Indian Democracy at a Crossroads

The Indian Supreme Court’s ruling on LGBTQ rights signals a court willing to play an unabashedly partisan role in the ongoing battle over the idea of India. The Indian Supreme Court, however, remains a complicated, polyvocal, court, and cannot be attributed any coherent ideological or jurisprudential worldview. This, at a time when the defining role of inclusive pluralism to India’s constitutional identity is at stake and majoritarian nationalism is waging a spirited battle, not just for continued political relevance but for reshaping the very idea of India.

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Independence Day: Das Urteil des indischen Obersten Gerichtshofs zum "Sodomie-Gesetz"

Am 6. September 2018 erklärte der indische Oberste Gerichtshof das sogenannte „Sodomie-Gesetz“, das u.a. den Analverkehr zwischen Männern unter Strafe stellte, für verfassungswidrig. Dabei verwiesen die Richter auf den transformativen Charakter der indischen Verfassung und die ihr innewohnende "konstitutionelle Moral". Die Entscheidung fügt sich ein in eine breitere Bewegung in den Commonwealth-Staaten, die sich für die Aufhebung der Kriminalisierung von Homosexualität stark macht und die von den Obersten Gerichtshöfen ausgeht. Die vorliegende Entscheidung dürfte dieser Bewegung neuen Schwung geben.

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Decriminalising Homosexuality in India as a Matter of Transformative Constitutionalism

What worth is a Constitution if it does not seek out the emancipation of a society’s most marginalized and excluded? Indeed, what vision ought a Constitution espouse if it isn’t a commitment to basic fundamental rights and freedoms? Ultimately, what polity must a Constitution nurture if it isn’t towards imbibing the widest and most deepest sense of inclusion and pluralism in society? All these searching questions and much more came to form a distinct part of the decision of the Indian Supreme Court (Court) when it was called upon to rule on the constitutional validly of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.

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Zwischen Supreme Court und Zentralregierung: Zur drohenden Staatenlosigkeit der muslimischen Minderheit in Assam

Ende Juli hat die Zentralregierung in Delhi ein neues Bürgerregister für den Bundesstaat Assam veröffentlicht, in welchem sich nicht alle Einwohner des indischen Bundesstaates wiederfinden. Ein Großteil derer, die auf der Liste fehlen, gehört der muslimischen Minderheit an. Ihnen droht die Festsetzung in Camps, der Entzug politischer Rechte, Abschiebung oder gar Staatenlosigkeit. Der Fall, dessen  Historie bis in die Zeit der Unabhängigkeitsbewegungen zurückreicht, zeigt, dass gegenwärtig in Indien Ressentiments gegen ursprünglich Geflüchtete einer bestimmten religiösen Minderheit wieder aufleben und rechtlich verfestigt werden.

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Save the Constitution!

India’s oppositional Congress party wants to impeach Dipak Misra, the Chief Justice of India, who stands accused of allocating cases to the respective benches at his own, politically right-leaning whim. In its fight against the governing BJP party, the Congress party has launched a "Save the Constitution!" campaign. Unfortunately, its leader Rahul Ghandi’s family has a history of entanglement with the constitution of its own.

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Four Indian Supreme Court Judges Accuse the Chief Justice of Wrongdoing

The judges should have been more considerate towards the institutional damage their actions have caused. They have hurt the court for decades to come. Institutional reform proves healthy when it comes from the inside; and one would like to think, that four senior judges wield a hefty amount of institutional power to transform the procedural mechanism without having to 'call upon the people' to intervene.This was little more than a political act in a country where politics and the law only function along the simple logic of institutionalising antagonism.

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Reconciling Religion: Lessons Learned from the Triple Talaq Case for Comparative Constitutional Governance

The recent case of Shayara Bano v Union of India heard before the Supreme Court of India provide helpful guidance for how a secular democratic regime with a multiplicity of religious, ethnic, and cultural communities can manage constitutional governance with an increasing number of seemingly irreconcilable tensions. Pluralist societies such as Canada and the United States grapple with a variety of delicate balancing acts: in such instance, the need to reconcile accommodation for religious and cultural minorities with the protection of gender rights on the other.

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