LAOT Monthly Newsletter - July, August and September
By Ed Board, Law and Other Things
LAOT Monthly Newsletter
We are happy to bring back our monthly newsletter wherein we discuss the various activities that we undertook over the course of the month. Our 2021-2022 team consists of Student Editors-in-Chiefs Bhavisha Sharma and Gayatri Gupta, along with Legal editors Ajitesh Arya, Anushree Verma, Eeshan Sonak, Maladi Pranay, Mariyam Mayan, Pranjal Gautam, and Shravani Shendye. Further, other team members include DGV Rithvik, Anushri Bhuta and Suhani Paruvelly as Technical Editors; Yashaswini Santuka and Natasha Singh as Social Media Editors; Harsh Jain, Mrityunjoy Roy, and Saumya Khandelwal as Associate Analysts; and Nitya Ravichandran and Shanthan Reddy as Senior Analysts.
Over the months of July, August and September we published a wide range of articles, discussions and reading lists. Below we bring you an update on the same.
Book Discussion on Arvind Elangovan’s Norms & Politics: Sir Benegal Narsing Rau in the Making of the Indian Constitution, 1935-50
We kicked off the month of July by introducing the book discussion on Prof. Arvind Elangovan’s Norms & Politics: Sir Benegal Narsing Rau in the Making of the Indian Constitution, 1935-50. Prof. Rohit De moderating the discussion, introduced the book here. The introduction was followed by a review from Prof. Gurpreet Mahajan, who emphasized on the importance of historical consciousness and highlighted questions that could be explored further. The next review was contributed by Dr. Vanya Vaidehi Bhargava, who concluded that the political conflict which overwhelmed the Indian constitution-making itself represented a normative conflict. Thereafter, we published a review by Dr. Harshan Kumarasingham, in which he explored the importance of Elangovan’s balanced historical examination at a time when South Asian history finds itself with ever more hagiography and hatchet jobs. The last review of this discussion came from Prof. Arudra Burra, where he expressed his reservations about Elangovan’s historical analysis of the 1935 Act and proposed talking about constitutionalism without sovereignty.
We ended the discussion with Prof. Elangovan’s final response to the various review pieces in the discussion. He concluded that Norms and Politics is a nascent attempt to speak to some of the largely unspoken ideas in India’s politico-constitutional imagination
Discussion on Dr. Upendra Baxi’s article ‘Human Rights in the Administration of Criminal Justice: The Concept of Fair Trial’
The next major discussion hosted by LAOT revolved around Prof. Upendra Baxi’s article titled Human Rights in the Administration of Criminal Justice: The Concept of Fair Trial. A summary of the article written by NALSAR student and our former legal reporter Sahil Agarwal can be found here.
The first response to the article, No Democratic Protest if No Fair Trial, came from Prof. Amita Dhanda. It reflected on the emancipatory potential of protest and the inter se relationship between Baxi’s normative narrative and the politics of protest. In the second response by Prof. Jinee Lokaneeta titled Human Rights as Jural Postulates: A Vision for CJS, Prof. Lokaneeta focused on commandments like the freedom from torture and right to counsel during interrogations, and noted that Baxi’s essay is a plea to actors to consider these jural postulates not just at the level of everyday practice as tactics or strategies but remind one of the centralities of these human rights as the very basis of a rule of a law-based system. This was followed by Ameya Bokil’s response titled Fair Trial in the Times of Tyranny?: A Case for Abolition. He listed out a few recent events to ask what it would take for critical scholars to be less hopeful about human rights. Ameya defined the Criminal Justice System as a system of colonial and casteist social control, relying on systematic criminalisation, incarceration and exploitation of the labour of certain communities to protect the Brahmanical, Patriarchal, Capitalist and Colonial social order. He concludes by asking us to abandon this false hope that this system is fixable without dealing with ‘constitutive violence’.
Over the course of past months, we have published the following blog posts on our blog:
Kavya Arora’s article titled Education Rights Trust v. Government of Karnataka: Need to Prevent Legislature from Diluting the Spirit and Object of the RTE Act, argues that Rule 12(2) of the Karnataka Education Rules dilutes the spirit of the RTE Act. She argues that such a narrow interpretation of the RTE will further exacerbate the gap in the quality of education for the poor and marginalized communities. She writes :“the SC needs to end this confusion once and for all by clarifying that the legislative intent behind the RTE Act was always to ensure long-term inclusion, integration and social cohesion”
This was followed by the piece titled Decrypting Rule 4(2) written by Ankush Rai, which analyzes Rule 4(2) of the new IT Rules 2021 by focussing on the rule and the press release issued by the Government of India on it. An infographic of this article can be found on our Instagram Page, here.
Tanmay Malik then evaluated the legality of mandatory vaccination in light of recent judicial orders by Indian Courts in the piece titled Compulsory Vaccination Dilemma. He writes: “it is best for the authorities to walk a tightrope between public interest and individual rights and push for persuasive vaccination to bring adaptive behavioural changes”
Rishika R, in the piece titled Regulatory Implications of the Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2021, discusses the Bill’s implications on the electricity sector’s federal structure and how Delhi’s centralised authority can disincentive renewable energy generation by making contract enforcement out of reach. She writes: “The Bill follows the recent trend of the Centre relying on regulatory bodies and tribunals to resolve sectoral issues. However, it remains unclear whether these bodies in their current form can effectively deliver the goals they are entrusted with”.
Reading Lists you don’t want to miss
LAOT regularly curates Reading Lists on twitter to provide our readers with an opportunity to get an holistic and in-depth understanding of contemporary public law issues and legal implications associated with them. Catch up on your reading on the following issues:
The Supreme Court has recently ordered a thorough independent enquiry into the allegations of unauthorised surveillance using the Pegasus software. Go through the reading list on the controversy published by our editors Pranjal Gautam and Shravani Shendye to get an holistic understanding on this issue and its implications on surveillance and privacy jurisprudence in India by
Justice Rohinton Nariman is considered to be one of India’s leading legal scholars. Here is a reading list on the discussion surrounding his tenure as a SC judge.
On September 6th 2021, marking the third anniversary of the historic striking down of #Section377 of the IPC, our editor Anushree Verma published a reading list on the significance of the judgement and the impact that it had on the lives of many in this country.
The Supreme Court has recently started hearing the petition challenging the latest amendments to the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA). Petitioners have argued that the amendments are disproportionate and harsh. Our Editor, Shravani Shendye’s explainer on the amendments can be found here. We also recently posted a small reading list on the issue and the same can be found here.
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