Amisha Pareek, Board Member of National Constitution Society, reports on CLPR’s workshop on Constitutional History and Freedom of Speech.
On 12th December 2018, the Centre for Law and Policy Research (CLPR) in collaboration with the Praja Foundation, conducted a 2-hour workshop on Indian Constitutional History at the Aatma Ram Sanathan Dharm College in New Delhi.
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].
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.
A pre-requisite for citizens to critically engage with contemporary political, legal and social issues is an understanding and appreciation of India’s rich constitutional tradition. In this regard, civic education in India at various levels has failed. The Centre for Law and Policy Research (CLPR) bridges this gap through carefully conceptualized workshops that communicate India’s rich constitutional tradition to different audiences: schools, colleges, professionals and the general public.
One of the other arguments made today by the Petitioners was alleging lack of legislative competence of the Central Government to enact the COTPA and promote it as a public health measure since the same is a state subject. It also argued that the Supreme Court held in Ghodavat Pan Masala case that COTPA is not a legislation for the furtherance of public health. This argument will be explored in subsequent proceedings before the High Court.
The main arguments made today were that the packaging and labeling rules of 2008 and the 2014 amendments to these rules are ultra vires Article 19(1)(a), which guarantees free speech and Article 19(1)(g), which guarantees the right to freedom of trade.
CLPR is representing the Consortium for Tobacco Free Karnataka as an Intervenor on the grounds of public health. Starting today, we are reporting the summary of arguments taking place every day in court in these matters. A report of the court proceedings would not only serve as information for the public health community in the country to be aware and upto date with these proceedings, but also to document the arguments made in these petitions as these proceedings are one of the most important ones in the field of tobacco and public health in the country today.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
The launch event consisted of a discussion around ‘Constituent Assembly Debates in Contemporary Times’. Vineeth Krishna, Research Consultant/Associate Editor, at the Centre for Law and Policy Research, has written a detailed report on the discussion.
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.
By Aparna Ravi and Apurba Kundu When it comes to tobacco control in India,…
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.
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.
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:
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.
CLPR has endorsed a set of international principles against unchecked surveillance. The 13 Principles set out for the first time an evaluative framework for assessing surveillance practices in the context of international human rights obligations.