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 demise... Continue Reading →
I have a new post up on Prof. Ajay Shah's blog discussing the Government's move on demonetisation, and the problems with the way the discourse on demonetization is being shaped, and the probable ripple effects of this move on society. Here is the link: http://bit.ly/2fwh3pf The post is reproduced below: The Government's move to demonetise Rs.... Continue Reading →
India has now witnessed a three decade long agenda of revivalist Hinduism centred around the city of Ayodhya. The latest proposal to construct something in Ayodhya is however a bewildering move given how symbolic the agenda of constructing a Ram temple in Ayodhya is to the Hindu right wing of the country. As per the... Continue Reading →
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/the-fury-and-failure-of-donald-trump-w444943 This is a brilliant article in Rolling Stone magazine about the anger of the Republican party's base at the realisation that their leaders have essentially sold them down the river through the decades. It's also a great reminder of how populations react to the obnoxious and snobbish behaviour of elites, and how they respond... Continue Reading →
https://youtu.be/JtBR_JE02rc USA First Lady Michelle Obama absolutely excoriated Donald Trump in a speech the day before. Must watch for everyone.
I have a chapter in an upcoming publication -- "The Oxford Handbook of the Indian Constitution" on the freedom of movement and residence in India.
Which government is worse for higher education in India? That has become an interesting point of debate on the Indian Express in the last few days.
When the coercive power of the State is wielded by the executive, this should be accompanied by appropriate checks and balances. Good practice in regulatory governance requires that when regulators wish to make changes to regulations, and thus affect the rights of private parties, the regulators must furnish reasons for making those changes. This increases transparency, predictability, and accountability.
I have a post on Prof. Ajay Shah's blog discussing how the constitution prevents PSUs from taking pure commercial decisions from their very inception: Click Here.
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 into... Continue Reading →
I have a recent piece in the Indian Express on the misplaced prioritisation on bringing back black money. The op-ed can be found here. The piece is reproduced below. -------------------------------------------------- Suppose you are the government of a country badly in need of gold, but with only Rs 100 with which to get some. You have... Continue Reading →
My paper proposing a framework for Parliamentary Oversight in India has been published in the NUJS Law Review (link). A brief description of the paper: "The need for a strong monitoring mechanism of the Executive in India has been made clearer by recent allegations of corruption against high-ranking officials of the central government. The Indian Parliament... Continue Reading →
The Supreme Court recently passed a controversial judgment condemning ‘automatic’ arrests by police in dowry harassment cases against husbands and in-laws. The judgment has received a mixed response. While its supporters praise the Court’s strong statement against misuse of this law by women, others raise concerns over the rights and safety of victim women. While... Continue Reading →
I have a co-authored post on the reforming the FDI regulatory framework in India on Ajay Shah's blog here. The post was published on April 21, 2014, and has been co-authored by me, Ajay Shah, and Arjun Rajagopal. The post is being reproduced below. Capital controls against FDI in aviation: An example of bad governance... Continue Reading →
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 Act... Continue Reading →
1 Introduction Today's Mint carries an article on how political parties have increasingly moved to a system of "localised" manifestoes for the 2014 general election. This is a significant trend that began with Aam Aadmi Party's Delhi election campaign where it released local manifestoes for each assembly constituency (link). The BJP followed suit in Delhi, and according to... Continue Reading →
This post is an opinion piece on Arundhati Roy's recent open letter regarding the banning of the book "The Hindus" Whatever your views on the merits of Penguin’s actions in withdrawing Wendy Doniger’s book, ‘The Hindus’, it is hard to read Arundhati Roy’s open letter to Penguin and not cringe. In her letter Roy does... Continue Reading →
This post has been written by Mr. Pratik Datta. Background Present Indian laws ’prohibit’ foreign direct investment (FDI) in railways (other than mass rapid transport system). Of late there has been growing expectation that the Indian Government might allow 100% FDI in construction and maintenance of railway projects (but not in operations). Suddenly the optimism... Continue Reading →
1 Introduction The Aam Aadmi Party led Delhi Government has (link) slashed power tariffs in Delhi, and is in the midst of an ongoing tussle (link) with Reliance owned discom BSES over the supply of electricity in certain parts of Delhi. The AAP, even before taking the reins of the Delhi Government had long accused the Delhi discoms of overcharging... Continue Reading →
Some good stuff to read this week: Vinod K. Jose in Caravan on the lack of a larger philosophical framework for the Indian media to operate within: "Habits of Mind" Nobel Laureate physicist Walter Kohn remembers one-time partner, Indian physicist Chanchal Kumar Majumdar in "A master and his protege". Pratap Bhanu Mehta's engaging piece on... Continue Reading →
In October this year, an additional sessions judge in Delhi pronounced a controversial judgment in a rape case involving sexual intercourse between a man and a woman after they informally performed certain marriage-related ceremonies without getting legally married. This post reflects upon the judgment and highlights certain ironies that flow out from the ideology behind... Continue Reading →
By Kaushiki Sanyal and Sruti Bandyopadhyay This article was first published in Mint on Nov 20,2013 At a time when India is going through an economic slow down, it seems counter-intuitive to enact legislation such as the National Food Security Law or continue to dole out subsidies that end up benefiting rich farmers. One reason... Continue Reading →
A woman bank manager was brutally attacked yesterday while inside an ATM in Bangalore yesterday. Apart from the gruesome attack on the lady, what has been bizarrely shocking has been the response of the police to the same. Facts: On Nov. 20, a woman, who is also a bank manager (not clear if she was... Continue Reading →
iPal is an attempt to make comprehensible certain words that sound familiar, but mean something entirely different when used in Indian governance and politics. 1. Aam Aadmi: Rich people who dress badly. 2. Public interest: a) Interest of Aam aadmi. b) source of power to override law, constitution, logic, reason, everything. 3. Subsidy: Screw you... Continue Reading →
The text below is from my brief titled "Who is a Public Authority under the Right to Information Act, 2005?" as published on the website of Accountability Initiative, published in September 2013. The brief can be accessed here. The definition of ‘public authorities’ under the Right to Information Act, 2005 (“RTI Act”) has been an... Continue Reading →
This post was first published on http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/legalprofession/, on September 23, 2013. As skepticism mounts over India’s economic resilience and economists rush to blame India’s policy framework for the woes of her economy, the role that India’s BigLaw plays in her law and policy making processes assumes greater significance now more than ever before. In the backdrop... Continue Reading →
A fast track sessions court in Delhi awarded the death penalty to the four adult rapists in the December 16 gang-rape case where a young woman was raped and brutalized by six men. One of the culprits was a juvenile who was sentenced to three years in a remand home (the highest punishment under the... Continue Reading →
This post was first published on http://logos.nationalinterest.in on September 15, 2013, and can be accessed here. A minimalist theory of state functions explains the main functions of the state as being (a) the function of collecting revenue, (b) the maintenance of law and order, and (c) the protection of a nation’s boundaries. State capacity is... Continue Reading →
This post was first published in The Broad Mind, on September 12, 2013. Both houses of Parliament recently passed The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 (“2013 Act”), repealing the century-old Land Acquisition Act, 1894. For years, the new law was touted as the panacea to the... Continue Reading →
According to recent news reports the Indian Olympic Commission will continue to be disbarred from the International Olympic Association, due to its refusal to accept a "contentious" clause that prevents "charge-sheeted officials from taking part in administration or contesting elections." (read here, and here) The reason is not difficult to fathom: "Its secretary-general Lalit Bhanot faces... Continue Reading →
This post is a reaction to media reports and analyses that look at the population size of various minority groups and anticipate how it may affect the political outcome in elections. In India, the Modi-Gandhi face-off has led media to calculate Hindu-Muslim ratios in various states and accordingly predict the result of the upcoming elections... Continue Reading →
This is a guest post by Jeet H. Shroff. Jeet has completed his Masters' in law from Harvard Law. The recent decision of the Supreme Court striking down, by a majority of 2:1, the common medical entrance examination conducted by the Medical Council of India (MCI) raises important questions on the now-obvious contradiction between the Court’s stated... Continue Reading →
Bhargavi wrote a great piece yesterday on the tendency of legislatures to nullify judicial pronouncements by passing laws which overturn judgements/orders. She rightly pointed out this practice as a major issue which needs greater deliberation. There is however, one other issue which needs to be considered while thinking of possible solutions. This is the issue... Continue Reading →
On June 3, 2013, a full bench of the Central Information Commission (CIC) passed an order declaring six political parties to be public authorities[i], and consequently bringing them under the ambit of the Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI/ Act). Not unexpectedly, the Centre was quick to react. The UPA and the opposition were quicker... Continue Reading →
This post was first published in Takshashila's Pragati - The Indian National Interest Review on May 3, 2013. The article can be accessed here. Given the failure of many government legislations in achieving the objectives for which they were formulated, a case for institutionalising deeper public consultations in the legislative process has been made in... Continue Reading →
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 have... Continue Reading →
I had written this post in 2009 when Telengana first became a major political issue. I am re-posting it since major decisions about the creation of Telengana are underway. Minor edits and updates have been made and are provided in italics. In my earlier post on the issue of Telengana's statehood, I tried to provide... Continue Reading →
In 2005, the Government of Maharashtra banned dance performances in eating houses, permit rooms and beer bars through an amendment in the Bombay Police Act, 1951. The ban was recently struck down both by the High Court of Bombay and the Supreme Court of India as unconstitutional. The High Court and the Supreme Court held... Continue Reading →
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 over... Continue Reading →
By Harsimran Kalra and Kaushiki Sanyal This article was first published in the Hindustan Times on July 23, 2013 (see here) The promulgation of the National Food Security Ordinance on July 5, shortly before the Parliament session, has raised many eyebrows. Political pundits are speculating that it is a last ditch attempt by the UPA... Continue Reading →