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Courting the People
Public Interest Litigation in Post-Emergency India

$116.99 (C)

Part of South Asia in the Social Sciences

  • Date Published: January 2017
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107147454

$ 116.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Based on empirical research, this book shows how public interest litigation (PIL) grants the appellate courts enormous flexibility in procedure, allowing them to manoeuvre themselves into positions of overweening authority. While PIL cases are usually politically analysed solely in terms of their effects, whether beneficial or disastrous, this book locates the political challenges that PIL poses in its very process, arguing that its fundamentally protean nature stems from its mimicry of ideas of popular justice. It examines PIL as part of a larger trend towards legal informalism in post-Emergency India. Casting a critical eye over these institutional reforms that aimed to adapt the colonial legal inheritance to 'Indian realities', this book looks at the challenges posed by self-consciously culturalist juridical innovations like PIL to ideas of fairness in adjudication, as well as democratic politics.

    • Studies the transformation of Delhi through public interest litigation
    • Provides a normative account of post-emergency courts
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '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

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2017
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107147454
    • length: 166 pages
    • dimensions: 232 x 155 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.38kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Competing populisms: revisiting the origins of public interest litigation in India
    2. The case that felled a city: a public interest litigation with nine lives
    3. Public interest litigation as a slum demolition machine
    4. Good judges, bad judges: critical discourses on public interest litigation in India
    Conclusion: the procedural is political

  • Author

    Anuj Bhuwania, South Asian University, New Delhi
    Anuj Bhuwania teaches at the Department of Sociology at South Asian University, New Delhi. His research interests are legal anthropology, anthropology of media, public law, post-colonial Indian politics, anthropology of human rights and criminal justice and policing.

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