2018/Issue 6

Juris Diurna

16th June to 30th June


Issue 6

Hi, welcome to our legal newsletter Juris Diurna, we publish this newsletter fortnightly.

Magazine Cover of a Woman Breastfeeding is not obscene: Madras HC

The court dismissed a writ petition filed by Felix M.A., which contended that the front cover of the Malayalam fortnightly magazine ‘Grihalakshmi’ that portrayed a woman breastfeeding her child was obscene.  Justice Dama Seshadri Naidu pointed out that ‘what may be obscene to some may be artistic to others’ and used the Contemporary-Community-Standards test to hold that the publication of this picture did not constitute any offence that will affect the society’s moral fabric

Further reading:

  1. Apoorva Mandhani, “One Man’s Vulgarity Is Other Man’s Lyric”: Kerala HC Refuses To Declare ‘Breastfeeding Woman On Magazine’s Cover’ As Obscene, LiveLaw.in (June 20, 2018).
  2. Vishnu Varma, Kerala High Court on breastfeeding woman on magazine cover: As the beauty lies in the beholder’s eye, so does obscenity, The Indian Express (June 22, 2018).
  3. Sneha Mary Koshy, No Regrets, Says Model ‘Slut Shamed’ For Breastfeeding On Magazine Cover, NDTV (June 21, 2018).
  4. Michael Safi, Kerala magazine challenges India’s breastfeeding taboo, The Guardian (March 1, 2018).
  5. India breastfeeding magazine cover ignites debate, BBC (March 1, 2018).
  6. The Wire Staff, Magazine Cover of a Woman Breastfeeding Not Obscene: Kerala HC, The Wire (June 22, 2018).

Debate on the prospects of Justice Gogoi being the next Chief Justice of India begins

In light of the four dissenting judges’ conference against the present CJI Deepak Misra, held on 12 June, speculations have arisen on whether or not Justice Gogoi would be recommended as the next CJI. Considering the possibility of governmental involvement, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad remarked that “the procedure established by law would follow and there was no reason to think otherwise.”

Further reading:

  1. Maneesh Chhibber, Not CJI Misra, constitutional morality & law will ensure Justice Gogoi is next top judge, The Print (June 25, 2018).
  2. Apoorva Mandhani, “No Reason To Doubt Our Intentions”: Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad On Justice Gogoi’s Appointment As Next CJI, LiveLaw.in (June 18, 2018).
  3. Legal Correspondent, All eyes on Ranjan Gogoi, next in line, The Hindu (January 12, 2018).
  4. FE Online, Who will be the next CJI after Dipak Misra? Justice J Chelameswar expresses this concern, Financial Express (April 8, 2018).
  5. PTI, Legal experts optimistic about Justice Ranjan Gogoi being named next CJI, Business Standard (June 25, 2018).
  6. Vaksha Sachdev, How is the Chief Justice of India appointed?, The Quint (June 30, 2018).

Election Commission asks Facebook to Block Ads 48 Hours Before Polling

The Election Commission, on June 27 asked the social media giant to block political advertisement during the last 48 hours before elections in the country. The request stems from Section 126 of the Representation of People Act, 1951, which prohibits displaying any election matter by means of television, or similar apparatus, 48 hours before the hour fixed for conclusion of poll. Facebook also agreed to examine the possibility of increasing the number of reviewers from the current 7,500.

Further reading:

  1. Julia Carrie Wong, ‘It might work too well’: the dark art of political advertising online, The Guardian (March 19, 2018)
  2. Matthew Rosenberg, Nicholas Confessore and Carole Cadwalladr, How Trump Consultants Exploited the Facebook Data of Millions, New York Times (March 17, 2018)
  3. Alexis C. Madrigal, Will Facebook’s New Ad-Transparency Tools Protect Democracy?, The Atlantic (May 10, 2018)
  4. Russel Brandom, Facebook’s new political ad policy is already sweeping up non-campaign posts, The Verge (May 29, 2018)
  5. Naomi Nix, Facebook Faces Criticism of Ad Policy from Global Publishers, Bloomberg (June 11, 2018)
  6. Siladitya Ray, Facebook offers to take down election content when MCC is in effect: Report, Medianama (June 28, 2018)

Upholding Digital Privacy, The US Supreme Court Held That A Warrant Is Generally Needed To Track A Person’s Location Over An Extended Period Of Time

In a narrow verdict, the US Supreme Court has held that a warrant was required only in the cases wherein the suspect had a legitimate privacy interest in records held by a third party. The majority judgement, authored by the Chief Justice John Roberts, focussed only on the unique nature of cell phone locational information, as the locational whereabouts of a person for longer periods of time could also reveal personal information like their familial, political, professional, religious, and sexual associations. He also also added that a warrant-less search might be justified in situations which require urgent action and emergencies. Legal experts have criticised the judgement by citing the serious risk it creates for grave issues of crime and investigation and the very important and useful nature of cell-phone records.

Further reading:

  1. Apoorva Mandhani, Privacy Prevails: Police Generally Need Search Warrant To Obtain Cell Phone Location Info: US Supreme Court [Read Judgment], LiveLaw.in (June 22, 2018).
  2. Greg Stohr, S. Supreme Court Bolsters Mobile-Phone Privacy Rights, Bloomberg Quint (June 22, 2018).
  3. Adam Liptak, In Ruling on Cellphone Location Data, Supreme Court Makes Statement on Digital Privacy, The New York Times (June 22, 2018).
  4. Lawrence Hurley, Supreme Court restricts police on cellphone location data, Reuters (June 22, 2018).
  5. Nina Totenberg, In Major Privacy Win, Supreme Court Rules Police Need Warrant To Track Your Cellphone, National Public Radio (June 22, 2018).
  6. Kate Fazzini, Supreme Court ruling requiring warrant for cellphone searches could lead to a flood of lawsuits, CNBC (June 25, 2018).
  7. Rahul Matthan, India should make clear laws on data collection, Livemint (June 27, 2018).

US Supreme Court Upholds Trump’s Travel Ban

The US Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled in favour of the President’s travel ban on people from six Muslim-majority countries – Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The Court refused to uphold the injunction placed by the 9th Circuit Court and sent the case back for review, asking the latter court to hear the case on merits of the ban. The Court based its determination on the ground that the ban fell within the scope of the presidential authority under the Immigration and Naturalisation Act.

Further reading:

  1. Sabrina Siddiqui, Why the supreme court’s travel ban ruling may not be a win for Trump, The Guardian (Jun 26, 2017)
  2. Dahlia Lithwick and Mark Joseph Stern, SCOTUS Splits the Travel Ban Baby, Slate (June 26, 2018)
  3. Kristen W. Ng, S. Supreme Court Upholds President Trump’s Proclamation on the Travel Ban, National Law Review (June 28, 2018)
  4. Opinion, SCOTUS Focuses on Letter of Law, Not Context, in Upholding Travel Ban, Sputnik News (June 27, 2018)
  5. Scott Detrow, Mara Liasson and Scott Horsley, Analysis: The Impact Of The Supreme Court’s Decision To Uphold Trump’s Travel Ban, National Public Radio (June 26, 2018)
  6. Andrew Rudalevige, The Supreme Court’s ‘travel ban’ decision is what you’d expect if this were a normal presidency, The Washington Post (June 27, 2018)
  7. Philip Bump, How a 1944 decision on Japanese internment affected the Supreme Court’s travel ban decision, The Washington Post (June 26, 2018)


Domicile Reservation in India: Denial of Opportunities and Compromise with Diversity

By Tushit Mishra

The author discusses various precedents and highlights the need for policy makers to discuss and consider the merits and demerits of the domicile based reservation if they want to overhaul the current system.

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We thank Bhavisha Sharma and Vishal Rakhecha for their assistance in collating the data, and Benjamin Vanlalvena for designing this newsletter.