India debates if privacy can be a fundamental right

Wednesday, July 26, 2017
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Petitions against Aadhaar has led to question of right to privacy.

A nine-judge Constitution bench is examining whether privacy is a fundamental right. The bench was formed in response to petitions challenging government orders that made Aadhaar mandatory. The petitions had right to privacy as one of the arguments. While petitioners claim that right to life and liberty inherentily include right to privacy, government believes it's more of a social notion like 'pursuit of happiness' and should not be a legal...

A Rosetta Stone to environmental law

Friday, October 28, 2016
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Diversion of forest land is one of the biggest concerns for villagers dependent on forests.

This document is a valuable resource that comprises important legal changes and events of last three years with reference to previous laws. Written by well known practitioner Kanchi Kohli, the e-book lists down steps that can be taken to secure people’s rights over land, forests, water and biodiversity. And all this is explained through instances where common men and women explore the nitty gritties of environmental laws. So, we have Sarita...

Is Aadhaar mandatory now?

Saturday, April 9, 2016
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Aadhaar on a firmer foundation?

The premise of Aadhaar is that it’s put to use as a universal proof of identity by public and private entities. So, even when you have surrendered that LPG subsidy and don’t take any benefit from the welfare schemes, you may still be required to get the unique ID. Banks continue to ask for linking the account with Aadhaar numbers, private schools want parents to furnish the UID numbers of their children even though there’s no subsidy to be...

‘Leprosy is still a crime in India’

Thursday, June 26, 2014
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Gandhiji giving massage,to a leper patient, the Sanskrit scholar Parchure Shastri, at Sevagram Ashram in 1940. Source: Wikimedia Commons

How can access to education and good healthcare change somebody's life is evident from Suresh Dhongde's success. At one point of time he was staring at possibility of a life wasted. Today, the 35-year-old is a proud recipient of the national award for being a role model in overcoming leprosy. Not only is he helping other leprosy-affected people join mainstream, but also trying to break well-entrenched stereotypes related to the disease. He is...

'Anuradha's case has fueled public interest in patients' rights'

Thursday, January 23, 2014
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Anuradha Saha

Dr Kunal Saha's wife Anuradha died due to medical negligence in 1998. He pursued the case for 15 years through various consumer courts, MCI, high court until Supreme Court passed a historic order three months back. It not only awarded the highest compensation so far in a medical negligence case but also questioned the treatment of doctors, a first in Indian legal history. Here Dr Saha talks about the shortcomings in present Indian law and his...

In defence of the defence lawyers

Wednesday, November 20, 2013
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Shahid was the movie made on life of lawyer Shahid Azmi who was killed in 2010.

How do you decide whether a person arrested for an offence is guilty or innocent? In India, if it's an act of terror, the name of the accused is sufficed. A Muslim is guilty without trial and nobody should defend him. Violent attacks on lawyers of terror accused, many a times even on the court premises, are justified in the name of patriotism. While we usually blame the police of shoddy investigations and falsely implicating the innocents,...

Down on her knees

Tuesday, June 25, 2013
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June 16 was 'Father's Day' and lovely quotes on fatherhood spilled over from mainstream media to facebook and twitter. June 16 was also the 'International Domestic Workers' Day' and it seems nobody really noticed. A few women workers with placards marched on the streets of Chennai seeking fixed minimum wages but then again nobody was really interested. As long as houses were cleaned, dishes done and kids put to bed there was not much trouble...

Proposed law will protect animal rights

Sunday, April 1, 2012
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Savage Garden may sing paeans for life of animals, the truth is they have a tough time putting up with us humans. India is soon going to have a law with better provisions to ensure ethical treatment of animals.  

Dr Manilal Valliyate, the director of veterinary affairs at PETA, shares his thoughts on how the proposed law will make us more humane.

Q. Since a new draft bill has been drafted on the issue of...

'Most cases of humiliation go unreported'

Monday, March 12, 2012
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Javed Abidi, the convenor of Disabled Rights Group, and a vocal activist who has been at the forefront of disability revolution in India, talks to GOI Monitor about the present state of affairs and lacunae in laws 

Q. After being involved in protracted battle in 1998 for implementation of Persons With Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, how do you react to instances of...

Mining, moolah and miserable future

Tuesday, December 13, 2011
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Mining is something that if undertaken, the possibility of any other alternative use of that land is finished. That’s why it is called a terminal industry. We all know about the socio-political issues related to mining. Most of the mines are located in areas which are homeland to tribals and dalits and hence have specific development issues. The problem with emerging countries like India and China is they are not willing to look for...

Reaching out for better care and attention

Saturday, October 1, 2011
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On July 5 this year, the Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad seemed to have reinvented the wheel by saying that the government may not be in a position to foot the treatment bill of those living with HIV. The provision of free treatment is one of the key features of the draft HIV/AIDS Bill which has been hanging fire for last five years and this disownment is not acceptable to the community. It wants the government to acknowledge that...

Right to service should not promote litigation

Tuesday, September 13, 2011
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The purpose of any law is to solve people’s problems. The Indian Constitution also promotes the concept of judicial redressal at your door step. A law is meant for speedy justice and if it is pro-litigation or promotes further litigation, the purpose is defeated.Sadly, that is what most of our Indian laws do. Even recent enactments like the Right To Information (RTI) Act and the Right to Public Service Act, which is being implemented in...

The unremitting march against Section 144

Friday, July 15, 2011
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July 26, 2009: Himanshu Sabharwal was arrested along with 25 others under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) for taking out a candle light vigil at India Gate. The group was organising a peaceful demonstration seeking justice for Himanshu’s father Prof H S Sabharwal who had died after being beaten up by ABVP activists in an Ujjain-based college. Such incidents are not uncommon in our 'free' country. Think of Section 144 and...

Immunity to proxy play

Wednesday, June 15, 2011
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The controversy related to black money is turning out to be a major embarrasment for the UPA government. However, while Baba Ramdev raises cudgels against the money stashed in foreign banks, nobody seems to care about the  undeclared wealth which exists right here in Indian territory. According to a World Bank study, in 2006-07 black money in India amounted to Rs 15 lakh crores, almost one-fourth of the country’s GDP.

Even though the...

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