Indian laws have always recognized the workers’ right to strike. The Supreme Court of India has invariably maintained the “right to strike” as not a fundamental right, but a legal right that workers can exercise as part of collective bargaining, wage bargaining and dispute resolution. However, several court rulings have also been in opposition to the right to strike, be it by political parties or trade unions. Here are some pertinent landmark rulings.
The word ‘abortion’ is not easy to bear, particularly in a country like India where traditional beliefs and religious sentiments vote against the concept of abortion. However, the Indian Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act 1971 governs the misuse of induced abortion i.e. intentional termination of pregnancy. Some amendments were made in the Act in 1975. Indian laws for abortion indicate that the act of abortion on a woman must be performed by a qualified medical practitioner under stipulated conditions. Moreover, abortion must be carried out in an approved clinic or hospital.
Bal Panchayat has emerged as an effective medium for empowering children by involving them in decisions about their welfare and other matters. Modeled on the concept of Gram Panchayats, the Bal Panchayat comprises eight to sixteen members, has a president and a secretary elected by the children of the respective village. Introduced in several districts of the states of Maharashtra, West Bengal, Gujarat and Rajasthan, these parallel self government units have been supported by the United Nation’s Children Fund (UNICEF). The purpose of these Bal Panchayats is to make children conscious of their rights and encourage their participation in addressing issues such as child marriage, education, cleanliness of villages and health facilities. These children, in turn, have been instrumental in making adults aware of their responsibilities.
The Freedom of Information Act, 2002, was repealed by the Right to Information Act, 2005, when the Right to Information Bill, 2005 was passed on May 12, 2005.
The Act was formulated to replace the weak and ineffective Freedom of Information Act, 2002. The Right to Information Act offers right to information for every Indian citizen and entitles him to obtain information and data held by public authorities. It obliges every public authority to provide information and maintain systematic records.
The process of filing FIR or First Information Report is provided under section 154 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973. The FIR is the primary information given to a police officer regarding the commission of a crime by the first informant. To file an FIR, the informant has to approach the police station in the jurisdiction of which the offence or crime has taken place.
At a time when India is facing strong upheaval with regard to job quotas for Muslims, the community has received another blow. Deoband-Darul-Uloom, an influential Islamic seminary, has issued a fatwa asking working Muslim women to wear veil at workplace.
Did you know that every fourth household in India has a widow? Despite proactive discussions that are held across global forums such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, there is very little change for widows in India. They are left to suffer at the mercy of their families, usually their distant relatives who use them as unpaid domestic help or by their husband’s relatives. Widows in India live in silence, unable to voice their anguish and helplessness. Indian Constitution laws protect widows from such degradation but there is very little awareness about it.
To safeguard working women and their rights to remain self-reliant and economically independent, the Government of India has laid down certain laws to protect them. An example of this is the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976, that aims at ensuring that women are fairly compensated as compared to their male counterparts. Another act, which is our main focus of discussion, is the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, that protects the rights of working women who are pregnant.
Article 21 of the Indian Constitution states, “No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to the procedure established by law.”
Indian Constitution and Article 21
The actual scope of Article 21 was covered in Maneka Gandhi v Union of India (AIR 1978 SC 597). Justice Bhagwati’s key observations in Maneka Gandhi’s case are explained briefly below:
- the term ‘personal liberty’ in Article 21 covers a variety of rights to constitute the liberty of man
- the court should expand the reach and ambit of the fundamental rights rather than attenuate their meaning and content by a process of judicial construction
- courts lay great emphasis on procedural safeguards but the procedure must satisfy the requirement of natural justice
Religion is a term that assumes significance in the life of every Indian, whether he/she is a believer or follower of any religion. Irrespective of what beliefs are revered or questioned, the role of religion begins from birth and continues to influence individuals in India till their last moments. Like the air around us, Indians are accustomed to different kinds of religious beliefs even though some may seem outdated to others and so on. Interestingly, the Indian Constitution does not define religion.