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Project 39A recommends four Indian films – Court (2014), Visaranai (2015), Jai Bhim (2021) and Aakrosh (1980) – which center the experiences of the most marginalised members of society with the criminal justice system, and raise critical questions about the interaction between state power and structural inequality and its impact on justice delivery mechanisms.

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The presumption of innocence is a traditional principle of Indian criminal law. Generally speaking, every accused person is presumed innocent until proven guilty by the State. But some Indian statutes deviate from this principle. These deviations are a component of a larger move towards “special” criminal laws to deal with “extraordinary” offences which, it is sometimes suggested, ordinary criminal law cannot adequately deal with.