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  • Author: Mani Shankar Aiyar
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: Elected three times to the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Indian Parliament, and nominated by the President to Rajya Sabha, the upper house, for a further six years, Aiyar has served for 21 years in the Indian Parliament, been conferred the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award (2006), and been a Cabinet Minister for five years (2004-09). He has authored seven books, including Confession of a Secular Fundamentalist, and edited the three volumes of Rajiv Gandhi’s India.
  • Topic: Religion, Law, Democracy, Citizenship, Religious Law, Secularism
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Ajit Prakash Shah
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: India International Centre (IIC)
  • Abstract: One subject that has been rankling me greatly for the past several months, and, I am sure, many of you, too, is that of the accountability of judges. The immediate trigger for my selecting this subject was, of course, the allegations made by a former employee of the Supreme Court of India against the present Chief Justice of India (CJI), and the events that followed. Over the past few months, several people have expressed concerns about how the judiciary must deal with such cases, and the accountability mechanisms that exist to monitor the judiciary in its actions. The issue still remains unanswered, and the incidents that took place reveal the many weaknesses in the in-house mechanism that is employed for resolving such matters. Without passing judgement on the truth or falsity of the allegations, I must admit there are certain stark facts that stand out which demand consideration. A permanent employee of the Supreme Court of India was removed from her post on the flimsy allegation of availing casual leave for half-a-day, and protesting against her seating arrangement. Her relative was dismissed from the same service soon thereafter. She made allegations of sexual harassment against the CJI, in response to which an unusual hearing took place on a Saturday, without a petition having been moved. In what was termed as a ‘Matter of Great Public Importance Touching upon the Independence of the Judiciary’, the person holding the highest judicial office in the land sat as a judge on his own case. Three judges attended that hearing, but the order that emerged was surprisingly signed only by two of those three, with the Chief Justice choosing to abstain.
  • Topic: Law, Supreme Court, Accountability, Judiciary, Legal Sector
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Prabha Sridevan
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: India International Centre (IIC)
  • Abstract: This is a sharing of my journey as a lawyer and as a judge, and about the right to dignity. This right precedes the Constitution; it probably dates to when we became homo sapiens and expected to be treated with dignity. In our Preamble, ‘We the people’ solemnly resolved to secure to all citizens, Justice, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. Fraternity, which is the least understood term, assures the dignity of the individual. But first, let me tell you how I became a lawyer and about that journey. Was it easy becoming a lawyer, and then a judge? people ask me. It was, in a way, and therefore my experience is not the standard sample case for other women. I joined law college 13 years after my basic degree, my marriage and my children. It was only because my husband was a lawyer. After I got enrolled, I had no trouble finding an office, because I joined my husband’s firm. I learnt the work along the way, not really expecting to head the office. And the clients who came to our office did not really see me either—I was ‘invisible’. They headed straight to the male juniors. I can’t blame them, they probably thought that this lady is there for what is politely called ‘tax purposes’. Slowly, they accepted me, and realised I actually ‘worked’. This went on comfortably and I trundled along.
  • Topic: Law, Memoir, Legal Sector
  • Political Geography: India