2-YEAR M.A. (ANIMAL PROTETCION LAWS)
SEMESTER – IV
2.4.11. Governance and Compliance
This course aims to provide an overview of important laws that relate to finance and corporate compliance for non-governmental organisations. This course also hopes to provide an overview of various government departments and help individuals work effectively with government bodies at various levels of governance.
a. Governance structure (Hierarchy and roles and ways to communicate with them including RTIs, representations, etc.)
- Role of legislature
- Working with Central government
- Working with State Government
- Working with District administration
b. Types of Non-Governmental Organisation Structures
- Section 8 Company
c. Operational requirements for legal compliance,
- Relevant Tax Law (Income Tax and GST) (12AA, 80G etc.)
- Corporate Compliance (Registration, Filings, Board Composition,)
- Relevant Labour Law
- Sexual Harassment of Women at the Workplace Act (prevention, prohibition and redressal) Act, 2013
- Law related to domestic funding and international funding (FCRA)
2.4.12. Animal Legal Personhood
In this course I contend that Indian judges have faltered in assessing the most fundamental question— whether animals can be fundamental right holders under the Indian Constitution. I base my claim on theoretical inconsistencies in landmark judgments of the Indian Supreme Court and High Courts. For an instance, in the landmark case of AWBI v. Nagaraja (Jallikattu case) which ostensibly recognized the fundamental right to life of bulls who were cruelly forced to participate in the sport of Jallikattu, the Supreme Court prohibited the cultural activity by making contradictory observations. The Jallikattu case which was decided by the Supreme Court in 2014 has been celebrated as a watershed moment for animal law jurisprudence in India. I believe that the Jallikattu case has led to more questions than answers which makes it a convoluted conundrum instead of a watershed moment. On one hand it recognized the property status of animals and privileged the doctrine of necessity and on the other, it recognized (albeit indirectly) the right of animals to live a dignified life. The reconciliation between the property status of animals and the recognition of their rights surfaces nowhere in the judgment. It is also ambiguous if the court granted the right to life to animals per se or if human ‘life’ was given an expanded definition which includes any disturbance to the basic environment of humans that includes animals. The court expands on the concept of ‘life’ as if it exists independent from the person who holds the right to life. The judgment lacks any discussion on the content of the right to life of animals as well as on the question of personhood. Further, the court applies sentience as a criterion to extend rights to bulls when the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (PCA), 1960, the umbrella legislation for the protection and welfare of animals, does not extend protection to animals based on sentience. An assessment of such contradictions as well as an analysis of the interaction between the property status of animals (as upheld in PCA, 1960) and the rights framework of the constitution (often utilized by Indian courts) is the objective that this course seeks to achieve.
a. Inconsistencies in Animal Law Jurisprudence
- Analysis of landmark judgements dealing with the legal status of animals.
- Decoding the theoretical underpinnings (utilitarianism, rights theory, capabilities approach etc.) of the judgments.
- Practical implications of inconsistent judgments
b. A Liberal Constitution & The Human Rights Logic in Service of Animals
- The Indian Constitution is a liberal constitution.
- The human rights logic of a liberal constitution.
- Utility of fundamental rights (a quintessential tool in a liberal constitution) in protecting the vulnerable
- Animals as a vulnerable group and individuals
- Applying the human rights logic to animals
- Relationship between human rights and animal rights
- Does ‘animal rights’ exist in reality? Should it exist?
- Role of a duty-based approach in challenging the property status of animals.
- Fundamental duty as the magna carta of rights?
- Indirect rights as weak rights
- Courts and a liberal anthropocentric constitution
c. The Place of Animals in the Indian Constitution
- Who may be right holders under the Indian Constitution?
- If the answer is a 'legal person', can it be deduced that the legal personhood of animals was recognized by the court implicitly by granting rights (fundamental or statutory)? Are all right holders legal persons?
- The concept of constitutional community
- Entry of animals in the constitutional community
d. Rights vs. Welfare, or Rights and Welfare: Can there be conceptual coherence?
- Rights vs Welfare: Are rights and welfare-based approaches always binary? Can both approaches coexist?
- Reconciling the welfare orientation of the PCA with the rights orientation of the Indian Constitution
- Critical Animal Studies as an alternative
Guidelines for Dissertation
The main objective of the dissertation component is to assess the research and writing skills of the candidates as well as to provide a platform for creative legal scholarship and can subsequently be refined and submitted for publication in scholarly journals or even serve as the basis for full-length thesis in doctoral programmes.
a) Selection of topic and submission of the proposal
The candidates are free to select their Dissertation Topic but it should be relevant to their field of course.
For the purposes of finalization of the Dissertation Topics, the candidates are required to submit 1000 words Dissertation Proposal indicating the proposed Research Scheme.
Upon scrutinizing the Research Scheme, the Course-Coordinator will either approve or reject the proposal. In the event of rejection / modification of the proposed Research Scheme, the candidates will have to re-submit another Research Proposal incorporating the suggested changes within a stipulated time fixed by the Course-Coordinator.
b) Length and format of the Dissertation
The length of the dissertation should normally be between 80-100 pages and should include
- Cover Page
- Certificate signed by the Supervisor
- Declaration signed by the Student
- Table of Contents
- Index of Authorities (Statutes / Judgments / Other official sources)
- List of Abbreviations (if required)
- Methodology (Objectives – Scope and Limitations – Sources – Research Questions)
- Main body of dissertation (Divided down into Chapters or Parts)
- Bibliography (Books – Scholarly articles – Articles from news sources – Internet sources)
c) Submission of dissertation
The candidates are required to submit to the Supervisor a rough draft initially for his/her suggestions/modifications. After incorporating the suggestions/ modifications as suggested by the Supervisor, the candidate should submit two copies of the Dissertation before the deadline notified by the University from time to time.
Evaluation of Dissertation
The written Dissertation will carry a total of 150 marks which will be followed by a Viva-voce examination carrying 50 marks. Dissertation shall be evaluated by one examiner and if a student secures a minimum of 50% marks in the written report, he/she may be called for viva-voce examination. In total, a student should secure a minimum of 50% marks in the Dissertation including the written report and viva-voce examination.