Jury Panel

Romila Thapar

Romila Thapar received her doctorate from London University in 1958. She has taught Ancient Indian History at London University, Delhi University and Jawaharlal Nehru University. She was also an honorary fellow of Lady Margaret Hall at Oxford, and has been a Professor-at-large at Cornell University in the United States. She is currently Emeritus Professor of History at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

Justice (retd.) A.P. Shah

Justice (retd.) Ajit Prakash Shah was the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court from May 2008 till his retirement in February 2010. Justice Shah did his graduation from Solapur and attended Government Law College, Mumbai for his law degree. In 1977 he joined the chambers of the then-leading Advocate Shri S.C. Pratap practicing in the Bombay High Court. Justice Shah was appointed Additional Judge of Bombay High Court on 18 December 1992 and became a permanent Judge of Bombay High Court on 8 April 1994, whereafter he assumed charge as the Chief Justice of Madras High Court on 12 November 2005 and was transferred as the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court on 7 May 2008. Since June 2011, Justice Shah has been the Chairperson of Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC). He was also the former Chairman of the 20th Law Commission of India.

Justice (retd.) B G Kolse-Patil 

Justice (retd.) B G Kolse-Patil did his Bachelor of Law from Law College, Pune with a specialization in criminal law. Since his retirement from the Bombay High Court as Judge in 1990, he has been actively involved in social activism and people’s movements. He is presently heading the Lokshashan Andolan (People’s Movement) spearheading anti sez and environmental activism in Pune, Maharastra and support country wide similar people’s and rights movements. He was a key member of a fact finding team investigating Khairlanji dalit murder case in 2006. He was part of a high level independent inquiry (Concerned Citizens Inquiry) on the Nanded, (Gujarat)’s blast in February 2007. He also conducted enquiry into the status of Manibeli  Oustees on behalf of Indian People’s Tribunal on Environment & Human Rights.


Justice (retd.) Hosbet Suresh

Justice (retd.) Hosbet Suresh did his M.A. from Visvesvaraya Technological University in Belgaumand obtained his L.L.M. from Bombay University. On 30 November 1953 he enrolled as an Advocate of the Bombay High Court, practicing on both the appellate and the original sides of the court. In 1982 he was designated Senior Advocate of the High Court. On 21 November 1986 Suresh took office as Additional Judge of the Bombay High Court, and on 12 June 1987 was appointed permanent Judge of the Bombay High Court. He retired from the High Court on 19 July 1991. He has been part of investigations into the Kaveri Riots, 1992 Bombay Riots, Forced Evictions of Slum Dwellers, inquiry into public food distribution system in Mumbai, human rights violations in Kashmir and was also part of India People’s Tribunal fact finding team that went to Gujarat following the communal riots in 2002.


Amit Bhaduri

Amit Bhaduri got his Ph.D. in 1967 from Cambridge University. He has taught in various universities around the world as professor/ visiting professor, including Presidency College and Institute of Management, Calcutta; Delhi School of Economics and Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi; Centre for Development Studies, Trivandrum; El Colegio de Mexico; Stanford University; Vienna and Linz University, Austria; Norwegian University of Science and Technology; Bremen University, Germany; and Bologna and Pavia University, Italy. He is currently internationally selected professor in Pavia University, Italy, and visiting professor in the Council for Social Development, Delhi University.

Uma Chakravati

Uma Chakravarti is a feminist historian who taught at Miranda House, University College for Women, Delhi from 1966 to 1998. She is an author of several publications on Indian history, Buddhism, Caste, Gender, Kashmir etc. and several feminist writings. She has participated in many fact finding teams to investigate human rights violations, communal riots, and state repression and was also a member of the ‘International Tribunal on Justice for Gujarat’ in 2002 which reported on the experiences of survivors of the Gujarat riots.

T K Oommen

Tharailath Koshy Oommen is an Indian sociologist, educationist and Professor Emeritus at the Centre for the Study of Social Systems, Jawaharlal Nehru University. He also taught at Delhi School of Social Work, Delhi University. He obtained his Ph.D. in 1965 from Pune University. He was awarded Padma Bhushan, the third highest Indian civilian award in 2008 for his services to the fields of education and literature by the President of India. He was the Chairman of the Advisory Committee, Gujarat Harmony Project, to explore the possibility of reconciliation between Hindus and Muslims after the 2002 communal carnage in Gujarat. He was a member of the Prime Minister’s High Level Committee, to study the Social, Economic and Educational Status of the Muslim Community of India, popularly known as the Sachar Committee. He also held the Chairmanship of Ford Foundation on Non-traditional Security.

K M Shrimali

KM Shrimali is an eminent historian and former professor and head of the department of History at Delhi University. He was recently the general president of the 78th Indian History Congress. As a historian with a specialisation in ancient India, Shrimali’s important publications include: History of Panchala (in two volumes); Agrarian Structure in Central India and the Northern Deccan; Dharma, Samaj aur Sanskriti; The Age of Iron and the Religious Revolution; and Aarthik Sanrachna aur Dharma. His latest monographs are Prachin Bhartiya Dharmon ka Itihas and Itihas, Puratattva aur Vichardhara.


Meher Englneer is a physicist who took his Ph.D. from Calcutta University. He was temporarily the Director of Bose Institute, Kolkata. He has been an active member in a group to promote science education among adults and children, particularly focusing on slum children. He is also part of a group that has set up a pre-school in Kolkata for slum children between the ages of 2-4 years. He has also written extensively on scientific topics in journals and newspapers. He is also involved with a  team that carries our low cost, no cost experiments. He is Chairperson, All India Forum Right to Education (AIFRTE) and Ex-President, Indian Academy of Social Sciences, Kolkata. He has been a strong voice in support of the Koodankulam anti-nuclear struggle and was also one of the scientists who recently in 2017 appealed for an India March for Science in all major cities in India.

Dr. V. Vasanthi Devi

Vasanthi Devi, former vice-chancellor of Manonamaniam Sundaranar University in Tirunelveli, ushered in several reforms during her tenure of six years. She also served as chairperson of the Tamil Nadu State Commission for Women for three years and as a member of the State Planning Board for a brief period. She got her Ph.D. from the University of the Philippines, Manila. As a teacher, she was a leader in the Government College Teachers’ Association and also intensely participated in the Federation of School, College and University teachers in Tamil Nadu in the mid-eighties.

Kalpana Kannabiran

Kalpana Kannabiran is an Indian sociologist, author and lawyer. She is the current Director of Council for Social Development, Hyderabad. She is also Member of the Executive Committee of the International Sociological Association. She is a co-founder of the ASMITA Resource Centre for Women, a women’s rights group and also part of the founding faculty of NALSAR University of Law. She has a PhD in Sociology from Jawaharlal Nehru University and a Masters of Law from Osmania University. She was a member of the Expert Group on the Equal Opportunity Commission, Government of India from 2007-2008. She was also the General Secretary of Indian Association for Women’s Studies from 1998-2000. In 2003, she was awarded VKRV Rao Prize for Social Science Research in the field of Social Aspects of Law by the ICSSR. In 2013, she was awarded Amartya Sen Award for her work in the field of law.


Ghanshyam Shah

Ghanshyam Shah is an Eminent political sociologist. He is Professor at Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He held Dr. Ambedkar Chair at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie during 1997-97. He was Director of the Centre for Social Studies, Surat for many yeas. He is a recipient of Full Bright Award for 1984; VKRV Rao Prize in Political Science Research for 1979 and 1980, UGC National Lecturer for 1985-86 and UGC Swami Pranavanda Saraswati Award in Political Science in 1997. He has previously written, edited and co authored twelve books including Caste Association and Political Process in Gujarat; Economics Differentiations and Tribal Identify; Social Movements in India: A Review of Literature; Public Health and Urban Development; Social Transformation in India; and Dalit Identity and Politics.


Pamela Philipose

Pamela Philipose, her career with The Times of India and was senior associate editor with The Indian Express. She is currently a senior fellow with the Indian Council of Social Science Research. Until June 2014, she was director and editor-in-chief of Women’s Feature Service (WFS). She has also been an advisor to the Media Task Force of the Government of India’s High Level Status of Women Committee Report. She was awarded the Chameli Devi Jain Award for Outstanding Woman Journalist in 1999 and the Zee-Astitva Award for Constructive Journalism in 2007.