Roshni Act: Understanding the Contours of the Land Development Scheme of J&K

The Jammu and Kashmir State Lands (Vesting of Ownership to the Occupants) Act, 2001 was enacted to vest the ownership rights to the occupants of the State Land with an ambitious objective of meeting the chronic power crisis of Jammu and Kashmir. Since the object of the Act was to use the proceeds of the transaction to fund the hydroelectric projects in J&K, it popularly came to be known as the Roshni (Light) Act. The author, in this paper, has analyzed and elucidated the provisions that are relevant for understanding the Roshni Act along with the various amendments. (more…)

Legal Journey of Section 377- A Relentless Battle of Expression and Recognition

By Abhiudaya Verma, Research Associate, Policy

The legal fight in Singapore against Section 377A of Singapore Penal Code, which can be called a close counterpart of the Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), is set to go further. On March 30th, 2020 the High Court of Singapore dismissed the plea to declare section 377A of Singapore Penal Code as unconstitutional. While upholding the law that criminalises homosexual activities between males in Singapore, the country’s Supreme Court judge also made few remarks in the Indian context saying ” I am unable to agree with the reasoning of the Indian Supreme Court given that the court appeared to have accepted a wider meaning of what constitutes “expression”, extending beyond verbal communication of ideas, opinions or beliefs”. The Indian Supreme Court on 6th September, 2018 ‘read down’ Section 377 of the IPC, making consensual sexual activity between adults no longer a criminal offence, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. For a country like India where “public decency” and “morality” have subjective interpretations and have time and again influenced court judgements, it was a fairly long and tough legal battle for arriving at this historic verdict. We have tried to trace the origins and the path that this legal battle took against Section 377 by enlisting a brief  history of its legal journey. (more…)

Contradiction of Reservations under the Indian Constitution

By Jhalak Nandwani, Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar.

Indian Constitution gives us the right of equality, and the freedom to exercise this right. However, in today’s time, one of the major hindrances to this equality is the Reservation System. This reservation system was worked on, at the time of the drafting of our Constitution, and it was decided that the system will be followed for an initial period of 10 years, to help the backward classes and provide them with adequate opportunities for their development in all spheres of life. But several extensions of this 10 year period have since been made, and the reservation system is still in existence! (more…)

Juvenile Justice Act 2015: A Ground-breaking Adoption or a Dicey Alteration

By Anjana Mohan, Symbiosis Law School, Pune.

After years of constant discussion and arguments on whether to replace the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 and giving an apt description to who is a child and how can a child in conflict be tried under different scenarios of committing heinous crimes after the infamous gang rape that took place in Delhi in 2012 and how the juvenile involved was treated, the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 was finally adopted on the 15th of January 2016. The following gives a brief about the various rules and regulations introduced by the new Act and the analysis of the same to find out if there lies a need to substitute the existing rules with more acclimated ones to suit the morality of law. (more…)

Struggle for Dignity: The Voice of Queer Peripheral

By Ankit Sharma, Siddhartha Law College, Dehradun.

 “Why is it that, as a culture, we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands?”
                                                                                                                                             Ernest Gaines

Should the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender collectively known as ‘THE LGBT’ community in India continue to remain in the shadow of criminality? The de-criminalisation of homosexuality is now a myth. The Supreme Court of India has overturned a reading of Section 377 of Indian Penal Code and refused to review it or even to peruse it. Could this intolerance go so far as to allow for state tolerated slaughters against queer people? Or will it restrict itself to “merely” vigorously opposing the repeal of Section 377? Will this be going to Parliament to figure out the rights of LGBT community? Can’t Parliament take action? These are few questions which are yet to be answered. These questions reminds me the dilemma during the emergency when the SC fell in line in the Habeas Corpus case to hold that Indira Gandhi could even suspend the right to life, has it let down the cause of personal liberty as much as it has done in the Naz Foundation Case on 11.12.2013.[1] (more…)