Demystifying the Supreme Court’s judgment in the Ayodhya dispute

Taanya Trivedi

In a historic judgment by the Honourable Supreme Court of India (SCI), the Court put to rest a volatile dispute dating back to 1885 that has been “a flashpoint of continued conflagration,”[1] which has caused enormous loss of life and has unleashed sectarian violence across the country. Continue reading

Rape as a Crime versus Rape as a Punishment: What is going on in India?

Written By Garima Tiwari

Indian village council orders sisters to be raped and paraded naked after their brother elopes with married woman.[i]

This recent news and few other similar incidents evoke a number of sentiments. Of course, it is an illegal order with no statutory backing, yet it is an order of the “members of the society” or as are called “Kangaroo Courts” . And it raises pertinent issues about the perception of women in India within a complex web of Caste, Culture, Religion and a family –community system still very patriarchal. While the Nirbhaya Delhi Gang rape case is still sore and the Government’s “security regime” -in place, headlines of “sentencing to rape”, create a mismatch in legal and societal standards. This post loosely  puts forth ideas on how the simple formula of merely punishing the offender does not even look like a step forward in acknowledging the deep seated problem in a complex society like India. Continue reading

The Death Penalty in India – Necessary?

Author: Kirt Agarwal[1]

India retains capital punishment for a number of serious offences. In December 2007 India was among the minority of countries who voted at the United Nations General Assembly against a moratorium on executions. India retains the death penalty as punishment for a number of crimes including murder, kidnapping, terrorism, desertion, inducement to suicide of a minor or a mentally-diminished person and has more recently in 2013 come to include the offence of rape in certain circumstances. It is mandatory for second convictions for drug trafficking offences. Continue reading

Respecting Victims of Terrorism in Nigeria

Author: Tosin Osasona

If the Chinese proverb that “a picture is worth a thousand words” is right, then should pictures not be used more cautiously than words? When are nauseating images of gore and dead bodies’ offensive and when are they necessary? Has the mobile revolution moved death from the taboo closet that the African culture has kept it in for ages to the open? What is the effect of the repeated publication and circulation of graphic images on public consciousness? Is the dead entitled to the right to be treated with dignity? At what point do the dead stop being just mere news item and object of morbid fascination and become human? These and some other questions were thrown up by the images that surfaced after the Abuja bombing of April 14, 2014[i] and the recent school bombing in Potiskum, Nigeria.[ii] Continue reading

The Rule of Law and Human Rights in Iran

Author: Regina Paulose

“Study the past if you would define the future.”[1]

This year Iran submitted its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) report to the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council. In its report it detailed legal principles which are supposedly given to Iranians. Among the principles presented were the “prohibition of torture,” the “right to legal counsel,” and the “presumption of innocence.” The remainder of the report makes no mention of any necessity or potential reform of its legal system. Continue reading