In the last three decades, despite a great deal of attention being paid to the passage and operation of anti-terrorism legislation, the number of convictions for terrorism has been low. Causes for this can be found at the stage of both investigation and trial. The Vidhi project on the study of terrorism prosecution in India will look at the functioning of ordinary and special courts that have tried cases of cross-border terrorism in the last 10 years in order to understand judicial interpretations of the notion of ‘terrorism’ under national security legislation. The project will also try to establish the pattern of interpretation of national security laws by judges, particularly deviations from general criminal procedure and laws of evidence. It will do so in order to assess the degree of adherence with Constitutional and binding international human rights obligations in the trial of terror suspects. The project will also look at the relationship between the Centre and States in the trial of cases of suspected terrorism, and examine causes for delay in the prosecution of terror cases.
Arghya Sengupta is affiliated with the Asian Studies Centre as a Visiting Fellow and a Research Director at Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy, a legal policy think-tank based in New Delhi. Sengupta advises the Government of India, State governments and Members of Parliament on policy issues surrounding constitutional law, administrative law and allied topics in public law. His own research focuses on South Asian judiciaries and Indian constitutional law.
Sengupta was formerly a Lecturer in Law at Pembroke College, Oxford where he taught Administrative Law. He has a B.A. LL.B. (Hons.) from the National Law School of India University, Bangalore and a B.C.L. and M.Phil. in Law from the University of Oxford where he was a Rhodes Scholar.