Gautam Bhatia

Managing Editor

Gautam Bhatia is a D.Phil (Law) Candidate at the University of Oxford. He read for the BCL and the MPhil at Oxford (2011 – 2013), and for an LLM at the Yale Law School (2014). He is the author of Offend, Shock, or Disturb: Freedom of Speech under the Indian Constitution (OUP 2015) and The Transformative Constitution (HarperCollins India 2019). He practiced for four years as a lawyer in New Delhi, and was part of the legal teams challenging the constitutionality of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (prohibiting same-sex relations) and the Aadhaar project (India’s national biometric identification scheme). His work has been cited by the Supreme Court of India, and by various High Courts.

Content by Author

The Transformative Possibilities of a Constitution (with Joel Modiri and Gautam Bhatia)

The Transformative Possibilities of a Constitution (with Joel Modiri and Gautam Bhatia)

Constitutions are the legal bedrock of many countries, but they're also political, and are produced within a specific socio-historical context, much like any text. As much as Constitutions are there to protect citizens, they can also ...
Indian Gay Rights Case opens gateways for Article 15 and Intersectionality

Indian Gay Rights Case opens gateways for Article 15 and Intersectionality

In a landmark judgment on 6th September, 2018, a five judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court of India in Navtej Johar v Union of India decriminalised same-sex relations. In a unanimous verdict, the Supreme Court held that ...
Indian Supreme Court Decriminalizes Same-Sex Relations

Indian Supreme Court Decriminalizes Same-Sex Relations

In a landmark judgment delivered today, the Supreme Court of India decriminalized same-sex relations, and affirmed that the LGBT+ community was entitled to equal rights under the Indian Constitution. The case – Navtej Johar v Union of ...
The Indian Supreme Court Reserves Judgment on the De-criminalisation of Homosexuality

The Indian Supreme Court Reserves Judgment on the De-criminalisation of Homosexuality

In 2009, the High Court of Delhi handed down a landmark judgment in Naz Foundation v NCT of Delhi. It read down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalized “carnal intercourse against the order of nature”, to exclude ...
Decriminalising homosexuality in India: The Long, Twisted Road of Section 377

Decriminalising homosexuality in India: The Long, Twisted Road of Section 377

Section 377, Indian Penal Code: Unnatural offences – Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment ... This ...
Is Consent of the Husband Needed for an Abortion in India?

Is Consent of the Husband Needed for an Abortion in India?

The Indian Supreme Court on 27th October, 2017 in the case of Anil Kumar Malhotra v. Ajay Pasricha, dismissed a man’s petition who was seeking damages from his wife as she had terminated her pregnancy without his consent. The husband ...
The Indian Supreme Court’s “Curative” Hearing in the “LGBT Case”

The Indian Supreme Court’s “Curative” Hearing in the “LGBT Case”

In 2009, the High Court of Delhi decriminalized same-sex relations between consenting adults in India, holding that Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which penalised “carnal intercourse against the order of nature”, could not be ...
The High Court of Delhi on Pregnancy and Sex Discrimination

The High Court of Delhi on Pregnancy and Sex Discrimination

This July, the High Court of Delhi handed down a landmark decision concerning sex discrimination under the Indian Constitution. Article 15(1) of the Constitution prohibits the State from discriminating “on grounds only of… [inter alia]
Free Speech Under the Indian Information Technology Act: The Supreme Court’s Recent Judgment

Free Speech Under the Indian Information Technology Act: The Supreme Court’s Recent Judgment

In a landmark judgment on Tuesday, the Indian Supreme Court (PDF of the decision here) struck down Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, which criminalised, inter alia, “grossly offensive”, “menacing”, “annoying” and ...
Indian Supreme Court Changes Stance on Death Penalty: Holds Delay to be a Ground for Commutation

Indian Supreme Court Changes Stance on Death Penalty: Holds Delay to be a Ground for Commutation

Recently, in the case of Shatrughan Chauhan v. Union of India, a three-judge bench of the Indian Supreme Court delivered a landmark judgment on the death penalty: holding, in particular, that an excessive delay in carrying out the ...
Indian Supreme Court Upholds the Right to Negative Voting

Indian Supreme Court Upholds the Right to Negative Voting

In late September, the Indian Supreme Court, in PUCL v. Union of India, upheld the constitutional right of citizens to cast a negative vote in elections. This judgment crystallizes an emerging theme in Indian constitutional ...
Public Duties and Private Schools: the Indian Supreme Court’s Landmark Ruling

Public Duties and Private Schools: the Indian Supreme Court’s Landmark Ruling

Problems of affordability and access have perennially plagued the Indian educational system. State-run schools, while affordable, have suffered from a severe absence of quality in every respect; and private schools have been beyond the