This is one of the few non-fiction books I’ve ever read and truth be told I haven’t been a fan of non-fiction until six months ago. For someone who has been knee-deep in fiction, some landmark books can pull someone out and introduce to the world of non-fiction.
It was the state of politics in India the past few months that made me contemplate my position in the country, and I have turned to read “The Cases that India Forgot” to get a better understanding about the balance between the government and judiciary and sure have learnt a lot!
And the best part? A common citizen who cannot speak the tongue of law can understand this book. Chintan Chandrachud has done a great job in bringing a book together for people to understand the law, and how it works!
The Unofficial Synopsis
Have you ever thought of what powers the government has and what powers are upheld by the law? Do you feel that moving to the Supreme court is a solution to troubles caused by the Government?
Can our government increase its power against the people of the country? What powers do the people have with respect to the government and the law?
This book speaks about 10 cases that may not be in mainstream media these days, but these cases hold a significance in how the law is perceived these days. These cases are powerful and have determined the course of legislature and governance over time since the Independence of India, and drafting the constitution.
This book gives an insight to four major parts: Politics (3 cases), Gender (2 cases), Religion (2 cases), National Security (3 cases) and speaks about various issues like balance of power, legalities of laws passed by the governance, narratives around rape accused, the first amendment of the constitution of India for reservations, arming citizens as counterinsurgents etc.
This also talks about how cases are left pending in the Supreme court, and how sometimes the Supreme Court is susceptible and prone to error and at times turned a blind eye to the law in cases of National Security, which changes the outlook towards laws even today.
This book also provides insights into how benches and committees provide judgements and in some cases the freedom provided to fellow judgements as well.
The author sure does provide a riveting narrative to most of the cases in the book and sure does so keeping in mind the understanding of the public. This sure is a great attempt to bring the face of the law to the public and not just keep it limited to the professionals in the field.
Reading through had given me an understanding of how our laws and constitution can be interpreted differently by different people in different situations as well. The same article or section can be interpreted in different ways and yet be right as clearly understood in various cases displayed inspiring to pick up more books in the field to understand more about India.
Many of the cases sure do give the common person an idea of its implications in today’s context, but there sure have been a few which hadn’t delved into the story after in much detail. I had a feeling of being left out! I did feel a few cases needed to provide a little more information as to why Mr Chandrachud had provided a part in the book.
The beauty about this book is that it is completely unbiased and unpolarised and provided an outlook from both parties and stuck to the facts (I had an increased sense of respect when the author had written about two cases involving his grandfather Chief Justice YV Chandrachud and yet had written about the merits and demerits of the case without being swayed). The author did not put in his views and ideologies in the book and provided us with raw information with a good amount of research and resources as well. In some cases interesting enough to push me to go check the resources to understand better.
I would recommend this is anyone interested in beginning their journey towards politics and law. This super friendly book is a short read of just 155 pages and yet does great justice with the quality of the content it provides.
It sure is a 5/5 experience.
And this is one book I believe I would keep coming back to in case of doubts and queries.