articles by Deya Bhattacharya

India

'Consensual sex of live-in partners not rape if man fails to marry': SC ruling tackles sensitive issues like consent, but lacks nuance

While the Supreme Court judgment takes a hard look at consensual relationships, rape, and consent itself, and is progressive to some extent, it lacks nuance. The Supreme Court, on 22 November, 2018, held that if a person had not made the promise to marry with the sole intent to seduce a woman to indulge in sexual acts, such an act would not amount to rape.

India

#MeToo movement in India shows that existing laws against sexual harassment at workplaces failed women

#MeToo shows the legislation did not examine the historical disadvantage that women have had in the workplace and the power and privilege that men wield.

India

SC decriminalises adultery: Triumph of individual's rights over social institutions like marriage is the real victory

With the striking down of adultery under Section 497 of the IPC, constitutional law has finally entered the institution of marriage in a bid to ensure constitutional freedoms, destroy hierarchies, eliminate inequalities and attempt to democratise matrimonial relationships

India

Data suggests Centre's move to roll out sex offenders registry is ill-advised; move will only create more problems

India is not ready for a sex offenders registry because it seems to be violating more rights in the garb of protecting public safety.

India

Anti-trafficking bill not a rights-positive legislation, may further marginalise sex workers, trans people, children

The Anti-Trafficking Bill conflates trafficking with sex work, and therefore, impacts consenting adult sex workers, marginalising them further.

India

Prolonged sexual relations as good as marriage? Supreme Court's patriarchal attitude invalidates concept of consent and matrimony

The overall attitude of the Supreme Court is problematic in this matter simply because the bench is examining the nature of relationships, i.e., scrutinising whether live-in relationships and marriages can be deemed similar in nature.

India

Amendment to Maternity Benefits Act is a case of good intentions backfiring, ends up disincentivising hiring of women

The Amendment to the Maternity Benefits Act disincentivises companies from hiring more women, leading to a reduction in the labour force participation of women.

India

Kerala HC verdict on transgender identity begs question: Why has State failed to formulate NALSA judgment into law?

We may celebrate the Kerala HC judgment on transgender identity, by saying that it is a victory for the LGBTQI community. But in reality, it is not.

India

Kerala HC shows progressive bent in allowing live-in relationships but protectionist approach infantilises women

Kerala High Court held that its power to issue writs of habeas corpus cannot be utilised to separate live-in couples, as long as they have attained the age of majority.

India

Centre's draft policy for domestic workers lacks teeth, fails to chart employee-employer relationship

At this point, it is imperative to look at domestic workers as a sector that cuts through several issues like caste and class divides and discrimination.

India

Kathua and Unnao cases: Linking sexual crimes with identity politics obstructs reforms in rape laws

It is only when there is outrage primarily about the rape, and not about how brutal it was or how it would pit one community against another — for example, the Kathua rape case — that real radical reform will follow

India

Indian courts must deliver lucid judgment to remove differentiation between marital rape and rape itself

Translating marital rape from a mere concept to an offence will increase reporting as well as make for a rights-based approach to marriage itself

India

SC order extending Aadhaar deadline allays concerns of the elite but fails to protect the most vulnerable

It is imperative that public policy professionals and policymakers examine Aadhaar from an access-to-resources perspective, and not just from a data protection one.

India

Kerala 'love jihad' case: Hadiya's 'victory' no cause for celebration, it sets terrible precedents for women's rights adjudication

Hadiya's 'hard-won victory' should not call for celebration as it is not something that the Judiciary aspires to do – the bare minimum for women's rights.

India

PIL in SC opposing polygamy, nikah halala is good starting point; discriminatory practices in all religions must be questioned

Ashwini Upadhyay has filed a PIL praying that practices of polygamy and nikah halala should be declared unconstitutional. The petition is a good starting point.

India

Judiciary should use RK Pachauri case to set precedent over law on sexual harassment at workplace

The judiciary should adjudicate on the Pachauri case rapidly and steadfastly, and set precedents for the handling of cases of sexual harassment at the workplace.

India

SC tells Centre, states to implement Juvenile Justice Act: Court's directives well-meaning but not child-focused

From a governance and policy perspective, the Supreme Court's directions to the Centre, states on Juvenile Justice Act look sound but are not child-focused.

India

SC dismisses plea to make sexual assault gender neutral: Move reflects court's reluctance to view rape cases as victim-centric

SC could've struck gold when this petition came up & advocated for gender neutrality around anti-rape laws. Instead, it chose to pass the buck to Parliament

India

Economic Survey 2017-18 emphasises on women empowerment, highlights need to disaggregate data by gender

Economic Survey indicates need to look at development through gender-disaggregated data so that there is critical understanding of women's status in India.

India

Indu Malhotra's potential appointment to SC is historic, but lack of gender diversity in judiciary worrisome

Indu Malhotra’s potential appointment, while nothing short of historic, reveals a deeply ingrained issue in the judiciary — the lack of gender diversity.