Reading Time: 12 mins The US is currently having tense relations with the UN bodies; the most recent among them is the UN Human Rights Council after it passed a resolution that condemned discriminatory and violent policing and ordered a report on systemic racism against people of African descent. The Council failed to hold the US accountable for its police’s blatant violation of human rights by not calling for an investigation on Floyd’s death and other similar cases. The US has already left the Council in 2018 after accusing it of its various deficiencies. The lack of strong democratic representation has led to a better representation of authoritarian governments, which have the worst human rights records, to change the narrative of the global human rights norms. Currently, the forum is used by countries like Pakistan as a political tool with no consideration of human rights. Reforms and cooperation, rather than walking out of forums, are necessary steps to address issues like human rights.
Reading Time: 5 mins Recently, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) published its World Freedom Index 2020. It was widely discussed in India as India has dropped by two places to 142 out of 180 countries this year. India is already under a lot of criticism because of the thwarting of media voice and being unsafe for journalists. The poor ranking by RSF only strengthened the ongoing fears of journalism being unsafe in this country.
Reading Time: 8 mins With the imposition of nationwide lockdown and the resulting near-standstill in economic activity, the revenue sources of the government have taken a major hit. Both central and state governments are struggling with drying up of revenues, while simultaneously dealing with increased demand for expenditure in light of the COVID-19 crisis. However, the state governments are affected more as the bulk of expenditure takes place at the state level. Unlike the central government, many of the states depend on the central devolution of funds for its finances.
Reading Time: 5 mins On February 2020, a Lok Sabha MP stated that the government should immediately put all issues pertaining to reservations for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes in the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution so that they are not challenged in the court. This statement comes days after the Supreme Court ruled that the reservation in the matter of promotions of the public post was not a fundamental right and that a state cannot be compelled to offer quota if it chooses not to. The Ninth Schedule of the Indian Constitution, since its enactment, remains a contentious issue as its constitutionality is questioned.
Reading Time: 10 mins Though there are comprehensive provisions in the constitution and many laws have been passed to provide for the need of access to justice, the stark inequality in access to justice is one of the glaring problems of our country. Judiciary itself recognized this problem in the 1980s and the concept of Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was introduced in Indian justice system. But recently, it has been in the news as the solicitor general Tushar Mehta criticized them in the Supreme court. He said that the “Self-employment generation petitions”, as he called the PILs, must be stopped. Let us understant, Through this article, the concept of PILs.
Reading Time: 5 mins The nationwide lockdown since March 25, 2020 can potentially create food shortages and hunger issues for more than 2/3rd of the Indian population which relies on the public distribution system for affordable food. The Food Corporation of India hence becomes an important institution that can provide for this needy population during the lockdown period when all the economic activity is at standstill.
Reading Time: 9 mins The Lok Adalat is an innovative Indian contribution to the global jurisprudence. It is one of the efficient alternative dispute resolution mechanisms that have the potential to provide amicable settlements of differences. It also provides for an inclusive justice as envisaged by the Constitution of India. However, currently, this mechanism has lost public trust due to lack of resources and skilled manpower, differences among judges and lawyers and inefficiency along with the lack of consideration of public sensitivity. Thus, it is vital for structurally and culturally reform this mechanism so that it can achieve its original goal.
Reading Time: 5 mins Justice is a foundational value of the Indian value system. After Independence, it expectedly became one of the basic principles on which our constitution is based. Despite that, there is an inequality in justice delivery. The time, space, and money quotient of the current judicial process makes it imperative to search for alternate and complementary mechanisms that can make the justice delivery more accessible, democratic, and effective. The formation of Gram Nyayalayas is such one step.
Reading Time: 8 mins Courts are an essential service for civil society. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the courts across India have gone into an urgent-only, online-only mode with electronic filings, email mentions and online hearing for select cases via video conferencing/audio facilities. This is a necessary step to the already burdened judiciary to dispose of the pending cases before the lockdown is lifted. Many have readily adapted to this swift change during these trying times. However, the concept of e-court or a virtual court still has limitations and issues, though the scopes are many. Therefore, necessary solutions must be put forth so that the concept of e-courts is made permanent to certain hearings.