The Dialectic Of The Subjective And Objective: Invisible At Work In Law

by Rakesh Shukla

Frontier | 17 April, 2017

Many of us may at times have witnessed an irritable exchange between the judge and a lawyer in the court. All of us are human and irritation, anger, frustration and perceived provocations impact rational and balanced thought. However, often the judge may be heard to observe that he never lets exchanges with counsel impact the merits of the case and the interests of the clients involved. This could be due to the image of a judge as a person unaffected by emotions in the discharge of judicial functions. This self-image may make the thought “as a judge I get affected by angry exchanges” intolerable, and the thought gets suppressed and denied at a conscious level. However, the suppression is a bit like sweeping the dirt under the carpet. The suppressed emotions impact the functioning of the mind and the discharge of judicial duties. Almost everyone else can sense ‘Judge saheb naraz ho gaye hain’ (the judge has become angry).

A parallel – and more meaningful – paradigm could be to acknowledge the feelings engendered by the angry exchange and take them on board at the conscious level. Feelings which are suppressed are not amenable to processing and yet continue to impact human actions. Once feelings are in the conscious domain they can be processed by one’s mind. A judge after acknowledging the feelings of irritability may take a sip of water and can think “Maybe it is better not to pass a final order today” or “Maybe I should adjourn this case today” or “Maybe I should recuse myself from this case”. It opens the possibility of conscious choice to reduce the impact of the angry-irritable feeling engendered by the exchange.

The irrational unconscious
The scenario depicted above is a small everyday illustration of the role of the unconscious in the functioning of law. A major area in which the role of the unconscious can be seen is in the playing out of the biases, prejudices and stereotypes of the judge. It is rare that a judge would consciously think – “I am against workers” or “I think Muslims are bad” or “homosexuals are abnormal”, yet these notions impact judicial behaviour and functioning.  Usually, the roots of these biases, prejudices and stereotypes lie in the unconscious.

All of us imbibe by an osmosis-like process the likes-dislikes, biases-prejudices and stereotypes of the caste, community, religion, gender and class in which we are raised. It is of course desirable for all individuals to minimize the role of biases, prejudices and stereotypes in their actions. However, as a crucial facet of impartiality, a special responsibility rests on individuals placed in judicial positions to try and reduce the impact of personal biases, prejudices and stereotypes. Gender, caste, class, nationalism, sexual orientations are some of the likely areas of play of these notions.

Constitutional Validity of Laws
The impact of the unconscious is manifests not just in individual trials but also in adjudication as to the constitutional validity of laws touching upon nationalism, gender and sexuality including sexual orientation.

National security laws such as the ‘Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act’, 1985, the ‘Prevention of Terrorism Act’, 2002 and  the ‘Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act’, 1956 which impact civil liberties and democratic rights have been challenged in the courts but consistently upheld as constitutionally valid. Similarly, the provision criminalizing homosexuality as falling in the ambit of “unnatural sex” under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 has been held as constitutionally valid by the Indian Supreme Court.

The judgments delivered by the courts upholding the laws would on the surface be about the extent of play of fundamental rights to life, liberty, freedom of speech and expression and reasonable restrictions to be imposed on the rights on the ground of public morality, public order and national security. Moving as Freud puts it from the ‘manifest’ to the ‘latent’ in the context of ‘dream –work’ (1905:160), we may find the role of factors like anxieties about annihilation, fears about partition, apprehensions about the rape and dishonor of mother and motherland or uneasiness with sexuality and homosexual attractions at play in the psyche exerting significant influence on the judgments.

However, legal systems all over the world do not take cognizance of the role of the impact of unconscious biases, prejudices and stereotypes and of the play of anxieties, fears and apprehensions, on law and practice.

The Drafting of Laws
The role of the unconscious can be seen at the stage of the very drafting of the laws.  Some examples of legislations in India where gender, sexuality, morality, nationalism come into play are The Immoral Traffic Prevention Act, 1956, the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques(Prevention of Misuse) Act, 1994, the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities Act), 1989. Similarly, provisions of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 pertaining to offences like Unnatural Offences (Section 377), Rape (Section 376), Adultery (Section 497), Outraging the modesty of a woman (Section 509), or provisions of the Evidence Act, 1872 pertaining to impeaching the character of a rape survivor could be other examples. Extra-ordinary laws the like Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, 1985, TADA, Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002 (POTA) as well as the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (AFSPA) offer another area of exploration.

The extremes of a spectrum often bring out and illustrate a phenomenon which may be pervasive in other areas in a milder form and difficult to grasp. However, once we are able to take cognizance of the frame of viewing it becomes easier to see the wide spread role and impact on the drafting of numerous statutes. In a society divided by hierarchies and status, sex workers come at the bottom of the ladder as one of the most stigmatized community and we can see the impact of this factor in the drafting of the law related to sex- work. As the author observes elsewhere “Almost everyone takes the holier and high moral ground when it comes to sex work and combines it with a refusal to listen to the workers themselves on desirable changes in the law and working conditions. (2007: 18).

SITA, the acronym of the law dealing with sex work is the very epitome of the pure woman in the Ramayana. The law is titled The Suppression of Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 (SITA). In 1986, the name of the law was changed to Immoral Traffic Prevention Act with the acronym “ITPA”[i] .  The legislation was enacted in pursuance of the ratification by the government of India in 1950 of the International Convention for the Suppression of Traffic in Persons and of the exploitation of the prostitution of others[ii]. The Convention on trafficking was impacted by earlier International Agreements. These predecessor Agreements were framed exclusively to engage with the issue and fears of white slave trafficking as indicated by their nomenclature: International Agreement of 18th May, 1904 for the Suppression of the White Slave Traffic and International Convention of 4th May, 1910 for the Suppression of the White Slaves Traffic.

The law was brought in 1956 ostensibly for “the Suppression of Immoral Traffic in Women and Girls”. Trafficking would be generally understood to mean transporting a person by the means of the use of threats, force, coercion, abduction, fraud or deception[iii]. The legislation (ITPA) does not contain even a definition of trafficking leave aside provisions to check it. Yet so deeply is the association of prostitution with trafficking in the minds of the persons drafting the statute, that the law with regard to sex work is called prevention of “immoral traffic”.

ITPA deals with acts like keeping a brothel, soliciting in a public place, living off the earnings of prostitution. Reflecting the extreme prejudice prevalent against sex workers the legislation has a number of provisions which are a violation of guaranteed fundamental rights and are clearly unconstitutional. Shukla observes: “The split between the “pure” and the “impure” is manifested at its most extreme with sex workers as the source of pollution in society and is amply reflected in the working of the law”. (.2015: 183)

In a departure from well established principles of criminal jurisprudence where consent or lack of consent of an adult is the crucial factor in determining the commission of offences like kidnapping and illegal confinement, ITPA has paradoxical offences which do not take into account the consent of adult persons. Section 5 ITPA makes taking a person “with or without his consent” for the purpose of prostitution an offence. Section 6 ITPA creates an offence of detaining a person “with or without his consent” in premises in a brothel.  Similarly, Section 16 ITPA makes no distinction between “adults” and “minors” in the conduct of ‘raid and rescue’ operations by the police. The raids conducted violate the dignity and rights of sex workers and end up with the ‘rescued victim’ feeling arrested and detained by the police. In clear violation of the fundamental rights to reside in place of choice and to move around freely throughout India Section 20 ITPA gives power of ‘Removal of prostitute from any place’ to a Magistrate.

The recent Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2016 drafted by the Ministry of Women and Child Welfare, Government of India to be enacted into law extends the prejudice and stigmatization of sex workers. The provisions of the proposed law take away the fundamental right of sex workers to be produced before a Magistrate within 24 hours of detention guaranteed under the constitutional rights to life, liberty and production before Magistrate within 24 hours. Similarly, section 4 of the Bill provides that a person rescued can be produced before the District Anti-Trafficking Committee by in addition to a police officer, by any public servant or social worker or public spirited citizen. The provision empowering any public servant or social worker or public spirited citizen is clearly a violation of the rule of law and the fundamental rights of rescued persons. The provision empowering any public servant or social worker or public spirited citizen leaves the window open, if not an invitation to busy bodies, interlopers, moral policing by all and sundry to ‘rescue’ persons and produce before the District Anti-Trafficking Committee.

Court Proceedings: The Law in Action
The role of unconscious biases, prejudices and stereotypes is not confined to the impact on and reflection in judgments. The proceedings in courts are an area where these are often played out. The manner of address, the tone, the time and opportunity given by the judge, the behavior of other players like the prosecution and lawyers are all impacted by an individual’s stereotypes of say the ‘promiscuous woman’; the ‘addict’, the ‘terrorist’. Similarly, the colour, status and appearance of the individuals, whether appearing in court as survivor/victims, witnesses, accused, private parties in dispute or lawyers, impacts attitudes and behavior of the law in action.  A homophobic judge may well address a victim/survivor who has been robbed and in appearance looks like the stereotype of the ‘homosexual’ in the mind of the judge, in a pejorative manner in the court proceedings as if he/she is an accused rather than a prosecution witness.

Few persons like to think of themselves as prejudiced individuals discriminating consciously against people from a certain religion, or caste or gender or class or sexual orientation. Predominantly the biases, prejudices and stereotypes operate at an unconscious level. Shukla (2011) speaking of efforts at minimizing of the impact through workshops at the Delhi Judicial Academy at New Delhi the capital of India and at the National Judicial Academy at Bhopal, the capital of the State of Madhya Pradesh in central India observes: “A major problem area is the centrality of the belief in judges that they are individuals who are free from biases, prejudices and stereotypes. Assumptions taken for granted in the area of psychoanalysis with regard to the paradigm of conscious/unconscious could not be taken as shared by participants. The introduction to the workshop explains the basic premises, emphasizing that feelings in the conscious are amenable to processing. It then tries to illustrate from situations in the sphere of law familiar to the participants the playing out of unconscious biases, the possibility of taking on board onto the conscious, processing the feelings and an opportunity to minimize their impact on judicial decision‐making”.

Criminal jurisprudence and unconscious
A look at the play of the apparently objective and irreproachable  fundamental legal maxims of criminal jurisprudence like ‘presumption of innocence’, ‘burden of proof on prosecution’, ‘evaluation of evidence’ and ‘proving beyond reasonable doubt’ is instructive . In practice these high principles of law are played out in hundreds of court rooms mediated through the agency of a judge, an individual as much prey to the foibles, idiosyncrasies, pride, prejudices and egotism as any human being.

A person accused of theft and appearing to the judge like the very stereotype of a drug addict may evoke a gut feeling that –‘smackiya hai, isi ne chori kee hogi’ (translation: He is a smack addict, must have committed the theft). Likewise a person accused under ‘anti-terror’ laws like the Prevention of Terrorism Act or the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act who has a beard, wearing a short pajama for ‘waju’ and fits the very image may of a Muslim ‘terrorist’ in the mind of the judge may evoke a myriad emotions like fear, anger, hate, anxiety, love for motherland which come into play in the psyche.  Judicial training does not have any component of taking this gut feeling and emotions evoked on board and processing them. In practice the ‘gut feeling’ and emotions evoked impact in a vital manner the presumption of evidence, the evaluation of evidence and the determining of innocence or guilt.

Rajiv Gandhi assassination case
The overwhelming role of subjective notions of the individual judge can be more clearly seen in instances where the trial court has convicted and given the maximum punishment and the appellate court has acquitted the accused persons. Rajiv Gandhi, the ex- Prime Minister of India was assassinated on May 21, 1991 in Sriperumbudur in the State of Tamil Nadu, India. The trial court constituted under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) convicted and awarded the death penalty to all the twenty-six accused persons. Under TADA, there was no appeal to the High Court and the accused had only one appeal to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court acquitted nineteen of the twenty six persons. The conviction and award of death penalty and the acquittal of nineteen persons out of twenty-six on the same evidence brings home sharply the stark role of the attitudes, opinions, notions and perceptions of the individual judge impacting liberty, and the very life and death of persons accused of offences.

Sedition and the case of Kanhaiya Kumar
Kanhaiya Kumar, the President of the Students’ Union of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in Delhi, India was arrested on charges of sedition for participating in an event marking the third anniversary of the death of Afzal Guru who was awarded death penalty and executed on 9th February 2013. Guru was convicted as a conspirator in the attack on the Indian Parliament in 2001.  This year too like the past anniversaries of his death, speakers at the function termed Guru’s execution as ‘judicial murder’ and hailed him as a martyr.  This time round the police arrested Kanhaiya Kumar in February under the serious charge of sedition. After being in jail for a little over two weeks the Delhi High Court released Kumar on interim bail.

The judgment granting interim bail in the Kanhaiya Kumar versus State of NCT of Delhi substantially establishes the basic premises of the necessity of psychoanalytical inputs into judicial training. The contents of the slogans put down in the judgment seem to offer some substantiation of the speculations offered as to the unconscious dynamics at play in judicial proceedings .The slogans in capitals in the judgment:  “BANDOOK KI DUM PE LENGE AAZADI” (trans. ‘We will take independence at the point of a gun’) and “BHARAT TERE TUKKDE HONGE– INSHAALLAHA INSHAALLAHA” (trans. ‘India you will be broken up into pieces, Allah willing Allah willing’) (p.11)  directly evoke and feed into anxieties about dismemberment of parts of Bharat Mata (trans. ‘Mother Bharat’, Bharat being another name for India).

In the context of the fundamental right to speech and expression guaranteed under the Constitution of India the judgment points out that the freedom is enjoyed because of the armed forces guarding the frontiers. The brave soldiers representing the virile sons protecting the motherland against the marauding enemy.  Referring to the JNU 9th February meeting Justice Rani (2016) observes  observes: “Whenever some infection is spread in a limb, effort is made to cure the same by giving antibiotics orally and if that does not work, by following second line of treatment. Sometimes it may require surgical intervention also. However, if the infection results in infecting the limb to the extent that it becomes gangrene, amputation is the only treatment.” (p. 22). The amputation of a limb seems to directly reflect the anxiety of dismemberment of the ‘nation’. It also brings into the arena the wrathful ‘castrating’ mother ready to ‘amputate’ the infected gangrenous son. Shukla (2016) commenting on the judgment observes: “We find love for mother and motherland, anxiety of partition, the inimical attacking ‘terrorists’ , the brave son protecting mother/motherland and the amputating-castrating mother all playing out in the Kanhaiya bail judgment”. (p. 3).

Trauma Testimony and the legal system
The legal system is attempting to increasingly take on board more and more areas of discrimination and disability in the quest for justice. The arena of trauma survivor testimony is one in need of urgent reform. The harsh dynamics of repeated depositions and cross examinations end up showing the victim-survivor as inconsistent, contradictory and lacking credibility. In a number of cases, rather than taking on board the vulnerabilities, the system may end up further victimizing the victim/survivor, at times leading to prosecution and imprisonment for perjury.

In theory, a trauma survivor is a victim and deserving of the sympathy and consideration of the law. In practice, the inability of the Indian legal system to protect the trauma survivor and/or witness from the pressures brought to bear on the witnesses by often the powerful and influential accused perpetrators is one aspect of the matter. The second aspect of the matter is the lack of sensitization of legal system to the impact of trauma on the individual. There is not much doubt that the ordeal of the legal process ends up adding fifty percent and at times seventy-five percent more to the trauma initially suffered as a result of the incident of violence.

Justice Mittal (2009) in the Delhi High Court judgment acquitting the accused of rape of a child observes: “Children who are victims of sexual assaults and rape carry a huge burden of unwarranted guilt and violations for which they are not responsible. The humiliation, shame and embarrassment which cloud their emotions because of the worst kind of violation they have suffered which get aggravated when required to recount the same to strangers in formal surroundings. The trauma of a child victim is only multiplied as he or she is required to repeatedly recapitulate her ordeal to the investigating agencies, prosecutors and then in court” (p.2744).

The Report of the Committee to recommend amendments to the criminal law formed after a brutal gang rape in December 2012 of a young woman in Delhi, India[iv] headed by ex-Chief Justice of India Verma, J.S. observed: “We agree with the following observations of the 84th Report of the Law Commission:-
“1.2 It is often stated that a woman who is raped undergoes two crisis, the rape and the subsequent trial. While the first seriously moves her dignity, curbs her individual, disturbs her sense of security and may often run her physically, the second is no less potent of mixture, in as much as it not only forces her to relive through the traumatic experience, but also does so in the grudge of publicity in a totally alien atmosphere, with the whole apparatus and paraphernalia of the criminal justice system focused upon her” (p. 96).

Psychoanalysis and Trauma Testimony
The positioning of trauma at the core of psychoanalysis equips it to intervene in the vital area of law and individual as well as collective trauma testimony. Freud (1919) observes “Apart from this, the war neuroses are only traumatic neuroses, which as we know, occur in peace time too after frightening experiences or severe accidents, without any reference to a conflict in the ego” (p. 209).  The insights evolved from the history of engagement with war neurosis during and post World War I can contribute to a better understanding in law of the impact of trauma on the psyche.  Freud (1919) further observes “Some of the factors which psycho-analysis had recognized and described long before as being at work in peace time neuroses- the psychogenic origins of the symptoms, the importance of unconscious instinctual impulses, the part played in dealing with mental conflicts by the primary gain from being ill (‘the flight into illness’) – were observed to be present equally in the war neurosis and were accepted almost universally” (p.208).

Therapeutic success with war neurosis during and post World War I places psychoanalysis in a unique position to help the trauma survivor and to sensitize the legal system to the impact of trauma: the psychological damage; the fragmentation; the conflation of different incidents, dates, times and occurrences; the existence of vivid memories in and of themselves along with lack of clarity as to how they are inter-related and the sequence of events characteristic of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Freud (1955 [1920]) writes “In 1918 Dr. Ernst Simmel, head of a hospital for war neuroses at Posen, published a pamphlet in which he reported the extraordinary favourable results achieved in severe cases of war neurosis by the psychotherapeutic method introduced by me. As a result of this publication, the next Psychoanalytical Congress, held in Budapest in September 1918, was attended by official delegates of the German, Austrian and Hungarian Army Command, who promised that Centres should be set up for the purely psychological treatment of war neuroses” (p. 215).

Van der Kolk (2014) observes: “But there is a mistaken notion that trauma is primarily about memory—the story of what has happened; and that is probably of ten true for the first few days after the traumatic event, but then a cascade of defenses precipitate a variety of reactions in mind and brain that are attempts to blunt the impact of the ongoing sense of threat, but which tend to set up their own plethora of problems”.

Juveniles and criminal-correctional process
The area of juveniles in conflict with law is an area where psychoanalytical interventions can make a significant difference. The incidence of increase in crimes by juveniles is increasingly pushing the law to move to a harsher regime. At present, juveniles in conflict with law are treated differently under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 (JJ Act) in India and are to be released on attaining the age of eighteen years. Today, there is a strong sentiment against the more lenient differential regimen for juveniles who have committed serious offences, especially due to recidivism. Juveniles in conflict with law are not sent to jails for adults and are incarcerated in Juvenile Homes established under the JJ Act. Periodically, the juveniles locked up erupt with fury and anger – breaking things, collecting furniture and setting it to fire and escaping from the protection homes.

It can be safely postulated that intense and intolerable buried feelings of rage, anger, self-loathing, self-disgust, guilt, fear, aggression, pity, persecution, depression, loneliness and emptiness may be some of the emotions at play to varying degrees in the psyche of juveniles driven to uncontrollable destructive and self-destructive behaviour. Psychotherapeutic interventions to bring the buried distressful feelings to the fore, a processing of the deep fears and rages, initiating the acknowledgement and taking back of one’s bad parts, equipping the individual to tolerate frustrations and distress are integral to the schema of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 visualizing rehabilitation and re-integration of the juvenile offender into society.

The rationale of differential treatment of and setting up of a separate process for juveniles is treatment and guidance rather than punishment. The law takes on board factors like teens are particularly vulnerable to peer pressure and it is worthwhile to give children who have committed offences a second chance at life. It is also premised in the belief that changing the social environment in which juveniles live is a more effective way to reduce juvenile violence rather than pushing them into the adult criminal court system and prisons. Steps to provide counseling/psychotherapeutic services, catering to developmental needs of the child, conceptualizing a mental health care plan for each juvenile, changing the social environment, continuing therapy services after the release form the bulwark of the approach of the JJ Act. Shukla (2013) speaking of ground realities with regard to the running of juvenile homes in India observes: “In the absence of such measures the entire purpose of the legislation gets lost and reduced to lock up the juvenile in unhygienic deplorable conditions, throw away the key for the duration and then release him in society, possibly more embittered, angry, vengeful and prone to violence and self-destruction. We helplessly await the next crime he may commit on release and then hopefully we can lock him away for good as an adult”!

The confinement of individuals without being able to process the unconscious negative feelings contributes to the repeat offences, recidivism and relapse to substance abuse.

The way ahead
An examination of the tremendous impact and role of the unconscious intra-psychic processes at play can help us move forward to take on board more and more areas of discrimination and disability in the quest for justice. This would involve evolving psychoanalytical interventions for greater sensitization to caste, class, gender, sexual orientation and trauma in the arena of drafting and implementation of laws, matrimonial disputes, court proceedings, judgments and the criminal correction process.

However, the courts are the domain of the judge. Psychoanalytical interventions in judicial training are a vital area which has the potential of making a significant impact in the quest of justice. An intellectual comprehension of the existence of unconscious biases, prejudices and stereotypes as well as defence mechanisms like denial, regression, acting out, dissociation, repression, displacement, intellectualization and sublimation would be relatively less difficult for judges. Similarly, grasping the intra-psychic processes of splitting, projection, projective identification and idealization-persecution at the level of the intellect would be comparatively the easier part. As Young succinctly puts it: “One of the illuminating distinctions that Kleinian psychoanalysis has given us is that between knowing and knowing about. In psychoanalysis, knowing about something often operates as a defence against knowing it in a deeper, emotional sense. I well recall my first, greatly-valued supervisor, Bob Hinshelwood, saying once in an ironic way that if you don’t understand what the patient is on about in the session, you make a clever interpretation, and if you aren’t in touch with the patient at all, you can always write a paper. It is fairly easy to know about psychotic anxieties and projective mechanisms, but knowing them in an inward and sustained way is very difficult, indeed” (p. 1).

Van Heute (2005) speaking of the pathological and the normal observes: “In this context Freud speaks about the crystal-principle. Just as a crystal breaks along fault-lines which had previously not been visible, pathology informs us about the fundamental structures of human existence” (p. 362). The challenge lies in judges accepting that the unconscious biases, prejudices and defense mechanisms and intra-psychic processes at play in the trauma survivor are part of a spectrum and are at play in all of us. The ability to see the defences at play in one would enable the judges to see them at play in the testimonies of trauma survivors would equip them to constructively intervene in the proceedings.

Freud, Sigmund 1905: Jokes and their relation to the unconscious: Standard Edition VIII: Vintage : The Hogarth Pressand the Institute of Psychoanalysis.
-1919. Introduction to psycho-analysis and the war neuroses. Standard Edition, XVII: Vintage : The Hogarth Pressand the Institute of Psychoanalysis.
-1955{1920}. Memorandum on the electrical treatment of war neuroses. Standard Edition, XVII: Vintage : The Hogarth Pressand the Institute of Psychoanalysis.
Mittal, Gita 2009: Virender versus State of NCT of Delhi: 2009 (4) Journal of Criminal Cases 2721:  New Delhi:  Arora Book Agency.
Rani, Pratibha 2016: Kanhaiya Kumar versus State of NCT of Delhi: Writ Petition (Crl) 558/2016 and Crl. M.A.s Nos. 3237/2016 and 3262/2016 dated 2nd March 2016. Retrieved 06.07.2016.
Shukla, Rakesh 2007: Women with multiple partners in a commercial construct. Economic and Political Weekly January 6, 2007
-2011: Judging Sedition: The Case of the Good Doctor: Int. J. Appl. Psychoanal. Studies,: 8(4): 346–352 (2011)

– 2012: Adversarial Matrimonial Law Jurisprudence, Intimate Relations and the Narcissism of Minor Differences. Int. J. Appl. Psychoanal. Studies, 9(4): 357–363 (2012).

– 2013: Juvenile delinquents: The processing of the Negative, Retrieved 29.06.2016.

– 2014: The Rage of Angels: Anger, Fury, Brutal Rape, Protests, Police Action. Int. J. Appl. Psychoanal. Studies, 11(2): 184–187 (2014)

– 2015: Sex Workers: Repositories of the ‘bad’. Int. J. Appl. Psychonal. Studies. Int. J. Appl. Psychoanal. Studies, 12(2): 181–185 (2015)

– 2016 Mother, Motherland and the Judicial Function: The Case of Kanhaiya Kumar. Int. J. Appl. Psychoanal. Studies, doi: 10.1002/aps.1494

Van der Kolk, B. A. (2014): Bessel van der Kolk on Trauma, Development and Healing interview by David Bullard. Retrieved October 25, 2015, from bessel-van-der-kolk-trauma

Van Heute, P. (2005): Psychoanalysis and/as philosophy? The anthropological significance of pathology in Freuds three essays on the theory of sexuality and in the psychoanalytic tradition: Natureza Humana, 7(2), 359–374.
Verma, J.S., Seth L. and Subramanium, G. (2013).  Report of the Committee on Amendments to Criminal Law.  Retrieved 22 September, 2015 from
Young Robert M: Chapter 5 Primitive Space: Psychotic Anxieties, Mental Space: Retrieved 21 September, 2015 from


[i] Prevention of Immoral Traffic” substituted by Act 44 of 1986, section 2, for “Suppression of Immoral Traffic in Women and Girls”.

[ii] In 1950 the government of India ratified an international convention for the suppression of traffic in persons and of the exploitation of the prostitution of others”, Statement of Object and Reasons – Gazette of India, 1954, Pt II-S2, Ext, p 757.

[iii] “Trafficking in persons” is defined in Article 3(a), Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, 2000, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime.

[iv] For an account of the incident from a psychoanalytical perspective, see Shukla (2014).

Rakesh Shukla
Member, Supreme Court Bar Association of India
Member, International Council of Jurists
Consultant,International Psychoanalytical Association Committee of Law and Psychoanalysis 
Affiliate, Indian Psychoanalytical Society
Member, Indian Association of Family Therapy
Counselor, Delhi High Court Mediation and Reconciliation Center 
Psychotherapist, Center for Psychoanalytical Studies, University of Delhi



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