Privacy, Aadhaar, Data Protection: Statist Liberalism and the Danger to Liberty

I have a new essay on the privacy discourse in India up at the LEAP Blog. I am reproducing the essay below:   Kings will be tyrants from policy when subjects are rebels from principle. – Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France Edmund Burke wrote these lines in a scathing critique of the demiseContinue reading “Privacy, Aadhaar, Data Protection: Statist Liberalism and the Danger to Liberty”

Sex Work and the Law: A Case for Nuanced Debate

The debate over legalization vs decriminalization of prostitution is in the public domain with reports that the National Commission for Women has recommended legalization to the Supreme Court appointed panel for rehabilitation of sex workers. The panel, formed in 2011 when the Supreme Court suo motu converted a criminal appeal relating to a murder of a sex worker intoContinue reading “Sex Work and the Law: A Case for Nuanced Debate”

Putting Carts Before Horses. And How?

This post was first published by Humorlessindianlawyer.blogspot.in on April 8, 2014. Imagine, living in India with a Parliament that makes laws, an executive that implements these laws and a court system that interprets these laws. Now, imagine Parliament making the following law: Right to regulate all Economic Activities Completely Act, 2014 Section 1. This ActContinue reading “Putting Carts Before Horses. And How?”

The narrative of independent regulators

This post first appeared as an article on Bar and Bench on July 31, 2013. The original can be accessed here.   Those following important policy developments recently will notice numerous announcements proposing new “independent” regulators. Beginning with SEBI in the early 1990s, and TRAI in the late 90s, a number of independent regulators haveContinue reading “The narrative of independent regulators”

Ordinance Route

This article first appeared in Frontline on July 24, 2013, and can be accessed here.    In my article, I examine the true intent behind giving the executive the power to promulgate ordinances, and how the use of this power has been at complete variance from such original intent. The misuse of this power overContinue reading “Ordinance Route”

The narrative of judicial appointments

This post first appeared as an article on Bar and Bench on July 2, 2013, and can be accessed at their website here.  News reports have indicated the government’s plan to establish a judicial appointments commission (“JAC”) for the appointment of Supreme Court and High Court judges. If established, the body would not only mark a sharp changeContinue reading “The narrative of judicial appointments”

Proposed CBI Reforms: Will the Central Bureau of Investigation remain a “caged parrot”?

The Central government recently set up a Group of Ministers to propose reforms and ensure the functional independence of the CBI. This came in the wake of the Supreme Court criticizing the government for its interference in the Coal blocks allocation scam. The Court had asked the government to “come out with a law toContinue reading “Proposed CBI Reforms: Will the Central Bureau of Investigation remain a “caged parrot”?”

SLPs and Supreme Court: Honest activism causing delays in justice

The recent judgement of the Supreme Court in the case of Mathai @ Joby v. George and Anr. ( highlights how (probably) well-meaning activism can in the larger scheme of things, cause greater harm to the system if not backed by well thought out systemic changes. The judgement concerned the frivolous filing of Special LeaveContinue reading “SLPs and Supreme Court: Honest activism causing delays in justice”

How much does a Supreme Court judgement cost?

“What kind of impact do some judgements have on the finances of the government?”  In this post, I propose to look at this question using a judgement delivered in April 2009.  In the course of this post, I also argue that judges should refrain from delivering judgements which have huge financial and policy implications, asContinue reading “How much does a Supreme Court judgement cost?”

Indian Supreme Court: When Distance affects Visibility

Taking a break from my posts on China, I am summarising a fantastic article by Mr. Nick Robinson (Yale Law School South Asia Teaching and Research Fellow and a visiting fellow at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi) which appeared recently in Frontline magazine.  The article argues that the Supreme Court is not as populistContinue reading “Indian Supreme Court: When Distance affects Visibility”

Courts, Judges and RTI

A brief glance at the assets of Supreme Court judges on-http://www.supremecourtofindia.nic.in/assets.htm highlights two important points: 1. There is no mention of the value of the assets of judges on a specific date.  Information concerning assets is only useful if we are able to keep track of the increase/decrease in personal incomes over a period ofContinue reading “Courts, Judges and RTI”

Judging our judges

Today’s post is an article appearing in the Indian Express, concerning the condition of judges in our country: In defence of their lordships (Indian Express) GOPAL SANKARANARAYANAN Posted online: Wednesday, Jan 20, 2010 at 0250 hrs On September 1 2009, Neeraj Kishan Kaul stepped down as a judge of the Delhi High Court — aContinue reading “Judging our judges”

Delhi HC says Supreme Court CJI comes within RTI Act

The Delhi High Court today delivered its judgement on the case regarding the issue of whether the CJI’s office comes within the purview of the RTI Act.  The High Court also stated that its judges will be making its assets public within a week.  Indian express is carrying the story: CJI’s office comes within RTIContinue reading “Delhi HC says Supreme Court CJI comes within RTI Act”

A Virgin’s inclination to be truthful

Indian Express published a story yesterday considering one of those Supreme Court judgments which makes us wonder just how out of touch judges in the Apex Court are with the evolving mores of society.  The issue is simple: The Court has observed that if an Indian woman or girl alleges sexual assault, courts need notContinue reading “A Virgin’s inclination to be truthful”

Protection for divorced Muslim women

An article in today’s online edition of Indian Express (‘Shah Bano to Shabana Bano‘) praises the reformist track record of the Supreme Court in matters concerning divorce and maintenance of Muslim women.  A perusal of the judgement delivered in the case of Shabana Bano v. Imran Khan shows the subtle yet refined lines of legalContinue reading “Protection for divorced Muslim women”

Psyche of a Murderer honoured

In a recent judgement regarding death sentences for murder (Dilip Premnarayan Tiwari & Anr. v. State of Maharashtra), the Supreme Court has observed that courts will have to consider social issues like inter-caste marriage, community and religion and the circumstances in which a murder was committed while awarding punishment to an accused in a murderContinue reading “Psyche of a Murderer honoured”

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