On April 14th and 15th, we hosted the ‘Sexual and Reproductive Rights: Social Movements and Legal Battles’ conference, in collaboration with the University of Bergen, Norway and the University of Sussex at the Bangalore International Centre (see the full agenda here). The conference aimed to bring together prominent activists, academics and lawyers to discuss important issues and approaches that have developed in sexual and reproductive rights (SRR) advocacy in India. One of the key objectives of the conference was to shed light on issues and marginalised communities that are at the margins of SRR discourse and action.This blog post presents the key points raised on day 1 of the conference.
Disha Chaudhary and Kruthika R, associates working with CLPR discuss the positive and negative aspects of the Mental HealthCare Act, 2017 (“Act”).
The Counsel argued that the Preamble to the COTPA indicates the intention to enact a comprehensive law to prohibit the advertising of tobacco products and does not contemplate any prohibition on the sale of tobacco products.
Day 10 saw the Counsel for the Tobacco Institute of India continue his arguments, challenging the 2014 Amendment Rules as being arbitrary and ultra vires the parent Act.
On Day 9, the Counsel for the Tobacco Institute of India continued his arguments. The arguments focused on the 2014 Rules. Citing Rule 3(1)(b) juxtaposed with Section 7(4) read with Section 20 of COTPA, the Counsel argued that the Rules had the effect of amending Section 7(4).
Day 7 saw the continuation of arguments by the Counsel for the Tobacco Institute of India, which focused on Article 21 and whether the 2014 Rules exceed its mandate as against the provisions of the parent Act, namely COTPA.
The Counsel for the Tobacco Institute of India continued with his arguments on Day 6 of the hearing before the Karnataka High Court. The Counsel began by referring to a constitutional challenge to pictorial health warnings that were imposed on tobacco products, in the United States in the case of R.J. Reynolds v. FDA. The petitioners, in this case before the Trial Court (No. 11–1482, 2012 WL 653828) and consequently, the Court of Appeal [No. 11-5332 (D.C. Cir. Aug. 24, 2012)], sought to have this mandatory imposition declared as constituting “compelled speech”.
The hearing before the Hon’ble Karnataka High Court continued on Day 5 as the counsel for the Tobacco Institute of India cited decisions of the Indian and the US Supreme Courts, in support of the existence of a right to commercial speech within the ambit of Article 19(1)(a). The arguments on this day, focused mainly on proving that the petitioner’s right to commercial speech is being curtailed by the impugned rules notified by the Government which excessively restrict the ability to advertise on the packaging of tobacco products.
In the judgment of Diamond Enterprises vs. State of Karnataka, dated September 9, 2015, the High…
India currently does not have any specific laws for the implementation of Article 5.3 of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which deals with the protection of public health policies with respect to tobacco control, from commercial and other vested interest of the tobacco industry.
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.
While conducting a study of the Fast Track Courts that have been instituted in Bangalore to try cases of rape and sexual assault, it was startling to discover that out of the 12 cases that have been disposed of by the FTCs since their establishment, 11 resulted in acquittals. The only case which resulted in the conviction of the accused was for the offence of “attempt to rape” and not rape. In this case, the court heavily relied on the medical reports which stated that the victim was “used to having sexual intercourse.”1 This conclusion was drawn by the Medical Officer upon conducting the two-finger test”.