. We assess whether these decisions advance our constitutional mandate for a robust protection of key civil, political and socio-economic life and highlight their relevance and impact on our collective public life.

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ConQuest Quiz

November 14, 2016

One of the objectives of the Constitutional and Civic Citizenship Project has been to create a robust civic citizenship. In furtherance to this aim, we will organise an annual Quiz on the Indian constitution and its history aimed at university students to engage with the Constitution in an interactive way.

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ConQuest 2016: National Finals

August 23, 2016

Participants of the National Finals included the winners and runners-up of the four Regional Rounds that were held across the country. Over 200 hundred teams, from varied disciplines – political science, history, engineering, law, Buddhist studies etc. – participated in the Regional Rounds. 

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ConQuest Quiz 2016: North Regional Round

August 22, 2016

Around 45 student teams participated in the Preliminary Rounds from colleges Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh in teams from leading law schools including NLU Delhi, Symbiosis Law School, NOIDA, Campus Law Centre, Army Law Institute Mohali, RGNUL, Patiala; and teams from other prominent institutes like St Stephen’s College, JNU, Department of Buddhist Studies, Hindu College.

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CLPR Comments on the Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2016

August 20, 2016

hile endorsing these criticisms of the draft bill, CLPR has in its comments to the Ministry, highlighted some additional points of concern and has suggested measures which could possibly strengthen the law. For instance, with regard to the enforcement mechanism, CLPR has suggested that it is imperative that there be an identification of nodal authorities such as the National Commission for Women, the Juvenile justice authorities as well as the Labour Department, which are crucial to the smooth and coordinated enforcement of the provisions of the bill. These nodal authorities can receive complaints and take the assistance of support services provided by stakeholders and non-governmental organizations, such as Childline.

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ConQuest Quiz 2016: East Regional Round

August 6, 2016

Around 50 student teams participated in the Preliminary Rounds from colleges in Orissa, Kolkata, Assam, and other states. Teams from leading law schools NUJS, KIIT Law School, and NLU, Odisha competed with teams from other prominent non-law Universities like College of Engineering and Technology, Bhubaneshwar.

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ConQuest Quiz 2016 West Round

August 6, 2016

The Preliminary Round saw intense competition. The Preliminary Round needed a sudden death elimination to decide the 6 teams which would qualify to the Final Round. In the end, two teams from Symbiosis Law College, and one team each from V.M. Salgaocar College of Law, SVKM Pravin Gandhi College of Law, ILS and New Law College Pune qualified for the Finals.

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ConQuest Quiz 2016: South Regional Round

August 1, 2016

Over 50 student teams participated in the Preliminary Rounds from colleges in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Kerala. Teams from leading law schools SCLU, NLSIU, TNNLS, and NUALS competed with teams from other prominent Universities like IIT-M, St Josephs College, RVCE, APU and BITS-Hyderabad.

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Report on the 9th Annual NLSIR Symposium

June 1, 2016

The theme of the first session was ‘Constitutional Challenges and Concerns’. The speakers for this session were Mr. N. Venkataraman (Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India), Prof. (Dr). Sudhir Krishnaswamy (Professor, Azim Premji University) and Mr. Alok Prasanna Kumar (Senior Fellow, Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy).

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The Foreign and the Indigenous in the Indian Constitution: Constitution Day talk by Arun Thiruvengadam

December 2, 2015

The Indian constitution used devices of liberal constitutional thought but rejected the liberal idea that constitutions had to perform the sole function of limiting state power. The Indian constitution had to empower the state to enter into the realm of Indian society and transform it by eradicating deeply embedded economic, political and social hierarchies. Whether the project of social transformation has succeeded or failed is another question. But the fact that the framers of the Indian Constitution attempted to use it as a means of revolutionizing Indian society – which no country at that time had done – is something to be proud of.

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Defending the Right to Defend: Pressures on the Jadgalpur Legal Aid Group

October 19, 2015

On October 5, 2015, the Bastar Bar Association in its General Body Meeting passed a resolution prohibiting any lawyer who is not enrolled in the State Bar Council or enrolled in the local bar from practicing in the local Court. The Jagdalpur Legal Aid Group which was established in 2013 and has ever since been working for the cause of the Adivasis in Chhattisgarh has been greatly affected by this resolution.

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Nuclear Suppliers’ Liability and the Attempt to Dilute Section 46

February 15, 2015

On February 8, nearly two weeks after Prime Minister Modi and President Obama announced that their two countries had achieved a “breakthrough” in their partnership on civil nuclear energy cooperation, the Ministry of External Affairs (“MEA”) finally broke its silence on the details of the deal reached by issuing responses to a list of Frequently Asked Questions. The MEA’s answer to one group of questions is particularly disturbing: that Section 46 of the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act (the “CLND Act”) does not permit victims of a nuclear accident to bring tort law claims against suppliers.

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CLPR’s Comments to Draft National IPR Policy

February 3, 2015

In its comments to the Draft National IPR Policy prepared by the IPR Think Tank, CLPR argues that the Think Tank needs to rethink its approach of trying to formulate an omnibus IPR policy and treating stronger IPR protection as being synonymous with innovation and economic development. Instead, any IPR policy needs to find the optimal balance between IPR protection and promoting the democratic diffusion of knowledge and cultural goods, based on empirical evidence and taking into account the domestic political economy context of a country. In particular, CLPR makes three arguments:

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Packing a Punch: How the Ban on Sale of Loose Cigarettes Was Shelved in a Week

December 7, 2014

Discussion and debate on regulation of tobacco sale must highlight that it is not the concern of the Government to safeguard tobacco company shares. It is, however, unquestionably the duty of the Government to ensure that every sale of cigarette is accompanied by a statutory warning and that regulations do not make it easier for children to afford and access cigarettes.