Prof. Saptarshi Mandal

Assistant Professor and Editor-Legal and Policy Brief and Convener – Law and Policy Research Group, Jindal Global Law School

B.A. LL.B. (Hons.) (WBNUJS, Kolkata);
LL.M. (Central European University)


Prof. Saptarshi teaches, researches and writes in the areas of family law, disability and mental health law, law and society, and feminist legal studies. In a previous professional life, Saptarshi has worked as law researcher, trainer and program officer with several national and international human rights organizations in New Delhi, such as the Lawyers Collective, Multiple Action Research Group and Amnesty International. He was a member of a sub-committee (2014-15) constituted under the Twentieth Law Commission of India that suggested large scale reforms to child custody and guardianship laws. 

Saptarshi’s current research focuses on three themes: (a) conceptualizing legal change in group-specific family law in India; (b) inter-caste marriage as the object of law in modern India; and (c) developing indicators to understand the Indian Supreme Court’s approach to disability rights over a twenty-year period. Saptarshi has been a TLSI Fellow at the inaugural Transnational Law Summer Institute, King’s College, London (2015) and has held visiting fellowships at the International Institute for the Sociology of Law, Oñati, Spain (2015), and the Centre for the Study of Law and Governance, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi (2012). His work has been published in Hong Kong Law JournalAustralian Feminist StudiesIndian Journal of Gender StudiesNUJS Law Review, and the Economic and Political Weekly. He has also edited Special Issues of the Journal of Indian Law and Society and the Jindal Global Law Review. He frequently writes for popular media platforms such as, The Wire, Firstpost and EPW Web-Exclusive, among others.

Journal/ Law Review

  • The Impossibility of Marital Rape: Contestations around Marriage, Sex, Violence and the Law in Contemporary India’, Australian Feminist Studies, 2014, Vol. 29, No. 81, pp. 255-272
  • The Distributive Dilemma in Disability Law: Understanding the Supreme Court’s Decision in Deaf Employee’s Welfare Association v Union of India, Journal of NLUD, 2014, Vol. 2, pp. 103-114
  • The Burden of Intelligibility: Disabled Women’s Testimony in Rape Trials’, Indian Journal of Gender Studies, 2013, Vol. 20, No. 1, pp. 1-29
  • ‘Adjudicating Disability: Some Emerging Questions’, Economic and Political Weekly, December 4, 2010, Vol. XLV, No. 49, pp. 22-25
  • ‘Right to Privacy in Naz Foundation: A Counter-heteronormative Critique’, NUJS Law Review – Special Issue on the Naz Foundation Judgment, 2009 Vol. 2, No. 3, p. 525-540
  • (With Renu Addlakha) ‘Disability Law in India: Paradigm Shift or Evolving Discourse?’, Economic and Political Weekly, October 10, 2009, Vol. XLIV, No. 41, pp. 62-68

Book Reviews

  • Dangerous Sex/ Invisible Labour: Sex Work and the Law in India by Prabha Kotiswaran, Jindal Global Law Review, 2013, Vol. 4, Issue 2, pp. 379-386
  • Women’s Studies in India: A Reader (ed.) by Mary E. John, Indian Journal of Gender Studies, 2013, Vol. 20, Issue 3, pp. 473-477
  • Split Decisions: Why and How to Take a Break from Feminism? by Janet Halley, Jindal Global Law Review, 2012, Vol. 4, Issue 1, pp. 67-74
  • Law like Love: Queer Perspectives on Law (eds.) by Arvind Narrain & Alok Gupta, Biblio: A Review of Books, Vol. XVII, No. 3&4, 2012


  • Why the Madras High Court was Wrong to Moralize about Maintenance, The Wire, September 4, 2015
  • An obsession with political correctness is derailing a bill for rights of disabled people,, July 10, 2015.
  • The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2014, Law & Policy Brief, Vol. I, Issue 1, January 2015
  • (With Oishik Sircar) What’s Law got to do with Justice? Infochange Agenda: Special Issue on Access to Justice in India, April 2013
  • (Co-edited with Oishik Sircar) Infochange Agenda: Special Issue on Access to Justice in India, April 2013
  • (With Shampa Sengupta) Not a ‘Safe’ Issue: Disabled Women and Sexual Violence, Infochange News & Features, March, 2013
  • Marriage as an Economic Partnership: Unraveling the Matrimonial Property Rights Debate, Journal of Indian Law and Society Blog, November 2012
  • Sexual Assault on Disabled Women: Getting the Law Right, Infochange News & Features, August, 2012

Works in Progress

  • Myth, Marriage & Morality: Sodomy as a Ground for Divorce and the Legacies of Colonial (Sexual) Governance in India
  • The Abjection of Adultery: Sex, Secrecy and Corporeality in Indian Divorce Law
  • Whither Annihilation? : Caste, Gender, Nation in the Jurisprudence of Inter-Caste Marriages in India