Speaker: Dr Anup Surendranath teaches constitutional law at National Law University, Delhi. In May 2014 he was invited by the Supreme Court of India to serve as the Deputy Registrar (Research), a post in which he continued until August 2015. This was only the second instance in the history of the Supreme Court of India where such an appointment was made. Dr Surendranath has degrees in law from NALSAR, Hyderabad and the University of Oxford (BCL, M Phil and D Phil in Law). He is also the Director of the Centre on the Death Penalty, which currently comprises the Death Penalty Litigation Clinic and the Death Penalty Research Project.

Abstract: Anti-cow slaughter laws have a long constitutional history in India across constituent assembly debates, legislations and decisions of the Supreme Court. These legislations have adopted a wide variety of measures to regulate bovine slaughter and consumption of meat that have sat rather uncomfortably with religious and personal freedoms guaranteed under the Constitution. While the legal discourse on cow slaughter has proceeded along a trajectory that bears no resemblance to the political conversations on the issue, this issue speaks to different unresolved constitutional issues. In this session, Dr Surendranath will reflect on the relationship between Directive Principles of State Policy and fundamental rights, the adjudication of freedom of religion and the constitutional imagination of personal freedom through the lens of anti-cow slaughter laws.

Primary Discussant: Dr Tarunabh Khaitan is an Associate Professor of Law and the Hackney Fellow in Law at Wadham College, University of Oxford. He is currently on special leave for four years from 1 September 2017. During this period of leave, he is a Future Fellow at the University of Melbourne. Dr Khaitan is also the General Editor of the Indian Law Review, an Academic Fellow of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, an Affiliate of the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights and an Associate of the Oxford Human Rights Hub. He completed his undergraduate degree in law from the National Law School (Bangalore) in 2004. He then came to Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar and completed his postgraduate studies (BCL with distinction, MPhil with distinction, DPhil) at Exeter College. Before joining Wadham, he was the Penningtons Student (Fellow) in Law at Christ Church.

Blogger: Rishika Sahgal is an M Phil candidate in law at the University of Oxford. She completed her BCL in 2017 as Rhodes Scholar at Magdalen College. Prior to the BCL, Rishika clerked with the Chief Justice of India. She obtained her undergraduate degree in law from National Law University Delhi, India. Her areas of interest are constitutional law, equality law, human rights law and criminal justice.