ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Sudhir KrishnaswamySubscribe to Sudhir Krishnaswamy

Healthcare Law in the US and the RTE in India

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court of India upheld the constitutional validity of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009 and the Supreme Court of the United States likewise upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, 2010. The two pieces of legislation attempt to expand, to a greater or lesser degree, the provision of education and health services, respectively. This article attempts to understand and evaluate the policy debates and legal decisions around the two Acts as attempts by two constitutional liberal democracies to clarify the relationship between the state and private sector, and their respective roles and responsibilities to secure social welfare.

Lokpal Bill: Lessons from the Karnataka Lokayukta's Performance

The debate on the design of the Lokpal has been premised on the questionable assumption that what is needed to combat corruption is a powerful national institution to prosecute and convict the corrupt, but the debate has not drawn on the experience with the existing institutional models, namely the Lokayuktas in the states. An empirical analysis of the performance of the Lokayukta in Karnataka between 1995 and 2011 suggests that any anti-corruption agency, no matter how powerful, that is oriented towards criminal conviction is bound to fail in the absence of judicial reforms.

Inside Our Supreme Court

Judges of the Supreme Court of India: 1950-1989 by George H Gadbois, Jr (New Delhi: Oxford University Press), 2011; pp xiii + 412, Rs 795.

Understanding Our Supreme Court

Abhinav Chandrachud's study of the composition of the Supreme Court between 1980 and 2003 does not develop either an institutional sociology or a realist analysis of the Supreme Court as an institution.

Mashelkar Report on IP Rights Version II: Wrong Again

The fi rst report of the Mashelkar Committee on patent issues was accused of plagiarism and the committee was asked by the government to rexamine its recommendations. The second report of this committee poses a different set of problems. This article argues that the revised recommendations are not warranted by the TRIPs agreement of the World Trade Organisation, that they are not supported by the weight of academic opinion and that the conclusions do not rest on any reasonable assessment of national interest in pharmaceutical policy.

Reading A K Thakur vs Union of India: Legal Effect and Significance

The decision earlier this year of the Supreme Court in the case relating to reservations for the Other Backward Classes has generated substantial debate. Unfortunately, much of this debate has failed to subject the judgment to rigorous legal analysis. This paper attempts to fill the gap by first proposing a general methodology for a legal reading of a court judgment. It then provides a careful analysis of the A K Thakur judgment and shows that the ratio in the case is a narrow one with no radical departures from the Court's existing doctrine on reservation law and policy. The paper then assesses the Court's approach to the problems of identifying beneficiaries and suggests that the Court closely correlate the intrusiveness of affirmative action measures chosen and the moral justifications for the same. It concludes by addressing several policy proposals that aim to restructure affirmative action and suggest alternative frameworks of legal doctrine that will allow the Court to effectively respond to these demands for reform.

Airport Privatisation Case

The matter of Reliance Airports vs Airports Authority of India allows the Supreme Court the unique opportunity to intervene in the public and policy discourse around public-private partnership projects at an early stage in their development in India. If the court uses this opportunity to emphasise the centrality of the "publicness" in PPP, and to remind the government that it continues to play the most significant role in the provision of public goods and services in this new phase of the evolution of the Indian state, it would have performed a critical role.
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