Fifty one shades of speech

The Daily Guardian

Over the last few days, “hate speech” has become the talk of the town because some have taken offense to the contents of a certain programme which, they believe, target a particular community. While the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, and the Hon’ble Supreme Court, are simultaneously, and perhaps incongruously, seized of the case, it may be worthwhile to understand the relationship between speech, culture and public morality. In the interest of fair disclosure, this author is appearing on behalf of a few Intervenors in the proceedings before the Supreme Court.…

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Etching the contours of public morality

The Daily Guardian

The sum and substance of these discussions is that under the framework of the Indian Constitution, it is the State, meaning thereby the Executive and the Legislature but not the Judiciary, which has the power to invoke public morality within reasonable bounds for the purposes of placing reasonable restrictions on fundamental rights guaranteed by Part III…

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Is Article 32 available against the judiciary?

The Daily Guardian

In the previous piece, this author had demonstrated through application of principles of interpretation and with the aid of Constituent Assembly Debates (CAD) that the Judiciary does not fall within the meaning of “the State” for the purposes of Article 12. This effectively leads to the conclusion that the Judiciary does not have the Constitutional mandate to interfere with fundamental rights…

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Is judiciary part of the ‘State’ under Article 12?

The Daily Guardian

On the basis of this history, it can be reasonably stated that Part III of the Constitution, which deals with fundamental rights and the remedies to enforce them, has been crafted with a view to protect fundamental rights from unreasonable and summary abridgement by legislative and executive bodies of all grades who form the “State”. The role of the judiciary is limited to exercising its power of judicial review under Articles 32 and 226 to assess the constitutional validity of such State action. …

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Constitutional morality, public morality and moral diversity

The Daily Guardian

The pith and marrow of this discussion is that constitutional morality may be invoked on the basis of the provisions of the Constitution to question the conduct of the State and to identify the metes and bounds within which the State must operate.…

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Constitutional morality versus public morality

The Daily Guardian

In the last piece, this author had highlighted the views of Dr. Ambedkar on “Constitutional Morality” as expressed in the debates of the Constituent Assembly on November 4, 1948. While his views on the subject cannot be interpreted as being representative of the entire Assembly, at the very least what can certainly be inferred is that one school of thought represented by Dr. Ambedkar interpreted constitutional morality as translating to respect for the values as embodied in and by the Constitution, both by the State as well as the people.…

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Dr. Ambedkar on constitutional morality

The Daily Guardian

There are quite a few myths that abound in relation to the Indian Constitution, in particular in relation to its preparation and its nexus with the Government of India Act, 1935. Contrary to popular perception which gives the impression that the Constitution is the product of a solo act, the history of the framing of the document tells us that the first draft of the Constitution was prepared by the Constitutional Advisor to the Constituent Assembly, Shri Benegal Narsing Rau.…

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Shri Ram janmabhoomi: Reconciling truth & secularism

The Daily Guardian

The Bhoomi Pujan ceremony performed at the Shri Ramjanmabhoomi in Ayodhya two days ago has predictably evoked diametrically opposite reactions from various quarters. These reactions include celebrations by those who succeeded in proving their case before the Allahabad High Court as well as the highest Court of the land after struggling for half a millennium to secure justice in their civilizational homeland…

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The places of Worship Act 1991, decoloniality and indigenous rights

The Daily Guardian

The Bhoomi Pujan for the proposed Shri Ram Temple in Ayodhya is scheduled to take place in five days, marking the culmination of a five-century old indigenous movement to reclaim a site which is of both religious and civilizational importance…

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For God’s Sake

Openthemagazine.com

On July 13th, a Bench of the Supreme Court of India comprising Justice U.U. Lalit and Justice Indu Malhotra delivered a historic verdict in the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple case. The verdict was delivered in two special leave petitions and a writ petition preferred against the judgment of January 31st, 2011 of the Kerala High Court…

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