Discussing Volume 9 of the Indian Journal of Constitutional Law

As part of our New Scholarship Section on our Blog, we have been inviting discussants to respond to specific articles. The authors will also respond to these pieces if they choose to. The earlier series can be found here, here and here. The fourth part of our discussions under the New Scholarship series around public law themed articles will include pieces featured in the recently released Volume 9 of the Indian Journal of Constitutional Law. IJCL’s editorial board had previously introduced Volume 9 of the journal here. This post will link the responses to the Articles from this Volume of IJCL.

  1. The first piece we take up for discussion is from Rangin Tripathy and Chandni Kaur Bagga. Rangin completed his Fulbright Post-Doctoral Fellowship from Harvard Law School (2019-20) and currently teaches at National Law University Odisha. His research primarily focuses on issues related to constitutional governance and civil liberties. Chandni has done her LL.M in Constitutional Law and her B.A., LL.B. (Honours) in Criminal Law in 2017 and 2014 respectively from National Law University Odisha. She is currently pursuing her Doctoral Degree from NALSAR University of Law. Her areas of interest are Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, Women Centric Laws and child rights. 

    Their article titled “Who Are Our Judges? Assessing the Information Disclosure Practice of Indian Supreme Court Judges” can be accessed here.

    The abstract of the article reads as follows:

    “Judges in India often expect the public to trust their capacity and integrity. The requirement of public trust in judges is not simply a question of what the judges desire but is an essential element of the democratic structure. We argue that it is insincere to expect the public to trust judges when people have limited information about them. Just as voters deserve information about the candidates to make an informed choice, people need information about the judges they are expected to trust. We contend that judges have the primary responsibility to adopt robust disclosure practices and share more about themselves. It is based on a simple premise that the people are not obligated to trust a public functionary and it is the job of the public functionary to generate trust. In this paper, we have examined the disclosure practices of the judges in the Supreme Court of India and have found a pervasive reluctance in judges to disclose essential educational and professional details.”

    1. Mr. Rangin Tripathy and Ms. Chandni Kaur Bagga disuss their paper here
    2. In their response piece, Deepika Kinhal and Shreya Tripathy add two propositions to the article: first, that the disclosures made by the judges should not be limited to information regarding their careers before assuming office; obligation for periodic disclosure is necessary in respect of their financial assets and their performance while in office. Second, that disclosure obligation should be placed on the judges both in the higher judiciary (Supreme Court and High Courts) as well as the District judiciary (district courts and below). You can find the response here. 
  2. The second piece up for discussion is from Abhinav Sekhri. Abhinav Sekhri is a lawyer, primarily practising criminal law in New Delhi. He regularly writes about Indian criminal law and procedure in scholarly journals, newspapers, and at www.theproofofguilt.blogspot.in.His article titled “Article 22 – Calling Time on Preventive Detention” can be accessed here.

    The abstract of the article reads as follows:

    Part III of the Indian Constitution guarantees various fundamental rights to persons, and also details various regulations for the deployment of preventive detention laws by the Union and States. The alacrity with which preventive detention has thus been deployed as a law enforcement tool has alarmed some, and the politically motivated use of these powers is what has often attracted the most criticism. But amidst this clash of arms, surprisingly little problem has been found with the constitutional scheme that regulates preventive detention law. This essay takes aim at Article 22 of the Constitution and argues that the minimum threshold it sets for legislatures is painfully inadequate. Rather than safeguard individual liberty against legislative tyranny, I argue that Article 22 is suborning these ideals instead. Is it time, then, to rid the Constitution of Article 22? And, dare I say, time to finally question as Indians our glibness at the detention of thousands without trial every year

    1. The summary of the article can be found here.
    2. In her response, Shrimoyee Ghosh makes observations about Abhinav Sekhri’s approach and discusses salient points emerging from it. She then points out the ritual invocation of incarcerated Kashmiris, and emphasises the constitutionalised deprivation of liberties in Kashmir as key to understanding the subject explored by the article. You can find the response here.
    3. Abhinav Sekhri’s response to Shrimoyee can be found here.
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