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In this episode of the P39A Podcast, Dr. Amrita Ibrahim, Dhanya Rajendran and Hartosh Singh Bal discuss the institutional incentives and assumptions that inform the creation of a media ‘crime story’. The conversation explores the lens that the media adopts in reporting crime, and the perspectives it leaves out, and highlights possible paths towards a more sensitised and ethical coverage of criminality.

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It is untenable that a prisoner’s caste identity and social status are used to burden them with degrading labour and unequal treatment in a free and democratic country. Casteist roles and discriminatory practices continue to be legally validated by various State Prison Manuals even today.

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The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (POCSO) defines all persons under the age of 18 as ‘children’. By making children’s consent irrelevant to the definition of its offences, the statute creates the legal fiction that all sexual contact with a child, so defined, is non-consensual. Green argues that statutory rape offences (which criminalise sexual contact based on age alone, regardless of consent, like POCSO) are instances of overinclusive criminalisation.