16th June – Anti-discrimination law

The need for an anti-discrimination law In our country, the problem of racism is exacerbated by other historically ingrained forms of discrimination, along the lines of caste, class, gender, and religion among other things. Defining private discrimination – These prejudices, which pervade every aspect of life, from access to basic goods, to education and employment, …

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Gender Equality

16th May – Gender Equality

Gender Rights : Reflection, Commitment and Action Constitution ensures protection against discrimination on the basis of gender through Article 14, 15(1) and 16(2). Article 39(a), 39(c) and 42 of the Directive Principles of State Policy provided in Part-IV guides that India’s governance shall ensure gender equality in law and policy. Article 51A(e) imposes fundamental duty …

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Fundamental Rights and Duties

4th May – Fundamental Rights and Duties

Fundamental Rights and Duties To offset the increasing tendencies of indifference towards the business of the government amongst its citizens and to check fissiparous growth, the Constitution (Forty-Second) Amendment Act, 1976 introduced the concept of fundamental duties by adding Part IV-A, consisting of the sole Article 51A. Duties – Individual or public in character? The …

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Independence of Judiciary

25th April – Independence of Judiciary

Pre-retirement judgements and post-retirement jobs The Constitution has been conceived to provide a pride of place to the judiciary. Constitutional appointees to the Supreme Court have been guaranteed several rights in order to secure the independence of judiciary. Independence of judiciary – Chapter 4 of Part V of the Constitution deals with the Supreme Court, …

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Judicial Transparency

13th March – Judicial Transparency

Ruling against judicial transparency In its recent decision, in the Chief Information Commissioner v. High Court of Gujarat case, the Supreme Court, regrettably, barred citizens from securing access to court records under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. Instead, the court held that such records can be accessed only through the rules laid down by …

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Independence of tribunals

3rd March – Independence of Tribunals

Independence of Tribunals In November 2019, a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court, in Rojer Mathew, declared the Tribunal, Appellate Tribunal and other Authorities (Qualification, Experience and other Conditions of Service of Members) Rules, 2017 as unconstitutional for being violative of principles of independency of the judiciary. The insertion of non-judicial members in such tribunals …

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13th February – Six years on, Lokpal is a non-starter

More than six years after the Lokpal law received the President’s assent, the institution of the Lokpal is yet to play any significant role in tackling corruption in the country. Role of Lokpal – The preambular statement of The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 notes that the law has been enacted to ensure prompt and …

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12th February – Liberty at the government’s whim

Fundamental rights, we have been repeatedly been told, do not exist in silos. The values inherent in the rights to equality, freedom of expression and association, and to life and personal liberty are deeply intertwined, with each right deriving meaning from the other. In this respect, it is important to discuss a recent judgment of …

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11th February – Victim justice is two steps forward, one step back

The recent judgment in Rekha Murarka vs The State Of West Bengal (November 2019) has held that the victims’ private counsel cannot orally examine or cross-examine the witnesses. What is the issue? Under our criminal justice system, victims find themselves removed from the proceedings. Their identities are reduced to being mere witnesses. Presently, the victims’ …

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