Monday, May 17, 2021


Kahler v. Kansas: Insanity and the Historical Understanding of Mens Rea

The decision in the recent case of Kahler v. Kansas before the SCOTUS involves important issues in criminal jurisprudence. In this paper, an attempt has been made to trace the nuances of the different forms of defence the insanity plea can take and the practical implications of the same against the background of the Kahler [...]

The Enduring Gaps and Errors in Capital Sentencing in India

In the forty years since Bachan Singh upheld the constitutional validity of the death penalty in May 1980, there have been numerous concerns about the fate of the death penalty sentencing framework laid down by the majority. Inconsistent application, interpretational errors, and judge-centric decision making have dominated these concerns [...]

How Stereotypes about Indians are used to promote Abortion Restrictions in the United States?

Many state legislatures in the United States have passed restrictions on abortion for purposes of selecting the sex of the child. Advocates for these bans are using the widespread crises of sex-selective abortion in India to push for the prohibitions in the U.S. They argue that immigrants from India abort female fetuses [...]

Crimes by Children in Conflict with the Law – Heinousness, Acceptability, and Age of Adulthood: A Comprehensive Critique of the Present Juvenile Justice System

The underlying nature of the Juvenile Justice system has undergone a substantial change with the adoption of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015. The new Act has widespread implications on the manner in which children in conflict with the law are understood and treated [...]

Admissibility and Proof of RTI Documents under the Indian Evidence Act

The Right to Information Act, 2005 (‘RTI Act’) is frequently used in civil and criminal litigation to obtain government documents. However, the RTI Act is silent about the admissibility and proof of such documents in a trial. High Courts across the country have interpreted the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 and handed down conflicting decisions in this regard [...]

An Empirical Assessment of the Collegium’s Impact on Composition of the Indian Supreme Court

With an analysis of data spanning over seventy-two years, we have highlighted how the collegium has altered the composition of the Supreme Court. While the regional diversity of the court has improved in a relative sense, professional diversity in the court has deteriorated alarmingly [...]

The General Executive Power of the Union of India and the Commonwealth of Australia: A Comparative Analysis

The substantive content and ambit of the general executive power of “the Union” of India and of “the Commonwealth” of Australia, provided for in Article 53 and section 61 respectively of their constitutions, is a most significant issue confronting constitutional law in both India and Australia. Reference is made to “general” executive [...]

Carbon Tax as Discrimination: Revisiting the Legal Standard of National Treatment in WTO Law

This paper explores the possibility of an alternative take on the current understanding of the GATT national treatment obligation, especially in the assessment of the possible discriminatory impact of a carbon tax [...]

Insider Trading: Circumstantial Evidence is Evidence Enough?

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (‘SEBI’) is under constant pressure to secure the integrity of the securities market while also ensuring that development of the securities market is not deterred by its overreach [...]


A Critical Reappraisal of Bonus Laws in India

The article first highlights the concerns with bonus distribution in India which is constrained heavily due to the determination of bonus payments being based on profits generated by the businesses. The article then proceeds to explore the problems with the set-off and set-on rule prescribed in Section 36 of the Code which carries forward the bonus payments to the succeeding year, thereby withholding the employee’s rightful payment for that year.

Concept Note – XIV NLSIR-Samvad Partners Symposium: Strategising A Healthcare Framework for India: Headways, Dilemmas, and the Way Forward

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the gaping vulnerabilities in the country’s public healthcare system. States struggled to ramp up their healthcare facilities, hospitals were quick to run out of beds, the costs of medical facilities and drugs rose steeply, and many individuals belonging to socio- economically vulnerable communities were unable to access healthcare facilities. Apart from these structural issues, a few specific issues stood out. These very issues are the focus of the XIV NLSIR-Samvad: Partners Symposium. Through this Symposium, we hope to address some of the pressing concerns relating to India's public healthcare system and hope to reconceptualize the country's healthcare framework in a holistic manner.

Reimagining the Limits of the Co-Conspirator’s Exception to Hearsay in India

Courts have favoured a restricted interpretation of section 10 and have limited its application to things said or done during the pendency of the conspiracy. Such interpretation is based on the presumption that section 10 embodies a rule of common responsibility that is based on the theory of agency.

Calcutta and the ‘Real’ Last Jury Trial in India

In NLSIR Online’s latest piece, Professor James Jaffe sheds light on the ‘real’ last jury trial in India, which he argues came thirteen years after Commander K. M. Nanavati’s murder trial in September 1959. He states that film, television, and the print media has retained for Bombay’s Nanavati trial, a unique but unwarranted position in legal, historical, and popular lore. Professor Jaffe traces the “real” last jury trial in India to the less glamorous and more dangerous streets of Calcutta to the case of communist activists Prakash Chandra De and his brother Rabindranath, who were tried for the murder of Dipak Sarkar in 1967.

ARCs cannot be Resolution Applicants under IBC — Says Who?

The author argues that ‘ARCs can be resolution applicants within both IBC and SARFAESI frameworks, provided they act within their permitted realm of activities’. In doing so, the piece examines the merits of RBI’s objection by analysing the position of ARCs as resolution applicants under the IBC and SARFAESI framework and concludes that the public discourse is heading in the wrong direction. The question, she says, is not whether an ARC can submit a resolution plan, but what restructuring measures can be resorted to in an ARC’s resolution plan?

Anti-Conversion Laws: Lessons From Pakistan

The relatively older anti-conversion laws have broadly defined forced conversion as conversion through inducement, force, or other fraudulent means. However, the recent anti-conversion laws enacted by the States of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand also include conversion before and after marriage under the ambit of forced conversion.

Legal Frameworks And Their Impact On Housing Affordability

This piece argues that the problem of affordable housing in major Indian cities is a function of the legal restrictions on the use of land. Regulatory restrictions inhibit the appropriate use of land for housing in metropolitan cities in India. We argue that in order to increase the affordability of housing in metropolitan cities in India, such restrictions need to be significantly liberalised through appropriate legal modifications.

Introductory Note: Jumpstarting the Study of Constitutional Amendment

At their core, amendment rules reflect both faith and distrust in political actors: they authorize alterations to the constitution, though they limit how and when constitutional modifications are permissible. Given the many functions served by these essential rules of amendment, we would expect constitutions to entrench them, and indeed almost all of them do.

A Research Agenda For The Future Of Constitutional Amendment

How should constitutional designers build the rules of constitutional amendment? Surprisingly and unfortunately, scholars have offered few answers to this all-important question. Constitutional designers are instead left with few resources to which they can turn for guidance in constructing the procedures of constitutional change. My recent book on Constitutional Amendments: Making, Breaking, and Changing Constitutions (Oxford University Press, 2019) is an effort to help.