Understanding an Affidavit – Published in the Statesman

Recently the Muslim Personal Law Board had to file an affidavit running into 68 pages in a proceeding initiated by the Supreme Court on its own motion. On the basis of a few selected lines of the bulky affidavit, the electronic and print media trivialised the stand taken by the Board. The concerted and coordinated […]

Food Adulteration Laws in India and Government’s Response – Published in LiveLaw

In the year 1954, the Central Government consolidated legal provisions by way of comprehensive legislation (the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act 1954) to curb food adulteration and repealed all the laws in relation thereto in force on that date. The penalties for the offences in 1954 Act were set out and from time to time, […]

Issues For The Court To Settle – Published in the Statesman

The appeal of the Vice-President of India to the Supreme Court to clarify the contours within which the principles of secularism and composite culture should operate has taken many people by surprise. But this issue has been talked about earlier also. Intellectuals, activists and even religious heads have spoken on this repeatedly. However, the Vice […]

‘Nationalists’ Who Hate Nationalism – Published in the Statesman

Now it is a time for testing who is a nationalist. Your love for the nation may not be important. To show love, you need to participate in a referendum on a daily basis to establish you are a nationalist. The test of your nationalism is not your love for the Constitution of India, or […]

A Terror Suspect Cannot Be A Terrorist – Published in The Statesman

Media reporting of criminal investigation and prosecution in the last 15 years has changed manifold. In case the suspect is arrested for terrorist activity and the police have started their investigation, the matter reaches the highest level of sensationalism. This was the case with Wasif Haider of Kanpur, who was arrested in many cases and […]

And Where Were The Muslim Lawyers? – Published in The Statesman

The hanging of Yakub Memon drew unexpected intention at the last moment when it had become abundantly clear that he had to go to the gallows. His case in the Supreme Court was pressed hard, in unprecedented hearings lasting till dawn two hours before he was actually hanged. The Court can be appreciated for having […]

Forcing a Choice on Children – Published in The Statesman

An Office Memorandum, directing all secondary and senior secondary schools to conduct prayer for twenty minutes, issued by the Government of Rajasthan became the subject matter of challenge in a petition before the High Court. Twenty minutes’ prayer time was trifurcated; five minutes for prayer, National song, National anthem, next 10 minutes for Suryanamaskar (Salutation […]

Due Process and Law Enforcement – Published in The Statesman

The curtailment of civil liberty in the form of detention of a civilian has a long history. In third world countries, like India, police officers and generally the Courts take view that ‘the end justifies the means’. In their eyes, taking unauthorized liberties in stopping, questioning and searching a citizen is commendable police work, if […]

Compensating the Victims of Crime – Published in Millennium Post

Monetary compensation should be given to victims of the criminal justice process In a modern constitutional democracy, the criminal justice process is the responsibility of the government. This process encapsulates everything from the involvement of police to the date of registration of crime till the conclusion of a criminal trial by court. Ordinarily, in the […]

Poll Manifestos are Mere Promises – Published in Millennium Post

The election manifesto should be an enforceable social contract between political parties and citizens. The political manifesto or its idea thereof has a long history. As early as 1848, the Communists released their manifesto; in 1850, the Anarchists, believing in a stateless society, released their manifesto. Then it was the Fascists who issued the Manifesto […]

Conversion, re-conversion and its limit! – Published in Millennium Post

How can the RSS and its affiliates establish markers of Hindu religious identity, and promote re-conversion, when they are not in consonance with the understanding held by a majority of people from their own faith? The concept of belonging to a particular religion or identity in a diverse country like ours has been a contentious issue. […]

Fighting Old Battles With New Tricks – Published in Millennium Post

The issue of ‘Love Jihad’ has drawn attention of many activists, academicians and lawyers and everyone who has taken a stand. Recently, two different views were published in one leading national daily, one after another. Madhu Kishwar wrote justifying the existence ‘Love Jihad’ and opined that ‘the angst about ‘love jihad’ has to do with surreptitious […]

Control, Alter and Encounter – Published in The Millennium Post

The Supreme Court, speaking through the Chief Justice of India, has laid down the norms, which will certainly create accountability on the police personnel involved in the killing of civilians in encounters. This is an another example where the Indian executive and legislature have failed despite recurring and repetitive grievances from the citizens and civil society […]

Curious Case of Hobby Lobby – Published in Millennium Post

Few weeks before, a nine-judges’ bench of the Supreme Court of the United States took a view on the issue as to whether a for-profit business corporation can take the plea of violation of religious freedom and belief for not complying with the contraceptive mandate coverage for women under the medical insurance flowing from the Patient […]

Separate Law Needed for Organized Violence – Published in The Milli Gazette

One of the chapters of our Constitution makes certain duties “obligatory” and “fundamental”. These duties have put the citizens under certain obligations towards the Nation and Society. These duties include: duty to develop scientific temper, protect rich heritage and composite culture, environment, National Flag etc. This is different from the Chapter of Fundamental Rights wherein […]

Fatwa and Problem of Perception – Published in The Millennium Post

If a formal opinion is sought from an Islamic scholar, competent to issue such opinion, on an Islamic issue that may be understood as a ‘fatwa’. To put it more succinctly, it’s the formal opinion given on a judicial or legal question to understand the legal position as per Islamic law. It is like an […]

Minority Question: Is Heptulla Right or is Antony? – Published in India Today

AK Antony of the Congress and Najma Heptulla of the BJP, and the current Minister for Minority Affairs, have both made statements in the last one month about minorities, mainly inferring to Muslims. Heptulla said, “Muslims are many to be called minority, it’s Parsis, who need special attention”, adding “I am not in favour of […]

Legal Notes: Can the State Impose the Medium of Instruction? – Published in The Milli Gazette

Recently the Supreme Court examined the legality of fixing the medium of instruction at the primary level. In a country, like ours, where mother tongues are innumerable, whether the executive can bind the children to a particular medium of instruction in his primary education either in his mother tongue or in a particular regional language? […]

Trial of Akshardham Attack Exposes Criminal Justice – Published in The Milli Gazette

“…we intend to express our anguish about the incompetence with which the investigating agencies conducted the investigation of the case of such a grievous nature, involving the integrity and security of the Nation. Instead of booking the real culprits responsible for taking so many precious lives, the police caught innocent people and got imposed the […]

Secularism & Muslims: For Muslims, It’s An Issue Of Equality – Published in The Milli Gazette

In our country, every group of aware persons has been holding different connotations about secularism.  When it is time to elect representatives in Parliament and assemblies, this becomes a much more serious issue and the entire debate would surround the large chunk of Muslims votes and the beneficiaries of such votes would roam around like […]