Holding Sedition Law unconstitutional is not enough: Section 124A

After bail in Sedition case!
Sedition Case: Narwal, Kalita and Tanha outside Tihar Jail after Delhi High Court granted them bail.

A few months back, most of the national newspapers and twitter-feeds were filled with ‘positivity and praises of the Apex Court’ after the comments passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court (CJI Ramana, Bopanna, and Roy JJ) in a hearing in which the colonial-era sedition law (section 124A of the Indian Penal Code) was under challenge. The bench of three judges expressed concerns about the ‘misuse’ and ‘lack of accountability of the executives’ under the law. The Court also questioned Attorney General KK Venugopal and asked him (as reported by the Indian Express), “It’s a colonial law. It was meant to suppress the freedom movement. The same law was used by the British to silence Mahatma Gandhi, Tilak, etc. Still, is it necessary after 75 years of independence?” 

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Guest Post: Mental Health of Prisoners in India: A Constitutional Analysis

Mental Health of Prisoners in India A Constitutional Analysis

The right to the highest attainable standard of health is a prerequisite for the enjoyment of fundamental human rights. The term ‘health’ encompasses both physical and mental health. WHO defines health as a state of “complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”.  Mental health may be defined as “a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and can make a contribution to his or her community”. It is more than the mere absence of mental disorders. The discourse on the same is gaining ground, considering the number of mental health cases on a surge. However, prisoners in India have been excluded from the realm of mental health discourse.

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Limiting the Right to Privacy: The Puttaswamy Judgment-II

Limiting the Right to Privacy: The Puttaswamy Judgment-II
Image Source: DataPrivacyManager

No right is absolute, and every right comes with certain restrictions. So does the Right to Privacy, which is a fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. Right to life includes Right to Privacy and, as it is argued somewhere else on this blog, ‘privacy, as a right, is important for an individual to exercise control over his or her personality.’ The authority of the State to restrict the Right to Life (and limiting the right to Privacy) derives from the second part of Article 21. It states that the rights cannot be violated ‘except according to procedure established by the law’. After the Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India, the procedure established by the law must also be just, fair and reasonable. Every such procedure must pass the scrutiny of Articles 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution of India. This post highlights the conditions under which the Indian State can constitutionally intervene with the Right to Privacy. Herein, it is crucial to understand that the rights are the general norms that must triumph, and the restrictions are exceptions. No exception can override the general norms except in certain clearly defined conditions (also known as ‘tests’ or ‘doctrines’).

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Guest Post: Constitutional Perspective on the Conjugal Rights of Prisoners in India

India, like most nations, uses incarceration as a method of legal punishment for those who transgress the law. Although prisoners are alienated from society, the courts have reiterated on numerous occasions that they are still entitled to enjoy basic rights enshrined in the Constitution. One such right claimed as fundamental to a prisoner’s life and dignity is Conjugal rights. It refers to the “rights, especially to sexual relations, regarded as exercisable in law by each partner in a marriage.”

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Guest Post: Is COVID-Lockdown Really Sabotaging Employment in India?

Covid and Employment
Image Source: Adda24x7

When our government has convinced us and the world that we are in the “endgame” of the pandemic, the more precarious version of the contagion, constantly knocking on the doors, banged and created a catastrophe, which affected nearly every one of us. We all might not be in the same boat but we were in the same hurricane. Apart from the scantiness of oxygen, hospital beds, medicines, ventilators, and vaccines, we Indians are also continuously facing the dearth of necessity, from the first wave itself, that is known as the livelihood. Supreme Court and High Courts, raised their brows on the insufficiency of all the covid – related necessities. However, they didn’t show concern towards the breach of right to livelihood. It is an intrinsic and germane part of enforceable fundamental rights as well as unenforceable Directive Principles of State Policy [“DPSP”]. The issue of lack of livelihood or unemployment hasn’t surfaced today, at the time of covid, but has been present for years. However, due attention must be given to the loss of livelihood that has spiked in the pandemic. To add on, there is an inevitable third wave waiting round the corner.

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