Prarthna Singh for TIME

Often the legal world is seen as an insular realm of stiff shirts and dry arguments. Karuna Nundy, however, is not just a lawyer but also a public activist who ably—and bravely—uses her voice both inside and outside the courtroom to bring about change. She is a champion of women’s rights who has advocated for the reform of anti­rape laws and fought cases relating to sexual harassment in the workplace. Most recently, she is litigating a challenge to India’s rape law that contains a legal exemption for marital rape.

Karuna also takes great pains to explain legal issues in a way that engages the media and public. She can discuss the law simply and deftly. By doing so she creates an accessible discourse about rights in a time when those rights are at risk.

Guruswamy is a senior advocate at the Supreme Court of India

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