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ActionAid is an international anti-poverty agency working in over 40 countries, taking sides with poor people to end poverty and injustice together. We believe that to make any dent in persistent inequity and injustice, the root causes of poverty must be addressed, and not just the distress conditions. Ours is a a rights-based approach to development, helping people to claim their rights which may be constitutional, moral or legal entitlements. This is in addition to addressing immediate needs like food, health care, shelter and education.

Dear Reader,

March 2009


 Land has been the reason for perhaps most of the political designs of the human race and consequently the reason for the evolution and formulation of most regulatory norms in the history of human kind. The creation of the entity called State and Law there from has been for the protection of property of which land has been a primary component. However, with the changing priorities of state entity for the common good of the polity, the state is not merely the protector of property that belongs to many who owe allegiance to it but also the owner of land to put the same to use for higher goals of state building. In this regard public interest can be an instrument that makes land ownership a vulnerable right in the hands of the holders of the same.

The constitutional history of India with case law benchmarks being laid out in the seventies by the apex court have been primarily with respect to right to property that is - Land. The litigious flux made the parliament carry out a harried constitutional amendment by deleting a right to property as a guarantee in the Fundamental Rights. However, the apparent relegation of the same has found exceptions in the Constitutional scheme of things with profound loyalties to tribal rights and welfare of tribes - weaker sections being squarely expressed in the Directive Principles of State Policy and the special schedules carved out to secure the same. The present issue of Rights First seeks to analyze the issue of tribal land rights owing to the pressure on tribal land both from predatory land appetite from the non tribals as well as from the state espousing the cause of that higher value that goes by the name Public Purpose. The article dissects the legislative and constitutional framework and the inadequacies therein. It seeks to highlight the judicial dilemmas in resolving the battle of claims between tribal interests and developmental priorities of the state both apparently finding sanction under the constitutional umbrella.

Our next focus is on the contentious issue of responsibility of the medical fraternity to meet claims from the patients who are aggrieved that the doctors have fallen short of a yardstick of reasonable care in their practice. Drawing the norms to define the duty to take reasonable care has vexed the judicial wisdom ever since the medical fraternity was brought within the ambit of liability under the consumer Protection Act. The article examines the principles of tort law as interpreted and applied to cases before the courts in India and abroad to highlight and suggest possible solutions for the same. The topicality of both these issues need not be overemphasized and we are therefore looking forward to your views on the same so that the dialogue has a meaningful impact on policy making for the future

- Rights First Editorial Team

Medical negligence under tort law

Medical negligence under tort law the article talks about various aspects of medical negligence under tort law including the consumer protection act. It defines negligence and then continues to segregate negligence under medical field it prods further into what can be done to improve d system of dealing with medical negligence cases.

 (Read More...)

Tribal land rights: Myth or Reality

Tribal economy has traditionally centered on land and other land based resources. Even today, land continues to be the mainstay of 90 per cent of the tribal population. Thus land is the only tangible productive asset which members of scheduled tribes possess. There are a number of social factors and religious rituals connected with land, which establish emotional ties between the tribal and his land. Thus, land is much more than merely a source of livelihood to the tribes.

( Read more...)

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