Last year at CCS Academy, we curated a platform for CCS alumni, young students and professionals to engage in themes and discussions around public policy; now popularly called Baithak: Conversations in Policy. Baithaks follow an open group discussion format where the speaker is also the moderator of the debate, the principal guide and the facilitator of free flow of information among all the participants.
The idea of Baithak is to give a platform to all CCS graduates and potential course participants to come together for a discussion on contemporary socio-cultural and economic issues in the presence of prominent voices from the liberal movement in India. Its objective is to create a knowledge ecosystem, impacting the policy space in India at large.
The discussion will center around The Constitution (First Amendment) Act, 1951 and its implications on society 68 years on. The act was the first attempt to dilute right to property, and limit freedom of speech, as well as land acquisition and distribution. It was also a manifestation of the widespread political support for efforts to curb property rights in various forms. Whilst Barun will provide a broad overview of the act with emphasis on the political context of the time, Prashant is going to speak on Article 19(6)(ii) inserted through the First Amendment, focusing on how state monopolies were made immune from judicial review under the clause. Nikhil Mehra will shed light on Article 19(2) in particular, discussing restrictions on freedom of speech.
About the speakers
Barun is the founder and director of the Liberty Institute, a non-profit, independent public policy research and advocacy organisation, based in New Delhi, India. Barun has also received the 2005 Julian L. Simon Award for his contribution in environmental policy debates from the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
Prashant Narang is a lawyer practising in the High Court of Delhi and the Supreme Court of India. As a doctoral candidate at Center for the Study of Law and Governance, Jawaharlal Nehru University, he is working on a critical study of Supreme Court judgments on the Fundamental Right to practise business, trade and profession in India.
Nikhil Mehra is an advocate practicing in New Delhi before various forums, particularly the Supreme Court of India and the High Court of Delhi. Nikhil graduated from the NLSIU, Bangalore and started his career with Mr. Harish Salve. He went on to complete his Masters in Law at the prestigious Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago, USA. He worked as a Corporate Attorney in New York for many years with two of the top financial law firms before returning to India to set up his own Litigation practice. Nikhil was part of the talented team that assisted in drafting the JS Verma Report of 2013 on Reform of Criminal Laws.