Palghar, Alwar and Beyond: The Anatomy of Lynching Necessitating a Legal Framework

By Mahima Balaji On the night of 16th of April 2020, three men were attacked in the district of Palghar in Maharashtra, India. The men were dragged out of their vehicle and were subjected to brutal violence due to suspicion of them being thieves. The mob that attacked them is estimated to be over 100 …

Section 144 Cr.P.C. — Part VII: Same Old, Same Old? (1950 to 1960)

By Abhinav Sekhri (This post is the seventh part in a multi-post series. For previous posts, see here) A long time ago, this multi-part series studying the long historical arc of Section 144 Cr.P.C. had reached the decade leading up to India's independence and the coming into force of the Constitution of 1950. This post …

SANCTIONS TO PROSECUTE MPs AND MLAs : AN ANALYSIS

By Anuj Shukla and Govind Gehlot INTRODUCTION A high voltage political drama unfolded in the state when the CM Ashok Gehlot of congress-led Rajasthan government accused BJP of toppling their MLA’s with bribe, while Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot along with 30 supporters alleged the Government to be in minority. Government pressed the charges against …

CRITICAL APPRAISAL OF BAIL LAW UNDER §43D(5) OF THE UNLAWFUL ACTIVITIES (PREVENTION) ACT, 1967

By Abhinav Gupta Introduction Bail can be defined as a security such as personal bond or surety, required by the courts for the release of a person accused of committing a crime from custody. The accused, however, must appear before the court for future hearings.Bail is provided as a matter of right and is only …

Criminalization of the practice of FGM in Sudan: A Ray of Hope

By Arush Mittal Introduction Sudan has recently seen a landmark development concerning the rights of women, as the Sudanese government has recently ratified and criminalized the draconian practice of Female Genital Mutilation (‘FGM’). In the past, the transitional government had been working to curb this widespread practice and in turn, approved the draft legislation after …

Criminal Law Reform — Many Misgivings, and the Long, Uncertain, Road Ahead

By Abhinav Sekhri Introduction The Indian law school experience revolves around the idea of submitting "projects" or "assignments". At the start of the 5-year marathon, many of us used to be petrified about the idea of failing to submit the assignment beyond the "Last Last Day" — the last permissible date for handing in the …

Running Roughshod Over Legislative Concerns and Entrenching the Public- Private Dichotomy- Scrutinizing the Inherent Powers of the High Court Under S.482 of the CrPC – Part II

By Keshab Roy Choudhury Introduction In the first part of this two part piece, we saw that the Court’s use of its inherent powers under S.482 of the CrPC in allowing the settlement of non-compoundable offences frustrated the statutory scheme of the CrPC and the policy considerations of the Legislature. In this part, I shall …

Running Roughshod Over Legislative Concerns and Entrenching the Public- Private Dichotomy- Scrutinizing the Inherent Powers of the High Court Under S.482 of the CrPC – Part I

By Keshab Roy Choudhury Introduction The Supreme Court of India (‘SC’), in some legal and academic circles, is regarded as ‘the world’s most powerful Supreme Court'. However, it can easily be argued that the High Courts (HC’s) have equal, if not more, power vis-à-vis the SC. First, the jurisdiction of the HC under A.226 of …

Neither bail nor a remedy to avail- the ignorance of the government towards the 277th report of the Law Commission of India

By Sahibnoor Singh Sidhu Introduction The Delhi High Court via an order in the case of BablooChauhan v. NCT of Delhi(247 (2018) DLT 31) had requested the Law Commission of India (“LCI”) to examine the issue of relief and rehabilitation of victim of wrongful prosecution and incarceration. The High Court was of the strong opinion …

The Need to Criminalize Juvenile Incest in India

By Akshita Tiwary Introduction Incest is defined as the sexual relationship between close blood relatives who are forbidden by law to marry. While many developed nations around the world have criminalised incest, the Indian Penal Code contains no specific provision against this crime. This article aims to analyse why it is imperative to have a …

The Supreme Court, 65-B Certificates, and Electronic Evidence

By Abhinav Sekhri A Three Justices' Bench of the Supreme Court delivered a much-awaited decision in Arjun Panditrao Khotkar v. Kailash Kushanrao & Ors. [Civil Appeal Nos. 20825-26 of 2017, decided on 14.07.2020 ("Arjun Panditrao")]. The issue referred to the Three Justices was an apparent conflict that had emerged in the position of law on the …

Online Gambling and the Regulation of Money Laundering

By Vibhore Yadav Introduction Modern money laundering essentially relies on legitimate businesses characterised by a large cash-flow and complex, anonymous transactions that are difficult to trace in order to convert proceeds from illegal activities into ‘clean’ money which can be used for legitimate purposes. Historically, businesses such as retail outlets, restaurants, rental companies, casinos etc. …

Why Penalisation of Attempt to Commit Suicide is Not the Solution: A Response

By Paras Marya (This is in response to the previous post regarding retaining S.309 of the IPC and its validity presently in India (found here). In the post, it was argued that S.309, IPC serves another purpose and therefore, shall not be completely scrapped from the IPC. The following post provides a different perspective on …

Snippet: The Delhi High Court Order In Sharjeel Imam’s Case

By Abhinav Sekhri On July 10, the Delhi High Court delivered its judgment and final order in a petition filed by Sharjeel Imam [Crl. M.C. 1475/2020] challenging the order passed under Section 43-D(2) of the UAPA, by which the police have been granted additional time to complete the investigation in a case filed against him. The extension …

Open Jails for Women: The Disguised Discrimination

By Aditya Saraswat Introduction The number of women prisoners is constantly rising in India; however, the male-centric prison system in the country is denying some crucial rights to them which are extremely necessary for their reformation. One such right is the access to Open Jails. There is apparent discrimination in the selection procedure of inmates …

Police in India: Protectors against Injustice or Perpetrators of Injustice?

By Gahna Rajani and Himanshu Bhargava Introduction J Jayaraj and Bennix Immanuel were subjected to brutal torture in police custody and later succumbed to death. This was not the first incident. The prisoners in India have been subjected to torture and violence for a long time. The apex court has issued several guidelines in the …

Why Penalization of Attempt to Commit Suicide is Still a Valid Law?

By Akshay Shekhawat & Bhaskar Agarwal Introduction The tragic death of a young actor has once again sparked the debate around mental health and suicide. India, apart from being the country with the highest number of suicides, is also witnessing an upward trend in suicide cases with 230, 316 deaths alone were recorded in the …

Snippet: “Unlawful Activity”, the 1967 UAPA, The Attorney General, and a “Ministry of Astrology”

By Abhinav Sekhri India's primary anti-terror legislation, the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act 1967 ["UAPA"] continues to make headlines as a legislation reportedly used to stifle dissent and legitimate criticism of India's central government, even as the world grapples with the Coronavirus. This has, justifiably, prompted a rise in the conversations around the UAPA. "Unlawful Activity" …

What’s in a Name? A Lot, Especially if that Name is “Anti-National”

By Abhinav Sekhri Forgive the plain title as this writer is at his wits' end, exhausted, after a week-long wild goose chase. The object of my search? The meaning of "Anti National" in context of the law. The immediate cause behind this exertion was set of the guidelines issued by the Delhi High Court's High …

Section 67 of IT Act 2000: Scope, Misuse and the Striking Inadequacy

By Shubhra Agarwal and Anusha Agarwal INTRODUCTION The Information Technology Act, 2000 has been contentious legislation since its enactment. The Act gave a new direction to how cyber-crimes are dealt with in India. However, the question we ask today is whether it fits satisfactorily in the current scenario or does it require revision. One particular …

Female Genital Mutilation: When Will India Take Concrete Steps?

By Abhiraj Das and Nihal Deo Sudan has in April 2020 banned and criminalized Female Genital Mutilation. India is also no less a victim of the practice, but the absence of special legislation and inadequacy of the existing laws has allowed FGM to persist in silence. What is FGM? WHO has defined Female genital mutilation/Cutting …

COVID-19 – XVII: Survival Crime in the Time of Coronavirus

By Sezal Mishra INTRODUCTION The ‘loaf of bread’ example has frequently been employed in philosophical discussions of necessity. The classic problem is often posed as "Would you steal a loaf of bread in order to feed your family?" and is what is known as a moral dilemma. However, a legal solution to the moral conundrum …

Preventive Detention and the Dangers of Volcanic, Ever-Proximate, Ideologies

By Abhinav Sekhri “81. As mentioned in para 37 of this judgment, while addressing his arguments on the ideology nourished and nurtured by the detenue, the learned Advocate General submitted that such ideology cannot be confined or limited to time to qualify it to be called stale or fresh or proximate, unless, of course, the person …

Emanating Consequences of AI in Healthcare- Ethicality and Legality

By Ranjeet Soni and Rohit Shrivastava INTRODUCTION “Success in creating AI would be the biggest event in human history. Unfortunately, it might also be the last unless we learn how to avoid the risks.” -- Stephen Hawking In the twenty-first century, technology’s role in the domain of healthcare has grown leaps and bounds. Previously in this …

Attachment of Property, Freezing Orders, and PMLA Investigations: The Need for Reasonable Exclusions

By Abhinav Sekhri In almost any prosecution, the property used to commit a crime becomes case property (a murder weapon). In some kinds of prosecutions, this extends to locking down the site of criminal acts (a brothel or a gaming house). There are also other prosecutions, such as those for money laundering, where a major focus is on identifying …

Columbia Constitutional Court’s Judgment on Abortion: A Missed Opportunity

By Neelabh Niket On 2nd  March 2020, the Constitutional Court of Colombia with a 6-3 motion refused to change the status quo of the restrictive abortion laws in the country which allowed the practice of abortion only on selected grounds. While doing so, the Apex Court missed a golden opportunity in heralding a transformative trend …

Environmental Crimes in the Forests of Kamrup District, Assam

By Jayanta Boruah INTRODUCTION Protection of forests is both a responsibility of the state[1] and a duty of the citizens[2] in India. It is even a moral obligation of the entire humanity to protect and conserve the forests since they provide with the basic necessities for surviving on this Planet. Moreover, at present conservation of …

Section 120A of the Indian Penal Code: At the Cusp of Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence

By Pramothesh Mukherjee Two individuals enter into a contract of services, however, due to unforeseen circumstances, it so happens that the fulfilment of such contract turns out to be equally fruitless to both. They ‘agree to end’ the contract; as a result, neither party is obligated to perform their contractual duties. In essence, they agree …

Sudan’s Criminal Law Amendments and the State of Women’s Rights

By Rishav Devrani and Poojan Bulani INTRODUCTION The Sudanese government on April 22, 2020, made an announcement criminalizing the long-followed practice of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (hereinafter ‘FGM/C’) by amending its Criminal Law Article 141. A WHO report shows that more than 200 million women and girls alive today have undergone the practice of female genital …

UAPA, 1967: A Draconian Law to Combat Terrorism

By Diksha Singh “Adherence to the constitutional principle of substantive due process is an integral part of our collective response to terrorism. We must uphold the right of fair trial for all individuals, irrespective of how heinous their crimes may be.”[i] Terrorism persists as an iniquitous operation in society that has shaken the entire human …

Section 378 CrPC: Impediments to Justice faced by Appellate Courts

By Shailendra Shukla and Yash More Introduction The word “appeal” is not defined in the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 (“Cr.P.C”). As per the Black Law's Dictionary[i], an appeal is defined as “a complaint to a higher tribunal of an error or injustice committed by a lower tribunal, in which the error or injustice is sought …

The Nuances of Search and Seizure of Electronic Evidence: What Are the Components Involved?

By Anurag Mohan Bhatnagar and Manvendra Shekhawat Introduction We live in an era in which, almost every crime has an electronic component involved, and be it a computer or mobile phones or even a small SD Card. Mobile phones, laptops, computers can be used for carrying out crime and can further be helpful for investigating …

COVID-19 – XVI: Monitoring the Prisoners Beyond the Prisons: GPS Tracking for Interim Bails/Paroles

By Bodhisattwa Majumder and Ritika Acharya A pandemic does not discriminate on the basis of class, community or character and strikes every section of the society equally. However, the precautions one can take against the virus are highly prejudiced and biased based on an individual’s financial, social and geographical position in the society. While society …

COVID-19 – XV: Atrocities against Healthcare Workers- Why India needs a Comprehensive Legislation?

By Milind Rajratnam and Srishti Bhargav Introduction The healthcare workers across the world are most susceptible to workplace violence, but still their concerns are least discussed and deliberated upon. According to the World Health Organization, around 8% to 38% of healthcare workers suffer physical violence at some point in their careers. A study conducted by …

Section 144 Cr.P.C. — Part VI: Continuity and Change (1941 to 1950)

By Abhinav Sekhri (This is the sixth post in a multi-part series. The earlier posts can be accessed here) The two previous posts in this series charted the slow but determined emergence of Section 144, in what was the Criminal Procedure Code of 1898, as an integral part of the toolkit of repressive laws that was …

Inimical Witnesses: Can Animosity Affect the Credibility of a Witness?

By Ritika Goyal “Enmity is a double-edged sword. It can be a ground for assault. It can also be a ground for false implication.” More than 150 years ago, Bentham stated that “Witnesses are eyes and ears of justice.” Undoubtedly, witnesses are important players in the judicial system and help the Judges in arriving at …

Conceptualizing a Kautilyan Criminal Justice System

By Kaartikay Agarwal “It is the power of punishment alone when exercised impartially in proportion to the guilt, and irrespective of whether the person punished is the King’s son or an enemy, that protects this world and the next” – Chanakya Reformation of a Penal Code based on 19th-century Victorian ideals has been a constant process …

Sentencing Policy of India: A Critical Analysis and Suggestions [Part II]

By Shivam Mishra and Dharmesh Basedia In the concluding part of the bipartite blog series, the authors continue their discussion on the undesirable effect of Indian sentencing policy in the constitutional touchstone. An imperative analysis of the Constitutional touchstone has been followed by suggestions including the adaption of measures enshrined under the Coroners and Justice …

The Sentencing Policy of India: A Critical Analysis and Suggestions [Part I]

By Shivam Mishra and Dharmesh Basedia In the opening part of this bipartite blog series, the co-authors take a gestalt perspective to carefully analyze the sentencing policy of India, its evolvement and ranging wide discretion power entrusted to judges. The compelling concern of such wide range power and its effect in the form of different …

Parental Child Abduction and the Extraordinary Application of s.188 CrPC.

By Samarth Srivastava INTRODUCTION In today’s globalised world, Non-Resident Indians (NRIs; Indian citizens who work overseas on a visa and are actually Indian citizens) and Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs; people who live overseas and are Indians by descent) form an important part of the economic and social prosperity of many countries across the globe. …

Reverse Onus Clauses: Validity, Regulation and the Correlation with Death Penalty

By Abinand Lagisetti Introduction One of the most fundamental characteristics of the complex Indian Criminal Law framework is the presumption of innocence bestowed upon the accused by the Courts and the burden of proof conferred upon the prosecution to prove the accused’s guilt. This principle was borrowed from English criminal law system and has been …

COVID-19 – XIV: Examining the Use of ‘Attempt to Murder’ in Times of COVID-19

By Mitali Kshatriya The news is replete with instances of violation of advisories issued by the government to prevent the spread of coronavirus. In the wake of such delinquencies, the state governments are resorting to various penal provisions under the Indian Penal Code (The Code or IPC). s.307 is one of the various sections being …

Different Timelines for Different Defamation Cases

By Lalit Ajmani  It is quite common to witness vexatious litigations that are devised solely to harass and torture the other party. Resultantly, the innocently accused person has to suffer a great ordeal of defending the criminal/civil case and sometimes gets defamed by the vexatious litigation initiated by the other, both for no reasons. Law …

Whether Section 37 of NDPS Act Renders the Provision of Anticipatory Bail Infructuous

By Nayan Grover Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (“NDPS Act”) is a Sue Generis Code and thus anything provided in this act will prevail over the general law. The offences under the NDPS Act are considered to be of more serious nature than usual and also viewed with more scrutiny by the courts. …

Three Strikes and You’re Out: Indian Criminal Legislation Needs Baseball Rules?

By Sri Hari Mangalam Introduction Three Strikes and you are out, a common baseball phrase is also the underlying principle for criminal penalties in America. The measure originally enacted to curb the increase in violent crimes across the country is as of now, centred in a few states. California passed the law in 1994, in …

COVID-19 – XIII: Domestic Violence: The Unseen Crisis of the Pandemic

By Sneha Singh  Introduction The lockdowns following the COVID-19 pandemic have surged up the number of domestic violence cases among many countries worldwide. The populations were directed to stay indoors at their respective homes as it had been proved to be an effective measure for fighting against the coronavirus. While stopping the spread of the …

COVID-19 – XII: Some Thoughts on the Ordinance to Protect Health Care Workers

By Abhinav Sekhri On 22.04.2020, Ordinance No. 5 of 2020 was passed to amend the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897. It was a response to the most recent pleas by medical professionals for greater legal protection against physical attacks. I say most recent because this issue has been raised on many a prior occasion, but it only seems to have assumed critical importance …

Gambia v. Myanmar: Critical Analysis of the ICJ Ruling on Rohingyas

By Alivya Sahay and Raj Krishna INTRODUCTION On 23rd January 2020, the International Court of Justice in a landmark ruling has directed the state of Myanmar to cease all atrocities and human rights violations against the Rohingya Muslims. It is interesting to note that for the very first time the ICJ has heard a genocide …

COVID-19 – XI: Domestic Violence: An Essential Byproduct of COVID-19?

By Pallavi Diwakar and Stuti Bhargava Introduction- Situation around the Globe “While there is no doubt as to the fact that our homes provide safety against the onslaught of this growing pandemic, what protects us from the abuse that we face at the hands of our near and dear ones?” While a lot of facilities …

There are No Right Answers: The Supreme Court and the Purity / Mixture Debate under the NDPS Act

By Abhinav Sekhri On April 22, 2020, a Three Justices' Bench of the Supreme Court decided a reference made to it in Hira Singh [Crl. Appeal No. 722 of 2017, decided on 22.04.2020]. The primary issue before the Court was the correctness an earlier decision by a Two Justices' Bench of the Supreme Court, E. Micheal Raj v. Intelligence Officer [(2008) …

Deconstructing Section 46(3) of the CrPC: A Tacit Approval for Encounters

By Keshab Roy Choudhury Introduction The concept of justice is an ever-elusive one. What exactly does one mean when they say they want justice? In the Indian context, the concept of ‘instant justice’ has entered the discourse again post the rape and murder of a 26-year-old doctor in Hyderabad last year. This ‘instant justice’, in …

COVID-19 – X: Jharkhand High Court’s Recent Bail Conditions: Improper exercise of Judicial Discretion?

By Harpreet Singh Gupta Recently, while hearing a revision petition, the Jharkhand High Court enlarged the accused on bail who was sentenced for one year for obstructing running of trains, etc. under Section 174(a) of the Railways Act. The conditions that the court put were rather interesting. The accused were directed to: (a) deposit Rs. …

Protest Petitions as a Tool to Check Unconvincing Closure of Cases

By Devangana Kuthari and Ishani Mookherjee The term ‘Protest Petition’ has not been defined under any statute in India, whether the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), 1973 or the Indian Penal Code, 1860. However, it has been accepted in practice and has been a part of the criminal procedure in India, even before independence, though with …

COVID-19 – IX: A Pandemic for the world, Antagonism for the Indians

By Nabira Farman and Utkarsh Shubham Does the Veil of Freedom of Speech & Expression Immune the Media from Penal Liabilities? INTRODUCTION When India was already blazing under the communal fire post the introduction of the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019, the novel CoronaVirus came to make people realize that this battle is not religious. It …

COVID-19 – VIII: Plea Bargaining- A Simple Solution for Difficult Times

By Nishtha Nikhil Gupta  The lockdown due to COVID-19 has impacted one and all. The courts are no exception to it. While many courts are not working, yet some others are hearing only urgent and important matters. Even the Supreme Court has been hearing only important cases through video conferencing. The Supreme Court has ordered …

COVID-19 – VII: Is the Indian Legal Framework Capable of Handling the Coronavirus Pandemic

By Devanshu Anada Introduction It was unimaginable for the government of most of the countries that a pathogen not even visible to a naked eye would have the potential to bring even the most developed countries down to their knees and their economies to a virtual standstill. As unprepared the immunity system of our bodies …

COVID-19 – VI: India’s Decaying Bail System: A Virus Exposes the Truth

By Tanay Singh and Tanya Rathod INTRODUCTION The term bail essentially means the interim release of an accused from the judicial custody and to place him/her under the custody of some monetary assurance to serve the accused person his right to enjoy the personal freedom. Granting of bail in the Indian criminal justice system has …

COVID-19 – V: Violence and Coronavirus: Saving the Frontline Health-workers

By Dhruti Lunker and Isiri S.D.   Introduction In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Union Government has announced a nationwide lockdown mandating its people to stay indoors. The Government has taken all measures to contain the spread of the deadly virus that has taken a high toll across the world. The doctors, nurses, …

Section 144 Cr.P.C. — Part V: Combating the Repressive Law (1921 to 1940)

By Abhinav Sekhri (This is the fifth post in a multi-part series. Earlier posts can be accessed through here) The previous post in this series discussed how a growing political consciousness across British India led worried administrators to use the law as a means to suppress civil liberties. Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code …

Analysing The Use Of Artificial Intelligence in Criminal Sentencing through the Loomis Decision

By Rishabh Warrier Introduction Modern times have seen our lives being pervaded by algorithms, from suggestions on Netflix to music recommendations. An area where this pervasion is seeing a stark increase is in the domain of criminal sentencing. Prisons in the United States hold more people than any other country across the world. This problem, …

Revenge Porn: Prosecution Under the Current Indian Legal System

By Aditya Krishna Introduction In March of 2018, in the case of State of West Bengal v Animesh Boxi,[i] which is widely considered the first-ever,[ii] the Sessions court in Tamluk, West Bengal, sentenced a man to five years imprisonment along with a fine of Rs. 9,000, for uploading private and objectionable pictures of a girl …

COVID-19 – IV: Infectious Diseases: Rein on Quarantine & Archaic Laws

By Ranjeet Soni and Rohit Shrivastava INTRODUCTION A clean environment is an indispensable fundamental right which is vested with all the people Article 21 of the Constitution of India. Supreme Court elucidated that any disturbance of basic environmental elements namely air, water and soil would amount to punishment. To prevent disturbance reasonable restrictions may be put …

Extra-Judicial killings: A solution for preventing crime in Adityanath’s UP?

By Amrashaa Singh The recent killing of the four accused in the Hyderabad veterinary doctor’s rape case created a huge hue and cry across the nation. While some people praised the incident, others pointed out the human rights violations caused by the incident. Many famous personalities, praised it, including Jaya Bachchan, a Rajya Sabha M.P., …

Are Rights of Victim Subservient to the Rights of Convicts: An Analysis in Light of the Nirbhaya Case

By Kartik Agarwal  India went into a state of despair on December 16th, 2012 when a 23-year-old girl was raped by six men in a moving bus in Delhi. Five of them were sentenced to death in 2013 by the Fast track court and one was sent to the juvenile justice board. The death penalty …

Section 144 Cr.P.C. — Part IV: Public Order and Political Agitation (1901 to 1920)

By Abhinav Sekhri (This is the Fourth Post in a series on the Blog. Previous posts can be accessed here) The previous post expanded upon the officers who dealt with the powers conferred under what, by 1898, was Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code [Cr.P.C.]. The post also elaborated upon the expansion of such powers …

The Probation of Offenders Act, 1958- An Extremely Crucial but Underplayed Legislation

By Shreyash Mittal Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Hate the crime, not the criminal.” Introduction The aim of the criminal justice system is the reformation of criminals rather than inflicting punishment on them. Probation is an alternative to the customary form of punishments, where instead of sending the offender into the jail; he is released on …

COVID-19 – III: Is Use of Lathi by Police During Lockdown Justified?

By Nishtha Gupta “The safety of the people is the supreme law.” -Markus Tullius, Roman statesman and lawyer The Indian state has recently faced the world’s largest lockdown wherein 1.6 billion people have been subjected to an unprecedented lockdown. This has obviously led to a certain protest in terms of people not following the lockdown …

COVID-19 – II: Lockdown and the Wave of Police Brutality

By Yashwanth J With the onset of nationwide lockdown following the COVID-19 pandemic caused by the coronavirus, various photos and videos have surfaced on the internet and the TV news channels portraying the highhandedness by the police officials against the flouters of the impugned curfew. The Government’s Guidelines on the measures to be taken by …

COVID-19 – I: Does the Epidemic Diseases Act of 1897 Call for an Amendment?

By Manan Daga The Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 (hereinafter referred to as the Act) is one hundred and twenty-three years old legislation. It was incorporated by the Britishers to fight the bubonic plague epidemic in 1896 in the Bombay Presidency.[1] This underlines a vital fact which cannot be ignored. The Act was a mechanism for …

Singapore High Court’s Judgment on Homosexuality: A Critique

By Raj Krishna and Rishika Introduction Human dignity is harmed when minority groups are marginalized. – Judge Michael Leburu On 30th March 2020, the High Court of Singapore, in Ong Ming Johnson v Attorney-General and other matters, upheld the colonial-era law that criminalized homosexuality between two consenting adults. The Court held that Section 377A of …

The DNA Technology Regulation Bill, 2019 and its Impact on Marginalised Communities

By Ashima Sharma and Nidhi Pratap Singh The DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2019 ( “Bill”) has been formulated to create a national DNA database for use in criminal investigation and civil matters. DNA technology can be used to ascertain the identity of a person and can be of use in criminal investigation …

Looking Beyond Retribution: A Plea To Abolish Capital Punishment

By Ashna D After making innumerable attempts to postpone their execution, Mukesh Singh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Kumar Singh, the four convicts in the Nirbhaya gang-rape case have been hanged to death on 20th March 2020. In recent years, there has been a heightened support in favour of imposing the capital punishment for …

A Critique of Section 62 (5) of Representation of the People Act, 1951

By Jagriti Pandey and Deeptangshu Kar   On 11th February 2020 in Praveen Kumar Chaudhary & Ors. v Election Commissioner of India and Ors., the Delhi High Court re-affirmed the constitutionality of Section 62(5) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 that deprives prisoners of their right to cast vote in elections. The Section …

The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2019 and Gender-Neutral Sexual Offences in India

By Anmol Mathur Introduction The Constitution of India guarantees all persons the right to personal life and liberty, equal protection of laws and prohibits any discrimination based on sex. The Constitution is not simply a long, celebrated, big-book of ideas on democracy and civil society, but is a tool for social change in the coming …

From A Peccadillo to Treason: How Counterfeiting Became a Terrorist Offence

By Sehaj Cheema and Kuldeep Garg Although dubbed as the world’s ‘second oldest profession’, it was not until the 20th century that the potential of currency-counterfeiting as a strategic weapon was realized. An ingenious prong of Hitler’s offence against the British consisted of efforts at smuggling counterfeit currency into their territory, and therefore, economically destabilizing …

Scope of Judicial Discretion in Sentencing

By Nipun Kalra INTRODUCTION Judgement is not upon all occasions required, but discretion always is. -Philip Stanhope Discretion is said to be the right or the power to make official decisions using reasoning and accurate judgment of the circumstances while choosing from the available alternatives. The exercise of this power is considered to be omnipotent …

South African Constitutional Court Affirms Doctrine of Common Purpose in Rape Cases

By Raj Krishna and Jagriti Pandey INTRODUCTION “Rape is a very serious offence, constituting as it does a humiliating, degrading and brutal invasion of the privacy, the dignity and the person of the victim.  The rights to dignity, to privacy, and the integrity of every person are basic to the ethos of the Constitution and …

Nirbhaya Case: An Analysis of the Cyclic Syndrome of Delay and Pendency

By Raj Shekhar and Zevesh Modi “Justice delayed is justice denied.” Abstract On December 16th, 2012 a young paramedical intern was beaten, brutalized and raped by five men and a juvenile on a moving bus. They threw her out afterwards and thereafter, she died due to her injuries and internal bleeding. This case sparked a …

Descending into the Abyss: The Denial of Bail in the KLE Students Case.

By Abhinav Sekhri   Basit, Talib, and Amir are three students of the prestigious KLE college in Karnataka. They are all in their early 20s and received scholarships to pursue their college education. They also happen to be Muslim, and hail from the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir. These students made a short video …

Apology Legislation: A Boon for an Overburdened Judiciary.

By Bodhisattwa Majumder   Apology legislation provides an opportunity for a guilty person to provide information without the fear of liability, thus strengthening the victim’s right to have accurate information.[i] The main purpose behind having apology legislation is to enable the accused to feel culpable for their actions, and offering of sympathy without the fear …

Section 144 Cr.P.C. – Part III: Expansive Powers, in the hands of many officers

By Abhinav Sekhri (This is the third post in a multi-part series on the Blog on Section 144, Cr.P.C. The previous posts could be found here and here) The previous post traced a historical arc stretching from 1861 till the end of the 19th Century to show the gradual development of Section 144, Cr.P.C. It …

Section 144 Cr.P.C. — Part II: Origins, Use, and the “Rule of Law” (From 1861 till 1901)

By Abhinav Sekhri (This is Part II in a multi-post series on the Blog. The previous post can be accessed here) In this post, the agenda is threefold: (i) offering a history of how the text behind what is Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code [Cr.P.C.], 1973 evolved during the first thirty years of its existence;(ii) showing …

Cognizance of the Case after Committal: An Analysis of the Dharam Pal Judgment

By Gopal Gour Introduction The criminal justice system works in a set of the hierarchy of institutions which make the process of justice-seeking smoother. It starts with the police and finally leads up to the court which imparts justice. For the sake of impartial and efficient working of the criminal justice system, the courts have …

Two-finger Test: Transgression into Dignity, Privacy, and more…

Aman Garg On January 29, the Gujarat High Court, in a strongly worded verdict, declared the ‘two-finger test’ to be violative of woman’s right to privacy and dignity and held the same to be unconstitutional. The Hon’ble Court noted that the said practice was in direct conflict with different constitutional and statutory provisions and directed …