Gautam Bhatia
Articles by Gautam Bhatia

Sabarimala case: It’s not a struggle to defeat religious faith

The Sabarimala case provides the Supreme Court with a chance to bridge the gap between the constitutional ideals and our social reality.

In this file photo dated November 18, 2013, devotees wait at Lord Ayyappa temple, Sabarimala. The Supreme Court has said women have the constitutional right to enter Sabarimala temple in Kerala and pray like men without being discriminated against(PTI)
Updated on Jul 23, 2018 06:59 PM IST
ByGautam Bhatia

Preventive detention must be used judiciously

Dalit leader Azad’s year in jail without bail or a trial throws a sharp light upon the Indian Constitution’s original sin: a compromise made by the framers in 1950, which has haunted the polity ever since

A protester shouts slogans demanding the release of Dalit leader Chandrashekhar Azad in New Delhi. Azad is in jail for more than a year now without a trial.(AP)
Updated on Jul 03, 2018 03:11 PM IST
ByGautam Bhatia

Why the Supreme Court’s verdict after Karnataka polls is critical for India

In doing so, it further cemented a strong past record in preserving the democratic process, and set an important precedent for the future

Senior Congress leader and lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi speaks to media personnel after a court hearing on Karnataka issue, outside Supreme Court in New Delhi, May 18(HT Photo/HT PHOTO)
Updated on May 29, 2018 08:42 AM IST
ByGautam Bhatia

The law on adultery is asymmetric

Section 497 of the IPC is clearly out of step with the founding ideals of the Indian Constitution, which —among other things — guarantee equality before law and non-discrimination on account of sex

In recent judgments, involving the employment of women as bartenders or as make-up artists, the Supreme Court has made clear that invidious sexual distinctions founded on generalisations or stereotypes about the nature, character and abilities of the sexes are inconsistent with the Constitution(AP)
Published on May 17, 2018 03:33 PM IST
ByGautam Bhatia

Supreme Court cannot take a Janus-faced approach to personal liberty

We need to have a debate about the correctness about the Supreme Court’s judgments in the Section 498A and SC/ST Act cases, and about the protection of the innocent from a criminal justice system that is often brutal, biased, and targeted against the most vulnerable in society

A file picture of the Supreme Court in New Delhi. If, in its judgments on Section 498A and the SC/ST Act, the apex court adopted the perspective of the innocent individual wrongly arrested, in its judgments on anti-terror laws, it adopted the perspective of the guilty man standing ready to misuse the procedural safeguards of criminal law.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)
Published on Apr 25, 2018 11:48 AM IST
ByGautam Bhatia

The arguments made against making marital rape a criminal offence are not valid

In striking down the marital rape exception, the court will not be creating a new crime, or trespassing into the domain of Parliament. It will be holding that an artificial immunity from criminal law, created by an 1860 law, can no longer survive constitutional scrutiny. And more importantly, it will be realising the promise of the privacy judgment – a further step towards individual dignity and autonomy.

Marital rape: Image for representation only(iStock))
Updated on Apr 02, 2018 12:18 PM IST
ByGautam Bhatia

Indirect discrimination: Rules and laws are never really ‘neutral’

Indirect discrimination refers to a situation where a rule or a practice that is seemingly “neutral” or “colour-blind”, nonetheless has a disproportionately adverse impact upon a set or group of people

Jawaharlal Nehru signs the Constitution on 24 January 1950.(Photo Division / PIB)
Published on Feb 23, 2018 12:08 PM IST
ByGautam Bhatia

Why does a woman’s religious identity in India still depend on who she’s married to?

At the heart of the Goolrokh Gupta case are two issues: first, who decides religious faith; and second, whether an inter-faith marriage could deprive a woman of the right to continue practicing her old religion

A Parsi lady prays at an Agiary in Dadar, Mumbai. The Goolrokh Gupta vs Burjor Pardiwala case has given the Supreme Court a golden chance to reaffirm a very basic proposition: that religion cannot serve as a cloak to deny women equal status under the Constitution(Kalpak Pathak / Hindustan Times)
Updated on Jan 18, 2018 02:23 PM IST
ByGautam Bhatia

The Transgender Persons Bill sends out a message of subordination and exclusion

The bill makes the recognition of transgender identity conditional upon a certificate issued by a district magistrate and the recommendations of a “screening committee”. What if you had to come before a medical officer to prove that you were actually a man or a woman, before society recognised you as such?

A protest in New Delhi against the trans bill at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Sunday, December 17(Arvind Yadav/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Dec 22, 2017 05:18 PM IST
ByGautam Bhatia

Hadiya has the Constitutional right to make her own choices

To every adult citizen, the Constitution proclaims: “The State is not your keeper. Your family is not your keeper. You are free to make your choices, and yes – free also to make your mistakes.”

Hadiya at the Supreme Court after the hearing in New Delhi on Monday, November 27(Vipin Kumar/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Nov 28, 2017 08:05 PM IST
ByGautam Bhatia

Dissenting judgments ensure that the Constitution is a living, breathing document

We must celebrate the tradition of dissent that continues to flourish at the Supreme Court. A dissent is not only an “appeal to a future intelligence”, but a sign of what is possible: if one judge can be convinced today, then tomorrow, perhaps two, or three, or even four might be.

A dissent is a crucial reaffirmation of fundamental rights and constitutional values at the moment when the Supreme Court, the guardian of the Constitution, appears to have abandoned them(Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Updated on Nov 20, 2017 06:24 PM IST
ByGautam Bhatia

Delhi can either go the industrial way or become a green city

With its patterns of over-expansion, Delhi can either go the industrial way or set an example by becoming a green city writes Gautam Bhatia

Updated on Aug 24, 2015 01:39 AM IST
ByGautam Bhatia

Being original isn’t in Indian DNA

Indian mind is so used to ‘borrowing’ from other cultures, that the assumption that native skills are incapable of producing anything of value, still lurks, writes Gautam Bhatia.

HT Image
Updated on Oct 28, 2007 04:03 AM IST
None | ByGautam Bhatia, Mumbai

I, me and all that I flaunt

A watch that’s a phone. A phone that’s a camera. In an age where luxury rules over utility, more and more status-seekers are making mass-produced style statements, writes Gautam Bhatia.

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Updated on Jun 24, 2007 12:13 AM IST
None | ByGuest column | Gautam Bhatia

Hoisting the saffron flag

To be part of the wealthy Diaspora in the US means that you can assert your Hindu identity without fear of repraisal. Indian Americans are staunch supporters of the Hindu Rashtra, writes Gautam Bhatia.

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Updated on Jan 28, 2007 12:06 AM IST
None | ByGuest column | Gautam Bhatia

My home, my ishtyle

Homeowners in Delhi take great interest in the exterior of their homes only because they wish to exhibit their idea of architectural style to the street, writes Gautam Bhatia.

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Published on Dec 31, 2006 02:38 AM IST
None | ByGautam Bhatia

Sim cities

Following the current trends in global architecture will lead to all cities looking the same. A mishmash of various forms of architecture will make it impossible for a city to retain its character.

HT Image
Published on Jan 24, 2006 11:31 PM IST
None | ByGautam Bhatia

Excavating Hindutva

If a group of villagers were to stage a dharna outside the Rashtrapati Bhavan, claiming that the Lutyens building was built on the site of their ancestral village on Raisina Hill, would the high court help them to demolish the president?s house?

HT Image
Updated on Mar 31, 2003 06:00 PM IST
PTI | ByGautam Bhatia
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