Justify Episode 6 – The Illusion of Institutional Autonomy

Justify | Podcast · December 26, 2019
Author(s): Arghya Sengupta

On the sixth episode of Justify – The Illusion of Institutional Autonomy

Round up (i) the Supreme Court’s suo moto action calling for information to assess ground level implementation of the amendments to the sexual offences law, following the Nirbhaya incident; (ii) relief granted by the Karnataka HC, the Kerala HC, the Gauhati HC and the Allahabad HC in petitions filed in the wake of the anti-CAA protests; and the contrasting approach of the Delhi HC.

Listen in to a Tete-a-tete with Justice Gautam Patel, where he fields questions from the host and recounts the argument he made when delivering the Vidhi Annual Lecture – that institutional autonomy is the bedrock of liberal democracies and that institutions are falling into self-imposed adherence to political ideologies. Justice Patel identifies educational institutions as being relevant here, and argues that they must be functionally independent and autonomous to ensure that education is not reduced simply to the acquisition of skills, but rather, that it remains focused on imparting the ability to think and reason. Also understand why Justice Patel is of the opinion that a new standard of judicial review needs to be developed and why calling the Film Certification Board a ‘Censure Board’ is a practice that should be avoided.

This conversation – focused on the need for structural improvements in the India polity – promises to be riveting and highly informative to those interested in contemporary law and politics.

As always, write to us at justify@vidhilegalpolicy.in with the answer in our weekly legal quiz CLATTR, and stand a chance to win a thousand rupee Amazon voucher. Last week’s winner was Nirmal Bhansali, the correct answer was Ralph Nader; the connects were the 2000 Presidential race and a tort law museum set up by Ralph Nader.

About Arghya Sengupta:

Arghya is the Founder and Research Director at Vidhi. His areas of specialisation are constitutional law and regulation of the digital economy. He has served on a number of government committees including most recently the Justice B.N. Srikrishna-led committee of experts on a data protection framework for India. Arghya has a number of academic publications on the Supreme Court, Parliament, fundamental rights in leading law journals such as Law Quarterly Review and Public Law. He is also a columnist at The Telegraph, The Hindustan Times and The Times of India. He has most recently authored a book "Independence and Accountability of the Indian Higher Judiciary" (Cambridge, 2019) which builds on his doctoral work at Oxford University. Prior to founding Vidhi, he was at Oxford as a Lecturer in Administrative Law at Pembroke College. Link to full bio