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

Civil Liberties

Civil Liberties
Amnesty International's report on human rights in the US is welcome for two reasons: it confirms Amnesty's reputation for impartiality and it exposes the US's hypocrisy in claiming to be a champion...
The draconian Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act of 1958 is under review in the Ministry of Home Affairs. This review must call for a drastic amendment of Section 4 which confers extreme powers on...
When the state sanctions textbooks that are politically partisan, historically false or communally inciteful, the citizen's right to education is violated. There have been many instances of such a...
The law does not permit bans on films which hurt the feelings of worshippers of historical figures or political leaders. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court's rulings have been none too consistent.
The Constitution guarantees the freedom of expression, but on the statutes are provisions which empower the central and state governments to ban and seize books on unconstitutional grounds and to...
The gags on student politics in Kashmir University is yet another instance of the throttling of freedom of speech and association in universities across the world. Alexander Downs' book on university...
In the tension between guaranteeing fundamental freedoms and ensuring security, it devolves on the courts to maintain the balance and protect the rights of citizens. In contrast to the attitude of...
Minorities need far better representation in legislatures. A global report highlights the main issues.
The decision of the union minister for information and broadcasting, Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi to pack the advisory panels on film censorship with office-bearers of the Youth Congress undermines a quasi...
The recently tabled US Free Flow of Information Bill that seeks to balance the right to protect journalists? sources with the people?s right to free flow of information and also the state?s duty to...
Minority Rights and Human Rights The Rights of Minorities: A Commentary on the European Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities edited by Marc Weller; Oxford University Press...
The police force has been abused systematically by successive governments at the centre and in the states. Its independence has been undermined and its morale sapped. The wonder is that it is still...
Thus far, the Supreme Court's denunciations of custodial torture have had little effect. The 113th report of the Law Commission had recommended suitable amendments to the Indian Evidence Act of 1872...
It was incorrect for the government to appoint a former director of the Central Bureau of Investigation as a member of the National Human Rights Commission. The Supreme Court has dismissed a petition...
The crackdown on the press in Jammu and Kashmir, of which the harassment faced by Greater Kashmir is only an instance, makes up the latest attempt by security agencies to ?neutralise overground...
The Indian Constitution does not guarantee the right to privacy as a fundamental right. However, the Supreme Court, in two recent rulings, has included the right to privacy within the ambit of the...
The bill intended by the UPA government as a replacement for POTA retains some of the bad features of the repealed legislation. Moreover, in some major ways, as in the onus placed on organisations...
The Indian Constitution assigns matters of legislation related to 'theatres and dramatic performances' exclusively to state governments; this function, in some instances, has been delegated to the...
In September 1996, a Bench of the Supreme Court quashed 15 scandalous allotments of petrol pumps by Satish Sharma, then minister of state for petroleum and natural gas, and ordered him to pay...
There is in law a recognised tort of 'misfeasance in public offices which could be used to file charges against those who were in office at the time of the Gujarat riots.
Both, India and Pakistan have adhered to the 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, which may be deemed to be excessively injurious or to have indiscriminate effects. But neither has signed...
The Supreme Court's sharp comments on custodial violence, torture and abuse of police power delivered some months ago demand serious attention. But clearly, they appear to have had little effect...
The disappearance of large numbers of persons in Kashmir, what the UN Declaration on the subject terms as 'enforced disappearance', is a matter of national shame. However, it has not evoked much...
The recent report of John Stevens, commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service in UK, has exposed the security forces' collusion with renegade militant bodies in Northern Ireland. The report is...
We need a wider perspective on our anti-terrorism laws which comparison with similar laws elsewhere alone can provide.
Since its offensive against terror began, Guantanamo Bay has been used by the US to detain prisoners and suspected terrorists, denying them all the well-established human rights, specifically the...
When the executive refuses to issue the notification announcing the date a particular law passed by the legislature comes into force, the judiciary is well within its powers to intervene. Yet, there...
The print media, bar sections of the Gujarati press in Ahmedabad, have done the nation proud by its objective coverage of the Gujarat carnage. So have the electronic media. Rattled by the bad press...
It is heartening to see the apex courts of India and Pakistan agreeing on an aspect of the law of defamation which affects the freedom of the press - that the press is free to comment on the conduct...
The Press Council of India’s ‘committee’ under B G Verghese produced a report exonerating army personnel of mass rape at Kunan Poshpora in 1991; however, the victims continue to suffer even today...
There is much misconception on the ambit and significance of the right to assemble and its intimate relationship to the right to free speech. The Supreme Court alone can remove the misconception. One...
The Kashmir University campus has been declared out of bounds for the media and the vice-chancellor has instructed university teachers to keep away from the media and avoid expressing their opinions...
Has the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) made a significant impact on the state of human rights in India? Is it at all relevant to the Kashmiri who has to bear the brunt of systematic...
In July a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court summarily dismissed the PUCL's petition challenging the home ministry's secret memo issued in September last year on the participation of foreign...
While NGOs have come to the fore following an increasing citizens' awareness of their rights, the state has tended to treat them with distrust and even hostility, seeking through legislative means to...
As party to the UN's International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights India has assumed full responsibility for full international accountability for its observance of human rights. Yet...
A charter of students' rights and duties needs to be drawn up if the prevailing intolerance fostered by the Sangh parivar is to be countered.
A circular has been sent by the University Grants Commission to the central universities and other institutions asking them to identify sensitive areas in different disciplines so that foreign...
The media, with notable exceptions, has neglected enquiring into rights violations, generally accepting official explanations. It needs to be more alert to such events and also to the state's moves...
Protection of minorities is both a right and a responsibility of every member of society. Minority Rights Group, based in London, promotes minority rights by researching and publishing on the issue...
Intolerance of dissent from the orthodoxy of the day has been the bane of Indian society for centuries. But it is precisely in the ready acceptance of the right to dissent, as distinct from its mere...
By a recent government order foreign national intending to attend workshop seminars has to seek clearance from the home ministry. This order is an assault on the autonomy of Indian universities,...
Information and broadcasting minister Pramod Mahajan's order banning Pakistan TV is palpably absurd, illiterate and unconstitutional.
Though India has not ratified the protocols relating to humanitarian law applicable to armed conflicts, in a recent judgment, the Supreme Court held that the courts are under an obligation to give...
There is no doubt that Mumbai and some other cities, particularly large parts of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, are threatened by mafia rule. That is no reason for not subjecting the Maharashtra Control of...
Nothing remotely comparable in research or analysis to the Human Rights Watch's report on the Enron Corporation has been published in India. The report deserves to be reprinted in an Indian edition.
A G Noorani WE have become so accustomed to legislation by the executive in the form of ordinances that, unless the abuse is patent, none questions the basics underlying this unique power...
A G Noorani THE union minister for urban affairs, Ram Jethmalani's move to open the files of his ministry to the public was ill-considered and inept. No individual minister can take such a decision...
Everywhere else the ambit of minorities' rights is being enlarged. In India the Sangh parivar challenges the very concept of minorities. IN the last few years a battle royal has waged between the...
A G Noorani ON June 26,1997 the US Supreme Court gave an important ruling in Janet Reno, attorney general vs ACLU, It repays study for two reasons. The court' s description of the mechanics of...
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