Monthly Round-Up: October 2021

After a month-long hiatus brought about by technical difficulties, Law and Other Things is back with a series of articles and discussions on a range of interesting topics. Below we bring you an update on the Blog’s activities during the month of October, 2021.

Blog Posts

We started off with Amrita Vasudevan’s piece titled ‘Regulating AI in India, of Outcomes and Processesthat dealt with India’s adoption of a risk-based framework for the governance of artificial intelligence. The article covers the outcomes of adopting such an approach including endemic regulatory loss and possible crisis. It also throws light on the processes set up to enforce regulations and the concerns it raises regarding the displacement of the democratic process. This was followed by Raghuveer R. Sattigeri’s two-part piece titled ‘Demands for Structural Changes in the Supreme Court of India: A Historical Overview’. While Part 1 of the piece dealt with the history behind the demand for Institutional division of the Supreme Court and linked it to the present day context using empirical findings, Part 2 adopted a similar approach for the demand for setting up of regional branches of the Court. Next we had Raghav Ahooja’s ‘Rethinking India’s intermediary liability regime: The advent of intermediary-turned-publishers’, where the author analysed how social media intermediaries may become publishers by design with regard to curation of News Feeds, in light of the new IT Rules, 2021. The piece further looks at how such a rethinking of intermediary liability could potentially have a ripple effect across the globe. We also had Gursimran Singh Narula analysing the need for a specific vaccine law in India that lays down the rights of vaccine takers and the liabilities of vaccine makers in the piece titled ‘Need for a Vaccine Law: Resolving Liability Issues and Ensuring Injury Compensation. Finally, we had a piece titled ‘The Chinese Government’s Crackdown on the Entertainment Industry: The Advent of Cultural Revolution 2.0’  co-authored by Sukrut Khandekar and Trisha Choudhary where they critique the recent ‘Circular on Strengthening the Management of Cultural Programs and their Personnel’ issued by the Chinese Establishment, in light of International Human Rights Law.

New Scholarship

In our New Scholarship section, we bring to you recently published scholarship in the domain of Public Law as well as exciting debates on some of these publications.

This month, we continued with our discussion on Devdutta Mukhopadhyay and Apar Gupta’s paper titled ‘Jammu & Kashmir Internet Restrictions Cases: A Missed Opportunity to Redefine Fundamental Rights in the Digital Age’ published in Volume 9 of the Indian Journal of Constitutional Law. The paper analyses the Supreme Court judgements in Anuradha Bhasin v Union of India as well as Foundation for Media Professionals v. U.T. of Jammu and Kashmir, to argue how the Court’s direction in these two cases have failed to act as a meaningful check on the executive branch but provides precedential value for future litigation regarding the fundamental right to internet access. The summary of the paper by Devdutta Mukhopadhyay can be found here. We also had the first response by Sumeysh Srivastava, where the author highlighted certain key takeaways from the paper, including the problem in arguing for protection of Article 19 when the restrictions imposed are on the grounds of national security, the failure of the Supreme Court to review executive action and the evolving jurisprudence on the right to internet access in India. 

Continuing our discussion on Volume 9 of the IJCL, we also kick-started our discussion on John Sebastin and Aparajito Sen’s paper titled Unravelling the Role of Autonomy and Consent in Privacy’. The paper explores the role of consent in the right to privacy through an analysis of the Supreme Court’s recent constitutional jurisprudence. The authors provided a summary of the arguments they make in the paper which can be found here. We also had our first response to the same by Ujwala Uppaluri titled ‘Preserving Privacy after Puttaswamy II: An Invitation to Conceptual Thinking in the Constitutional Law Courtroom’. The author points out how the existence of the right to privacy was determined in total vacuum in K.S. Puttaswamy v. Union of India, and further analyses the effect this will have on the way the right to privacy plays out in practice. The author then discusses how John Sebastian and Aprajito Sen’s paper is timely and generative for those working with informational privacy. 

Lastly, we had Thulasi K. Raj provide a summary of her paper titled ‘Private discrimination, public service and the Constitution’ published in the Indian Law Review. The paper enquires into the scope of protection against private discrimination under the Indian Constitution and argues for the principle of ‘public service’, which goes further than linguistic and other interpretations of Article 15(2). The summary, as originally published in India Together, can be found here.

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