Dr. Anup Surendranath
Anup is the Director of the Centre on the Death Penalty and an Assistant Professor of Law at NLU, Delhi. At NLU, Delhi, he teaches courses on constitutional law, legal methods, jurisprudence and comparative rights adjudication. He was invited by the Supreme Court of India to serve as the Deputy Registrar (Research) and was on deputation to the court between May 2014 to August 2015. Anup completed his legal education from NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad (2001-06) and the University of Oxford (2007-12).
Lubhyathi Rangarajan
Lubhyathi was one of the first founding members of the Centre on the Death Penalty at NLU Delhi when it was clear (in August 2014) after one year of field work on the Death Penalty Research Project that there was a pressing need for quality legal representation among prisoners sentenced to death. She was integral to designing and imagining legal interventions, research directions, advocacy measures and funding strategies. She conceptualised and headed the Public Affairs division of the Centre for two years, working with stakeholders outside the judiciary on the death penalty and the criminal justice system. Between March 2015 and April 2016 she headed the Judges' Opinion Study, a collaborative research effort with the University of Oxford, University of Reading and the Death Penalty Project, London.

Prior to setting up the Centre on the Death Penalty, she was a consultant to the High Level Committee at the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, and was Guest Faculty at NLSIU, Bengaluru for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law. She was also an associate at Lawyers Collective's Global Health and Human Rights Project. She began her legal career at Vidhii Partners, Mumbai as part of the banking and civil litigation team. She graduated from Symbiosis Law School in 2010 and has a Masters in Law from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, with a specialisation in International Law.

In the stories that are told about building organisations, the courage required to risk one's professional career merely on the germ of an idea is often underestimated and particularly so when the work often attracts very strong public reaction. Recognition for Lubhyathi (and Shreya Rastogi) through the 2015 Forbes India 30-under-30 was testament to that courage and the risk that was taken. Her decision to leave the Centre in August 2017 to move away from the law and pursue other interests perfectly captures the spirit she brought to the Centre.
Maitreyi Misra
Maitreyi graduated from Symbiosis Law School, Pune in 2010. She holds a Masters in Law from New York University. She was an International Law and Human Rights Fellow as part of which she worked with the Association for Civil Rights in Tel Aviv, Israel. Before joining the Centre on the Death Penalty, Maitreyi worked with Mr. Anand Grover, advocate at the Supreme Court of India and assisted him in his work as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health.
Nishant Gokhale
Nishant was with the Centre from April 2015 to June 2017 and played an instrumental role in developing our efforts to provide pro bono legal representation to prisoners sentenced to death across the country. Before joining the Centre, Nishant was a law clerk to Hon’ble Mr. Justice R.M. Lodha and was subsequently with the Chambers of Kapur and Trehan for over two years.

Nishant came to the Centre at a crucial time when we were in the initial stages of imagining our litigation, research and public outreach work. Nishant’s vision for the Centre and his capacity for strategic thinking were instrumental in the expansion of the Centre’s litigation work. Apart from building an effective and impressive network of lawyers in Delhi to assist with our cases, Nishant was closely involved in our first big win at the Supreme Court, where the Court laid down guidelines to be followed while issuing death warrants. He also assisted Senior Advocate R. Basant before a 5-judge bench of the Supreme Court in seeking the right to oral hearing in death sentence review petitions even after the dismissal of curative petitions. Nishant developed the Centre’s efforts in conducting detailed mitigation investigations in death sentence criminal appeals and was at the forefront of creating the position of mitigation investigators at the Centre. In addition to our mitigation practice, Nishant also guided our first steps in exploring mental health issues in death penalty cases by identifying and working with appropriate mental health professionals. As a young organisation, public engagement was a crucial part of our work and Nishant took on significant responsibilities in this regard by writing in national newspapers and presenting our work in international and domestic fora.
Shreya Rastogi
Shreya graduated from NLU Delhi in June 2013 as a double gold medalist. She subsequently worked for a year in the corporate and litigation teams at Khaitan & Co., Mumbai, before joining the Centre on the Death Penalty. In 2016-17, she completed her LL.M. from the New York University School of Law, and was awarded the Arthur Helton Global Human Rights Fellowship for the year 2017-18.

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