In September, the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Act 2021 came to force, addressing the limitations of abortion laws in India. The case, Meera Santosh Pal vs Union of India, further exposes the issues with the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act 1971 and explains why there was a desperate need for an amendment. Harsha Singh writes a case analysis for Meera Santosh Pal vs Union of India. Harsha also highlights other such cases that visibilised the issues with the 1971 Act.
While necessary for access to law, personal laws in India simultaneously present a challenge to fundamental rights, often leading to injustice. Especially in cases where the right of one minority is pitted against the other. Kumar Aditya revisits the Constituent Assembly Debates and their conundrum over Uniform Civil Code and personal laws in India. Kumar follows from international conventions and treaties and presents a strong case for codifying personal laws in a way that’s voluntary and harmless to any religion.
Despite how consistent and common marital rape in India is, the idea of gender equality falls flat on its face when marital rape is given a subtle nudge from law, society and customs. The immunity to marital rape, too, like many other parts of the Indian code, is a British legacy, which can be traced back to the Jurist Mathew Hale, who laid the grounds for ‘marital immunity’. Aeshita Singh understands the recent Kerala High Court Judgment, which treats marital rape as a ground for divorce and then traces back to laws and social morality.
‘Tera Naam’, ‘Toilet: Ek Prem Katha’, ‘Ranjhana’ are a few examples of glorification of harassment in Bollywood movies. Most of these movies and their perspectives are marked by a patriarchal mindset and masculine lens, often romanticising the victim’s trauma as an act of ‘falling in love’. Tejaswi Shetty studies such performances of stalking and harassment potent in contributing to crime against women. She also understands the role of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and how they could be effective.
The legality of live-in relationships in India is quite muzzled. While there’s no legislation defining live-in relationships in India, the judiciary hasn’t been averse to the idea. So even though it’s pretty common now, no legal protections are extended to couples as the state does not legally recognise the relationship. The subject offers a conundrum for the couple and often act as an impediment to access social security. Alekhya Sattigeri writes about the legal status of live-in relationships in India, detailing the judiciary’s stance on the same.
While the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Act 2021 garnered praise, abortion in India is still a question of morality concerning many religions. Even though India promulgated the Medical Termination Act in 1971, it was fraught with issues that were left unaddressed. Is the amendment successful in undoing the fallacies of the principal Act? What has been the role of the Indian Judiciary in this respect? Rujuta Joshi writes about the history of legalising abortion in India. She moves from the making of the MTP Act 1971 to the promulgation of MTP (Amendment) ACT 2021.
She also discusses the role of the Indian Judiciary, society and several administrative issues, which kept India from realising a woman’s choice and agency over her own body.
Words like misogyny, patriarchy, male dominance, sexism and many more are synonymous with gender inequality. No matter their weight, these words can never be exhaustive of a women’s experience with discrimination. The language of subordination is often controlled by masculine figures. In its place, we bring to you the language of resistance narrated by women in the courtrooms. In a survey conducted by Lawctopus and Academike, several women voiced their interactions with the law and society. By Sanya Arora and Sonali Chugh.
By Prerna Murarka, fourth-year law student, ILS Law College, Pune.
By Avantika Dowry means any valuable security given at or before the marriage by one party to a marriage to the other party to
By Shubhangi Tripathi ‘An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth’ is what we have assumed retribution to mean in the literal sense.
By Ayush Choudhary, Amity Law School Centre-2 Noida Editor’s Note: The aftermath of the Nirbhaya Rape case in December 2012 was an overaching amendement to s. 376
By Anonymous Editor’s Note: Gurus, or teachers have always been thought of as the most noble, most selfless beings. They have always been thought of
The nation-wide outrage over the brutal gang rape and subsequent death of the physiotherapy intern in India’s very own capital city, New Delhi was the driving force behind the passing of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013. It has been known all over as one of the most concrete steps taken by the Indian government to curb violence against women. Major amendments by the Act, not only widen the ambit of certain offences but also recognise new offences like acid attacks which earlier lacked a specific provision and definition in the Code. The Act is deemed to be one of the most important changes that have been made in the existing criminal laws namely the Indian Penal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Indian Evidence Act.
Due to some social structures, traditions, stereotypes and attitudes about women and their role in society, they become particularly vulnerable to certain crimes. Fundamentalist groups often center on controlling women, using cultural arguments against women’s rights. Moreover, most women in developing countries are unaware of their basic human rights. It is this state of ignorance which ensures their acceptance and, consequently, the perpetuation of harmful traditional practices affecting their well-being and that of their children. Even when women acquire a degree of economic and political awareness, they often feel powerless to bring about the change necessary to eliminate gender inequality. Therefore, empowering women is vital to any process of change and to the elimination of these harmful traditional practices.
Sex related offences are a universal phenomena, which take place in every society in different circumstances and social settings. It may take the form of sexual violence, which sometimes cause severe and irreparable damage to the physical and mental health of the victims. Physical injury includes an increased risk of a range of sexual and reproductive health problems. Its impact on mental health can be equally serious as that of physical injury. Sexual offences, when they assume the form of sexual violence may lead to murder, suicide, acute depression, etc. of victims. It entirely disturbs the social well being of the victims because of stigmatisation and the consequential loss of status in their families and the neighbourhood. Theredore, it is vital that measures are introduced to end India’s tolerance of violence against women and girls. Policy and legal reform are needed to address the pervasive and damaging stereotypes surrounding rape. However, as the author has aptly put it, we must look beyond the natural human desire for retributive justice to seek comprehensive solutions, including sex-offender treatment programmes and restorative justice approaches that provide a true and lasting legacy of change.
By Gayatri Loomba The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata Editor’s note: Female foeticide is the gory practise of sex-selective abortion, which renders
By Tarunya Shankar Editor’s note: India recently decriminalized prostitution, making the profession legal but retaining brothel ownership as illegal. This afforded protection to women from
Tarunya Shankar Editor’s note: Prostitution and all activities related to it including solicitation, offering, and so on, have been deemed criminal offences by the State