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Courting the People: Public Interest Litigation in Post-Emergency India (South Asia in the Social Sciences) Hardcover – 26 Dec 2016
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'Courting the People is a book that needed to be written and one that should be widely read and debated. It will form part of any reading list on PIL in India, mainly because by naming, calling out, and documenting the public secrets of PIL, the book provides an important counter to the mostly hagiographic narratives on PIL and its dramatis personae. In particular, Bhuwania's vividly portrayed ethnographic accounts demonstrate the quotidian realities of PIL in India. … Through these vignettes into the inner workings of PIL, Bhuwania provides a trenchant and compelling critique of the jurisdiction.' Aparna Chandra, ICON
This book shows how public interest litigation (PIL) grants appellate courts flexibility in procedure, allowing them to manoeuvre themselves into positions of overweening authority. It locates the political challenges that PIL uses in its very process, arguing that its fundamentally protean nature stems from its mimicry of ideas of popular justice.See all Product description
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The issue of Courts becoming city administrators through monitoring committees and amicus curie and passing orders to legitimize its power grab is quite disconcerting. The issue of vanishing petitioners and taking up issues suo moto is the classical abuse of power. While the reasons for such appropriation of power has been laid on various factors, Anuj Bhuwania puts it on the dilution of judicial processes -- from no need of standing, no need to hear those impacted by its orders and no need of adversarial form of PILs. Judges solely become the power centre to pick issues, collect evidence (barely) and decide without any opposition from affected parties as PIL had no need for any adversaries. While we can agree or disagree about the "calculus" of good and bad depending on our viewpoint, it is the dilution of judicial processes that should worry us all. The ominous direction which Judiciary have taken and Anuj Bhuwania has taken a quite commendable step in bringing light to these issues.