A Division Bench of the Bombay High Court on December 1, 2021 passed an order in the Bhima Koregaon violence case (Sudha Bharadwaj v. National Investigation Agency), granting ‘default bail’ to lawyer-activist Sudha Bharadwaj, but denying bail to the eight other co-accused.
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.
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.
As security agencies continue to indiscriminately invoke provisions of the Act, courts must remember to adopt interpretations jurisprudentially closer to the principle of ‘bail, not jail’. By looking beyond the facts of a given case, the courts are likely to create a more equitable, and accessible, system of justice and ensure opportunities to do complete justice are not missed.
One of the most extensively debated topics in philosophy and science emerges from the tussle between free will and determinism. This debate has been the subject of numerous films and has added complexity to the storytelling.
Shabnam and her partner Saleem were sentenced to death in 2010 for the murder of seven members of Shabnam’s family. Over the years, all aspects of Shabnam’s life have become a public spectacle: from the “saga” of Shabnam and Saleem’s “bloody and murderous love” to her pregnancy and the birth of her son. As recently as March 2021, a mainstream news media channel reported on an incarcerated Saleem writing couplets in the memory of Shabnam, deemed his “Anarkali”.
Evaluating aggravating and mitigating circumstances facilitate determining just sentences. Disregarding the crucial role mitigating circumstances play in the process is a bad precedent: it encourages a narrow reading of the law that supports increased (and not necessarily fair) punishment by Courts across the country.
This episode of the 39A podcast discusses the science behind forensic DNA profiling and its scientific and legal practice in India. The conversation further looks at the DNA Technology (Use & Application) Regulation Bill, 2019 and how the current version of the Bill overlooks the issues with the forensic science system currently functioning in India.
Criminal law practitioners from different parts of the country share their experiences on the varied approaches undertaken by each jurisdiction in dealing with the challenges posed by the pandemic and the impact of the transition from physical to online proceedings on access to justice.
In this episode of The 39A Podcast, Professor Vijay Raghavan and Dr. Anup Surendranath discuss the institutional imagination of prisons in India and the manner in which it has interacted with the COVID-19 pandemic. The conversation looks at whether the measures taken by prisons to control the pandemic were at best management strategies and failed to incorporate ‘right to health’ perspectives.