Law


The Sen Impeachment: Parliamentary Overreach? Law

“Why Justice Sen did not see the light earlier and submit his resignation well before the Rajya Sabha voted overwhelmingly in favour of his impeachment, only he can explain,” The Hindu Editorial (Sen and Sensibility, September 6, 2011) wondered. The answer is quite simple. Justice Sen perhaps never thought that the motion for his removal would pass through the Council of States (Rajya Sabha) the...

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Rushdie Controversy: Silencing the ‘Substandard’ Law

On October 5, 1988 we banned a book called ‘The Satanic Verses‘ without reading it just nine days after it was published in the United Kingdom. Nine days? Shouldn’t it take much longer to import, ‘decipher’ the ‘unreadable’, and make a decision? It wasn’t published in India and was yet to be formally marketed in this country. So, what did we ban? It’s import under...

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Irretrievable breakdown: Supreme Court in breach of ‘stare decisis’? Law

When a two-judge Bench of the Supreme Court ruled that irretrievable breakdown of marriage was not a ground for divorce, it not only ran contrary to the spirit of the law but also breached the principle of ‘stare decisis’. In the recent case of Vishnu Dutt Sharma v. Manju Sharma (Civil Appeal no. 1330 of 2009; decided on February 27, 2009), the Supreme Court dealt...

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Divorce: Irretrievable breakdown needs no legislative reaffirmation Law

It is not the existence of a legally recognized ground but the occurrence of an irretrievable breakdown that is the indispensable prerequisite for the grant of divorce. Irretrievable breakdown is, thus, an inbuilt condition that needs no further affirmation from the legislature Dead marriages need a ‘death certificate’ to be buried for good, which is what divorce actually is. Courts do not kill marriages. Most...

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The ‘breakdown’ story Law

A realistic hypothetical story closely resembling a number of cases and demonstrative of the tumultuous insides of a modern Indian marriage. An educated, bright and ferociously independent girl is married to a successful young professional from an affluent and reputed business family. After two years of marriage and a baby boy, the wife finds herself unable to live with a husband who is perpetually distrustful....

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Eve-teasing and the Law: The ‘Cute’ Cancer Law

Statement 1: “Main aapko bike pe ghumaunga. Hum badi aish karenge…Ice cream bhi khilaunga.” (“I’ll take you around on bike. We’ll have lots of fun. Will also get ice cream for you.”) – A 4-year-old boy to a distant female relative of 24 (twenty four). Statement 2: “Didi, aap bahut sundar ho. Main bada hokar aapse hi shaadi karoonga.” (“Sister, you are very pretty. When...

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HOMELESS SCANDAL Law

Justice Sabharwal has been accused of serious ‘judicial misconduct’ and quite an enviable amount of space has been given to it in the newspapers, it being a serious issue besides its having invited sentences for the ‘courageous’ journalists who splashed it across the front pages of a tabloid as a juicy news item. The charges are quite serious and bring higher judiciary into disrepute, which...

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