ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Remembering Justice P N Bhagwati

Justice P N Bhagwati’s efforts to address the rights of prisoners, bonded labour, child labour, conditions of inmates of various asylums, the right of the poor to education, shelter and other essential amenities, and protecting and improving the environment with an additional emphasis on social justice continue to influence the legal minds of the country.

Political Economy of Community Forest Rights

The various dilutions, contradictory policies and litigations challenging the constitutional validity of the Forest Rights Act reveal the range and depth of opposition from an entrenched forest bureaucracy on the one hand and non-state actors on the other. The lack of implementation support to it also indicates a refusal of the political system to embrace the historic opportunity created for democratic governance of forests in India.

The Coal of India

The Coal Nation: Histories, Ecologies and Politics of Coal in India edited by Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt, England: Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2014; pp 348, £63 (hardback).

Workers of Alang-Sosiya

A detailed analysis of the working and living conditions at the Alang-Sosiya ship-breaking yard raises several questions about the Gujarat model of development. This paper aims to identify the major challenges in implementing rules for the protection and improvement of workers' rights at the micro level through an in-depth analysis of ship-breaking workers at Alang-Sosiya, and suggests measures to ensure the effective implementation of workers' rights in hazardous industries.

Selective Inclusions and Exclusions

Ratnagiri, a small town on the western coast of Maharashtra, is an important urban settlement in the Konkan region. This article examines the town's uneven spatial and economic development by focusing on the fishing and tourism sectors, highlighting the historically generated and socially produced contradictions and contestations within and between them. It argues that the very instruments of spatial planning meant to address uneven development end up reinforcing and exacerbating existing spatio-social and political inequalities. It goes on to trace the processes by which spatial planning becomes an arena where regulations are bent and flouted by directly influencing local and state-level actors through a negotiated approach to planning.

Why the Underdogs Came Out Ahead

A study of judgments by the Supreme Court in environmental cases from 1980 to 2010 shows that a majority of them have supported the issues raised by underdogs such as environmental NGOs against the practices or policies of the powerful such as governments and industrial units. But prominent exceptions to this have been the outcomes of cases challenging infrastructure projects. This paper seeks to explain how and why the Supreme Court has frequently decided in favour of weaker parties, and to analyse the implications of this for environmental jurisprudence in India.

Environmental Movement in Dahanu: Competing Pulls

The environmental campaign in Dahanu near Mumbai against the capacity MW plant started in the 1980s and ultimately led to the setting up of the Dahanu Taluka Environment Protection Authority. Even as competing lobbies continue to push for the de-notification of its status as an ecologically fragile region and removal of the Dahanu Authority the environmentalists walk a tight rope attempting to protect the natural resource base of the region.

Litigating against Corporations for Human Rights

The changing approach of the Indian judiciary to litigation involving corporate interests vis-à-vis environment and human rights was sharply criticised in a recent workshop.

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