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Alternative Law Forum

May 2015

Why Law and Literature?

ALF Law and Literature Reading Group
The most obvious question to a Law and Literature Reading Group is, 'why
think about Law and Literature at all'...
My personal interest in initiating this reading
group stemmed from the idea that both law
and literature deal with the subject of human
interactions, albeit in different ways. In light
of my fascination with the question of
human interactions in both law and
literature, the historical approach to the
discipline has always baffled me. Law and
Literature has traditionally been studied in
three aspects: Law in Literature, Law as
Literature and Law of Literature.
Read the rest Smarika's Reflections
Join the Law 'n' Lit Reading Group and Read about other sessions that have
taken place.

A Primer on the Transgender Rights Bill

Whom does it cover?
What are the rights guaranteed?
What is the enforcement mechanism?
The Rajya Sabha passed the Transgender Rights Bill in April 2015. The
following primer for Orinam offers a guide to it.
Read the Primer

Countercomments submitted by ALF to the

TRAI Consultation on Regulation of OTT
27 March
TRAI released a
consultation paper seeking public comments
on the Regulation of OTT Services. ALF
and countercomments in the same regard.
ALF Countercomments to TRAI Consultation on OTT Services
ALF Responds to Article on Caste Diversity in the Development Sector
If we take voluntary organisations as representative of specific progressive
interests be it for children, women, legally disempowered etc, the question is to
what extent do these groups take on board the reality of caste and combat it
within their own structure
Many groups may not have a clear understanding of the role of caste and
hence this is a much needed clarion call to civil society organisations to look
seriously at the intersections of caste in the work that they do as well as to
ensure that there is diversity within the work place on grounds of caste.

Read the full response

Forced to hide, lead dual lives

"It is understandable why men cannot communicate about their orientation due
to social pressures. But in some cases, men put up very little resistance to not
get into marriages. We always advise gay men even if they do not come out of
the closet, they should avoid getting married. This is to ensure somebody
else's life is not affected," says Gowthaman Ranganathan, a lawyer with
Alternative Law Forum, Bangalore
...Read more

Discussion on Judicial Accontability

Gowthaman Ranganathan, Deeptha Rao, Savita Siddi and Ramya Jawahar attended a detailed
discussion on judicial accountability and the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act in
Mandya, Karnataka on the 28th of May, 2015. The discussion was facilitated by the Mandya
Chapter of the Karnataka Jan Shakti.

Corporal Punishment - Legal Implications

Ramya Jawahar and Deeptha Rao were invited to an awareness programme on corporal
punishment on the 25th May, 2015. The presentation reflected the danger of corporal
punishment in the development of a children and how the law prescribes measure against it.
Conference on Right to Education
Gowthman Rangathan and Ramya Jawahar were invited as panelists at a Right to Education
Conference organised by the Legal Resource Center, South Africa and hosted by the Center for
Law and Policy Research. The conference was a platform to share and explore litigation
strategies for enforcing the right to education in different jurisdictions. Gowthaman shared ALF's
experience in access to justice as well as learnings around cause based litigation. ALF was
happy to host members of LRC post the conference.
Consilience 2015
Smarika Kumar was a panelist at Consilience 2015, a conference on Net Neutrality organised
by NLSIU, Bangalore on 9th and 10th May 2015. She spoke on the freedom of speech and
privacy concerns surrounding the net neutrality issue.

Urban Street Vending: Challenges and Laws

Gowthaman Ranganathan spoke at the 'workshop on urban street vending: challenges and laws'
organized by the Human Rights Clinic of Azim Premji University. The workshop saw
participation from 40 street vendors from Bangalore. The event discussed the socio-legal
framework for street vendors in light of the coming into force of the Street Vendors (Protection
of Livelihood And Regulation of Street Vending Act), 2014.

ALF 15th Anniversary

The Alternative Law Forum commemorated 15 years of its work and existence with a public
discourse on Dissent and the Quest for Justice. As intolerance for dissent grows in the national
political atmosphere, it becomes increasingly imperative to probe its role in our imaginations of
justice. How can experiences of being marginalised, queer, and different, shape dreams of an
egalitarian society.

Status Update: Research for an Indian Comprehensive Antidiscrimination Statute

Jessamine Mathew, joined ALF as an intern. Her work has
focused on net neutrality, rights of street vendors, the
constitutionality of defamation and contributing research
assistance to an Op-ed in in the Hindu authored by ALF
member Gowthaman Ranganathan. Jessamine is curently
studying law at the National University of Juridical
Sciences Read Jessamine's Blog

Marital rape: A 20-year-old case could help wrest

autonomy and dignity for Indian women
Guest feature, Gautam Bhatia reflects on the exception of
martial rape in the law with the multiple judgements that
have attempted to bring the veiled atrocity into the
discourse of private spaces and public legislation. Read
Gautam's full article.

I Want To Apply For This Course

Alternative Law Forum with collaborative Networks and

One Year of NALSA
The case grounded the recognition of gender identity within the fundamental rights

framework, and provided a crucial charter of rights for the transgender community.
While the judgment stood as a watershed moment for LGBTQ rights in the country, it
has yet to realize its full potential, with the government stalling on implementation.
Read More

Troubled Marriages: Socio-Legal Implications, A Discussion

In the backdrop of recent incidents of the Bangalore Techie case and the tragic
suicide of the Delhi-AIIMS doctor, both cases of gay men married to straight women,
this discussion aimed to address the legal and social repercussions of such
marriages. Read More
Non-normative Sexualities in India
The discourse of sexuality as it appears in three legal cases: Naz Foundation vs.
Union of India (2009), Suresh Kumar Koushal vs. Naz Foundation (2013) and
National Legal Services Authority vs. Union of India (2014). The presentation follows
the three cases in order to unpack the ways in which the nation gets imagined with
respect to non-normative sexuality. Read More

Workshop on analysing CAG audit reports

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) is reposed with the
responsibility of auditing union and state government accounts and accounts of other
bodies (para-statals like BDA, BMTC etc) under the government. The CAG is
independent from the Executive and is selected by the President of the country.
While there are dilutions of similarly constituted structures like the Supreme Courts
and High Courts, the CAG has been studying and delivering audit reports which are
insightful and some of which are landmark in their observations and directions to the
government. Read More

Talk on Intermediary Liability in the 66 A judgment

The Shreya Singhal case did a very effective job in dealing with section 66A of the IT
Act. The court's treatment of the liability of internet intermediaries however suggests
that our freedom of expression jurisprudence needs to find ways to deal with
collateral censorship of expression. Read More

Book Release 'Passion for Justice: Mukul Sinha's Pioneering Work'

Mukul Sinha, who passed away on 12 May, 2014, was a human rights lawyer and
trade union activist. He did pioneering work on ensuring accountability for the victims
of the 2002 Gujarat pogrom, and on a range of labour rights issues. Read More

Want your research, activism and strategic

experience to reach a dynamic audience?
Would you like to exhibit your latest performance
piece in an intimate space?
We are your Alternative!
Write to us at with the
subject line 'Friday Forums'

Talks that took place in May 2015

20 May - Chinmayi Arun- Intermediary
Liability in the 66 A judgment
May 1- Madhavi Shivaprasad - Nonnormative Sexualities

Visit Us!

Alternative Law Forum 2015

122/4 Infantry Road, Next to Balaji Art Gallery, Bangalore, India 560001 (Nearest bus stop:
Phone: +91 80 2286 8757
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Alternative Law Forum | 122/4 Infantry Road, Next to Balaji Art Gallery | Bangalore 560001 | Bangalore | India