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THE 35TH ANNUAL DR. RAMANADHAM MEMORIAL LECTURE: JUDICIARY AND DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS

The Judiciary fulfils a democratic function of upholding rights and liberties of people, and keeping a check on State excess. This mandate lies with the higher judiciary deciding questions of constitutional importance, and also upon the lower judiciary against routine executive action and individual demands for redress by the poor and marginalized. In different periods, the judiciary has had a changing relationship with democratic rights and with the executive. The Emergency witnessed judicial deference to the executive while upholding anti-people laws, illegal detentions and custodial violence. However, the subsequent epoch of public interest litigation opened some doors for peoples’ movements and victims of rights violations as Courts enforced basic human rights and dignity. Recent years have once again brought into focus the changing relationship of the Judiciary with democratic rights. Contemporary issues of mass rights violations, such as those of migrant workers, free speech, electoral bonds and arbitrary arrests, among others have invited popular scrutiny over inadequate review of executive action. Under guise of the COVID health emergency, citizens were deprived of the most basic access to courts and legal representation for bail or even relief from domestic violence. Further, the appointment of retired judges for prestigious political positions, selective transfers and selections of judges also raise questions on the independence of judicial officers. What avenues of judicial redress remain available to peoples’ movements and victims of rights violations, especially with a centralized executive? How may we understand the challenges to democracy in a phase where mutual checks and balances between the executive and the judiciary are undermined? How may the twin goals of ensuring independence and democratic accountability of the institution be ensured? This year’s edition of the Ramanadham Memorial Lecture seeks a larger interrogation into these questions to understand the evolving relationship between the judiciary and democratic rights.

Speaker: Anuj Bhuwania Professor of Law at Jindal Global Law School

Date: 17 October 2020 Time: 5:00 pm

ZOOM Meeting ID: 810 8215 6240

Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81082156240?pwd=ekdCNi9BeVJldllhKzMxQXN xbktyZz09

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Ramanadham Memorial Lecture
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Speaker: Anuj Bhuwania Professor of Law at Jindal Global Law School

Date: 17 October 2020 Time: 5:00 pm ZOOM Meeting ID: 810 8215 6240

Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81082156240?pwd=ekdCNi9BeVJldllhKzMxQXN xbktyZz09