ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Alok Prasanna KumarSubscribe to RSS - Alok Prasanna Kumar

‘Right to be Forgotten’ in Indian Law

courts have yet not recognised the “right to be forgotten” under Indian law. However, there are good reasons to have one’s name dissociated from public records in the interests of privacy and similar concerns, as has been done in the context of victims of sexual assault. It is not an overarching right that should necessarily be available to all irrespective of context. In the absence of any privacy legislation, it is more likely to be a judicially developed remedy in specifi c cases.

Legitimacy of Judicial Review

Judicial review of executive action is an essential aspect of the system of checks and balances in a constitutional democracy. The United States President Donald Trump’s reaction to the judiciary refusing to uphold his executive order imposing the so-called “Muslim ban” suggests that this vital principle might be under renewed threat. India’s experience in this respect should serve as a warning to the judiciary that its independence will be under attack in the next few years. 

Surrogacy and the Laws on Maternity Benefits

Five high courts across India have uniformly held that women employees who have children through surrogacy would be entitled to maternity benefits in accordance with the rules. How they have arrived at this conclusion is quite different in each case, and each judgment presents different approaches to address this legal question. Beyond the legal question, the approaches must also be closely examined for class biases and paternalistic assumptions about motherhood.

Sectarian Appeals in Elections

The Supreme Court’s judgment on sectarian appeals during election campaigns interprets the Representation of the People Act, 1951 correctly and to its intended effect. The dissenting judgment conflated the substance of the appeal with the identity of the person who is making it, and did not address the scope of the case. The majority judgment’s regulation of election speech is not only necessary to ensure free and fair elections and uphold the secular ethos of the Constitution, but it is also needed to fulfil the constitutional goal of fraternity.

Sectarian Appeal Judgment — Interpreting Representation of the People Act to its Intended Effect

​Supreme Court’s judgment on sectarian appeals during election campaigns interprets the Representation of the People Act, 1951 correctly and to its intended effect. The dissenting judgment conflated the substance of the appeal with the identity of the person who is making it, and did not address the scope of the case. The majority judgment’s regulation of election speech is not only necessary to ensure free and fair elections and uphold the secular ethos of the Constitution, but also needed to fulfil the constitutional goal of fraternity. 

Debating Contempt of Court

By issuing a contempt notice to Justice Markandey Katju for his over-the-top criticism of its judgment, in the manner that it did, the Supreme Court has only diminished its institutional dignity. While Katju’s behaviour post retirement is not in keeping with the nature of the office he held, the contempt jurisdiction was not meant to be used like this.

Demonetisation and the Rule of Law

The challenge in the Supreme Court and high courts to the current demonetisation exercise requires some serious discussion for what it tells us about the state of the rule of law and constitutional government in India. 

'Equal Pay for Equal Work'

"Equal pay for equal work," envisioned as a concept of gender justice in the workplace and more, has shrunk to a jurisprudential principle used in service disputes between employees and the government. Even this body of court-made law, while laudable in at least protecting the rights of the temporary employees, does not actually further the larger principle in the context of the Indian worker, male or female, who has been abandoned by the state.

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