The Politics of Law and Deficits of Implementation

Session Report
Abhivyakti Mishra

LPPYF Law and Public Policy Youth Fellowship is an Online National Summer School Program, a Two-Month Online Immersive Legal Awareness & Action Research Certificate Training Course and Internship Program, from June-August 2023 by IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute. An informative and interactive panel discussion on “The Politics of Law and Deficits of Implementation” was held by Professor Amrita Singh, President of NAPSIPG Disaster Research Group, NDRG, Distinguished Visiting Professor, NUJS Delhi and Senior Fellow at ISS Delhi and a retired professor from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

Inaugurating the session Nikita, a researcher at IMPRI, welcomed the speakers and participants to the program with an introduction to the eminent panelists. 

Introduction to Politics, Law and more

The speaker started the session with explaining that law is understood as a Command of Sovereign, a binding custom or practice of a community, what is law and what politics does it have a court is a law because the court has the authority to uphold, interpret and apply the law. Facilitators of law uphold a binding custom or practice of the community, enforced by a controlling authority, courts uphold and interpret. 

The speaker explained that obstructions to law lobbies, interest GPS, collective choices, control of authorities are dispersed (police, SDMs, DCs) and also discussed the independence of the courts. Prof Singh also  talked about the prejudices a woman faces in the police station, when they go to register a complaint and how the police personnel judge and belittle a woman if they are alone and don’t have a male supporter, preferably a man from the family with them. They try to give informal solutions to the complaint and are hesitant to register a complaint if it is against a particular lobby. 

Professor Singh commented on the existence of two India’s in a single country by highlighting the plight of migrant labor, during the onset of the pandemic and because of the enforcement of the Epidemic Act. According to her, the courts came in much later to the rescue of the laborers. 

The Dominance of Ideology

She firmly mentions that the court belongs to men, rich folk and those who have the privilege of this network. She mentions that independence of courts is necessary, however, she questions that the people sitting in power, usually the judges of the courts, have really strong ideological lobbies. She makes it clear that as humans we are bound to have some or the other political leaning; however, when a person sits on the chair of a judge, their ideological support shall not disrupt the legal proceedings. 

Concluding Remarks 

Lastly, she also commented that Swachh Bharat is not Swachh Bharat, as she witnessed that disease ridden garbage is usually picked up by caste ostracized people without any protection to their health. She emphasized that the government and society needs to force children for education, especially the children of the underprivileged and underserved in the country. Reviving MSMEs is essentially for an unorganized labor look.

In conclusion, the speaker agrees that as we are a majoritarian democracy we need to seek out alternatives and providing compulsory education to everyone is the best alternative so that people know what their rights are and how they can protect themselves from the wrongs that might happen to them. This was followed by an interactive question-answer session.

Abhivyakti is a Research Intern at IMPRI.

Youtube Video of Inaugural session for Law and Public Policy Youth Fellowship Programme:

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