Book release of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice by Prof. BB Pande to take place shortly followed by panel discussion.

The Book Release has begun. Justice A.K. Sikri unfortunately won’t be able to join the book launch.

05:16 PM: Prof. (Dr.) Harpreet Kaur, Registrar, NLU Delhi is hosting the event. She discusses the preface of the book briefly.

05:18 PM: Mr. Surendra Malik, Chief Editor, Supreme Court Cases, is welcoming the panelists. Justice M.N. Venkatachaliah has joined virtually from Bangalore.

05:21 PM: Mr. Siddharth Luthra, Senior Advocate, & Mr. Gopal Subramanium, Senior Advocate has joined virtually.

05:22 PM: Mr. Malik: “We have the judges, we have the bar, and we have the academia. We will see the book in three lights.”

05:24 PM: Mr. Malik: “Not only students, but teachers need good textbooks as well. This is a view that I got from Prof. Kelkar.”

05:26 PM: Mr. Malik appreciates Prof. B.B. Pandey’s courage and belief in his writings. “Often, his colleagues would tell him that ‘if you write this, you will be hauled up for contempt’, but he did not pay any heed to it.”

05:29 PM: Mr. Malik ends his segment by thanking Prof. Rao.

05:30 PM: The book is released by presenting copies of the book to all panelists.

05:32 PM: Prof. Srikrishna Deva Rao starts moderating the book launch.
05:34 PM: Upon Prof. Rai’s request, Prof. B.B. Pandey is reading the foreword. He discusses his thought process behind writing the book.
05:40 PM: “Law in the court or the statute is only one aspect of legal reality. But the operational aspect of that is understood by the police, judges, lawyers, and most importantly the actual stakeholders, the accused.” With these words, Prof. B.B. Pandey hands the mic over to Prof. Harpreet Kaur.
05:43 PM: Prof. Rao gives the moderator’s comments.

05:51 PM: Prof. Rao closes with the observation of the lack of critical criminal law lenses.

05:52 PM: Prof. Rao hands over the mic to Prof. Issa Shivji with three questions.

05:54 PM: Prof. Shivji: “Unlike India which was colonised under company rule, Tanganika was colonised towards the end of the 19th century. First, by the Germans and then by the British.” With this, he sets the socio-economic context for his further discussion on the comparisons between India & Tanzania.

06:04 PM: Prof. Shivji discusses the colonial land and tax laws with respect to Tanzania.

06:07 PM: Prof. Shivji discusses the state sanctions on rising collectives like trade unions by the colonial Tanganika State.

06:08 PM: Prof. Rao thanks Prof. Shivji and invites Prof. M.P. Singh with two questions.

06:11 PM: Prof. M.P. Singh banters that the only reason he is here is Prof. Pandey’s love for him.

06:13 PM: Prof. Singh discusses constitutional morality. He says that he refers to the American literature on constitutional morality.

06:17 PM: Prof. Singh closes by thanking and congratulating Prof. B.B. Pandey for writing the book.

06:18 PM: Prof. Rao thanks Prof. Singh and invites Mr. Siddharth Luthra with three questions.

06:19 PM: Mr. Luthra expresses his gratitude to Prof. Pandey and recounts a story about Prof. Pandey writing a letter of recommendation for Mr. Luthra’s higher studies at Cambridge.

06: 21 PM: Mr. Luthra discusses the sedition law. He mentions Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s reference to the sedition law as a black mark. Mr. Luthra criticises the over-criminalisation of various activities. He refers to the Negotiable Instrument Act as an example.

06:24 PM: “I hope students, teachers, lawyers, and legislators try to look it (the book) up.”

06:24 PM: Justice Lokur interjects with “and judges” light-heartedly, to which Mr. Luthra replies that he is wary of contempt.

06:27 PM: Mr. Luthra: “Is it not time for the response of the judiciary to be robust?”

06:27 PM: Mr. Luthra mentions a report of the Project 39-A, NLU Delhi titled “Deathworthy” and discusses the death penalty. He expresses his objections with the death sentencing policy of the country. He mentions that a number of death row prisoners are mentally unstable.

06:29 PM: Mr. Luthra criticises the test of ‘collective conscience’ while discussing the Nirbhaya case. He questions if such a test can be applied objectively.

06:30 PM: Mr. Luthra talks about encouraging and training young law students to take up the practice of criminal law besides just the appellate courts.

06:33 PM: Mr. Luthra discusses the reality of POCSO cases. He mentions that almost half of such POCSO cases involve consensual relationships. Mr. Luthra closes by encouraging young law students to take up practice at the trial courts.

06:35 PM: Prof. Rao invites Mr. Gopal Sabramanium with 3 questions.

06:36 PM: Mr. Subramanium begins by expressing his gratitude to each of the panelists.

06:40 PM: Mr. Subramanium refers to Dostoevsky and talks about the need to ‘wage peace’.

06:43 PM: Mr. Subramanium: “Bias and prejudice are latent and that can’t be justified.”

06:47 PM: Mr. Subramanium records his appreciation for Chief Justices Verma and Seth who spoke about the need to criminalise marital rape.

06:50 PM: Prof. Rao invites Prof. Upendra Baxi with two questions.

06:52 PM: Prof. Baxi thanks all the panelists.

06:55 PM: Prof. Baxi starts with “There is no teacher and learner, erveyone is a co-learner.”

07:00 PM: Prof. Baxi: “I describe law as ‘LAIE: Legislation, Administration, Interpretation, Enforcement.'”

07:02 PM: Prof. Baxi says that there is a need to expand critical legal studies and criminology. He adds: “And this is what this book does – expands the horizon of critical legal studies.”

07:17 PM: Prof. Rao invites Justice Madan Lokur as Prof. Baxi closes.

07:18 PM: Justice Madan Lokur opens. “This is a work of great importance from a historical perspective. I began reading a few pages and I realised soon enough what Sir Francis Bacon said is absolutely correct – what he said about books – some books are to be tasted, some are to be swallowed, and a few are to be chewed and digested. And this is one of them.”

07:21 PM: Justice Lokur refers to the case of Rudul Shah while commenting that somewhere around 1990s, the idea of awarding compensation to persons who had been illegally detained had been lost somewhere. He expresses that the idea of sensitivity and compassion are very important.

07:24 PM: Justice Lokur mentions the case of Nambi Narayan where the Supreme Court had granted a compensation of Rs. 50 lakhs.

07:25 PM: Justice Lokur talks about the pendency of cases in courts.

07:28 PM: Justice Lokur talks about the filing of a chargesheet of more than 17,000 pages in cases related to Delhi riots.

07:31 PM: Justice Lokur discusses the reluctance in grant of bail.

07:34 PM: Justice Lokur: “Is it judicial reluctance or is it the failure of the courts to realise that ‘Sorry, we are out of touch with reality’?”

07:38 PM: Justice Lokur ends with a request to Mr. Malik to persuade Prof. Pandey to write more.

07:43 PM: Prof. B.B. Pandey presents his closing remarks and thanks everyone.

07:45 PM: Prof. Kaur presents the vote of thanks.




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