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Month: June 2020

When Jail, not Bail, rules in a Pandemic

When Jail, not Bail, rules in a Pandemic

The Lefaflet / by Nilima Dutta & Susan Abraham

The pandemic is worse showcased in the treatment meted to undertrials in our prisons. Despite guidelines directing granting of bail to undertrials with medical conditions and seniority in age, the courts have refused to grant bail to the accused in Bhima Koregaon activists. The authors here note the glaring blindness in the orders of the court denying bail, the dangers to Mr Varavara Rao and Ms Shoma Sen’s health in prison, and the blatant disregard for established principles of law.
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R Thapar, Others Urge Uddhav Thackeray to Move Arrested Rights Activists Out of Jails

R Thapar, Others Urge Uddhav Thackeray to Move Arrested Rights Activists Out of Jails

The Wire / by The Wire Staff

New Delhi: Five renowned public intellectuals – Romila Thapar, Prabhat Patnaik, Devaki Jain, Maja Daruwala and Satish Deshpande – have written to the chief minister of Maharashtra, Uddhav Thackeray, asking that the 11 rights activists who have been arrested in the Elgar Parishad case be moved to house arrest in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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LETTER TO THE HONOURABLE CHIEF MINISER OF THE STATE OF MAHARASHTRA

26/06/2020

Documented by Indian Cultural Forum

The Honourable Chief Minister of the State of Maharashtra
Mantralaya, Mumbai.
25 June 2020

Respected Chief Minister,

We are the five petitioners who had approached the Supreme Court regarding the so-called ‘Bhima Koregaon case’ in September 2018, requesting that if the charges against the accused were persisted with, then there should be a Court-monitored probe into the matter (Romila Thapar & Ors. Vs. Union of India & Ors., Writ Petition 32319 of 2018). However, our petition was rejected by the Court through a majority 2-1 verdict.
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Prisoners ‘dumped’ at quarantine facility: Nearly 300 Taloja jail inmates

Prisoners ‘dumped’ at quarantine facility: Nearly 300 Taloja jail inmates


Drawing by Arun Ferreira

Mumbai Mirror / by harmeen Hakim & Shruti Ganapatye

Prisoners and rights activists say decongestion exercise an eyewash.
“We’re living like animals here.” Khyamuddin Sayyed minced no word in the letter he sent his lawyer, Amrish Salunkhe, on June 14 from his temporary prison in a Kharghar school.
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No Headway in Decongestion of Maharashtra Prisons, Despite SC Directive

No Headway in Decongestion of Maharashtra Prisons, Despite SC Directive


Drawing by Arun Ferreira

Newsclick / by MN Parth

Mumbai: On March 23, the Supreme Court of India asked the state governments to decongest prisons in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus inside jail premises. The Maharashtra government, led by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, subsequently constituted a high-power committee (HPC) to decide on the prisoners to be released. However, the decongestion process in Maharashtra seems to be going nowhere.
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1,414 INMATES ABOVE THE AGE OF 60, STATE TELLS HC

The Hindu / by Sonam Saigal

The State government has informed the Bombay High Court that as of Friday, 1,414 inmates lodged in prisons across the State are above the age of 60, while 425 of them have co-morbidities.
Advocate General (AG) Ashutosh Kumbhakoni told a Division Bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice M.S. Karnik that as on May 11, there were 1,340 inmates above 60 years, and as of June 26, the number was 1,414. The court expressed surprised over the numbers, to which the AG replied crime rate has not decreased.
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NIA says Rona Wilson a danger to democratic setup of country

NIA says Rona Wilson a danger to democratic setup of country

Free Press Journal / By Bhavna Uchil

Mumbai: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has opposed the pleas for parole made by activists Rona Wilson and Arun Ferreira, accused in the Elgar Parishad case, stating that granting parole to Wilson is a ‘danger to the democratic setup of the country and to the safety of the citizens.
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Bail pleas of Shoma Sen, Varavara Rao rejected / Navlakha´s, Ferreira´s and Wilson´s pleas pending

Bail pleas of Shoma Sen, Varavara Rao rejected / Navlakha´s, Ferreira´s and Wilson´s pleas pending

Hindustan Times / by Charul Shah

The special National Investigating Agency (NIA) court on Friday rejected the interim bail plea filed by Telugu poet P Varavara Rao and activist Dr Shoma Sen, booked for their role in the Elgar Parishad case… Meanwhile, the special court on Friday heard arguments on the plea of civil rights activist Gautam Navlakha, one of the accused in the case, for bail, as the agency failed to submit charge sheet within a stipulated time frame… Another accused lawyer Arun Ferreira and human right activist Rona Wilson booked in the case too have approached the court for release from the jail.
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Marking 45 years since the Emergency, Resolve to Strengthen the Struggle Against State Repression

Marking 45 years since the Emergency, Resolve to Strengthen the Struggle Against State Repression

By Campaign Against State Repression

45 years prior to today, on June 26th 1975, the country awoke to a declaration of Internal Emergency. Arguably one of the darkest days in the country’s history post 1947, Emergency Rule imposed by the then central government led by Indira Gandhi’s faction of the Indian National Congress (INC) was characterised by a near complete suspension of basic democratic rights and targeted attacks on all progressive and democratic forces and organisations.
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Mumbai Court Again Refuses Bail To Varavara Rao & Shoma Sen On Medical Grounds

Mumbai Court Again Refuses Bail To Varavara Rao & Shoma Sen On Medical Grounds

LiveLaw / by Nitish Kashyap

A special court in Mumbai on Friday for the second time rejected the interim bail pleas filed by 81-year-old activist and poet Varavara Rao and academic 61-year-old Shoma Sen on medical grounds as they were suffering from multiple ailments or or comorbidities. The detailed order is yet to be made available.
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+++ Varavara Rao and Shoma Sen will now have to proceed to Bombay High Court +++

Open Letter to Maharashtra CM Seeks Interim Bail for Political Detenues

Open Letter to Maharashtra CM Seeks Interim Bail for Political Detenues


Bilaspur, June 25, 2020

Newsclick / by Newsclick Report

New Delhi: Marking the 45th year of the Emergency in India on June, civil rights groups have written an open letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, drawing his attention to the “deplorable and abysmal condition of jails and quarantine facilities in Maharashtra”, especially in the light of the raging COVID-19 pandemic, where several political activists are incarcerated.
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