Articles

26 Articles
11

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.

13

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.

13

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.

10

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”.

9

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.

11

The Constitution of India is a document of aspiration. Conceived as what recent scholarship has called a “break from the (colonial) past”, it is accepted knowledge now that the Indian Constitution aspired to establish a state that aimed to replace colonial authority with a democratic republic and that aimed a state-led revolution against an oppressive social order.

8

In 2019, the Ministry of Home Affairs commissioned the All India Citizens Survey of Police Services (‘AICPS’). It is a nationwide public perception survey aimed to suggest measures to ‘provide citizen centric police services’ in India. Its scope includes an assessment of the impact of police services on the public, gauging perceptions of safety and suggestions on measures to improve public satisfaction of the police.