National Constitution Society Convention | IIHS, Bangalore | Session III

November 23, 2018

In 2018, the Centre for Law and Policy Research, Bangalore (CLPR) initiated a network of Constitution societies in schools and colleges across India to be known as the National Constitution Society (NCS). Through its institutional chapters and a central Society, it looks to critically engage with India’s constitutional inheritance.

In November 2018, CLPR organised a one-day All India National Constitution Society Convention that brought together student delegates from institutions across the country along with academics, lawyers and activists. This one-day event presented Student Delegates with the opportunity to critically engage with the history and contemporary relevance of the Indian Constitution and develop a plan to preserve, protect and promote constitutional values in the 21st century. Towards the end of the Convention, in its Plenary Session, the delegates elected the first Student Board Members for the NCS. This video covers Session III of the event. Find the summary of the session below:

Session III – Gender and Sexuality in the Supreme Court

Flavia Agnes, Co-Founder, MAJLIS; Women’s Rights Lawyer

Arvind Narrain, Founding Member, Alternative Law Forum; Human Rights Lawyer and Activist

Arun Thiruvengadam (Moderator), Professor, Azim Premji University

Speaking on the Supreme Court judgment in Triple Talaq, Women’s Rights Lawyer Flavia Agnes highlighted a range of judicial decisions over three decades, which already ensured protection against Triple Talaq. Despite the celebrated judgment of 2017, she agreed that the case broke no new ground, as the controversial question of supremacy of un-codified personal law over fundamental rights still remains open. Drawing from the Sabarimala case (Indian Young Lawyers Association v. Kerala), she cautioned against Court ruling on religious matters unless community and civil society mobilisation on the ground supports litigation.

Human Rights Activist Arvind Narrain praised the Supreme Court’s recent judgment in Navtej Johar, which decriminalized Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. Arvind Narrain argued that the Supreme Court must continue to embrace the doctrine of transformative constitutionalism, in order to further the rights of minorities. He argued that the ‘right to love’ and choose one’s intimate partners would reform caste, religion and sexual identity based discrimination.