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Aishwarya Mohanty
Associate - Research

Aishwarya graduated from National Law University Odisha, Cuttack with a degree in B.A. LL.B. (Hons.) in 2017. Over the course of various internships she has worked on issues pertaining to, inter alia, human rights violations in prisons, gun violence in Kashmir, and religion-based violence. She has won accolades in domestic as well as international moot court competitions.

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Amartya Kanjilal
Associate - Litigation

Amartya graduated in law from Campus Law Centre, Delhi University in 2013. After graduating, he worked as a judicial clerk at the office of Justice S. Muralidhar in the High Court of Delhi. He then worked in the litigation chambers of Mr. N. Hariharan where he practiced in several courts and tribunals in Delhi.

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Ankita Sarkar
Associate - Litigation

Ankita graduated class of 2014, from ILS Law College, and completed her LLM, specializing in Criminal Law from Department of Law, Pune University in 2017. She worked at the chambers of Advocate S. V. Sirpurkar, before the Bombay High Court, Nagpur Bench, and various other Courts and Tribunals in Nagpur.

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Anmary Varghese
Associate - Research

Anmary completed her BA.LLB (Hons) from Nirma University, Ahmedabad in 2016. She subsequently did her Masters in Law from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai (TISS) in 2017. Prior to joining Project 39A, she worked as a Criminal Justice Fellow at TISS focusing on under trial prisoners with special attention to women prisoners in Kerala.


Anshu Raj Singh
ASSOCIATE - Litigation

Anshu graduated from Chanakya National Law University, Patna in 2015. Prior to joining Project 39A he worked at Human Rights Law Network in its Patna and Bombay offices, where he handled cases related to prisoner’s rights, victim compensation, land rights issues, implementation of MNREGA as well as criminal cases. During his time at HRLN, he was also part of the team which, in association with Bihar State Legal Services Authority, inspected all the prisons of Bihar and came out with the report titled ‘Prisons of Bihar’.

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Dr. Anup Surendranath
Executive Director

Anup is the Executive Director of Project 39A 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).


Devina Sikdar

Devina completed her B.Sc.(Hons) in Forensic Science from Amity University in 2015 as a gold medalist. She has interned with Central Forensic Science Laboratory, Kolkata. She went on to graduate from King's College London with M.Sc. Forensic Science in 2016. She has also worked with the London Metropolitan Police Forensic Science Services as part of this course. She specialises in Forensic Biology and Forensic DNA profiling.


Dharmender Yadav
Court Clerk

Dharmender is currently pursuing his B.A. from the University of Delhi. He has over eight years of clerical legal experience in the District Courts, the High Court of Delhi and the Supreme Court of India.

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Dona John
Director, Strategic Development & Partnerships

Dona is the Director for Strategic Development and Partnerships at Project 39A. She is a sustainability professional with an international experience of more than 14 years working on issues of human rights, accountability, transparency and institution building. She has worked with diverse stakeholders like think tanks, universities, civil society, private sector and the government across South Asia. Prior to joining Project 39A, Dona headed the Human Rights and Governance portfolio at the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, South Asia bureau.

Himanshu Agarwal
Associate - Litigation

Himanshu graduated from Symbiosis Law School, Pune in 2013. Before joining Project 39A, he worked in the litigation chambers of Dr. Menaka Guruswamy and assisted her work in the Supreme Court. He has also practiced in courts and tribunals across Delhi.


Maitreyi Misra
Associate - Research

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 Project 39A, 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.


Medha Deo

Project Director - Fair Trial Initiative

Medha graduated from Symbiosis Law School, Pune in 2008 and started her career as a Corporate M&A lawyer. She subsequently did her Masters in Law from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai (TISS) in 2014. She has worked as an Access to Justice Fellow at TISS, focussing on cases of custodial deaths in Maharashtra (Dec 2014 - June 2016). Before joining Project 39A, she was working with the Resource Centre for Intervention on Violence Against Women (RCI-VAW) and has been involved in establishing and monitoring government programmes for supporting women survivors of violence in the states of Bihar, Odisha and Maharashtra.


Neetika Vishwanath
Associate - Research

Neetika graduated from the School of Law, Christ University, Bangalore in 2012, after which she worked with the Association for Advocacy and Legal Initiatives (AALI), a legal advocacy and resource group, based in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. In 2014, she went on to do her MA in Women’s Studies from Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai. She completed her Masters in 2016 and is a recipient of the prize for the best dissertation along with a silver medal for being the second best student in her batch.

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Nidhi Thakur
Office Administrator

Nidhi completed her graduation and post-graduation from Lady Irwin College, Delhi University. Before joining Project 39A, she worked with various non-profit organizations in several capacities including project management, administration and organizational support. Simultaneously, she also completed her Post Graduation Diploma in Business Administration (HR) from Symbiosis Centre for Distance Learning, Pune.


Ninni Susan Thomas
Associate - Litigation

Ninni graduated from National Law University, Jodhpur in 2015 with B.A.,LL.B specialising in criminal law. Before joining Project 39A she worked with Advocate Sanjay Parikh in the Supreme Court, High Court, National Green Tribunal and other courts in New Delhi.

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Rahil Chatterjee
Associate - Mitigation

Rahil completed his graduation in History from Ramjas College, Delhi University in 2013 and went on to pursue an MA in Social Work with a specialisation in Criminology and Justice from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai. Prior to joining Project 39A, he worked as a Community Intervention Associate with Justice and Care, an international anti-human trafficking organisation.

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Ruchi Chaudhury
Associate - Communication

Ruchi graduated from St. Stephen's College, Delhi in 2016 and completed her Master's in Social Anthropology from SOAS, London in 2017. She has experience mediating research to various stakeholders, using new media and performance arts. She designed a radio program focusing on youth, gender, access and health for SOAS Radio, and worked as Research Officer for PositiveNegatives and Why Comics? in London. Prior to joining Project 39A, Ruchi was Ecosystem Mapper for the Latin American Leadership Academy, Colombia.


Sangeeta Sharma
Finance and Administration Assistant

Sangeeta graduated from University of Delhi and completed her Master’s in Economics. She then worked at a U.S based Pharma Company as Senior Admin Executive. Prior to joining Project 39A, Sangeeta worked with the Ministry of Finance where she handled administration and finance.

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Shreya Rastogi
Associate - Litigation

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 Project 39A. 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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Vijay Badola
Finance Coordinator

Vijay is a graduate in Commerce from the University of Delhi and works in Accounts and Administration. He has extensive experience in managing the accounts of educational and private institutions.

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Yash S. Vijay
Associate - Litigation

Yash graduated from the National Law Institute University, Bhopal in 2014. His prior experience includes working at the Human Rights Law Network, Mumbai as a litigation associate where he handled cases related to criminal justice, women’s rights, housing and labour law. He has previously also worked at the Chambers of Sanjoy Ghose, Additional Standing Counsel, Government of NCT of Delhi, where he litigated on constitutional and administrative law, domestic violence law and labour law before the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court.



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Dr. Angela Ann Joseph

Angela completed her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi in 2015. During her doctoral studies, she worked on child and adolescent mental health projects as a clinical psychologist. After graduating, she was a psychotherapist with Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Private Limited as part of their Employee Assistance Program following which she worked as a clinical psychologist for Round Glass Partners. Angela left Project 39A in October 2018.



One of the founding members of Project 39A (formerly known as the Centre on the Death Penalty), Lubhyathi was integral to conceptualising litigation, research and outreach work. She conceptualised and headed the Public Affairs division, 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. Lubhyathi completed her LL.M. from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, with a specialisation in International Law. She left Project 39A in August 2017.


Nishant Gokhale

As one of the founding members, Nishant’s vision for Project 39A (formerly known as the Centre on the Death Penalty) and his capacity for strategic thinking were instrumental in the expansion of our litigation work. Apart from building a network of lawyers in Delhi to assist with cases, he helped develop the efforts in conducting detailed mitigation investigations in death sentence criminal appeals. Before working with Project 39A, Nishant litigated in the Chambers of Kapur and Trehan. He graduated from National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata in 2011. In July 2017, Nishant left Project 39A to pursure his LL.M. at Harvard Law School.

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Pankhuri Aggarwal

Pankhuri Aggarwal joined Project 39A in November as part of the Mental Health Research Project. She made significant contributions in structuring the tools to be used in the study and was also part of the fieldwork in Chattisgarh and Bihar. Pankhuri joined the Centre after completing her Masters in Clinical Psychology from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai before which she completed her BA in Psychology from Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi. Pankhuri left Project 39A in May 2017 to enroll in the doctoral programme (clinical psychology) at Miami University in Ohio.


Pankhuri Bhatia

Pankhuri Bhatia joined Project 39A in August 2016 at the inception of the Mental Health Research Project and made invaluable contributions to the methodology and design of the study along with field work in Chattisgarh and Bihar. Pankhuri graduated from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai (MA in Social Work with a specialisation in mental health) and the Lady Shri Ram College in New Delhi. She left Project 39A in July 2017.

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Peter John

Peter graduated from Jindal Global Law School in 2014. He holds a Masters of Science in Law, Anthropology and Society from the London School of Economics and Political Science. His primary research interest is in the cross-cultural analysis of punishment. Peter left Project 39A in July 2018.


Preeti Pratishruti Dash

Preeti graduated in law from the National Law University, Odisha in 2014 as a gold medalist. She previously worked as a legal researcher with Partners for Law in Development, New Delhi on gender justice, sexuality rights and the law. Preeti left Project 39A in July 2018.


Poornima Rajeshwar

Poornima graduated from Hindu College, University of Delhi in 2014 with a degree in Commerce. She went on to be a Fellow with Milaap Social Enterprise and in 2015 she was accepted into the LAMP fellowship programme (Legislative Assistants to Members of Parliament) administered by PRS Legislative Research. As a LAMP Fellow she worked with R. Dhruvanarayana of the Indian National Congress representing Chamarajanagar in the 16th Lok Sabha. Poornima left Project 39A in May 2018.

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Rahul Raman

Rahul graduated from the School of Law, Christ University in 2015 as a gold medalist. He subsequently worked at Arista Chambers, Bangalore as an associate. At Project 39A, Rahul was involved in research work. He left Project 39A in July 2018.


Sahana Manjesh

Sahana graduated from National Law School of India University, Bangalore in 2013. Prior to joining Project 39A, she worked at the litigation chambers of advocate Jawahar Raja, whose practice covers civil, criminal and labour law in the Supreme Court, High Court and trial courts of Delhi. Sahana left Project 39A in May 2018.

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Shweta Wankhede

Shweta graduated from Government Law College, Mumbai in 2010. She holds a Bachelors degree in Psychology from the University of Mumbai and an MA in Sociology from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi. Prior to joining Project 39A as Associate for Mitigation, she worked as an independent consultant on advocacy projects in the development sector. Shweta left Project 39A in November 2018.


Founding Members

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Dr. Anup Surendranath


Lubhyathi Rangarajan


Maitreyi Misra


Nishant gokhale

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shreya rastogi