Babri Verdict: Is Rule Of Law At The ‘Mercy Of Those In Power’? – Published in The Quint

Babri Masjid was demolished on 6 December 1992. It was not a general criminal incident. The Supreme Court said that ‘a five-hundred-year-old structure which was defenceless and whose safety was a sacred trust in the hands of the State Government was demolished’. This had the effect of shaking faith in the rule of law and […]

Criminal contempt? Not now, My Lords – Published in Frontline

The Supreme Court has found lawyer Prashant Bhushan guilty of criminal contempt of court for two tweets. It has recorded that “the tweet has the effect of destabilising the very foundation of this important pillar of the Indian democracy”, it “tends to shake the public confidence in the institution of judiciary” and undermines the dignity and […]

Ayodhya — History will be the judge – Published in The Indian Express

In 1994, the Supreme Court of India said that, “within a short time, the entire structure was demolished and razed to the ground. Indeed, it was an act of ‘national shame’. What was demolished was not merely an ancient structure; but the faith of the minorities in the sense of justice and fair play of […]

Delhi Riots: Could Courts Have Handled the Crisis Differently? – Published in The Quint

When we look back at the Northeast Delhi riots of 24-26 February, one question that will continue to be asked is – could the judiciary have intervened? As things stand today, Muslim victims are finding it difficult even to get FIRs registered, or to avail the compensation that is due to them. Victims are being […]

Retirement of Tainted Judge a Reminder of How the Executive Failed the Judiciary – Published in The Wire

The process required for the initiation of impeachment proceedings against Justice S.N. Shukla stood complete in January, 2018. Yet, the Central government failed to act. In the higher judicial system, very rarely has an occasion come when two Chief Justices of India have had to remind the prime minister of something. Alas, two consecutive CJIs […]

Equity and NPR Data – Published in Frontline

From the time of Independence until 2019, India’s citizenship law was region- and religion-neutral. The Constituent Assembly debated issues relating to citizenship before giving final shape to the provisions in the Constitution, which came into force in 1950. Later, the Citizenship Act 1955 (Act of 1955) was enacted and also amended several times, incorporating additional […]

Cases of Multiple FIRs–Goswami Facts Needs A Re-Look In Future It Is Hate Crime, A Social Disorder! – Published in LiveLaw

The Arnab Goswami case in the Supreme Court resulted in quashing various similar FIRs which had been registered in different parts of the country relating to his TV programme broadcasted on 21.04.2020, viewed nationwide. Allegations in FIRs were communal in nature, instigating Hindus against Muslims and Christian . Very often, multiple FIRs are challenged in courts. On […]

Justice Gogoi in Rajya Sabha: Beware, ‘Anti-nationals’? – Published in NewsClick

At the very outset, I feel compelled to state that I am a first-generation advocate, practising with little support from the ‘system’. I cannot boast of the kind of resources that give the legal profession its reputation of being an elite pursuit. We legal practitioners understand that the system reserves many of its ‘favours’ for […]

Why India is not capable of carrying out NPR – Published in Mumbai Mirror

The Centre introduced the National Register of Citizens (NRC) by placing Section 14A in the existing Citizenship Act of 1955, through an amendment in 2003. This added provision gives discretion to the government to either go ahead with the exercise of NRC or not. It is not an obligatory exercise. To give effect to this […]

Why Unsigned Addenda to Ayodhya Verdict Must Go – Published in

One notable and never-seen-before feature of the recent verdict of the Supreme Court in the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmbhoomi dispute is the separate and anonymous “addenda” affixed to the unanimous ruling of the five-judge bench. Running into 116 pages, this addenda marks a completely new beginning; that of a judge making his opinion public through a […]

Ayodhya Judgement, Far From Right – Published in India Tomorrow

In 1857, the US Supreme Court decided in Dred Scott v. Sandford, that the Constitution of the United States was not meant to include American citizenship for black people, and therefore the rights and privileges it confers upon American citizens could not apply to them. It was wrong proposition but binding on the US citizens […]

Ayodhya verdict: A case closed, wound open – Published in The Mumbai Mirror

The Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi title case was a long pending legal dispute between two  communities who are the residents of Ayodhya. In 1949 about 100 Hindus placed idols inside the Mosque at a time when Namaz used to be offered by Muslims. Pursuant to this, a dispute arose over time and it became a matter […]

Every final judgment may not necessarily be right and just – Published in the Hindustan Times

The judgment delivered by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid civil dispute in Ayodhya has given finality to the dispute over 1480 sq yds of land. This small tract of land where the Babri mosque once stood came to be believed to be the birthplace of Lord Ram. This finality […]

Courts Must Censure Wrongful Behaviour of the State – Published in the Indian Express

It is duty of the constitutional courts to make appropriate observations about inappropriate functioning of the state and its administration. The Supreme Court order awarding compensation and rehabilitation to Bilkis Bano is certainly a step forward in strengthening the faith of the common citizen in the judicial process while fighting the failure of the state […]

SC Has Ordered Mediation But the Modi Govt Wants Ayodhya Pot Boiling – Published in The Wire

Two weeks after suggesting mediation as an option, the Supreme Court on Friday directed the parties involved in the Ayodhya case to join a confidential, court monitored mediatory process as means of resolving the dispute. The mediators named are senior lawyer Sriram Panchu, Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravishankar and Justice Kalifullah, a former […]

Judges Must Not Channel Personal Religious Beliefs Through Judgments – Published in The Wire

Justice S.R. Sen’s recent order in the Meghalaya high court is divided on religious lines and reflects a protectionist attitude towards Hindus. A Meghalaya high court judge had to recently pass a clarificatory order stating that he is not a “religious fanatic.” The need for a clarification sprang from his judgment two days earlier calling […]

For most Muslims, Mosque Crucial for Namaz – Published in the Hindustan Times

In 1994, in the case of Dr Ismail Faruqui vs Union of India, the Supreme Court made two serious observations. One, that a mosque is not an essential part of Islam; and two, that the protection of law to religious places can be tested on the basis of “particular significance”. Of the three judges of […]

Talaq Bill: With Added Provisions – Published in The Kashmir Monitor

The Triple Talaq issue arose out of a suo moto reference of the Supreme Court made in the year 2016.  In August 2017, the issue was settled by a five judges’ judgement, declaring that three pronouncements of Talaq in one sitting by a husband is a non-legal action. The government has since then been trying […]

Eroding Democratic Values – Published in Livelaw

Supreme Court has recently said ‘lynching is an affront to the rule of law and to the exalted values of the Constitution itself’. The Rule of law is one of the basic features of the Constitution of India and the same reflects everywhere in it. Similarly, the Supreme Court has declared ‘Secularism’ as a basic […]

Belittling Damage – Published in The Statesman

The Supreme Court of India has upheld the Gujarat Government’s scheme restricting the compensation for religious places destroyed during the communal riots of 2002 to a maximum of Rs 50,000 with many conditions attached thereto. Before the issue reached the Supreme Court at the instance of the State of Gujarat, in terms of the judgment […]