New Criminal Laws Will Make India More Afraid of Police – Published in The Times of India

The express purpose and goal of bringing any new law, or amending an existing one, is to bring changes which would further ensure fairness and efficacy in the system of delivering justice. It cannot be done to just create some impression of removing its colonial legacy by merely changing the names of legislation and bestowing […]

Homogeneity Under UCC Can Be Tricky Legal Terrain – Published in The Hindustan Times

The political push for UCC wants to create a homogeneous class of citizens in a diverse society. But such homogeneity is tricky legal terrain. With Kerala becoming the second state to pass a resolution against the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) after Mizoram, and the Law Commission of India sifting through roughly five million responses on the possibility […]

Gyanvapi Is a Litmus Test for the Sanctity of the Places of Worship Act. Our System Failed It – Published in The Wire

The ASI’s survey of Gyanvapi casts aspersions on the mosque’s character. Not only has the religious character of the mosque been put into dispute, but the objective of the Places of Worship Act has vanished into thin air. It is not a new phenomenon that a mosque’s fate has gone to the Archaeological Survey of […]

The Executive Must Take a Non-Majoritarian Call on Adverse Possession – Published in The Wire

Adverse possession is essentially a public policy issue that also happens to cover matters relating to places of worship. Given the law commission’s recent report on the issue, it is time the executive takes an appropriate stand. Recently, the law commission of India submitted its report saying that there was no need to change the legal position […]

Is The Swirl of Concerns About AMU’s Minority Status Justified? – Published in The Wire

While it is not correct to believe that repealing the Aligarh Muslim University (Amendment) Act, 1988 will take away AMU’s minority status, broader concerns of minorities in India should not be undermined. A controversy erupted recently with the repeal of the 1981 Amendment Act to the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) Act, 1920. Will repealing the […]

Remembering Zafaryab Jilani, Babri Masjid dispute lawyer and true community leader – Published in the Indian Express

After the Babri Masjid case was transferred to Lucknow in 1989, he devoted all his time to the litigation, fully committing to the cause Zafaryab Jilani was born in 1950 in Malihabad district, Uttar Pradesh. At the time of Partition, his father was an employee of the Indian Postal Services. His father sensed that his service […]

Delhi High Court Order in Jamia Violence Case Seems to Have Ignored the Evidence – Published in The Wire

The high court reversed a lower court’s order that had discharged 11 Jamia students from the case. The protest in Jamia Millia Islamia against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019 gave rise to different incidents on different dates. It started on December 13, 2019. This incident became the subject matter of an FIR and initially, […]

Justice Ahmadi: A Judge With Courage, a Man With a Conscience – Published in The Wire

Justice Ahmadi showed his courage and conviction in upholding the constitutional culture in our diverse system and ensured that the spirit of diversity in the Constitution is not nullified. Justice A.M. Ahmadi was born in Surat, Gujarat in the year 1932 and passed away on Thursday at 5 am in New Delhi at the age […]

Three Years Since the Delhi Riots, We Are Left With the Fruits of an Extraordinary System – Published in The Wire

Compensation in delayed, criminal cases lie unprosecuted, investigation has been severely inadequate and judges hearing several cases have had the sharpest observations to make. Yet the system cannot be blamed, because we see it works very well when it wants to. Three years have passed since the communal riots in northeast Delhi. At this stage, […]

Supreme Court on hate speech: The problem on the ground is extraordinary. Extraordinary measures are needed to address it – Published in the Indian Express

In relation to hate speech, the recent direction of the Supreme Court making it incumbent upon the regulatory mechanism to take action is a reflection of the judicial will to deal with an issue which has been largely missing over the past few years. Within the last week, this is the second time that the […]

Minorities, laws and institutions – Published in India-Seminar

AT the beginning of the 20th century the West had propagated the notion that ‘minority rights’ were part of larger ‘human rights’. During World War I, minority rights were both granted and restricted due to political considerations.1 Even after World War II, in the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, minority rights, as a group right, […]

Fortify the justice system to ensure Bail is the norm – Published in the Hindustan Times

The Supreme Court (SC)’s intervention, in granting protection to Mohammed Zubair and Nupur Sharma, does not make for an understanding of the criminal justice administration in India, for not many citizens are fortunate enough to have effective legal representation and the benefit of being heard by libertarian judges in the jurisdiction of SC.  The apex […]

From Roe v Wade to civil rights cases in India, the idea of dignity – Published in the Indian Express

Ideally, constitutional courts should be engaged in expanding dignity, individual rights. In practice, they have often erred in this regard. Initially, the idea of dignity came from religious texts. In the last two centuries, it has developed as an enforceable right through constitutional law. The idea of dignity flowing from constitutional law is attractive because […]

What Minority Tag for Hindus means for India – Published in the Hindustan Times

There is an ongoing debate on whether Hindus can claim the protection of rights guaranteed to minorities under Articles 29 and 30 of the Indian Constitution. On the face of it, this claim appears absurd (considering the vast majority of Hindus in India). Yet, it may find some legitimacy, if one examines the issue based […]

Interview: Parichay The Blog

Md. Tasnimul Hassan: You represent one of the petitioners who has challenged the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA). What prompted you to challenge it and why do you see it as unconstitutional? M.R. Shamshad:  I am representing the petitioner in my professional capacity, but I feel from my heart that the CAA is arbitrary, unreasonable, discriminatory; a law […]

Hijab Judgment: More Questions Than Answers – Published in LiveLaw

In my view the consequence of Hijab Judgment is of making a song and dance about nothing. It will be read and celebrated by many who have been campaigning for ‘homogeneous’ identity of Indian citizens forgetting its diversity in public space. It was a thin issue where some girls who had chosen to cover their […]

Interpreting Hijab: Why only through the Essential Practices Doctrine – Published in The Leaflet

THE Hijab issue in Karnataka has received lots of public attention throughout the country. I see this issue strictly within the constitutional law perspective. The practice of hijab can be examined firstly within the ambit of right to life under Article 21, read with freedom of ‘expression’ under Article 19 of the Constitution. Ideally, only at the second […]

How to Unclog the Courts – Published in the Indian Express

More judges, timely filling up of posts in all levels of judiciary, fewer cases by the government could provide redress Recently, a senior judge of the Supreme Court of India, while hearing a case, stated that frivolous cases have been making the Court dysfunctional and an institution must not be forced to spend time on […]

Why Islamic Law Allows ‘Blood Money’ To Let A Killer Go Free

This forgiveness or diyah is based entirely on the private right of the victim, and not of the sovereign LuLu Group owner Yusuff Ali’s generous act to save a man who was languishing in a United Arab Emirates jail after being sentenced to death by the top court, has grabbed headlines. The 65-year-old billionaire has […]

The British Have Repealed Their Sedition Act, Why Hasn’t India? – Published in Outlook

We inherited the sedition law from the British. In 1942 itself, CJ Gwyer introduced the concept of inciting ‘public disorder’ and subversionof the government by attempting to violence. While upholding the validity of Section 124-A, Gwyer’s interpretation was reiterated in different wordings and confirmed by the Supreme Court in Kedarnath case in 1962. In 1950, after we […]