Nupur Sharma gets relief from SC: Notes on clubbing on FIRs and TT Anthony Case

The Supreme court on Tuesday granted interim protection to former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma. The court directed that no coercive steps be taken against her in the multiple FIRs registered in different states, over her remarks on Prophet Mohammed during a TV debate. The court also said that the same protection will be available for any FIRs registered in the future in respect to the same telecast. The top court essentially granted her the same protection which she was seeking earlier.

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Guest Post: Damage Recovery Mechanism in India and the due process of law

In the recent past, India has witnessed a litany of violent protests that have caused a sizable amount of damage to public and private property. Tellingly, these protests have manifested the callous nature of protestors and the law enforcement officers governing them, and have subsequently thrown light on the lack of stringent laws that make it a strenuous task for the government officials to penalise the malefactors and claim damages from the same. The states of Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh underwent tumultuous agitations that led to a colossal damage to public property. Consequently, the respective state governments were under an obligation to act expeditiously and recover damages from the offenders. A recent investigation undertaken by the Indian Express shows the glaring misuse of authority on part of the State Government and how it had (mis)interpreted the age-old civil law principle of joint and several liability in the determination of damages and recovery of the money from the alleged culprits, thereby raising concerning questions on the adoption of due process. In this article, we analyse the constitutionality of the process or modus operandi adopted by the two governments to recover the damages and subsequently ascertain the pressing need for stricter and more comprehensive laws.

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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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