When the Judiciary Undermines Judicial Independence

India’s Supreme Court has long sought to protect itself, mostly through an insulated appointment system, from political pressures. Judicial independence seems to be the catchphrase for the Indian Judiciary when it is under pressure or attack. But how far has the Court been successful in navigating and managing the problems caused by judicial hierarchies and politics within its very own walls?

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“Twenty Years of Selfless Service”: The Unmaking of India’s Chief Justice

India’s Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi has been accused by a former staffer of sexual harassment. In a glaring transgression of judicial procedure, Gogoi staged a 23-minute suo motu hearing, in which he presided over a bench made up of Justices Arun Mishra and Sanjiv Khanna. Gogoi feels justified to adjudicate his own case because of extraordinary circumstances.

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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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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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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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