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…)

Law and Policy

Understanding the Law and Policy Interface in India

For delving deeper into the domain of Public Policy it is necessary to fully understand the interface between law and policy. However, when deciphering the policy landscape concerning the law, several questions dealing with the interrelation of law and policy tend to confuse us. To simplify and demystify the law and policy interface, let’s try to understand this interface, through our contemporary laws and policies. (more…)

The Policy Troupe: Chamba Deliberation

Learnings at The Policy Troupe: Chamba Deliberation (1st-2nd June, 2019)

We were at Chamba on the 1st and 2nd of June, 2019 for the second edition of The Policy Troupe. The city is spread out on both sides of the ‘Chaugan’ with an outstanding view of the snow capped mountains at the farther end of the street. The market area running adjacent to the District Court and several government offices makes the place look self sufficient. However, owing to the poor access, connectivity and a lack of basic amenities in the city, it’s easy to understand why Chamba is recognised as one of the most backward Districts of India. (more…)

Of Law and Policy…

By Tanya Chandra, Founder, LexQuest Foundation.

At LexQuest, we have come to believe that thus far, our most well received articles are the ones which are purely legal in nature, and delve deeper into various facets of a certain aspect of law alone. Now, we know fully well that the dearth of good legal literature has always been an issue. So, if our law centric pieces serve as the means to make this landscape even slightly better, through the much needed ingenuity of a legal write-up, we are glad to be of use.

However, when it comes to the law and policy interface, where we set out to spread awareness in the space of policy implications of a law and/or vice versa, people aren’t too enthusiastic about this knowledge base.I believe that the interface between law and policy is something we all often misconstrue or only understand in fractional terms. However, if we dig a little deeper, as a matter of fact, any policy can only come to fruition, when laws are in place for the same. Therefore it’s not that “good policy” alone can define the interlink between law and policy, because our most effective policies along with the most ill-conceived ones, originate only through our laws. (Think DBT Schemes vis-a-vis the idea of Welfare State, think Aadhar vis-a-vis Right to Privacy, think Swachha Bharat vis-a-vis Right to Life, think Social Security Schemes vis-a-vis the Preamble, et al.).

I wonder, if and when the aforementioned occurs as the most obvious fact and/or revelation to one and all, why the ignorance and apathy towards making room for this interface? Which section of our people is duty bound to understand, analyse and question the policies that serve as a crucial medium for us to assess the legislators’ intentions and abilities? Do the Legal Professionals deem such information invaluable as they don’t often need it at work? Does our reluctance spring from the belief that such interface is the breeding ground for mud-slinging and hence an utter waste of time?

Either way I think we are selling ourselves short here. If you believe that dwelling upon this space for any longer than what can afford you a Social Media comment/like, is unnecessary, I would say let’s rewind and play. Probably your Sixth grade Civics book amazed you a bit more than that, when you were told for the first time (out and about by your teacher) that India is the largest democracy in the world and that our Republic’s reputation for “free and fair” elections is a case study for many.

May be remembering that gawky eyed child, could reinvigorate the adult in you so, that the next time you want to shrug off a well intended piece of writing in the domain of law and policy, you would instead find a reason to pause and ponder. Because, even as the vox populi turns questionable, voices need not vanish.

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