Posted in Sexual Harassment

Creating a Safe Work Environment –Best Practices to Deal with Sexual Harassment at Workplace

“Giving women equal rights and entire nations are more stable and secure. Deny women equal rights, and the instability of nation is certain.”

                                                                                                            -HILLARY CLINTON


The very Indian Constitution provides right to equality to both women and men. Women have equal right to choose any profession and area of work or business activity. But in practice, women are discriminated against both in their homes and outside their homes.

Discrimination, on most of the times, includes elements of harassment and violence against women. Though the economic liberalization has provided a lot of job options and opportunities to educated women, and availing the same women are coming out of their homes to work in the profession of their choices. And presently, women are more career-oriented than ever before.

The above-mentioned socio-economic change has brought positive changes in the lives of women in the sense that a working woman feels economically independent and liberated. But at the same time, it has also increased the vulnerability of women for the crimes such as sexual harassment at workplace. Still, the things that keep on hovering over my mind regarding the equality of women pings me to think over these following questions that whether being a girl is a punishment? Is being a girl means losing her own self-respect and still working for her family, for others? Is being a girl means to spend her life in just four walls of her house?

The questions above being asked are because of the irrational and undesirable behaviours of men in and outside homes, which every second girl has to face daily in her routine life. This kind of unexpected behaviour is known as Sexual Harassment.

What is Sexual Harassment at Workplace?

To portray it very simply, it can be understood as an unwanted direct or indirect sexual contact, remarks or conduct on part of the male colleagues against their women colleagues at any workplace. Thus, sexual harassment at workplace includes both physical as well as mental aspects. Though it is difficult to put forth what constitutes sexual harassment at workplace but the Supreme Court of India has defined it in the case of Vishakha v. State of Rajasthan, 1997 as:

“Any unwelcome sexually determined behaviour (whether directly or by implication) as physical contact and advances, a demand or request for sexual favours, sexually coloured remarks, showing pornography or any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature.”

Thus the above-mentioned definition under the Vishakha Guidelines cases makes it crystal clear that any unwelcome sexually coloured behaviour by a male against a female employee will be treated as sexual harassment at workplace.


Sexual harassment is intimidation, bullying or coercion of a sexual nature, or the unwelcome or inappropriate promise of rewards in exchange for sexual favours. Gender equality in all dimensions is a basic human right and the Constitution of India (“Constitution”) guarantees all its citizens equality of status and opportunity.

  1. Sexual harassment is considered as a violation of a woman’s fundamental right to equality, which right is guaranteed by Articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution. Workplace sexual harassment creates an insecure and hostile work environment, thereby discouraging women’s participation in work and adversely affecting their social and economic growth.
  2. The Constitution also provides every citizen the ‘right to practice or carry out any occupation, trade or business’.
  3. It includes the right to a safe environment, free from all forms of harassment. India’s first legislation specifically addressing the issue of workplace sexual harassment was enacted in 2013. The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 (“Prevention of Workplace Sexual Harassment Act”) was made effective from December 09, 2013 by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, India[1].


On the crux, The Prevention of Workplace Sexual Harassment Act extends to the ‘whole of India’ and stipulates that a woman shall not be subjected to sexual harassment at her workplace. It can be said that though we now have a specific law to prohibit sexual harassment at workplace apart from already existing landmark guidelines of the Supreme Court of India but the menace cannot be controlled until and unless the mentality of males, in general, would not change. Until and unless the basic human dignity of women is not recognized and respected by men, no law will be effective. It is imperative that constitutionally guaranteed principles of equality among both the genders do not remain only empty words but also upheld in practice.

[1] The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 (“Prevention of Workplace Sexual Harassment Act”) was made effective from December 09, 2013 by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, India.


Priyal Kothari


Priyal Kothari is a competitive, diligent, hardworking and adaptive law student currently pursuing law from Bangalore Institute of Legal Studies and has chosen law as a career path for its veracity and scope which has thousands of opportunities for intellectuals to succeed in this field.  Open to accepting new challenges and willing to gain practical knowledge and experience for carving a niche in the field of law. Apart from being into this field of law she has a great interest towards the world of writing and has written various articles and research papers too which has definitely given her a better insight. She has interned at Indus Towers Ltd., Shetty and Hegde, Kharliya and Associates, Singhvi and Co., and Mehta Chambers which definitely been an enthralling experience. Among this busy canvas, life’s commitments, personal accordance and passion coupled with the taste of happy and bitter things became and actually are the artist of her life with different colours of strokes getting widened and stretched day by day.

Posted in Critical Analysis, IP Law

Patent on Human Embryonic Stem Cells: A Critical Legal Study

As time and science move forward, the law struggles to keep pace while, at the same time, resisting change in order to maintain stability.”[1]

Human embryonic stem cells (HES cells) is the most sensational discussed topic in present form not only by the biologists who discovered them but also by the medical professional, media, ethicists, governments, Lawyers and politicians etc. These ‘super cells’ have a major clinical potential in repairing tissues, with their proponents it is believed that they represent the future relief or cure of a wide range of common disabilities, such as replacement of defective cells in a patient by transplantation of the HES cells, which would restore the normal functioning of the defective cells.[2]

Associated patent law issues have been a growing concern with the invent of new developments in biotechnology, since the 1980s. Human embryonic stem cell research, as one of the most controversial among all the subcategories within the general field of biotechnology, is receiving different patent system treatment in different countries.[3] That stem cells that involve the destruction of human embryos are not patentable, which was held by the European Court of Justice in October 2011. This landmark judgment provides an interpretation of the term “human embryo” that takes account of current scientific developments. The case had its origin in Germany, where Dr. Oliver Brustle had applied for a patent on brain stem cells (neural or glial progenitor cells) and the processes for producing them from embryonic stem cells. He claimed that such cells could help treat neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s disease. The patent was granted by the German patent office.[4]

The clinical research environment in India is currently undergoing a tremendous change, with regulators coming under stern criticism from the press, public and the elected government. There are the new ICMR-DBT (Indian Council of Medical Research – Department of Biotechnology) draft guidelines on stem cell research which divided the research into three categories, this follows:

  1. Permissible Areas of Research:
    • In-vitro studies on established pluripotent stem cell lines may be carried out with review and approval of ICMR.
    • An Umbilical Cord stem cell bank could be established with the prior permission of the Competent Authority and following guidelines for collection, processing and storage etc.
  2. Restricted Areas of Research:
    • Studies on chimaeras where stem cells from two or more species are mixed and introduced into animals, including primates, at any stage of development and differentiation. This would require the proper approval of Concerned Authority.
    • The stem cells which were derived from the donors and identity of such donors should be readily accessible or might be known to the investigator.
  3. Prohibited Areas of Research:
    • Any kind of research related to human germline genetic engineering or reproductive cloning is prohibited.
    • Breeding of those animals should not be allowed in which any human stem cells have been introduced at any stage of the research development.
    • Research directly involving to any non-autologous donation of any stem cells is also prohibited by virtue of law to a particular individual.

To explore the possibilities of clinical applications using stem cells, through basic research on all types of stem cells i.e. embryonic, adult and tissue is essential. National agencies are pro-active in supporting and promoting this area.

However, there are many challenges in current stem cell research such as non-availability of human resources of adequate expertise. The laws and institutions that regulate the use and ownership of biotechnology in India are multifaceted and complex. Moreover, these laws and institutions are still very incipient and subject to contestation. The process of creating jurisprudence certainly transforms the meaning and interpretation of many of its provisions.

Nevertheless, it is possible to discern patterns in what concerns the protection of the public interest in the various laws that impact the use and ownership of biotechnology in India. Restrictions on patenting of pharmaceuticals and possibilities of opposition to such patenting are intended to ensure broad access to essential medicines and to protect public health.

[1] “Patentability of Human Embryonic Stem Cells: Finding the balance between the Moral Hazard in Europe and the wide scope in the U.S.”, Anna Thorstenson (Phd Thesis for “Faculty of Law, University of Lund”)

[2]  last accessed on 02/04/2017.

[3] “A Comparative Study on Human Embryonic Stem Cell Patent Law in the United States, the European Patent Organization, and China”, Huan Zhu (Phd Thesis for “School of Law, University of Kansas”).

[4] “Europe Prohibits Patents on Human Embroynic Stem Cells”, Sangeeta Udgaonkar; Published in “The Practical Lawyer”, January, 2012, page no: S–3.


Nijhum Seal


Nijhum Seal completed his LL.M in Business Law from Calcutta University. He has been Legal Editor in some MNCs. He is presently practicing in Calcutta High Court and also he is the Founder of the Association namely “Law Legum Associates”, the Organisation is providing guidance to law aspirants in Competitive Examination such as C.L.A.T, Judiciary, A.I.B.E etc. In his leisure time, he plays tabla and he is also a Certified Martial Artist.

Posted in Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Indian Law

What will prevail: The Fundamental Right to choose a Life Partner or Honour Killing?

The recent judgement by the Supreme Court in the case of Shakti Vahini vs Union of India comes with an air of finality on the proposition which has lingered over for long. The NGO had approached the court to seek remedy in cases of honour killings wherein the three-judge bench emphatically stated that the fundamental right to life and personal liberty includes right to choose a life partner and any attempts to scamper the marriage between two consenting adults is illegal. However, it is not the first time that the SC has upheld this perspective and therefore, the longevity of this judgement’s impact is an extremely grave concern.

It was in the case of Ravi Kumar vs State and ANR that the Delhi high court held the right of a person to choose his/her partner for the very first time. The next year, Lata Singh vs State of UP became a landmark decision by the Supreme Court. The court heavily berated the Khap panchayats for their brutal atrocities on couples marrying outside the caste or religion on their volition and categorically stated that right to life includes right to live without threats to life and right to personal liberty includes right to choose one’s partner. However, the decision did not prove very effective in curbing honour killings. Following the Lata Singh judgement was the 2012 verdict of Manoj Babli Honour Killing wherein, to create a deterrent effect, the accused were given death penalty (later commuted to life imprisonment). However, this “strict punishment” could still not create the desired deterrence. Following this, in 2014, the Delhi HC bench comprising of justices Gita Mittal and JR Midha deciding the Nitish Katara Honour killing case restated the fundamental right to choose a life partner. Later in 2017, Kerala High Court stated that “a major girl may opt for a criminal, convict, a person of different religion/caste to marry, court or anyone else can’t resist her choice”. But clearly, all these decisions by various courts could not eradicate the menace, the cases of honour killing have never ceased to come up regardless of all the judicial decrees. From the most contentious Nitish Katara murder case of 2002 that perfectly presented the deeply rooted false sense of pride irrespective of class to the Deepti Chikkara murder of 2012 or the most recent Athira murder case, just four days prior to the present verdict wherein the father stabbed his daughter after assuring police that he consented for the wedding to a lower caste man.

Belonging to a certain section of society is not an issue, the problem is restrictive and orthodox indoctrination of certain patriarchal principles that run throughout the nation.

It can be thereby gathered that judicial precedents alone cannot help resolve the crisis. The strong need for a legislation to curb honour killings has always been felt, however, the attempts at legislation seemed to lose track midway. The Law Commission in its 242nd report titled  “Prevention of Interference with the Freedom of Matrimonial Alliances (in the name of Honour and Tradition): A Suggested Legal Framework” had proposed the draft bills:  The Prohibition of Unlawful Assembly (Interference with the Freedom of Matrimonial Alliances) Bill, 2011 and The Endangerment Of Life And Liberty( Protection, Prosecution And Other Measures) Act, 2011 that mainly aimed to curb the brutality by the Khap panchayats. It set a threshold on the number of people who would gather to deliberate on the couple’s fate and ruled that any threat to the couple’s life by any means would be punishable with three to five years of imprisonment and a fine of rupees 30,000. This proposed legislation could not be formulated and implemented ever and the cases of honour killings continued to soar. In the present case, the central government submitted before the court that it has been engaging state and union territories to consider an amendment to IPC or to create the separate legislation recommended by the Law Commission.

Though this claim by the government seems promising, the extreme delay in considering the recommendations show how the government has paid no heed to this issue and trivialised it. the legislative vacuum in this issue has always cast a blow to judicial activism: for judgements alone cannot alter the mental block prevalent in a large section of society. It is high time to realise that the intended deterrent effect shall remain incomplete without a legislative backing.

Another facet of this entire issue is that enforcing judicial decrees and certain legislations, if they are implemented at all, is a typical Top-Down approach. Though having a solution in itself is a boon, attempts at curbing this menace through Bottom-Up approach might lead to better results. It is a well-known fact that the issue is the mental block among those set of people who have always regarded themselves above law and those who will definitely not be discouraged by a fine or punishment. For them, they are upholding their principles which, according to them, is no wrong. Therefore, sensitising these people about how a marriage outside the demarcations is not a sin that would morally corrupt the clan can be a good way to deal with this quandary. People should be given educative sessions at lower levels, the orthodox haute monde can be dealt with media campaigns working in reversing the indoctrinated superiority. Such initiatives, though difficult to implement, when coupled with a strict legislation would solve the problem at the grassroots level. By this judgement, the SC has done the maximum it could possibly do. after providing the directives to the government, all that is to be done is to formally make the law without much brainstorming. Still, the question that persists is and how long will the government actually take to formulate a solid law to protect couples from the wrath of honour killings? how much and how long will this judgement have an effect on the country or will this decision also will be forgotten for good?


Archita Prawasi


Archita Prawasi is a first-year student pursuing B.A.LLB (Hons) from NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad. She has a profound interest in reading up judicial developments, laws, articles. She likes reading critiques of judgements, government policies and analysing them through different perspectives. Her other interests include dancing, listening to music, Facebooking and procrastinating.


Posted in Corporate and Finance

Revised Framework on Resolution of Stressed Assets dated February 12, 2018

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) vide its notification bearing ref. no. DBR.No.BP.BC.101/21.04.048/2017-18 dated February 12, 2018 (Revised Framework) brought into effect a new framework with a view to early identification and resolution of stressed assets in harmonisation with the principles of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC).

Withdrawal of extant instructions

With the notification of this Revised Framework, all the extant instructions on resolution of stressed assets such as Framework for Revitalising Distressed Assets, Corporate Debt Restructuring Scheme, Flexible Structuring of Existing Long Term Project Loans, Strategic Debt Restructuring Scheme (SDR), Change in Ownership outside SDR, and Scheme for Sustainable Structuring of Stressed Assets (S4A) stand withdrawn with immediate effect. Accordingly, the Joint Lenders’ Forum as an institutional mechanism for resolution of stressed accounts also stands discontinued. All accounts, including such accounts where any of the schemes have been invoked but not yet implemented, shall be governed by the Revised Framework.

Some important definitions under the Revised Framework:

  1. Default has been defined as non-payment of debt when whole or any part or instalment of the amount of debt has become due and payable and is not repaid by the debtor or the corporate debtor, as the case may be.

    For revolving facilities like cash credit, default would also mean, without prejudice to the above, the outstanding balance remaining continuously in excess of the sanctioned limit or drawing power, whichever is lower, for more than 30 days.

  2. Aggregate Exposure under the Revised Framework would include all fund based and non-fund based exposure with the lenders.

  3. ‘Specified Period’ means the period from the date of implementation of RP up to the date by which at least 20 percent of the outstanding principal debt as per the RP and interest capitalisation sanctioned as part of the restructuring, if any, is repaid.

    Provided that the Specified Period cannot end before one year from the commencement of the first payment of interest or principal (whichever is later) on the credit facility with the longest period of moratorium under the terms of RP.

  1. ‘Restructuring’ as an act in which a lender, for economic or legal reasons relating to the borrower’s financial difficulty (An illustrative non-exhaustive list of indicators of financial difficulty are given in the Appendix to Annex-I of the Revised Framework), grants concessions to the borrower. Restructuring would normally involve modification of terms of the advances/securities, which may include, among others, alteration of repayment period / repayable amount / the amount of instalments/rate of interest; rollover of credit facilities; sanction of additional credit facility; enhancement of existing credit limits; and, compromise settlements where time for payment of settlement amount exceeds three months.


1. Early identification of stress through stringent reporting requirements:

Lenders shall identify early stress immediately on Default by classifying stressed assets as special mention accounts as per the following categories:’

SMA sub-categories Basis for classification –

Principal or interest payment or any other amount wholly or partly overdue between

SMA-0 1-30 days
SMA-1 31-60 days
SMA – 2 61-90 days

Applicability:  All borrower entities having Aggregate Exposure  (i.e. including fund based and non-fund based) of Rs. 50.00 million and above.  

Reporting of Credit information –

  • The lenders shall now report credit information, including classification of an SMA Accounts, to Central Repository of Information on Large Credits [CRILC] on monthly basis effective April 01, 2018.

Reporting of Default –

  • For reporting of Default, the lenders shall now report to CRILC on a weekly basis, at the close of business on every Friday or the preceding working day if Friday happens to be a holiday.

2. Implementation of Resolution Plan (RP) :

The Revised Framework, in order to prevent defaults of borrower entities turn into non-performing assets has mandated the lenders to put in place Board-approved policies for resolution of stressed assets under this framework, including timelines of resolution.

The lenders are mandated to refer borrower entities for resolution under IBC if –

  1. the RP could not be implemented as per the timelines, after the expiry of 15 days of such timelines; and
  2. if the borrower entity defaults during the Specified Period of RP, within 15 days from the date of default.

Cross Default Rights –

Such a resolution can be proposed either singly or jointly by the lenders which mean that even in case of default of one single lender; other lenders can join such lender for resolution of the stressed asset.  This also substantiates cross default rights that are obtained by the lenders under their loan agreements.

The Revised Framework has described RP as any action/plans / reorganization including, any actions/plans/reorganization including, but not limited to, regularisation of the account by payment of all over dues by the borrower entity, the sale of the exposures to other entities/investors, change in ownership, or Restructuring.

Author’s Observations:

  1. This Revised Framework aims to give a statutory recognition to Cross Default Rights which though being a standard norm in banking, its implementation was always a subjective matter and was available to the other Lenders, whether within or outside the Consortium, only to the extent of mutual agreement between the Borrower and the Lender. This is a very welcome step by RBI.
  2. The RP does not include option of conversion of debt into equity which hitherto was available to the lenders under SDR and S4A. Does this mean under the Revised Framework, lenders will not be allowed to convert their debt into equity or the RBI does not envisage conversion of debt into equity as a viable option for Restructuring of stressed assets?
  3. Implementation Conditions of RP:
    The Revised Framework has also implementation conditions of RP and such an RP shall be deemed to be implemented only if the following conditions are met –

    1. The Borrower is no longer in default with any of the lenders;
    2. In case of restructuring, all the documentation pertaining to restructuring including execution of necessary agreements, creation and perfection of securities are completed by all lenders.
    3. Finally, the new capital structure and/or changes in the terms of conditions of the existing loans get duly reflected in the books of all the lenders and the borrower.
  4. Independent Credit Evaluation (ICE):
    RPs involving restructuring/change in ownership will require ICE of the residual debt as mentioned below –

    1. In case of ‘large’ accounts (i.e. accounts where aggregate exposure of lenders is Rs. 100.00 Crore and above), such ‘large’ accounts will require ICE of the residual debt by Credit Rating Agencies specifically authorised by RBI for this purpose.
    2. Accounts with aggregate exposure of Rs. 500.00 Crore and above will require two such ICEs.
    3. Only such RPs which receives a credit opinion of RP4 or better for the residual debt from one or two CRAs, as the case may be, shall be considered for implementation.


‘residual debt’ of the borrower entity, in this context, means the aggregate debt (fund based as well as non-fund based) envisaged to be held by all the lenders as per the proposed RP.


RP4 is the ICE symbol that has been separately defined under Annexure – 2 of the Revised Framework.

5. Default of Borrower Entities with Aggregate Exposure less than Rs. 100.00 Crore :

Clause D of the Revised Framework prescribes timelines for reference dates of borrower entities having Aggregate Exposure at Rs. 2000.00 Crore and above for implementation of RP. The reference date here shall mean March 1, 2018. The RP shall be implemented as per following timelines:

  1. If in default as on the reference date, then 180 days from the reference date.
  2. If in default after the reference date, then 180 days from the date of first such default.

The above timelines are applicable for accounts where resolution have been initiated under any of the existing schemes and also for those accounts where have been classified as restructured standard assets.

In respect of borrower entities with Aggregate Exposure of Rs. 100.00 Crore and above to less than Rs. 2000.00 Crore, RBI will announce reference dates for implementation of RP over a two year period.

Author’s Observations:

No Mechanism for accounts having Aggregate Exposure less than Rs. 100.00 Crore –

The Revised Framework does not explain how the lenders should deal with accounts having Aggregate Exposure less than Rs. 100.00 Crore nor does it specify any RP for borrower entities having Aggregate Exposure of less than Rs. 100.00 Crore. But that does not exclude stressed assets of less than Rs. 100.00 Crore from Revised Framework and this does not seem to be the intention of the drafters of the Revised Framework. Does this mean that the lenders have the liberty to resolve the stressed assets of less than Rs. 100.00 Crore on their own including write off, one-time settlement of such accounts or other recourse available to the lenders under extant laws?

Provisioning for Non-Performing Accounts (NPA)-

Through this Revised Framework, the lenders may have to increase their provisioning in respect of stressed accounts. But if one looks at the larger intent of this Revised Framework which, inter alia, is to arrest the slippage of a doubtful asset to an NPA, stopping evergreening of stressed Accounts and stringent reporting norms for default of Rs. 5.00 Crore or more, an RP will certainly help the lenders to take corrective actions in the event of a default.

Cleansing the Banking System in India –

The RP under this Revised Framework and the IBC, collectively, shows the intent of the Government and the RBI to clean the entire banking system in India by breaking the nexus of politicians-banks-businessmen and help the banking system to serve its ultimate objective i.e. to lend money for the benefit of the public at large.

The entire text of the Revised Framework can be viewed on the link given below –


CS Nilesh Javker


CS Nilesh Javker is Assistant General Manager – Legal in the Legal Department of Welspun Group at its corporate office in Mumbai and working with Welspun Group since April 2010. He has interests in studying and research of various commercial laws such as Companies Act, 2013, Securities Laws, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016, The Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999, The Competition Act, 2002, The Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996. He has also worked extensively in company secretarial matters of both listed and unlisted companies, banking and finance documentation, contracts, tenders, agreements, civil litigations and corporate transactions such as mergers, demergers and acquisitions.

Posted in Critical Analysis

Analysing the Judicial Development of Privacy Law

Right to Privacy was never incorporated in the Indian Constitution nor has been provided by any Ordinary law in India. The Judicial interpretations, as well as the development of the law, has led to the emergence of this right, which remains ambiguous till date. Privacy still remains as subjective as it can be comprehended by one unless a law governs the same, which is highly unlikely as the Government is unwilling to take a step ahead. The cases portray shift of the judiciary in striking out Privacy as any right to providing Right to Privacy, which is inherent in the Constitution.

The Judiciary had initially looked through the Indian Constitution in a very rigid and  inflexible manner. The M.P. Sharma case[1] was decided merely by considering the American law and decision of the Constituent Assembly, without taking into account any other considerations whatsoever. Whereas the Kharak Singh case[2] went on to state that even late night periodical visits in house and unreasonable surveillance do not infringe any Constitutional rights and amount to the violation of Privacy ipso facto.

Both these decided cases can be clearly inferred to be based on the principles laid down in A.K.Gopalan case[3]. The Judiciary has not endeavoured at all to innovate or apply principles of Article 19 and 21 taken together, effectively. If it were done so, Right to Privacy would have been effortlessly recognised as an inherent Fundamental Right post-independence, subject to reasonable restrictions.

The later case of R.M.Malkani[4] laid down a bad law that phone tapping is not violative of Fundamental Rights merely because the communication cannot be distorted in any manner, which has been severely criticised. This was overruled in the much celebrated PUCL case[5] which guaranteed phone conversations as a Right to Privacy. Right to Privacy has been strengthened in the post-liberalisation era.

In a similar state, Rajagopal[6] and Gobind[7] case held that Privacy was intrinsic to Article 21 of the Indian Constitution but was not at all absolute and cannot be claimed without passing the State and Public interest test and also by public officials in the discharge of official duties. By this time, privacy had assumed an inherent role in our fundamental rights jurisprudence that helped us lead a dignified life without fearing surveillance.

The content of the constitutional right to privacy and its limitations have proceeded on a case to case basis, each precedent seeking to build upon and follow the previous formulations. The foundation of Right to Privacy rests upon M.P.Sharma, Kharak Singh and Gobind cases, further contributed by Rajagopal, PUCL, Selvi and ABC cases. The right to privacy has been traced in the decisions which have been rendered over more than four decades to the guarantee of life and personal liberty in Article 21 and the freedoms set out in Article 19. The Right to Privacy, partially, had been granted due to changing needs and circumstances and being the need of the hour.

The recent judgement has laid down that Right to Privacy is a Fundamental Rights inherent in Article 21 of the Constitution and includes at its core the preservation of personal intimacies, the sanctity of family life, marriage, procreation, the home and sexual orientation.[8] It protects individual autonomy and power of individuals to make decisions for their life.

[1] (1954) AIR 300.

[2] (1963) AIR 1295.

[3] (1950) AIR 27.

[4] (1973) 1 SCC 471.

[5] (1997) 1 SCC 301.

[6] (1994) 6 SCC 632.

[7] (1975) 2 SCC 148.

[8] K.S.Puttaswamy v. Union of India, Writ Petition (Civil) No. 494 of 2012 (Supreme Court, 24/08/2017).


Devansh Saraswat


Devansh Saraswat is a second-year BBA LLB student at Gujarat National Law University. Academy sound and possessing a keen interest in writing and being an avid researcher, he has presented papers on diverse issues in various National and International Conferences, and as well grabbed publications in various journals. He wishes to learn the law to transform the society in whatever way possible.



Posted in Constitution of India

Impact of Non-constitutional Decision Making Bodies on Women

Unlike various constitutional bodies such as UPSC, Finance Commission, National Commission for Women, etc. a non-constitutional body does not find its name in the Constitution of India hence it doesn’t derive any power from the Constitution of India.

There are various non-constitutional decision-making bodies in India which are not even statutory bodies, but they have a large impact on the communities mainly in rural areas because of their harsh pronouncements. Some of the biggest examples of these non-constitutional decision-making bodies are ‘Khap Panchayats’ and ‘Kangaroo Courts’ in India. These bodies act as agents of mass pushback mainly against women’s rights.

Khaps are unconstitutional and informal law giving bodies representing a clan or a group of related clans that have captured much rural terrain in the north and eastern India, particularly among the Jat people. They are not affiliated with the democratically elected local assemblies that are also termed panchayat, and have no official government recognition or authority. But in rural India, they have been asserting much power over the lives of people, the weakest of whom are women of all communities. They frequently make pronouncements on social issues such as abortion, alcohol abuse, dowry, etc. They have sanctioned several honour killings and have suggested a level of misogyny that is completely at odds with what the leading courts in the country are articulating.

Here are some of the harsh and cruel pronouncements made by Khap Panchayats:

In Haryana, two jat cast bodies imposed dress codes on women and one even said that girls are “agents who pollute society and bring a bad name to the community”.

Another suggested that the age of marriage should be dropped from 18 to 16 because being married would make young women less susceptible to rape.

On the other hand, a kangaroo court is a judicial tribunal or assembly that ignores recognized standards of law or justice, and often carries little or no official standing in the territory within which it resides.

Few years back, a 20-year-old Santhal tribal woman was raped by 12 men in West Bengal on the orders of a kangaroo court called a salishi sabha. Her crime was to have fallen in love with a man outside her community. The couple were tied up and “tried” and asked to pay Rs. 25,000 as payment. The man was able to pay but the woman could not. The headman reportedly decreed that she could be “enjoyed” by several men and that they could “have fun” with her.

The tone of diktat parrots what Nirbhaya’s rapists said- they were out to “have some fun” and a “good time”. She later died after having sustained massive injuries but left behind a mass political movement calling for more rights for Indian women.

Since the country is already struggling with the problems of women and implementation of their rights, these bodies, moreover, add to the problems instead of helping in any way. Khap diktats are singular statements that send messages to all women and families with daughters, successfully silencing any protest that could arise against their rulings.

The Indian state has been quite reticent in initiating any action against khaps even though it is apparent that khap diktats are blatantly undercutting women’s rights and thereby contradicting the verdicts of the highest constitutional lawmaking bodies. One of the biggest reasons for why no protest could arise against their rulings is that in rural India police presence is low and many local notables have links with local law enforcement agents. These notables are also involved in the functioning of khaps. So, they are reasonably confident that their diktats policing women’s behavior will not be challenged. But so long as Khaps have the power to take decisions in rural areas, proper implementation of law cannot be ensured.


Anshu Tulsyan


Anshu Tulsyan is a second-year student of BBA LLB (H) at ICFAI Law School, Dehradun. She has a deep interest in legal research and legal writing. That apart, she is also interested in creative writing. Her first article to be published is titled ‘How to love what does not exist’. Dedication, in her view, is the one quality that describes her best.