Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act 2017 – Pros and Cons

In order to protect the rights of women employees during pregnancy and after childbirth, Indian law makes it mandatory for most establishments to offer maternity benefits to women employees.

Maternity benefit in India is mainly governed by the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 that applies to all shops and establishments with 10 or more employees. Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017 further increased the maternity benefits being provided under the Act.

Child Sexual Abuse in India – The Piercing Sound of Silence

Child sexual abuse, also called as child molestation, is a form of child abuse in which a girl or a boy who is under the age of 18 years forced into sexual intercourse with an adult or older adolescent in order to satisfy the sexual desires of the latter.Be it touching a child’s private parts to gain pleasure or forcing them to touch theirs, showing adult contents or exposing themselves naked in front of a child would also be a form of sexual abuse.

[Premium] Defamation in India – IPC Section 499 and 500 Vs Freedom of Speech

Recent happenings across the country against individual rights and free speech have questioned the relevance and the validity of certain laws such as Sedition law, defamation law, and the AFSPA. Sedition law has already been discussed here. In this article, we are going to discuss the defamation law in India, the associated issues and the way forward. AFSPA will be discussed in the next article.

It has been claimed that criminalization of defamation has a harsh effect on the right to freedom of speech and expression under Article 19 and hence demands have been raised to make it as a civil offence. However, the Supreme Court in its 2016 judgement approved the constitutional validity of criminal defamation laws such as IPC sections 499 and 500 which led to widespread criticism across all political circles.


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Official Secrets Act – Transparency Vs National Security

The Official Secrets Act (OSA) has been in the news recently due to the debate over ‘stolen documents’ in Rafale case. The Attorney-General has suggested “criminal action” against those responsible for making ‘stolen documents’ public.OSA is a colonial-era law that seeks to ensure secrecy and confidentiality in governance especially on national security and espionage issues.However, successive governments have faced criticism for misusing the law against journalists and whistleblowers thus violating their right to freedom of speech and expression.

[Premium] Sedition in India – IPC Section 124 A Vs Freedom of Speech

Recently, the Delhi Police filed a charge sheet against 10 people, including student leaders in a sedition case for allegedly raising “anti-national slogans” during an event on the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus in February 2016.

In addition to this, as many as 12 Aligarh Muslim University students, including the university's students' union chief, were recently booked under sedition charges after a complaint of alleged assault was filed by an ABVP member.

In another instance where an Assamese scholar and two others were slapped with sedition charges for remarks made against the proposed citizenship law.

 These fit a disturbing trend of many incidents in recent times where “misguided” people have been termed “anti-national” and has filed charges of sedition.

Notably, the law commission is in the process of revisiting the section 124A of Indian Penal Code and calls for a thorough reconsideration and presents the different issues with respect to it before the public for a national debate.


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Triple Talaq Issue – Tradition Vs Fundamental Rights

Recently, The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018 (Triple Talaq bill) was passed by the Lok Sabha. The bill is humanitarian consideration for Muslim Women suffering from triple talaq. Under the proposed law, giving instant triple talaq will be illegal and void, and will attract jail term 3 years and a fine for a man.

However, there is a standoff in the Rajya Sabha for its passage due to the contention from opposition parties and Muslim community leaders who are sticking to their stand against the bill mentioning that there is no need for the bill since the instant triple talaq has already been banned by the Supreme Court.

Sabarimala Temple Issue – Customs Vs Constitution

Kerala’s Sabarimala Temple issue is about the conflict between women rights and tradition. According to Kerala’s traditions and customs, women between 10 and 50 years of age were not permitted into Sabarimala Temple. However, the situation has changed when the constitutional bench of the Supreme Court on September 28, 2018, declared that restricting entry of women of menstruating age was unconstitutional.

[Premium] Constitutional Validity of Aadhaar – Background, Major Issues and Recent SC verdict

Recently, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Aadhaar in its majority verdict (4 out of 5 judges). It is in this light, there is a need to look up the background of the Aadhaar issue and analyse various verdicts.


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