IPR and Digital Piracy: A Lost Cause

Recently, the New Zealand Court of Appeals approved an American re­quest to extradite one of the world’s most celebrated digital pirates, Kim Dotcom, back to the United States. American prosecutors had alleged that the creator of megaupload.com had cost copyright holders upwards of $500m (Rs 3,454 crore) in unpaid royalties on pirated…

Bury this ‘bekaar’ Aadhaar

After 38 days of hearings over 4 months in what was the second longest case to be argued in India’s constitution history, the Supreme Court finally reserved judgment in the Aadhaar case on May 9, 2018. It may be several weeks before judgement is delivered but already, it is clear…

Dangers of Internet: What is Fake News?

When journalist-turned-politician S Ve Shekhar casually forwarded a social media post suggesting that women journalists needed to sleep with their bosses to keep their jobs, he found himself accused of crimes under Sections 504 (Provoking Breach of Peace), 505 (Public Mischief) and 509 (Insulting the Modesty of a Woman) of…

Triple Whammy

The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017, reminds me of the doggerel about the Chaubay who went on to become a “Chhabbe” but came back a Dubey! There is grotesque irony in the idea that a law designed to provide security to Muslim women within marriage hastens…

Fee Fixation

“Can’t you see,” Pink Floyd’s singer songwriter Roger Waters berated us in 1984, “it all makes perfect sense, expressed in dollars and cents.” This must be why Supreme Court senior counsels aren’t celebrities till they make Rs 10 lakh a hearing! This is easy to understand: if you are that…

Why India can’t afford Rohingya refugees

George Bush once quipped that India lived in a very dangerous neighbourhood. He failed to add that moral ambiguity was consequently built into its foreign policy. The Rohingya refugee crisis is only the latest example of this inescapable reality. Not that Rohingya ‘crisis’ is new. The Rohingyas are 100 per…

Triple Equality before God

Judges often confront colliding ideologies with the law standing on one side, religion on the other and human empathy in the middle. In 2014, an 18 year old Muslim eloped with a 15 year old and married her. The girl’s mother filed a case of kidnapping, rape and sexual assault.…