Events

Vidhi's Briefing Book Launch & Public Debate

IMG-20171222-WA0024.jpg

Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy celebrated the occasion of its fourth anniversary with the launch of its fourth Briefing Book titled 'Towards the Rule of Law: 25 Legal Reforms for India' on December 22, 2017 at Constitution Club of India. The launch of the Briefing Book was followed by a public debate on the topic: “This house believes that India is a rule of law state.”

The public debate was moderated by Mr. Rajdeep Sardesai (Consulting Editor, India Today Group). The speakers included  Ms. Madhavi Divan (Advocate, Supreme Court of India), Mr. Sidharth Chauhan (Asst. Professor, NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad), Mr. Baijayant “Jay” Panda (Hon’ble Member of Parliament), Mr. Swapan Dasgupta (Hon’ble Member of Parliament), Ms. Shruti Kapila (University Lecturer, Cambridge University) and, Mr. Alok Prasanna (Senior Resident Fellow, Vidhi).

View the video for event here

The Vidhi Dialogues: In Conversation with Justice A.P. Shah and Mr. Sushant Singh

Vidhi Dialogues_Seniority Convention.jpeg

With the retirement of Justice Khehar at the end of August, Justice Dipak Misra has been appointed the next Chief Justice of India. A Memorandum of Procedure on the appointment of judges, however, is still to be finalised. General Bipin Rawat was also named the Chief of Army Staff a few months ago, superseding two senior army officers. These developments give rise to questions about whether the seniority convention as an objective method of appointment should continue, or should be replaced with appointment based on merit.

In this edition of Vidhi Dialogues, Justice A.P. Shah and Mr. Sushant Singh will discuss their views on ‘Seniority Convention and Appointments to High Offices’ and whether a better selection mechanism can be developed for these appointments.

Justice A.P. Shah is the Chairman of the 20th Law Commission of India, and has served as the Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court.

Mr. Sushant Singh is the Associate Editor at the Indian Express. He has earlier served with the Indian Army and as a peacekeeper with the United Nations.

The dialogue is scheduled for 15th September, at 7 p.m., at the India International Centre, Conference Room II.

For admission to the event, we will prioritise guests who have registered. You can register for the event here

We look forward to seeing you!

The Vidhi Dialogues: In Conversation with Dr. Navroz Dubash and Dr. Srikanta K. Panigrahi

The withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Accord, last month, has cast a shadow on the overall functionality of this Agreement. The implications of the US withdrawal are two-fold: first, the US is one of the three top polluters along with China and India, responsible for highest carbon emission levels and its withdrawal is a dent on the global unity that was embedded in the Paris Accord. Secondly, the US was also envisioned to be a major contributor to the Green Climate Fund, established under the Accord, and its withdrawal may impede the growth of this fund. 

The Vidhi Dialogue will explore the implications of the US withdrawal on India and its obligations under the Paris Accord. For this edition, we are happy to present two distinguished environmentalists, Dr Navroz Dubash and Dr Srikanta K. Panigrahi, who will be presenting their insights on the theme of this dialogue.

Dr Navroz Dubash is a senior fellow at CPR and coordinator of the Initiative on Climate, Energy, and Environment. His research and policy interests include climate change policy and governance, the political economy of energy and water, the regulatory state in the developing world and the role of civil society in global environmental governance. In 2015 he was conferred the 12th T N Khoshoo Memorial Award in recognition of the impact of his work on Indian climate change policy and the international discourse on global climate governance.

Dr Srikanta K. Panigrahi is the Director General of Carbon Minus, and was instrumental in initiating the Kyoto Protocol in India. Presently, he sits as a member on the Prime Minister's National Mission on Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change, which has been set up under the National Action Plan on Climate Change. He was also a member of the Working Group which prepared the National Action Plan for Operationalising Clean Development Mechanism in India.

The dialogue is scheduled for July 5th, at 7 p.m., at the India International Centre (Annexe.) Lecture Hall II.

For admission to the event, we will prioritise guests who have registeredYou can register here.

We look forward to seeing you!

Event: 'Great Cases' talk by Ms. Rebecca John

On the 26th of February, Vidhi continues its ‘Great Cases’ series with a talk by Ms. Rebecca John, Senior Advocate, High Court of Delhi on the Hashimpura Massacre Case (State of Uttar Pradesh v. Surender Pal Singh and Others).

Ms. John is a distinguished criminal lawyer with many years of experience before the High Court of Delhi and the Supreme Court of India. She has been involved as a defense counsel in several prominent and high-impact criminal law cases, such as the Arushi Talwar murder trial, the Delhi serial bomb blasts of 2005, and the Ishrat Jahan encounter case. 

At the event, Ms. John will discuss her reflections on the judgment of the Delhi trial court in the Hashimpura Massacre case, which raised compelling questions regarding the criminal justice system of the country, and her experience of having represented the victims and survivors.

The talk will be held on Friday, February 26, 2016 at 5:30 p.m. at the India Islamic Cultural Centre, Conference Room 1.

Do register here. We look forward to seeing you!

Event: 'Great Cases' talk by Mr. P. S. Narasimha

On the 22nd of January, Vidhi continues its 'Great Cases' Series with a talk by Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Mr. P. S. Narasimha on the Italian Marines case. In his capacity as ASG, Mr. Narasimha has appeared on behalf of the Government of India in leading cases such as the National Judicial Appointments Commission case, the Coal Block Allocation case and the ongoing Uttarakhand Hydroelectric Power Plants case.  

The talk will be held on Friday, January 22nd, 2016 at 5:30 p.m. at the India International Centre - Annexe, Lecture Room 2.

 

Narasimha.jpg

Event: International Conference on 'Comparative Perspectives on the Right to Education for Minorities and Disadvantaged Groups'

Vidhi's Education Initiative is organising an International Conference on Comparative Perspectives on the Right to Education for Minorities and Disadvantaged Groups, in collaboration with the Oxford Human Rights Hub and the Open Society Foundations.

It shall take place on 14th and 15th January 2016, at Seminar Halls 1 and 2, India International Centre, 40 Max Mueller Marg, New Delhi - 110003.

The aim of this conference is to bring together a diverse group of participants from India, South Africa, UK and other countries, and engage them on the key challenges surrounding the enforcement of the right to education for minorities and disadvantaged groups.

The conference consists of four panels, namely:

  • The Role of Public and Private Actors: Challenges Facing the Right to Education
  • Gender Equality in Education: Moving Beyond Access to Primary Education
  • Measuring Quality and Enforcing a Right to Quality Education
  • Balancing the Right to Freedom of Religion and Culture and the Right to Education

The conference will conclude with a Plenary Session on The Role of Courts in Realising the Right to Education.

Schedule

Day 1: Thursday, 14th January, 2016 

09:30 – 10:00 am - Registration
10:00 – 10:35 am - Inaugural Address by Shantha Sinha, former Chairperson, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights
10:35 – 10:45 am - Release of Vidhi paper on ‘Right to Education and Minority Rights: Towards a Fine Constitutional Balance’

10:45 – 11:00 am - Tea 

11:00 – 01:00 pm - Panel 1 - The Role of Public and Private Actors: Challenges Facing the Right to Education

Panel members -

  1. Kiran Bhatty, Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi

  2. Sarah Sephton, Legal Resources Centre, South Africa

  3. Amit Kaushik, IPE Global, New Delhi


1:00 – 2:00 pm - Lunch 

2:00 – 4:00 pm - Panel 2 - Gender Equality in Education: Moving Beyond Access to Primary Education

Panel members -

  1. Sandra Fredman, Oxford Human Rights Hub, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

  2. Shabistan Gaffar, All India Confederation of Women’s Empowerment Through Education, New Delhi

  3. Archana Dwivedi and Kanija, Nirantar, New Delhi 

  4. Maya Menon, Teacher Foundation, Bengaluru

  5. Meghan Campbell, Oxford Human Rights Hub, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

  6. Afshan Huma, Alama Iqbal Open University, Pakistan (recorded presentation)


Day 2: Friday, 15th January, 2016


9:30 – 10:15 am - Registration

10:15 am – 12:15 pm - Panel 3 - Measuring Quality and Enforcing a Right to Quality Education
Panel members -

  1. Pranav Kothari, Educational Initiatives, Ahmedabad

  2. Shailendra Sharma, Pratham, New Delhi 

  3. Geeta Kingdon, University of London, United Kingdom

  4. Helen Taylor, Oxford Human Rights Hub, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

  5. Avinash Singh, National University for Educational Planning and Administration, New Delhi


12:15 – 1:30 pm - Lunch

1:30 – 3:30 pm - Panel 4 - Balancing the Right to Freedom of Religion and Culture and the Right to Education

Panel members -

  1. Jayna Kothari, Centre for Law and Policy Research, Bengaluru

  2. Ranu Jain, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai

  3. Michael Bishop, Legal Resources Centre, South Africa

  4. Azra Razzak, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi 

  5. Farida Khan, National Commission for Minorities, New Delhi 

3:30 – 4:00 pm - Tea

4:00 – 5:30 pm - Plenary Session – The Role of Courts in Realising the Right to Education

Panel members-

  1. Justice A.P. Shah, Former Chief Justice of High Court of Delhi and Chairman, 20th Law Commission of India

  2. Colin Gonsalves, Human Rights Law Network, New Delhi

  3. Sandra Fredman, Oxford Human Rights Hub, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Event: Vikram Raghavan's talk on George Gadbois and the Judges of the Supreme Court of India

Vidhi invites you to a talk by Vikram Raghavan on “George Gadbois and the Judges of the Supreme Court of India”. Using photographs and archival documents, the talk will focus on the work of George Gadbois, an American political scientist who has spent over half a century studying the Indian judiciary. Gadbois authored Judges of the Supreme Court of India, a widely-consulted book now in its fifth printing. The book relies on several decades of research including exclusive interviews with retired justices, their close relatives, and members of the bar. Drawing insights from Gadbois’ work, the talk will provide perspective on socio-economic contexts that shaped the judges and their interpretations. 

Mr. Raghavan trained as a lawyer in India and the United States. He created and contributes to a blog called Law and Other Things and writes occasional pieces for the Economic and Political Weekly. Mr. Raghavan has authored a book titled ‘Communications Law in India’ (LexisNexis 2006) and co-edited a volume of essays titled ‘Comparative Constitutionalism in South Asia’ (Oxford University Press 2013). He is presently working on a narrative account about how India became a constitutional republic in 1950.

The talk shall take place on January 14, 2016 at India International Centre Annexe, New Delhi (Lecture Hall II) at 6 p.m. Tea will be served from 5:30 p.m. Do register here.

Bangalore Event: A Panel Discussion on Cooperative Federalism

On 2nd December, Vidhi organized ‘A Panel Discussion on Cooperative Federalism’ – From Rhetoric to Reality. The event was in collaboration with Bangalore International Centre and Indian Institute for Human Settlements.

Vidhi invited Dr. M. Govinda Rao (Member, 14th Finance Commission), Mr. Nandan Nilekani (Former Chairman, UIDAI) and Ms. Srijoni Sen (Lead, Public Law, Vidhi) to share their unique insights into the inner workings of Indian federalism from an economic and a governance perspective.

The discussion saw a lively engagement, through examples and experiences shared by the speaker, of how cooperative federalism could be better understood in the Indian context, and what it might mean in the years to come.

The discussion was moderated by Dr. Arghya Sengupta (Research Director, Vidhi).  

Panel Discussion: The NJAC Verdict Deconstructed

On 5th November, Vidhi organized a panel discussion on the ‘NJAC Verdict Deconstructed’ and its implications on constitutional law and theory in India.

The event was moderated by Vidhi’s Research Director Dr. Arghya Sengupta. Vidhi invited an eminent group of experts to throw light on the subject. The panel consisted of Mr. Arvind Datar, Senior Advocate, who appeared for the petitioners in the NJAC case; Mr. A K Ganguli Senior Advocate, amicus curiae in the Suraz India case where the Supreme Court first expressed concern about the Collegium; Mr. Raju Ramachandran, Senior Advocate, one of the leading authorities in India on the basic structure doctrine, and Mr. Madhav Khosla, PhD candidate at Harvard University and author of Oxford India's Short Introduction to the Indian Constitution.

The discussion revolved around four main themes: first, the implications of the judgment for the basic structure doctrine, second, the conceptualisation of judicial independence in the judgment,  third, the composition of the NJAC, specifically the inclusion of the Law Minister and the eminent persons, and fourth, the criticisms of the collegium in the case, and the way forward for collegium reform. An engaged audience pushed for greater exploration of these themes in the lively Q&A that followed the panel discussion.

'Great Cases': Talk by Mr. Mohan Parasaran on the Vodafone case

On 31st October, Vidhi organized its sixth talk in the 'Great Cases' series by Mr. Mohan Parasaran, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India on the Vodafone tax case (Vodafone International Holdings v Union of India).

Mr Parasaran, obtained his law degree from the Delhi University and his Masters in Law from the University of Cambridge. He started the practice of law at the Madras High Court in 1985.  He was appointed Additional Solicitor General of India in 2004 and served in that capacity till February 2013 when he was appointed Solicitor General of India. 

In the event organized by Vidhi, Mr. Parasaran spoke about the dispute between Vodafone UK and the Indian Income Tax Department regarding the payment of Rs. 11000 crores as tax deductible at source by Vodafone for its Rs. 55,000 crore purchase of Hutchison Whampoa's mobile phone services business in India.

 Mr Parasaran appeared on behalf of the Tax Department in all the rounds of litigation concerning the Vodafone case before the Bombay High Court and the Supreme Court in his capacity as the then Additional Solicitor General of India.  

The video of the proceedings can be accessed below:


Event: A Conversation on Cooperative Federalism on 23rd September

Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy would like to invite you to the release of our Briefing Book and a Conversation on 'Cooperative Federalism: From Rhetoric to Reality'.

The event is slated for the 23rd of September, Wednesday, at 7 pm at Gulmohar Hall, India Habitat Centre in New Delhi. 

At this event, Dr. Y. V. Reddy (Chairman, 14th Finance Commission and Former Governor, RBI) and Justice (Retd.) B. N. Srikrishna (Former Judge, Supreme Court) will share their unique insights into the inner workings of Indian federalism from an economic and a constitutional perspective.

Vidhi will also launch its Briefing Book titled ‘Cooperative Federalism: From Rhetoric to Reality’ at the event. The Briefing Book examines the meaning of the term ‘cooperative federalism’, highlights twenty issues of contemporary relevance where it is at play, and suggests solutions that will enable India to move towards the evolving aspirations of federalism.

PLEASE REGISTER at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/a-conversation-on-cooperative-federalism-with-dr-y-v-reddy-justice-b-n-srikrishna-tickets-18606419301

We look forward to seeing you!

Great Cases: Talk by Mr Shyam Divan on the Naz Foundation cases

Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy cordially invites you its fifth talk in the ‪Great Cases‬ series by Mr. Shyam Divan, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India on Naz Foundation v. NCT of Delhi and Suresh Kumar Koushal v. Naz Foundation.

Mr. Divan is a distinguished lawyer with many years of experience before the High Court of Bombay and the Supreme Court of India. He has been involved in several prominent constitutional law and environmental law cases. He has also co-authored a book titled “Environmental Law and Policy in India”. At this event, Mr. Divan will discuss his reflections on both cases, which have had a lasting impact on LGBT rights.

Date: August 22nd
Time: 5:30 pm
Venue: UChicago Centre, DLF Capitol Point, Baba Kharak Singh Marg, New Delhi - 110001.

There are limited number of seats at the venue, so please register on the link given below to provide us with a confirmation of your attendance.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/great-cases-talk-by-mr-shyam-d… .

We look forward to seeing you!

Audio: 'Great Cases' Talk by Sidharth Luthra

In the fourth talk of the Great Cases Series, Senior Advocate Mr. Sidharth Luthra narrated his experiences in the two cases - the Subramaniam Swamy case, relating to Section 6A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946 in the context of investigation of corruption in public offices and in the case relating to the commutation of death sentences of the assassins of Rajiv Gandhi. Mr Luthra also discussed the background of these cases, the legal issues involved and the possible future consequences.

Thereafter, a wide-ranging discussion between Mr Luthra and the members of the audience followed, where the two cases as well as various aspects of criminal law and constitutional law were discussed.


Audio: Vikram Raghavan's talk on Granville Austin

On July 22nd, Vidhi hosted a talk by Mr. Vikram Raghavan, lawyer and mentor at Vidhi, on 'Granville Austin and the Making of India's Constitution.

Mr. Raghavan examined the life and work of Granville Austin, who is considered to be one of the foremost authorities on the Indian Constitution. Through the use of rare archival documents and photographs, Mr. Raghavan explored how Mr Austin came to write his two influential works on the Indian Constitution and how they have been received in India by lawyers, experts and lay-persons alike.

For those who couldn't join us, as promised, here is a recording of the talk. Hope to see you next time around!

Upcoming 'Great Cases' Talk: Mr. Sidharth Luthra on Great Criminal Law Cases of 2014

UPDATE: We regret to inform you that there are no more available seats for this event. Please check back for the video that will be updated shortly, and stay tuned for future talks!

Date: Saturday, July 25, 2015

Time: 5.30 pm

Venue: India International Centre, 40, Max Mueller Marg, New Delhi

The Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy in association with The Firm (CNBC TV 18) presents, a series of talks on Great Cases where we will be inviting senior lawyers and retired judges to speak about their landmark cases. 

Vidhi cordially invites you its fourth talk in this series by Mr. Sidharth Luthra, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India on the Great Criminal Law Cases of 2014.

Mr. Luthra is an alumnus of Hindu College and Faculty of Law, Delhi University and has an M.Phil in Criminology from the University of Cambridge. He has previously served as the Additional Solicitor General of India. 

Mr. Luthra has appeared in various landmark criminal cases including the judgement on right to suicide, age of juveniles, the mercy plea of Rajiv Gandhi’s assassins and the Tehelka case that related to corruption in defence deals. 

At the event, he will talk about his experiences in a number of noteworthy criminal cases that came up before the Supreme Court in 2014, including the Subramaniam Swamy case, which related to corruption in public offices and the Sriharan/Murugan cases that dealt with commutation of death sentences.

There will be tea and biscuits before the talk at 17:30 and a Q&A after.

Please note that in light of hectic work schedules during the week, we have decided to hold the talk on a Saturday evening for the sake of convenience.

We look forward to seeing you!

 

'Great Cases' Talk by Ms. Karuna Nundy on Shreya Singhal v. UOI

In the third talk of our series on 'Great Cases', Ms. Karuna Nundy, who appeared on behalf of PUCL in Shreya Singhal v. Union of India, spoke about the impact of the judgment on the development of free speech laws in India, and her experiences in court while litigating this case. The complete video of her talk can be accessed on the website of The Firm

'Great Cases' Talk by Mr. Raju Ramachandran on the Ajmal Kasab Case

Mr. Raju Ramachandran spoke to an audience of 60-odd lawyers, journalists and scholars about his experiences as amicus curiae to the Supreme Court in the Ajmal Kasab decision. Through his experience of being asked to defend Kasab, the reactions he faced and the arguments presented in Court, he raised larger questions on the role of an amicus, which led to a lively discussion after the talk.

'Great Cases' Talk by Mr. TR Andhyarujina on Kesavananda Bharati v. State of Kerala

Andy talk.jpg

A snapshot of the first talk by Mr. Andhyarujina on Kesavananda Bharati case for our series on Great Cases held last Friday at India International Centre.

The video of the entire talk can be accessed on the website of the CNBC TV18's show 'The Firm', here: