articles by Alok Prasanna Kumar

India

SC holds Prashant Bhushan in contempt: How can 2 tweets shake foundations of law and imperil Indian democracy?

If the Supreme Court is convinced that what Prashant Bhushan has said is false, then surely it is up to the court to show that it is so. If, however, what Bhushan has said is true, then the damage to the institution wrought by the actions of the past four CJIs is greater than two tweets talking about it could ever be

India

Top lawyers' refusal to defend TikTok undermines India’s claims of being rule of law country

By opting against representing ByteDance, the company behind TikTok, Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Mukul Rohatgi have set the legal profession and the rule of law in India on a slippery slope

India

By introducing religious aspect to notion of citizenship, CAB threatens to put India, Indians on slippery slope

What the CAB wants to enshrine into law is the Hindutva understanding of who is a majority and who is a minority, not one based on actual oppression or discrimination

India

SC ruling on whether office of CJI comes under RTI Act missed the opportunity to assuage dissatisfaction with collegium system

While discussions around the RTI Act have largely revolved around Section 6 of the Act — that prescribes a procedure to seek information, not enough discussion has taken place about Section 4 of the Act that provides for the proactive disclosure of information

India

Ayodhya judgment: SC using faith and religion to settle Ramjanmabhoomi title claim is disingenuous and insincere

In deciding the Ayodhya dispute, the court is only really concerned about the faith and belief of Hindus

India

Supreme Court stops uploading collegium resolutions on website: Move is major self-inflicted wound, smacks of institutional cowardice

That the Supreme Court, with all its constitutional powers and storied history, cannot stand to hear the public criticism of the Bar and citizens speaks volumes for the court’s own confidence in its performance.

Politics

Lok Sabha elections: It would be wrong to assume EC faltered in its duties during NDA regime; it has to address historical fissures

Whether it was the questionable delay in announcing the election schedule, or a putting out a schedule which appeared to suit the BJP and its leaders, or the failure to enforce the Model Code of Conduct against Narendra Modi or Amit Shah, the EC's performance has not exactly inspired faith in its abilities to conduct a free and fair election.

India

CJI judging sexual harassment allegations against himself: Ranjan Gogoi's move an eerie echo of Dipak Misra's actions

In effect, Gogoi called a press conference without actually calling a press conference. The hearing was not aimed so much as taking any judicial action but putting out his version of the story. What is particularly galling is that he chose to do it from his perch as the Chief Justice of India. It is as blatant and naked abuse of power as it gets.

Politics

Legal reforms in Congress manifesto for Lok Sabha election 2019: A mix of necessary, needless and niggardly promises

Congress Manifesto of 2019 ahead of Lok Sabha election has proposed an interesting set of ideas for legal, judicial and institutional reforms. Are campaign manifestos just a laundry list of changes made to please many without angering more, or are they offering a vision of hope to these with a bleak present?

Politics

Candidates have to reveal IT returns of 5 years: EC's misguided poll regulations detached from ground reality

Instead of re-evaluating its approach, the Election Commission has only doubled down on its flawed approach to the matter. While the latest move raises questions about privacy and confidentiality, it is also reflective of an approach to the regulation of elections that is entirely detached from the ground reality

India

Plea for Sanskrit prayers at Kendriya Vidyalayas begs for honest judicial, political test of Indian secularism

Is it against the Constitution for the Kendriya Vidyalayas, institutes which are funded and managed by the government, to insist on students beginning their day with a Hindu prayer?

India

Rafale controversy: Supreme Court verdict is no clean chit to govt; deal may be ill-advised without being illegal

The Supreme Court’s Rafale deal judgment is what I would like to call a judgment delivered out of “institutional trauma”.

India

MJ Akbar vs Priya Ramani: Junior minister tries to exhaust one accuser through legal means, and system might just allow it

Had the current laws been in place when the women suffered at the hands of MJ Akbar, they could have approached the police or the internal complaints committeeat the organisations where he worked.

India

Govt may term Sanatan Sanstha terror entity, but gaping holes in law hamper police action on fringe elements

Given what we know of the Sanatan Sanstha’s activities and alleged crimes, it should ideally be classified as a “terrorist organisation”.

India

Delhi govt-Centre power tussle: SC has not resolved all issues fully, but has set framework for addressing them

Irrespective of who declares victory, this judgment will not resolve the current, ongoing tussle between the L-G and the AAP-ruled Delhi government

Politics

'One nation one election' in India: Difficult to see tangible benefits, but list of drawbacks continues to grow

The arguments pitched for 'One Nation One Election' are not based on some high principle — it is supposed to help 'save money' for the government that can apparently be better spent elsewhere and it is claimed that the non-stop election cycle gets in the way of 'good governance' (whatever that is supposed to mean).

India

PIL questions CJI Dipak Misra's powers as master of rosters: Supreme Court's judgment raises more questions than it answers

All of this would have been a bit convincing if perhaps the Supreme Court had not itself expressed doubts about how the CJI can be placed above the Constitution.

India

Supreme Court judgment on SC/ST Atrocities Act represents overreach, betrays Constitution itself

The "acknowledged abuse" of the Atrocities Act stands on a somewhat flimsy factual footing

India

Three-judge Supreme Court flip-flop shows top court's credibility again under threat; CJI Misra must accept onus

Dipak Misra's conduct as CJI has been far more damaging to the institution than any other threat the SC has faced in its history.