Posted in Social Issues

I too want a Jaguar

When asked about what she wanted to be one day?

Smiling she replied, an IAS officer.

Amazed and proud of a six year Old’s ambition, her mother wanted to know what inspired her.

All the pride and smile faded away when she said, “Because I too want a jaguar from my spouse’s family while getting married, just like Ramesh bhaiya (brother) got one.

Poor girl, did not even know that jaguars and other fascinating expensive gifts are no doubt given to an IAS officer, but only to a male IAS officer and that such gifts are given only from the bride’s family and veiled in the name of gifts (which are given happily by one’s choice) they are actually dowry (an obligatory requirement that has to be fulfilled by the bride’s family).

Dowry, a practice which is prohibited and punishable under The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 is an offence according to the legislation but when it comes to reality it means much more than that.

It is not just a malpractice but a series, a set of emotions and varied expressions. It is a means for the bride’s family to show their gratitude to the groom’s family for sharing the burden of their daughter. It is a bribe to let in their daughter who no matter how qualified, always remains a burden. It is a custom, we are never going to let hold of. It is an opportunity for the rich to flaunt their wealth in almost all possible ways. It is a reason for the poor to suicide or marry his daughter to an incompatible groom.It is a source of revenue for all those who have a male child and a non-profitable, mandatory investment for all the houses cursed with a girl child.

It is so deep rooted in the Hindu marriage practice that even if a socially-spirited and aware family refuses to give dowry, the groom’s family is all set to rip their daughter apart. Sooner or later he who dares resent the dowry giving practice has to be ready to see his daughter suffer.

“Dowry greed leads, to heinous deeds.”

It isn’t that there are no laws. Section 304B of the Indian Penal Code, provides that he who is found guilty if committing a dowry death shall be punished with imprisonment for a term, not less than seven years and that may extend to life imprisonment. Section 498A of the same code too prevents any woman from being subjected to cruelty by either her husband or a relative of her husband or both. Section 304 and 302 are also implicitly protective legislations in this respect.

“Take dowry, invite worry.”

There are much more both implicit and explicit laws for the post-marriage protection of a girl but how far people are aware of them? How far their awareness, gives them the courage to fight against the practice? How far justice is being served to them?

“Condemn dowry deaths, by not demanding dowry.”

I too am a girl, born Hindu, equally religious, equally respectful to our customs but also equally aware of my rights, equally conscious of my honour, equally demanding for my dignity. I too dream of getting married and being settled in life but I see no dowry in my dreams, I see no sacrifice for my parents and I see that I am still equally happy in my life.

“Several lives sacrificed for dowry, stop this sacrilege. Accept her with love. An educated bride is better than a billion currency. The bride herself is a dowry (if you are so greedy). Refuse dowry, diffuse dowry deaths. Be a man say no to dowry.”

Jai Hind!




Aishwarya Himanshu Singh is a final year law student. An aspiring researcher who has a deep love for writing. With her first publication at the age of 13, she believes a pen is mightier than the sword. Having authored more than 50 papers she is all set for the ‘writing for a change’ programme.

Posted in Now happening, Others, Social Issues, Suggestions

Uniting for peace as a solution to Syrian issue

The image of Aleppo kid, bloodied and covered with dust, sitting silently in an ambulance awaiting help as another stark reminder of the toll of the war in Syria has not vanished from our minds. The UN Security Council has failed to bring peace in Syria. In almost six years of conflict, close to half a million people have been killed and eleven million have been forced to leave their homes. Most recently, the Syrian and Russian governments and their allies have carried out unlawful attacks on eastern Aleppo with scant regard for some 250,000 civilians trapped there. The article will give a brief overview of what the “uniting for peace” is and if this resolution will serve as a way out to this situation.

The creators of the United Nations Charter conceived that five countries namely China, France, USSR [which was succeeded in 1990 by the Russian Federation], the United Kingdom and the United States, because of their key roles in the establishment of the United Nations, would continue to play important roles in the maintenance of international peace and security. For this purpose the “power of veto” was introduced in Article 27 of the UN Charter by which it was agreed by the drafters that if any one of the five permanent members cast a negative vote in the 15-member Security Council, the resolution would not be approved.

All five permanent members have exercised the right of veto at one time or another[1]. Over the last 20 years out of a total of 24 vetoes, 15 have been used by the USA to protect Israel[2]. The UK used the veto unilaterally seven times because of Rhodesia later to become Zimbabwe. France subsequently used the threat of a veto to support Morocco’s position in the Western Sahara conflict. The representative of the government of the Republic of China used the veto to block the Mongolian People’s Republic’s application for membership in 1955 because the ROC considered Mongolia to be a part of China. This postponed the admission of Mongolia until 1960[3]. The above practices of the permanent members show that they have used the power of veto in accordance with their national interest, more often resulting in a deadlock making the Security Council unable to fulfill its responsibility.

In 1950, the most pressing issue on the international agenda was the war in Korea. The Soviet Union, using its veto power, repeatedly blocked action by the Security Council, thus preventing the Council from taking any measures to protect the Republic of Korea against the aggression launched against it by military forces from North Korea. It was against this backdrop that the United Nations General Assembly adopted a historic resolution, 377 A (V), titled “Uniting for Peace” in November 1950[4]. Resolution 377 (A) read:

“if the Security Council, because of lack of unanimity of the permanent members, fails to exercise its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security in any case where there appears to be a threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression, the General Assembly shall consider the matter immediately with a view to make the appropriate recommendations to Members for collective measures, including in the case of a breach of the peace, or act of aggression to use armed force when necessary, to maintain or restore international peace and security. If not in session at the time, the General Assembly may meet in emergency special session within 24 hours of the request thereof. Such emergency special session shall be called if requested by the Security Council on a vote of any seven (now nine) members, or by a majority of the United Nations[5]. Therefore, when the permanent members of the Security Council find themselves at odds and fail to reach unanimity on a matter that appears to be a threat to international peace and security, this resolution authorizes the General Assembly to immediately consider that matter and issue its own “appropriate recommendations” to the Member States “for collective measures”. Those collective measures can include “the use of armed force when necessary.”

On April 18, 2016, Mr. Monzer Makhous, member of the Syrian National Council and High Negotiations Committee (HNC) spokesperson told Asharq Al-Awsat that “current events confirm that the ‘uniting for peace’ resolution is the most effective solution for a serious settlement for the Syria crisis. Mr. Makhous added that the world will not stand idle before Russia’s continuous exploitation of its right to veto[6]”.

The “Uniting for Peace” procedure is unquestionably a legally valid alternative for the deadlock at the Security Council with respect to the Syrian issue. The “Uniting for Peace” procedure would allow the Assembly to recommend a range of other coercive measures, including sanctions. Beyond enforcing the ban on the use of chemical weapons, this would empower the General Assembly to back up its numerous calls for a political solution to the conflict and for better humanitarian access with more tangible and enforceable measures. Although these measures would remain nonbinding, and their implementation depend on the good will of member states, it would equip them with the legality and international legitimacy that is lacking absent a strong resolution by the Security Council.

[1] United Nations, Security Council viewed at

[2] Sahar Okhovat, The United Nations Security Council: Its Veto Power and Its Reform, December (2011)

[3] Aleksandra Czajka, The analysis of the Veto Power in the United Nations Security Council, Pompeu Fabra University Barcelona, November, (2011)

[4] Aaron Jacob, Unilateral Declaration Of An Independent Palestinian State And The Procedure Of ‘Uniting For Peace’, September (2011)

[5] The General Assembly Res. 377A(V), 3 November (1950)

[6]Fatah Al-Rahman Youssef,  Syria’s HNC to Resort to U.N. Resolution ‘Uniting for Peace’, 16 October (2016)

About the author


Miracline Paul Susi.T is a 4th-year law student at School of Law, SASTRA University. She is deeply passionate about law. She strongly believes that the legal profession has the power and the responsibility to effect changes to the on-ground realities and difficulties that multiple communities face. Miracline’s keen interest in social works is evident from her service at SASTRA Legal Aid Society. She believes that the knowledge in law is vital for all and sundry who is bound by it. Her writing skills may be confirmed from her articles in Kerala High Court Journal, Taxmann and International Journal of Enviro Legal Research.

Posted in Critical Analysis, Personal Laws, Social Issues

Uniform Civil Code and Secularism

This article has been written by Chirag Jindal. Chirag is a first-year student from National University of Advanced Legal Studies, Kochi.



The Law Commission of India has recently released a questionnaire on the matter of Uniform Civil Code. All the concerned citizens of our nation are expected to engage and provide their opinions as well as suggestions for the revision and reformation of family laws in India. As provided by the Law Commission, the object of undertaking this endeavour is “to address discrimination against vulnerable groups and harmonise the various cultural practices.” And the debate is now open to the general public on the issue of Uniform Civil Code.
The debate on “Whether to have a Uniform Civil Code in such a diverse nation with so many social, political, economic, religious and ethnic groups?” is not recent. Ever since the inception of our Constitution, the debate has continued and is still going on. Article 44 of Part III of the Constitution (i.e. The Directive Principles of State Policy) provides that “The State shall endeavour to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India.” Although our Constitution lays down the Directive Principle for the Uniform Civil Code, it does not explicitly mention how to achieve this task. Therefore, this issue has been left to debate in public and it continues from the time when India became independent till the present day and is still going on.
Now let’s move further and try to analyse Uniform Civil Code from the view of the fundamental principle of Secularism in our nation. Although the word SECULAR in the Preamble of the Indian Constitution was added by the 42nd Amendment, India was a secular country from the day when the Constitution entered into force. The 42nd Amendment just made explicit what was implied from the Constitution. Before the 42nd Amendment, Secular spirit of India was implied under Articles 14, 15, 25, 26, 27, and 28. Though the addition of word SECULAR was a good initiative, the Amendment has left it open for debate, discussion and interpretation.
On one hand, the Constitution provides for the Secular nature of the country but, on the other hand, it also directs the State to endeavour for the Uniform Civil Code. So, is this contradiction a flaw in our Constitution? Well looking at this problem from the historical front, at the time of adoption and commencement of our Constitution there were so many religious minorities in India and they were so left behind in social, political and economic spheres of life that the Constitution-makers thought it fit to provide for their upliftment in all spheres of life. But as India is one country and we all are Indians, the Constitution makers also provided to endeavour for the Uniform Civil Code. Consequently, the question which arises next is, “Whether it is the right time to implement the Uniform Civil Code in our Country?”
As far as I am concerned, I don’t think that the time has come to implement Uniform Civil Code. There are mainly two reasons for this.
Firstly, till now, neither the legislature nor the judiciary has attempted to define the word SECULAR; what does it mean? There are concepts definitions of Secularism which are accepted in the world. The first is the neutrality concept which means that there should a separation of Sate and Religion and the State should not interfere in any way in the matters concerned with religion. This concept of Secularism prevails in the Western Countries. The second is the equality concept which means that State shall treat all religions equally and should not discriminate among them. Indian model is secularism is mainly based on the equality concept. The argument here is, although the Indian model is based on equality principle, still no satisfactory definition has come up. So, we cannot exactly set up what Secularism actually mean in Indian Context.
Secondly, due to so much diversity present in our nation, it won’t be easy to determine what provisions to be included in Uniform Civil Code. Including a principle in Code which is contradictory even to one of the religions or groups may create a sense of tensions among the people and is also against the spirit of Secularism in India.
Conclusively, it can be said that the time to have a Uniform Civil Code in our country has not yet arrived and the State should still endeavor to provide for the Uniform Civil Code.

Posted in Critical Analysis, Social Issues

Digging up the Third gender Issue: Historically speaking

This article has been written by Abhipsa Upasana Dash. Abhipsa is a third-year student at Symbiosis Law School, Noida.

Since last few decades, there has been a controversy regarding the recognition of the transgender people in the society. They fight for their identity under the cover of a distiction between man and woman. The recent judgment of the Indian Supreme Court pronounced on 15th April 2014 had further aggravated the long-debated controversy all over the world on the rights of the transgender. Without the presence of any concrete definition of the term, everybody tries their own perception for understanding it. Defining the term, the Transgender ASIA says, “Trans people are those males or females of any age who are unhappy living in the gender identity ascribed to them at birth. Transgender, transsexual, or Trans persons are people whose psychological sex/gender, or sense of their own innate gender identity is different from their physical sexual characteristics.”

Origin of the term “third Gender” can be traced back to the late nineteenth century as a way to describe homosexual men and lesbians by sexologists. Not carrying the moral or legal stigma of sodomite, it suggested an innate or biological factor existed in behaviors that was different from traditional categories of male and female. However, it also conflated same-sex desire with gender variance. Karl Heinrich Ulrichs used the word Urning in the 1860s to describe a third sex male being who desired other men; Richard von Krafft-Ebing used the term sexual invert to describe a similar being in his 1886 PsychopathiaSexualis. Havelock Ellis and John Addington Symonds followed suit in their 1896 study, Sexual Inversion, and Edward Carpenter followed the third-sex model in his 1908 work, The Intermediate Sex. The notion of sexual inversion insisted on a two-gender system, regarding homosexual men as women trapped in men’s bodies and homosexual women as men trapped in women’s bodies. The notion of an intermediate sex offered possibilities beyond two genders, allowing for three or more genders, with at least one of these being neither male nor female.

The ascendancy of psychoanalysis in twentieth-century Europe and North America, with its interest in sexual desire, spelled the demise of the third sex model. Homosexual, coined in the 1860s, eventually replaced such terms as urning, invert, intermediate type, third sex, and psychic hermaphrodite to describe subjects with same-sex desires. Female homosexual became interchangeable with lesbian, a term Ellis helped popularize, referring to the same-sex desires of the women of Lesbos. R[1]adclyffe Hall returned to the idea of sexual inversion in her 1928 lesbian novel The Well of Loneliness because it offered her heroine a way to desire other women that was honorable; if one’s inner self was really male, then desiring a woman would be normal rather than perverse. However, the third-sex model largely disappeared. Missing was the notion of gender variance, which might or might not be included in homosexual or lesbian. Gay eventually replaced homosexual as a less medicalized term, and was sometimes extended to women as well. Sometimes the term third sex occurred in pulp novels to sensationalize homosexuality, and to make gay men and lesbians seem freakish and less than human.

The late 1980s and early 1990s saw a resurgence of interest in gender among urban sex radicals, feminists, lesbians, gay men, intersex activists, and people who felt increasingly alienated from sexual categories that erased gender variety. The word queer began to circulate as an umbrella term for those who disavowed normal gender and sexual categories, and more and more people began to experiment with alternative gender expression through hormone therapy, surgery, dress, and gesture. As queer and transgender people began to question sexual taxonomies, the idea of three or more genders caught on once more.

Queer, intersex, and transgender visibility has resulted in the return of the third sex as an alternative to normal heterosexual male and female bodies and desires. Anne Fausto-Sterling (2000) has argued that there are at least five sexes that occur naturally in human beings, and that medical intervention can rob an intersex child of what might otherwise be a healthy gender identity and sexual and reproductive life. Leslie Feinberg (1997) has traced the presence of transgender people back thousands of years in cultures around the world. In the early twenty-first century, the hijras of India, kathoeys of Thailand, two-spirit Native Americans, travestis of Brazil, intersex people among the nomadic Bugis of the Sulawesi, xanith of Oman, fa’afafine of Polynesia, sworn virgins in the Balkans, ashtime of Ethiopia, mashoga of Kenya, and the drag queens, butch lesbians, transgender activists, and intersex people of North America and Europe, all constitute an alternative to the two-sex system, although they do not necessarily see themselves as members of a ”third” sex. Regardless of how they view themselves, however, the presence of so many alternatively gendered people cannot help but expand traditional ideas of what it means to be embodied, gendered, and human in the early-twenty-first-century world.

Posted in Human Rights, Social Issues

The Need to Recognise and Confer Rights to LGBT Community: India

This article is written by Pooja Ogale. Pooja is currently pursuing her LLM (Specialization in Constitutional and Administrative Law) from GNLU, Gujarat.



We are in the era where people are more emphasising over the aspect of individual rights and human rights. We are able to witness a shift from the orthodox hypocrite principles and perception to more rationale human rights perception. In a way, we can say that we are moving towards the idea of liberalism. People around the world are raising concerns with respect to the human rights of vulnerable classes of people existing in the society. Apart from women, children, and refugees, there is one more community which has been vulnerable in the society whose human rights are abridged is the LGBT community.

LGBT community basically includes people having a different sexual orientation. The community includes the people who are lesbians, gay, bisexual and transgender. The people belonging to this community or class are often stigmatised by the society, they face a lot of legal and social difficulties.

Internationally various countries have recognised the rights of the LGBT community and have provided a legal status to people belonging to such community and also have permitted gay marriages. It is only recently that the people are accepting the people of different sexual orientation and identifying the transgender but few years ago such people were looked down upon and were considered to be not socially acceptable. But, due to the increase of awareness, education and emphasis on the human rights people are now moving towards the idea of tolerance, social acceptance, equality and liberalism.  Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) does not specifically mention about sexual orientation and gender identity but it confers some basic human rights to every person on the planet from a virtue of being a human. Therefore it is important that the basic human rights of every person should be protected irrespective of him/her belonging to any class or community.

In India, certain basic rights are conferred upon the citizens by fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution of India. Recently, in 2014[1], the Supreme Court in the case of National Legal Services Authority v. Union of India[2]have recognised transgender people as the third gender and affirmed that the fundamental rights granted under the Constitution of India will be equally applicable to transgender people, in addition to this the Supreme Court granted them reservations in educational institutions and jobs as they are socially and economically backward classes. This step taken by the courts can be considered to be a major step towards gender equality and gender identity in India.

Same-sex intercourse or homosexual intercourse is a criminal offence according to Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code 1860. In 2009, the High Court of Delhi, in Naz Foundation v. Govt. of NCT of Delhi[3] made an observation that Section 377 and other legal prohibitions against private, adult, consensual, and non-commercial same-sex conduct are in direct violation of fundamental rights provided by the Indian Constitution. The court did not declare the Section 377 as unconstitutional as a whole, but it was passed over to the Parliament to amend the law with respect them. This judgement was unwelcomed by various people and there was a lot of resistance from many over this issue of acceptance of such activities by society at large. In 2013, the Supreme Court set aside the verdict given by the Delhi High Court on decriminalisation of Section 377 of IPC over consensual homosexual activity.[4] The Supreme Court emphasised over the need to legislate and debate over the matter by the parliament.

Same-sex marriages or Gay marriages are illegal in India. The couples are not legally recognised. Such a practice is highly stigmatised in the Indian society and is considered to be abnormal. Often people consider homosexuality to be a disease or health ailment rather than a sexual orientation. People are not able to accept the LGBT community as a part of their society.

What is needed is the social inclusion of LGBT community as at the end they are human beings, even if they have a different sexual orientation or different gender they are human beings and they have every right to have a normal and a happy life and to have a normal discourse in life. Many countries across the globe such as USA, UK, France, New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina, Norway etc. are recognising the rights of LGBT community. Therefore it is important that India also recognises the rights of LGBT community in light of the basic human rights.

Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code is a very old provision and is stagnant, it is important that the law should be changed as per the needs of the people in order to attain welfare and harmony amongst the people. Thus, decriminalisation of Section 377 of the IPC is must. LGBT community should be recognised by the people in India and by the State and should confer rights upon them which are basic human rights, differentiation on the basis of gender identification and sexual orientation should be curbed.

[1]India court recognises transgender people as third gender,  BBC News, 15 April 2014, India.

<Accesible at:; ,  Last accessed: 24th Sept 2016

[2]Writ Petition (Civil) No. 400/2012

[3] Writ Petition (Civil) No. 7455/2001

[4]Suresh Kumar Koushal&Another v Naz Foundation & Others (Civil Appeal no. 10972 of  2013)

Posted in Criminal Law, Marriage and family, Social Issues

A Need for Acknowledging “Marital Rape” as an “Offence”

This article is written by Pooja Ogale. Pooja is currently pursuing her LLM (Specialization in Constitutional and Administrative Law) from GNLU, Gujarat.



In the era where people are talking about globalism, development and liberalism, we may still witness the woman position in India entangled in social structures deeply rooted in Indian society in the name of family, religion, caste, community and society. It is a general observation that woman are vulnerable to various crimes in the society. The rate of crimes against women is levelling up day by day. The list of crimes against women is exhaustive; some of the major crimes include dowry death, domestic violence, sexual exploitation at the workplace, rape, female foeticide, abduction etc. The position of the women in the society is vulnerable to exploitation even at a public arena, parental home as well as her matrimonial home.

One of the most important yet neglected contemporary socio-legal issue which is existing in India since time immemorial is the issue of Marital Rape. This concept is gaining consensus in recent times and many debates are going on over the aspect of incorporating ‘marital rape’ as an offence in Indian Penal Code.The Indian Penal Code defines ‘rape’ and provides punishment for the same in it, but the aspect of marital rape is totally neglected.

In order to devise laws over the issue of marital rape, it is important that we know that what constitutes marital rape.“Marital Rape” can be referred as an act of having unwanted intercourse by the husband with his wife by inflicting physical cruelty or violence on her.In the aspect of marital rape the husband is the offender or in other words, he is the rapist. The irony can be observed that when the same act is commenced by the person other than the husband that constitutes rape under the provision of Indian Penal Code and is punishable but when the husband by inflicting force or physical and mental cruelty rapes his own wife is not even considered to be an offence. Woman is considered to be a private property or an object and is subjected to sexual as well as a physical abuse of husband.[1]

Marital Rape is one of the biggest challenges which we are facing in the socio- legal aspect in the society. In Indian culture,a girl is considered to be a burden on her parents and is considered to be a liability for the reputation of their families thus often the offence of the marital rape is neglected. Often the husbands consider their wives as their slaves or as their property and force them to do things according to their wishes. Hence force them to have intercourse by abusing them and with assault also. It is important that the men should respect woman and indulge into intercourse even with their wives with their consent as they are also human beings. It is important that husbands treat their wives as their life partner rather than their slaves or property where they inflict their whims and wishes.

We all acknowledge that marital rape is wrong and it should be stopped and it should be curbed. But the problem is the lack of the legal provisions, lack of legislations. Most importantly there is a lack of acknowledgement of this offence in India. Indian culture connotes sacramental value to the marriage and having intercourse after marriage even by force by the husband without the consent of his wife is not considered to be a rape. It is important that we come out of the cultural and religious beliefs attached to this relation and think in the human rights perspective or in the perspective of the rights of the woman or on the perspective of the morality.

The society should acknowledge the issue and should raise the concern over this issue to be codified as an offence punishable under Indian Penal Code. It is important that the woman despite hiding their plight should come forward and raise their concern over the abuse and cruelty inflicted upon them. Often the women of India in order to save their marriage or in order to uphold the reputation of the parental home or matrimonial home do not raise their voice over this issue and suffer of marital rape.

Mrs Maneka Gandhi, Minister for Women & Child Welfare, has recently, commented that due to the lack of education, poverty, religious beliefs and societal norms it is difficult to make laws on marital rape.[2] There is a need well-enacted law against this evil for protecting women from the non- consensual intercourse with her husband. Marriage even if considered to be sacred should not be considered to be a permit to inflict force on woman for having intercourse. Women should be protected from such abuse and should be respected. There is a need to have legislative provisions to safeguard the interest of the woman and protect them from the sexual abuse.

[1]RathPriyanka, “Marital rape and Indian Legal Scenario”

<Accessible at:>

(Last Accessed on:  16th September, 2016).

[2]Will India have a law against Marital Rape? Pressure on government grows”, June 2016.

<Available at:>, (Last Accessed on 16th September, 2016).