Draft Environmental Impact Assessment, 2020: Should environmental disaster be the cost of development?

As the name suggests, EIA is supposed to assess the environmental impact of development projects, to minimize the adverse effects of development on the environment. As per the International Association for Impact Assessment, Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is “the process of identifying, predicting, evaluating and mitigating the biophysical, social, and other relevant effects of development proposals before major decisions being taken and commitments made”. The significance of EIA also lies in the fact that public consultation is an important aspect of the assessment decision. This means that while an expert committee is to make the final decision about the impact of a project or activity, the people who are directly affected by the said project, also get to present their opinions and concerns regarding the same, which must be taken into consideration before concluding the EIA proceedings for a project. (more…)

The Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection, and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018: Rescued or Victimized into Rehabilitation?

Human trafficking has plagued society for ages. It is the usage of force and exploitation of individuals for purposes such as slavery, sex work, and other illegal activities translating into an infringement on an individual’s human rights, with women and children being those at the highest risk of being victims of trafficking. Every country that acts as an origin, intermediary, or final place of the process is considered as one that harbors this socio-economic evil. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has stressed the importance of legislation as a means to curb the practice of human trafficking. It has stated the need for member countries to implement domestic laws. It also recommends that these laws be flexible in nature and comprehensive in definition to aid their efficiency. (more…)

Privacy: The Laid Jurisprudence and Contemporary Challenges

Living life with dignity, encapsulated in the rights such as privacy, which is for all to enjoy, is the victory of democracy. The article highlights some of the salient features of privacy rights and takes a step back to analyse the status of privacy rights in its current form. On 24 August 2017, a nine judge bench of the Supreme Court of India in Justice K.S Puttaswamy v. Union of India passed a landmark judgement declaring the Right to Privacy as a fundamental right protected under the Indian Constitution. It is a natural right subsisting as an integral part to the fundamental right to life and liberty, inherent in Articles 14, 19 and 21. (more…)

Parliamentary Privileges: Essential for an Empowered Legislature or Abuse of Power?

The term privilege can be defined as an exemption, special right, advantage or immunity to a particular person or group of persons in a layperson’s terms. In law, privilege is an advantage enjoyed by a person or an association where people are exempted from some duty, burden, attendance or liability. Parliamentary Privileges are certain rights and immunity enjoyed by the members of the parliament and legislative assemblies individually and collectively, till the time they retain their position as a member of the legislature. These privileges are defined under Article 105 of the Indian Constitution and due to these privileges, members are exempted from any civil or criminal liability for any statement made or act performed by them in their course of tenure. These privileges are called off as soon as the members complete their tenure in the legislative body (Houses of Parliament at the Centre & Legislative Assemblies in the States). (more…)