CAA Notification: A Backdoor Measure That Could Prove Difficult To Roll Back – Published in the Outlook

In 2015, the Central government exercised its powers under the Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920 the Rules of 1950 to exempt Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis, and Christians belonging to Bangladesh and Pakistan, from adverse penal consequences of Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920. At the same time in 2015, the government exercised its […]

Landmark Kerala HC judgement clarifies Muslim women’s right to initiate divorce – Published in The Indian Express

In the past, the Kerala High Court has delivered many landmark judgements in relation to Muslims’ divorce. This month, a Division Bench of the High Court was dealing with the issue of conditions in “Khula”, divorce initiated by the wife. The legal issue before the Court was whether a Muslim wife, once she has decided […]

The Dismal Use of Legislation – Published in Rising Kashmir

In the year 1994, the Supreme Court of India stated that “the culture of law in Indian democratic republic should be on secular lines”; and that there can be no democracy if anti-secular forces are allowed to work dividing followers of different religious faiths flying at each other’s throats. This is the understanding of the […]

Two Bails, Two Views, Many Inconsistencies – Published in the Leaflet

THE order granting bail to the young climate activist Disha Ravi is one of the finest expositions of law in the present times. It comes at a time when many political dissents engaged in permissible actions have been unreasonably criminalised. One hopes that this order will give “disha” (direction) to the other pending and future bail cases of similar […]

Ordinance with Malice – Published in Rising Kashmir

In the recent past, various ordinances were brought by the States including the Ordinance relating to interfaith marriages in the State of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, animal slaughter in Karnataka. All these Ordinances have serious penal consequences affecting personal liberty of citizens. In many cases booked under the UP Ordinance, the High Court of […]

Not All, Only husbands – Published in RisingKashmir

In a recently pronounced judgement, the Supreme Court said that a mother-in-law cannot be the accused of the offence of pronouncement of Triple Talaq under the Act of 2019, as the offence can only be committed by a Muslim man. However, while granting final direction in the judgement, the Court has bound the same mother-in-law […]

Torture, an issue ignored – Published in the Indian Express

In a recent judgment, the Supreme Court stated that “when the protector of people and society himself instead of protecting the people adopts brutality and inhumanly beat the person who comes to the police station, it is a matter of great public concern”. A recently-reported case of torture is of Jayaraj in Tamil Nadu. Very […]

Tale of Two Protests – Published in the Indian Express

The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA) was passed on December 12, 2019. The law excluded Muslims from its scope of grant of citizenship and led to hundreds of protests being organised in different parts of the country, starting from two universities in New Delhi and later, at Shaheen Bagh in the national capital, which became an inspiration for […]

It is Not for the Law to Decide on Any Other Matter Concerning Marriage of Two Adults – Published in the Indian Express

Contemplating laws to regulate matrimonial relationships between two consenting adults would not be just against the constitutional guarantees but would offend the very notion of individuality and basic freedoms. Many state governments have announced that they are considering enacting an appropriate law to stop marriages which they term as “love jihad” — essentially a part […]

Police needs to be made accountable, and freed from grip of politics – Published in The Indian Express

Whenever the criminal justice process fails, there is an outcry for new laws. We have enough laws. What we lack is the honest implementation of existing laws. The Hathras case has once again put the spotlight on our criminal justice process. The facts of the crime and subsequent support from powerful interests in favour of […]

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 […]

Why This Report Says The Delhi Riots Were A Pogrom – Published in Article 14

The violence was ‘planned and targeted’ against Muslims, and the police, who played a partisan role, are deciding what should be investigated and when, says the head of a committee inquiring into the Delhi riots of February 2020 New Delhi: The narrative was changed to “one of violence on both sides rather than a pogrom […]

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 […]