Articles by Gautam Bhatia
The Broadcasting Bill aims to provide a modern legislative framework, but there are concerns because its framework replicates a command-and-control model
‘Review bombing’ is distasteful and unethical, but government intervention can have a chilling effect on free speech
Rajasthan's gig workers law mandates transparency in gig companies' transactions and creates a welfare board for gig workers
A new bill to select the CEC and ECs has sparked a row. But the real issue with the legislation is that it cedes control of the body to the executive
The SC’s decision to grant bail to Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira attempts to infuse some measure of due process into the stringent provisions of UAPA
Delhi Riots cases have tested the commitment of the judiciary to upholding personal liberty. The SC can clarify on the law and protect personal liberty.
The Uttarakhand saga revealed a gap between the law on hate speech, and what happens on the ground. Here, law enforcement and higher courts must play joint role
The Law Commission has recommended that sedition be retained in the statute books. But it fails proportionality and incitement tests, making it unconstitutional
The HC’s judgment, which reaffirmed the right to protest, is an excellent example of the judicial safeguarding of rights against executive impunity
It provides lessons in how the judiciary should respond when faced with invocations of national security and sealed covers by the State. The real test, however, will be when the next case comes before a court somewhere in India
The curative hearings were an opportunity for the victims of the tragedy to have their day in court. It was incumbent upon the SC to parse their claims with care and rigour. Instead, however, the SC did the opposite.
Rajasthan announced that the state will enact a law for the protection of gig workers. Why is this necessary? Because, at present, gig work exists in a legal vacuum.
The judgment is neither activism nor judicial overreach. Parliament can take up alternative appointment processes for ECI but will have to secure institutional independence
A recent order passed by additional sessions judge Arul Varma on February 4 is an excellent illustration of how trial courts can serve as that first line of defence
Its observations — evictions cannot be done without a rehabilitation plan, and there must be proper consultation with the people — stem from a fundamental realisat-ion that ‘encroachments’ are a result of the State’s failure to provide shelter to all citizens
The starting point of the discussion should not be whether India needs a UCC, but how to ensure every Indian is governed by a gender-just civil code of their choice
The Madras high court’s judgment, thus, strikes an important blow for individual freedom against State impunity. It reminds us that, for all our criticism of the courts, an independent judiciary is the surest bulwark against authoritarianism
A closer look at the provisions reveals some serious shortcomings within the proposed legal framework.
The Centre criticised the Supreme Court’s system of picking judges and accused it of judicial activism. Such criticism is fair to an extent, but it requires more nuanced deliberation than what is being offered at present
Apart from depriving the accused of the liberty they were entitled to by virtue of the HC’s reasoned judgment, the order sends a signal across the judiciary, ie, that the sanctity of procedural safeguards under UAPA is negotiable, at best.
It is important to note that while some courts across the world do live-stream proceedings, a great many don’t: In taking this decision, therefore, the SC is one of the judiciaries that has provided global leadership on this significant issue
The hijab case raises several issues about Muslim women students’ right to education, the meanings of secularism, tolerance, and accommodation under the Constitution, fostering diversity and pluralism in classrooms, and the limits of State power
Several issues regarding the spyware case need to be addressed, including why the SC sealed the report and why the State chose not to cooperate during the committee’s pursuit of the truth. As a matter of public interest, accountability and action must be non-negotiable
The fundamental issue lies in the word freebie, which has no clear definition, making it susceptible to misuse and selective targeting of welfare measures
In its present form, the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act does not adequately respect bodily autonomy and reproductive choice
Anti-blasphemy statutes and the legal bar on hate speech are clumsily worded, can’t distinguish between the dissenter and the hatemonger or between speech that is uncivil and illegal
There are several outstanding issues with the regime of foreigners’ tribunals: Extens-ive State control over members, dubious use of evidence, and declaring thousands of people foreigners ex parte
Home demolition in response to allegations of rioting is akin to medieval wars where armies would poison wells of villages that were suspected of harbouring enemy soldiers, so that soldiers and innocent civilians would be deprived of water
Where does speculative fiction go in a dystopia? New genres suggest that the most likely directions are upward and onward, through stories that champion hope and optimism, collective action, and the promise, at least, of a future less bleak.
It places the privacy of individuals at the mercy of the State; allows for the retention of personal data of convicted individuals for lifetime; and goes against the best practices of data protection