Arundhati Katju ’17 LL.M., J.S.D. Candidate
2016–2017 Human Rights Fellow
Arundhati Katju is a lawyer practicing in Indian trial and appellate courts. Her work encompasses a broad array of practice areas, including white collar defense, legal aid, and LGBT rights litigation. Arundhati successfully represented the lead petitioners in the Indian Supreme Court’s historic judgment in Navtej Singh Johar and others v Union of India, where the Court struck down India’s 157-year-old sodomy law and upheld the rights of LGBT Indians to equality and dignity. Alongside her litigation practice, she is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Contemporary Critical Thought at Columbia University.
In 2019, she was named one of TIME Magazine's 100 Most Influential People of the Year.
Heading her own law offices since 2011, Arundhati has a robust white-collar defense and commercial litigation practice. She regularly acts as a barrister for leading Indian law firms, having represented clients from India, Germany, Singapore and the US in corruption and defense procurement cases. She has advised India’s leading public university, prosecuted pollution complaints on behalf of the State pollution regulator and been appointed amicus curiae to assist the Delhi High Court on numerous occasions.
Arundhati was also a public defender with the Delhi High Court Legal Services Committee, India’s top legal aid program, for over three years. In this role, she argued nearly 100 appellate cases before the Delhi High Court. Her pro bono work includes representing child sexual abuse survivors in cases against their abusers.
Arundhati holds a BA LLB (Hons.) degree from the National Law School of India University, and an LLM from Columbia Law School, where she was a Human Rights Fellow, James Kent Scholar, Public Interest Honoree and Herman N. Finkelstein Memorial Fellow. She was awarded the CLAGS Duberman-Zal Fellowship, 2019-20.
She has taught white collar crime law at the National Law University, Delhi, and worked with India’s National Commission for Protection of Child Rights to draft the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012. Her work has been published in the Indian Express, Times of India, Scroll.in, and ConstitutionNet.org; she has spoken at the UN and given a Tedx talk about the case, available here.
Her doctoral project, “From Criminal Tribe to Sexual Citizen: Creating Identities through Colonial Law, Constitutional Rights, and Global Human Rights Movements” focuses on the genealogy of sexual, criminal and constitutional identities in South Asia through the colonial, independence, and post-liberalization periods. Her research sheds light on the history of sexual and gender regulation in South Asia in order to better develop strategies for future LGBT rights challenges in the region.
Arundhati is a yoga teacher and practitioner in the lineage of Sh. TKV Desikachar, and has taught yoga in New Delhi and New York.
Email: [email protected]
Updated: August 29, 2019