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‘The Devil’s Court!’

Abstract : This chapter examines a bitter encounter that has been taking place over the last decade between the Indian judiciary and caste panchayats. This encounter has taken the form of a trial, both literal and figurative, in the course of which the apotheosized Indian village assembly has morphed into a dangerous kangaroo court. Though the trial of caste panchayats has taken on a national dimension, the focus here is on the unfolding of its Tamil scenario largely constructed on a constitutional void regarding non-state adjudication, damning catchphrases coined by the printed press and sociologically unsound amalgams. This chapter traces the recent making of a spurious concept, that of the katta panchayat, which showcases the shift of the relation between the state and the village society in matters of legal reasoning and procedure.
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Submitted on : Sunday, May 16, 2021 - 11:34:08 AM
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Zoé Headley. ‘The Devil’s Court!’. Daniela Berti; Devika Bordia. Regimes of Legality: Ethnography of Criminal Cases in South Asia, Oxford University Press, pp.227-257, 2015, 9780199456741. ⟨10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199456741.003.0008⟩. ⟨hal-03226947⟩



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