ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Prashant BhushanSubscribe to Prashant Bhushan

Scuttling Inconvenient Judicial Appointments

If there is a message from the way the appointment of Gopal Subramanium to the Supreme Court was scuttled by the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government, it is that the new government will do its best to keep out judges who, it feels, may be inconvenient. It is time once again for the establishment of a truly independent and transparent appointments commission; but will the government and judiciary take the idea forward?


The ongoing POSCO Steel project in Odisha is infamous for several illegalities: tree-felling, grabbing forest-dwellers’ land, incomplete assessment and deliberate concealment of facts, seizing natural resources without requisite MoU and environment clearance, beating, arresting and killing those

Initiatives and Referendums

In India's representative democracy, people select their representatives once in fi ve years to make laws and policies on their behalf. Limiting the participation of people to voting once in fi ve years makes the elected representatives unresponsive to the people who have elected them. Initiatives and referendums provide a political mechanism to ensure that citizens' voices can provide a counterbalance to a legislature unresponsive to peoples' interests. They are instruments of direct democracy in which people vote directly on issues of policy and lawmaking. These instruments, however, are not meant to replace representative democracy, but to complement it and to help maintain its responsiveness to the people.

Legitimising Tax Avoidance

The Vodafone tax case in which the Supreme Court overturned a Bombay High Court ruling on the validity of the income tax department claim on capital gains incurred in the sale transaction between Hutch and Vodafone has been hailed as a boost for corporate investment. However, what the ruling does is favour tax avoidance strategies. Indeed, it goes against the Supreme Court's own ruling in 1986 in opposition to such strategies.

Faking an Ecounter: Killing the Peace Process

The Coordination of Democratic Rights Organisation (CDRO) group put together a team of concerned citizens which visited Wankadi mandal, Adilabad district on 20 and 21 August 2010 where the alleged encounter of Azad, also known as Cherukuri Rajkumar, who was the spokes person of the CPI (Maoist) a

The Dinakaran Imbroglio: Appointments and Complaints against Judges

Serious and substantive allegations of corruption have been raised against Karnataka Chief Justice P D Dinakaran, who the Supreme Court Collegium is considering for nomination to the highest court in the country. The collegium has had to consider the import of these allegations though it is yet to take a final decision. But there are larger issues underlined by the Dinakaran episode. Until we put in place a credible system of selecting judges and examining complaints against them, we will be seeing many more Dinakarantype episodes, each of which will contribute to the steady erosion of the integrity and public confidence in the judicial system.

Judicial Accountability: Asset Disclosures and Beyond

Public pressure, the principled position taken by certain judges and one ruling by the Delhi High Court have compelled public disclosure of assets by judges. But this is certainly not the end of the serious problem of a lack of judicial accountability. The main issue is the absence of an independent credible institution which could entertain complaints against judges, investigate them and take action against errant members of the bench.

Misplaced Priorities and Class Bias of the Judiciary

It is clear from the recent record of the higher judiciary that the imperative of upholding civil liberties, socio-economic rights, and environmental protection has been subordinated to agendas such as the "war on terror", "development" and satisfying corporate interests. Far from remaining faithful to the motives that resulted in the institution of public interest litigation, the Supreme Court has tended to act against the interests of the socio-economically backward.

The (Con)fidence Vote

The admission by a TV channel that they had indeed carried out a sting operation to record what transpired with the three Members of Parliament who have stated in the Lok Sabha that they were offered several crores to abstain from voting is sufficient prima facie evidence to warrant a credible an

Shameful Events

We the undersigned have been dismayed and revolted by the recent events in and around Nandigram in West Bengal’s East Medinapur district.

Securing Judicial Accountability: Towards an Independent Commission

The "contempt of court" proceedings against journalists for a news report on a retired chief justice of India highlight the need for judicial accountability. The formation of an independent National Judicial Commission that would investigate charges against judges is essential.

Judicial Accountability or Illusion?

The National Judicial Council, which will be constituted with the enactment of the proposed Judicial Council Bill, will only create an illusion of accountability of the higher judiciary.


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