ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Alok Prasanna KumarSubscribe to RSS - Alok Prasanna Kumar

Of Delimitation, Demography and Democracy

Social Media Accountability

Crises in the Judiciary

The press conference organised by four senior-most judges of the Supreme Court was a result of a long period of dissatisfaction over the way the institution was functioning. The problems are systemic and will require more than a short-term fix. The Supreme Court and the judiciary’s credibility have taken a battering over the last decade for many reasons, and the press conference is an acknowledgement to some extent of the rot within. What happens next is not very clear, but the status quo cannot continue.

Legal Representation and Rape Trials

The right of all accused to have representation in courts is seriously under threat in India not just from the government, but from lawyers and on occasion from civil society itself, especially in rape cases. This leads to serious injustice and sometimes results in deprivation of life and liberty without the due process of law. However, even for the conscientious lawyer, a sexual assault case poses ethical and mental health challenges that have to be navigated with little institutional support.

The Puttaswamy Judgment

The Supreme Court’s judgment in K Puttaswamy v Union of India (2017) presents a paradigm shift in the Court’s understanding of fundamental rights under the Constitution. While the right to privacy has been acknowledged in some form or the other since Gobind v Sta te of Madhya Pradesh (1975) , what...

Three Wrong Ways to Talk about ‘Delhi Smog’

Two Small Steps towards Transparency

Two recent decisions, one administrative and one judicial, have given hope that the judiciary has finally accepted how non-transparent and unaccountable its functioning has become. The decision to make collegium resolutions public and the judgment to streamline designations of “senior advocates” are necessary first steps towards the larger goal of transparency in the judiciary. Both instances highlight the need for the bar and advocates to speak up for the institution and on behalf of the larger public interest.

Contradictions and Unanswered Questions

In reading and understanding the Supreme Court’s judgment in K Puttaswamy v Union of India, the Supreme Court’s articulation of the right to privacy carries within it certain contradictions in thought and approach. Given that this judgment was delivered in the absence of a specific fact situation, its true meaning may only become evident as the Court proceeds to apply it in specific cases. On this front, as we may find out in the future, there is a gap between what the judges are “saying” in this judgment and what they may end up “doing” in the future.


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