National Laws on Free Speech and the Internet

By Sanya Darakhshan Kishwar, Central University of Bihar, Gaya.

“Give me the liberty to know, to utter and to argue

freely according to conscience, above all liberties”

— John Milton

But stop and think a while is it all to give full freedom of speech and expression to a person or citizen. Is it correct in its literal, metaphorical, political or democratic sense to release a citizen of all the bounds of laws and set him free to exercise his speech in the arena of amphitheater? To asses this we have to first know what actually FREE SPEECH is… (more…)

Honour Killing: Honourable or a licence to kill?

By Sagarika Chandel, KIIT School Of Law, Bhubaneswar.

November 15th 2014, a final year student from a reputed college of Delhi University strangulated to death by her parents for marrying a youth of a different caste. November 29th 2014, an eight months pregnant teenager strangulated to death by her brothers and thrown into a canal in Meerut. September 18th 2013, a girl was lynched by her own family and her paramour beheaded publicly by the girl’s parents and uncle as “no regrets” was said by the remorseless father of the deceased victim. April 2012, a 26 year old teacher was killed by her mother, brother and uncle as she wished to marry a boy belonging to a different religion and a lower caste. In June 2007, six men murdered a newly-wed couple for marrying outside their ‘gotra’ in Haryana after the village elders accused the couple of violating the code of conduct relating to marriage.

The above mentioned cases, shamefully, do not even account for a handful of the total cases of honour killing in India. More than 1000 young individuals in India are condoned to death every year owing to ‘Honour Killings’.  (more…)

Child Labour in India

“When my mother died I was very young, and my father sold me while yet my tongue could scarcely cry “Weep! Weep! Weep! Weep!”, so your chimneys I sweep and in soot I sleep.”[1]                                                                                                                                                                     -William Blake

Blake, explaining the hardships of a young chimney sweeper reflected on the issue of child labour rampant during the 18th century in England.

Records of child labour as servants in domestic households of noblemen can be traced throughout the human history though it reached its extremes with Industrial Revolution in the late 17th century in England. Peter Thonemann of Wadham College, Oxford, in Children in the Roman Empire, states that slaves and children of lower birth in the Roman Empire started to work as soon as they were physically capable of doing such work.[2] For example, “The tombstone of Quintus Artulus who died at the age of four at the silver mines of Banos de la Encina in Andalusia, depicts the child in a short tunic, barefoot, carrying the tools of his trade, a miner’s axe and basket.”[3], exhibiting the existence of child labour during ancient Roman and Greek civilizations. In the Indian context, child labour has existed in the country since times immemorial as children and their parents used to work together in the farms for it served the purpose of training children for their future. (more…)

Should Juvenile Justice Law be changed?

By Madhvi Chopra, VIPS, GGSIPU, New Delhi.

A “juvenile” means a person who has not completed eighteen years of age. A boy or girl under eighteen years of age is a “juvenile” according to the Juvenile Justice Act (JJA), 2000.

Earlier, according to the JJA, 1986, the age of boys and girls were different, but however, the JJA 2000 which repealed the JJA, 1986, brought the age of male juveniles at par with the female juveniles. Another reason for increasing the age of male juveniles by the JJA 2000 is to bring the Indian juvenile legislation into conformity with the ‘United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)’. Article 1 of CRC states for the purposes of the present Convention, a child means every human being below the age of eighteen years unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier. Therefore, both the boys and girls below the age of eighteen years enjoy the protection of juvenile legislation. (more…)

Decriminalisation of Suicide

By Riya Singh, New Law College, BVP, Pune.

Suicide has been declared as a crime in many countries. Most of the western countries have already decriminalised individual suicides, calling it a defiant act. Hence, it is discouraged in every possible way. In countries like Rome and Japan it was seen as a kind of defiant act that violates the personal freedom. A person who commits suicide is not within the reach of law; the problem arises in matters like corpse of the person, distribution of his property. His family members have to suffer a lot. This matter has been covered by legislation of some countries. (more…)