Need for the Re-Conceptualization of Human Rights in the Digital Era

Our lives are now controlled by digital technologies that subconsciously influence our judgments and have a bearing on our decisions, freedom, and perception of things. Digital technology has transformed the means through which human rights are both exercised and violated by affecting our freedom of speech and expression, association, right to privacy, and right against harassment, amongst others. The emergence and evolution of ‘digital’ rights have challenged and transformed the more traditional understanding of human rights. Undoubtedly, the digital arena is an indispensable tool for the larger public. However, we often come across information on how digital technologies are increasingly undermining human rights. Data collection, privatization, surveillance, and security are some of the issues that affect our digital rights. But what about the ripple effect caused by our digital rights on our human rights?   (more…)

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…)

The Anuradha Bhasin Judgment and the Conditional Status of the Right to the Internet

The preamble to the Indian Constitution provides for the liberty of thought and expression to each and every citizen of the country. This solemn resolve is envisaged in Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution which provides for freedom of speech and expression to its citizens. This freedom is restricted by Article 19(2) which provides for reasonable restrictions on eight grounds under which the State can encroach on a person’s freedom of speech and expression. Article 19(2) is generally understood as a provision enabling the State to make laws that impose reasonable restrictions on the freedom of speech and expression. In addition to this, Article 19(2) is also a restriction on the State itself as it cannot restrict a citizen’s free speech on any grounds other than those specifically mentioned. Furthermore, the restriction must be made through a law that needs to be checked against fundamental rights. Thus, restrictions cannot be imposed at the whims and fancies of the State. A recent case that reinforces this principle while also improvising the interpretation of the right to access the internet vis-a-vis the fundamental rights is Anuradha Bhasin v Union of India (more…)

Parliamentary Privileges: Essential for an Empowered Legislature or Abuse of Power?

The term privilege can be defined as an exemption, special right, advantage or immunity to a particular person or group of persons in a layperson’s terms. In law, privilege is an advantage enjoyed by a person or an association where people are exempted from some duty, burden, attendance or liability. Parliamentary Privileges are certain rights and immunity enjoyed by the members of the parliament and legislative assemblies individually and collectively, till the time they retain their position as a member of the legislature. These privileges are defined under Article 105 of the Indian Constitution and due to these privileges, members are exempted from any civil or criminal liability for any statement made or act performed by them in their course of tenure. These privileges are called off as soon as the members complete their tenure in the legislative body (Houses of Parliament at the Centre & Legislative Assemblies in the States). (more…)

UAPA Bill 2019

UAPA Bill, 2019 : Towards a terror free country or a flawed path?

By Tanu Singh, Ramjas College, New Delhi.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah put forward a Bill on 9 July 2019, proposing amendments in the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), 1967. On 24 July the Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha. The Rajya Sabha cleared the Bill with 147 voting in favour and 42 against. UAPA, implemented in 1967, is an Act ‘to provide for the more effective prevention of certain unlawful activities of individuals and associations and for matters connected therewith’. It assigns absolute power to the Central Government, by way of which, if the Centre deems an activity as unlawful then it may, by way of an Official Gazette, declare it so. (more…)

From Swaraj to “Poorna” Swaraj: Celebrating Gandhi

By Rabia Mohamed Ismail Abdul Rahim, NUALS, Kochi.

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

It was on the 6th of July, 1944, that Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, also known as “Mahatma” Gandhi was addressed as the “Father of the Nation” for the first time. Subhash Chandra Bose was the first to vest this title on Gandhi on a radio address. And for all the right reasons, the public wholeheartedly accepted this title for their knight in khadi attire. (more…)

Child Rights in India: The Ground Reality

By Gautam Adusumalli, Shaheed Bhagat Singh College, Delhi University.

Did you know that children constitute over a third of India’s 1.2 billion population, and that India has the largest population of children in the world? In fact, over 17% of the world’s children live in India, which means that every sixth child in the world today refers to India as ‘home’. According to the 2011 Census, India holds a population of about 430 million children between the age group of 0-18, of which about 160 million are below the age of six years, and about 270 million are between six to eighteen years of age. Not just this, an estimated 26 million children are born in India each year, according to the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation. Keeping in mind all of these facts and figures, one might be led to believe that India would probably have a very strong and a bullet-proof framework when it comes to children and their rights. Sadly, that is not the case. (more…)

Animals Win ‘Fundamental Right’ Not To Be Captive

By Surbhi Agrawal, University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Dehradun.

All beings fear before danger, life is dear to all. When a man considers this, he does not kill or cause to kill.”

Part III of the Constitution of India, 1950 deals with Fundamental Rights which is referred to as the Magna Carta of India. The Magna Carta, the first written document relating to the Fundamental Rights of Citizens, is the evidence of its success. The aim of having an assertion of Fundamental Rights is that certain elementary rights such as, Right to Life, Liberty, Freedom of Speech, and Freedom of Faith and so on, should be regarded as inviolable under all conditions and that the shifting majority in legislature of the country should not have a free hand in interfering with these Rights.1 (more…)

Freedom of Speech v. Freedom after Speech

By Sneha Baul, CLC, Faculty of Law, Delhi University.

The Part III of the Constitution of India enumerates the Fundamental Rights. Freedom of speech and expression comes under “Right to particular freedom”. The rationale of its validity is that the fundamental rights are basic structure of the Constitution. Any law that abrogates or abridges such rights would be violative of the doctrine of basic structure.[1] Article 19(1)(a) says that all the citizens shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression. (more…)

Slumber: It’s my Right!

By Prerna Tara, University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Dehradun.

Sleep is a natural and key fixing of the fundamental necessities of life. On the off chance that rest is irritated, the psyche gets muddled and it disturbs the well-being cycle. Sleep, in this manner, is a self-reviving component of our life cycle and is, consequently, part and halfway of human life. The condition of dozing is accepted by a person when he is in a safe climate. It is consequently that this characteristic framework has been inbuilt by our maker to give unwinding to a person. Sleeping structures a crucial element for solid human presence and prosperity. (more…)