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

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How Did West Bengal Perform in the ‘Firecracker Ban Test’ amid COVID-19?

This article analyses what makes a social regulation like the firecracker ban in the state of West Bengal in India a success story such that it may be replicated by other states which are striving hard to curb air pollution levels and arrest rising pandemic cases amidst a festive season. The authors have examined the firecracker ban on the basis of Teubner’s Regulatory Trilemma and Parker and Braithwaite’s three principles to check whether it passes the tests of effectiveness, responsiveness and coherence. The article demonstrates how West Bengal has carved a new and expanded meaning of “performing regulation” in India by ensuring compliance through not just a threat of punishment but cooperation as well.

Criminalisation of Vimukta Communities: The Role of Police and Judiciary

In this episode, we speak to Nikita Sonavane and Srujana Bej​ about the criminalisation and policing of Vimukt communities in India.

Rejecting Ideal Victimhood

The recent sessions court judgment reveals a deeply embedded caste-patriarchal understanding of victimhood.

Debating Supreme Court Reform

US President Joseph R Biden’s newly set up commission to recommend reform of the United States Supreme Court has brought to the forefront the “political” role of constitutional courts. While the US Supreme Court inhabits a vastly different legal, constitutional and political sphere from its Indian counterpart, nonetheless there are interesting parallels given common shared values towards the independence of the judiciary and constitutional governance.

Pendency during the Pandemic

Twelve months after measures to fight COVID-19 forced courts in India to suspend in-person hearings and move online, the Supreme Court finds itself facing increased pendency and demands to restart in-person hearings. Apart from the increased backlog, the Court also finds itself with fewer judges and no immediate nominations in the pipeline to fill the gaps. The incoming Chief Justice of India will therefore have to address a range of issues that fundamentally affect the Court’s basic functioning.

Why History Matters

Supreme Court of India: The Beginnings by George H Gadbois, Jr; edited and introduced by Vikram Raghavan and Vasujith Ram, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2017; pp xxxii + 245, ₹ 795.

The Idea of Justice

We need contemporary art and artists to engage with the idea of justice creatively, portraying the tragedy of our judiciary powerfully and compellingly.

Safeguarding Fundamental Rights

In recent times, the right to speech, expression and the right to protest have been constantly undermined. An attack on these rights runs contrary to the spirit of civilised democracy. We need to exercise these rights within the Constitution’s conditions and the government is duty-bound to provide these conditions.

India’s First Per Curiam

A per curiam opinion seeks to project the court as a resolute bloc in unanimous verdicts by concealing the identity of the author(s). However, arbitrarily employing anonymity, without due regard to legal tradition and reason, adversely impacts accountability and transparency in the judiciary. As such, it is important to evaluate the Supreme Court of India’s choice of anonymity in the momentous Ayodhya decision.

The Non-enforcement of Singapore’s Anti-gay Law is Not a Good ‘Compromise’

Singapore’s Prime Minister has frequently said that a law that criminalises gay sex will not be enforced, but it will not be repealed. It appears that the government is brokering a tenuous “middle ground” among those for and against the law, given that public support to criminalise gay sex remains high. However, the prohibition of an activity which the government does not necessarily think needs to be prohibited, but is nonetheless forbidden on the sole basis that the majority does not approve of it poses several problems.

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