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SC Has Let People Down, Abdicated Duty to Defend Fundamental Rights: Justice A.P. Shah

SC Has Let People Down, Abdicated Duty to Defend Fundamental Rights: Justice A.P. Shah

The Wire / by Karan Thapar

In one of the sharpest criticisms of the Supreme Court made by one of India’s most highly regarded retired judges, the former Chief Justice of the Delhi and Madras high courts has said that “to a large extent the Supreme Court is letting down the people of India”.
Justice Ajit Prakash Shah said the Supreme Court has “completely abdicated its duty to defend fundamental rights” and added that this will “affect the credibility of the Court and its prestige”.
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Video: SC Has Let People Down, Abdicated Duty to Defend Fundamental Rights, says Justice A.P. Shah


en | 51:32min | 2020
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Bhima Koregaon inquiry commission to resume in January if Covid exits

Bhima Koregaon inquiry commission to resume in January if Covid exits

Hindustan Times / by Shalaka Shinde

The Bhima Koregaon inquiry commission may resume work in January after one year of being out of action with the three-month extension granted by the state government.
“January we will begin. We are waiting for a bigger physical space for the hearings to observe social distancing. The government is very much keen on the hearings to resume. There are around seven more people scheduled to record evidence,” said advocate Shishir Hire who is representing the state government at the commission.
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UAPA and the growing crisis of judicial credibility in India

UAPA and the growing crisis of judicial credibility in India

Observer Research Foundation / by Niranjan Sahoo & Jibran Khan

The Democracy Report 2020 by V-Dem Institute created quite a storm recently in India’s policy circles. The report claimed that the world’s largest democracy is on the verge of losing its status as a democracy. Noting India’s rapid slide into an autocracy, the Sweden-based report, which produces the most comprehensive analyses on the health of democracy across the world, cited trends of dramatic erosion of basic civil liberties, particularly media freedom and suppression of the freedoms of free speech and dissent as the key reasons for this major dip…
The last two years, in particular, have witnessed a sharp rise in the arrests of several prominent human rights defenders, civil society leaders, agitating leaders and even protesting students under the UAPA and sedition laws, including Sudha Bharadwaj, Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira, Varavara Rao, Anand Teltumde, Gautam Navlakha, and Arun Ferreira.
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Unfair To Target A Lawyer For Appearing For A Particular Client: Justice Lokur

Unfair To Target A Lawyer For Appearing For A Particular Client: Justice Lokur

‘Unfair To Target A Lawyer For Appearing For A Particular Client’: Justice Lokur

21/11/2020

Live Law / by Radhika Roy

I think that it’s unfair to target a lawyer for appearing for a particular client”, said Justice (Retd.) Madan B. Lokur, former Judge of the Supreme Court of India at a virtual session hosted by Delhi High Court Women Lawyers Forum and Women in Criminal Law Association.
“If a lawyer is dealing with hundreds of COFEPOSA cases, you can’t say that he is also a smuggler. I don’t think the Judge should ever get involved in the relationship between a lawyer and a client”, the judge commented.
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Video: Justice (retd.) Madan Lokur speaks on „Defending Liberties“

20/11/2020


en | 1h 29min | 2020

By Bar & Bench

The former Supreme Court judge is speaking at a virtual discussion hosted by the Delhi High Court Women Lawyers Forum and WCLA.
Former Supreme Court Judge, Justice (retd.) Madan Lokur is speaking on the theme Defending Liberties in a virtual discussion to be hosted by the Delhi High Court Women Lawyers Forum and WCLA. Justice (retd.) Lokur will interact with Warisha Farasat, Tara Narula, Shalini Gera and Sowjhanya Shankaran during the discussion.
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Read tweets/summaries by Live Law

Govt Too Is Responsible for Rao’s Failing Health / Rao’s Treatment Raises Questions

Govt Too Is Responsible for Rao’s Failing Health / Rao’s Treatment Raises Questions


Drawing by Arun Ferreira

Not Just NIA, Maharashtra Govt Too Is Responsible for Varavara Rao’s Failing Health

21/11/2020

The Wire / by Sukanya Shantha

While the state government has spoken against the wrongful arrests of activists in the Elgar Parishad case, it did very little to provide timely medical care.
Telugu poet, writer and activist Varavara Rao was 78 years old when the Pune police arrested him in August 2018. At the time of his arrest, Rao was already suffering from several age-related health issues. His prolonged incarceration, coupled with the lack of medical care in prison and the sudden outbreak of COVID-19, has exacerbated his condition even further.
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Podcast: Why Varavara Rao’s Treatment Raises Questions on Civil Liberties

21/11/2020

The Quint / by Mghna Prakash

At a time of a pandemic are states acting responsibly with prisoners?
The Bombay High Court finally allowed 80-year-old Varavara Rao to be shifted from Taloja Jail to Nanavati Hospital for 15 days for medical treatment on 18 November… But why did it take so much active intervention in order for Rao to be treated and transferred to Nanavati Hospital? At a time of a pandemic are states acting responsibly with prisoners?
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Arnab Goswami and Varavara Rao, Unequal Citizens Before the Law

21/11/2020

The Wire / by N Venugopal Rao

While Goswami could move three levels of courts in quick succession within a week to secure his release, Rao has languished in jail in a fabricated case for two years, without trial and without bail.
Article 14 of the Indian constitution that “we, the people of India” conferred upon ourselves proclaims that “the state shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.”
But it seems this proviso is only a lofty goal enshrined in the statute, to be adhered to selectively.
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Article 32: Rights for All or For a Favoured Few?

21/11/2020

The Wire / by M Sridhar Acharyulu

Arnab Goswami’s case seems to have been an exceptional one where the SC felt it needed to intervene. It felt no such compunction in the case of Varavara Rao and countless others.
When the law becomes a weapon of oppression rather than an equalising force, democracy is in danger. Article 32 deals with the ‘Right to Constitutional Remedies’, and affirms the right of an individual to move the Supreme Court (SC) by appropriate proceedings for the enforcement of the rights conferred in Part III of the constitution.
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India’s Era Of Unequal Liberties / Protect our Republic, my lords

India’s Era Of Unequal Liberties / Protect our Republic, my lords

Arnab Goswami & India’s Era Of Unequal Liberties

16/11/2020

Article 14 / by Zaid Wahidi

On 11 November 2020, the Supreme Court granted bail to television show-host Arnab Goswami, who had been in judicial custody for seven days on an abetment to suicide charge related to a 2018 case. The merits aside, the manner in which the judicial machinery functioned to protect Goswami’s liberty was extraordinary… However, when the Supreme Court’s own approach to cases concerning personal liberty is tested on the touchstone of these observations, the reality could not be more of a contrast…
Sudha Bharadwaj: Imprisoned For 811 Days
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Protect our Republic, my lords

16/11/2020

The Hindu / by Sriram Panchu

The judiciary’s quick intervention in the Arnab Goswami case turns the spotlight on other serious cases that languish.
The facts are brief. Mr. Arnab Goswami of Republic TV, a media group perceived to be supportive of the ruling party, was arrested by the Mumbai Police on November 4, 2020 on a charge of abetting the suicide of Anvay Naik … The High Court heard his case for five hours on a holiday, and said exactly this on November 9…
There is however the disturbing contrast between the breakneck speed of the Supreme Court in this case with other cases which involve large scale and serious violations of fundamental freedoms.
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Five cases on personal liberty decided by Justice DY Chandrachud

15/11/2020

Bar & Bench / by Murali Krishnan

Supreme Court Bench headed by JusticeDY Chandrachud, on November 11 granted bail to Republic TV Editor-in-Chief, Arnab Goswami in an abetment to suicide case against him…
Below are a few cases in which Justice Chandrachud was confronted with issue of personal liberty/ bail.
Bhima -Koregaon arrests
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A List of Activists, Scholars and Scribes Whose Personal Liberty Remains at Judiciary’s Mercy

A List of Activists, Scholars and Scribes Whose Personal Liberty Remains at Judiciary’s Mercy

A List of Activists, Scholars and Scribes Whose Personal Liberty Remains at Judiciary’s Mercy

13/11/2020

The Wire / by Ismat Ara and Sukanya Shantha

On September 7, following sustained interrogation at the National Investigation Agency’s office in Mumbai, two activists of the Kabir Kala Manch – Sagar Gorkhe and Ramesh Gaichor – were arrested for alleged connections to the 2018 Elgar Parishad case. Days later, another young cultural activist of the group, Jyoti Jagtap, was arrested too…
The Wire has put together a list of cases where activists and journalists arrested in the past years have struggled either in securing regular hearings, or in having their basic human rights protected, or both. Their situations put the Supreme Court’s assertion on “personal liberty” during Goswami’s bail hearing in harsh perspective.
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Stan Swamy vs Arnab Goswami: Are activists fighting a losing battle? Whither justice?

14/11/2020

Counterview / by Fr Sunil Macwan SJ

It is time one raised pertinent questions over the courts denying bail to Fr Stan Swamy, who was arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), and granting it to Arnab Goswami, editor-in-chief of the Republic TV, arrested under the charge of abetting suicide of Avay Naik, who ended his life in 2018. It is travesty of justice that a human rights activist is not only denied bail but is also made to wait for weeks to hear a response to his legitimate request for a straw to drink water, while Arnab Goswami walks free.
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Political Prisoners – X

Political Prisoners – X

Indian Cultural Forum / by ICF Team

A Turkish folktale, lately popular worldwide, relates that there was once—upon a time—a copse of trees that mistook an axe for a friend. “Look, it’s got a wooden handle!” cheered the trees. “The axe is one of us!” Pretty soon, those became famous last words. Variants of the plot are found in Hebrew and Kannada, Urdu and Greek, for when a folktale goes global we often discover it was global all along.
In The Leaflet (October 25), Annie Domini asks how we can “accurately recapture the evil of a State that finds solidarity to be a crime”.
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Why are inmates unable to access basic facilities in Indian prisons?

Why are inmates unable to access basic facilities in Indian prisons?


Drawing by Arun Ferreira

Scroll.in / by Vijayta Lalwani

According to prison manuals, jail authorities are responsible for ensuring food, clothing and health facilities to inmates.
On November 6, activist Stan Swamy filed an application in a special court in Mumbai requesting access to use a straw and a sipper… When he was arrested in Ranchi, Jharkhand, he carried a small bag with himself that contained a few of his belongings as well as a straw and a sipper, said his lawyer Sharif Sheikh. However, after the arrest, the bag was left with the National Investigation Agency, which is probing the case.
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For one and all: On personal liberty / A Tale of Two Arrests: Arnab Goswami & Stan Swamy

For one and all: On personal liberty / A Tale of Two Arrests: Arnab Goswami & Stan Swamy

For one and all: On personal liberty

13/11/2020

The Hindu / by The Hindu

The Supreme Court has struck a blow for personal liberty, granting interim bail to television anchor Arnab Goswami through an order that one wished was also passed in the case of many others incarcerated without sufficient cause, and with the same priority, consideration and speed…
It is no idle whataboutery to point out that it was only recently that the apex court turned down a petition for bail on medical grounds for lawyer-activist Sudha Bharadwaj to the High Court with a gratuitous observation, “You have a good case on merits. Why don’t you file a regular bail application?”
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A Tale of Two Arrests: Anchor Arnab Goswami & Activist Stan Swamy

12/11/2020

The Leaflet / by Revati Siva Kumar

The arrest of Arnab Goswami evoked howls of protests from the centre, politicians and ordinary people, while that of octogenarian activist Stan Swamy under the dreaded UAPA barely registered. This “counter-terrorism law” is a convenient weapon for governments to arrest human rights defenders, journalists and protesters and Swamy was a symbol of activism, the voice of tribals and their struggles to address their broken hopes and aspirations related to displacements and land alienation beyond caste and religion.
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Arnab entitled to bail, but what about 3.5 lakh undertials, 83 yr old priest, 80 yr old poet?

12/11/2020

Counterview / by Counterview

Senior Mumbai-based human rights lawyer Mihir Desai, in a Facebook post, “tears in the hypocrisy of the judgement and the utter naiveté that informs the discussion about it in certain quarters”, comments Vistasp Hodiwala, adding, “It is the kind of stuff that only a lawyer of serious standing such as Mihir who deals with such cases day in and day out would be able to put up.” …
This is what Mihir Desai wrote.
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‘Will Fr Stan Swamy Now Get a Sipper Cup?’ Twitter on Arnab’s Bail

11/11/2020

The Quint / by The Quint

Meanwhile, another Twitter user talked about jailed 80-year-old activist Varavara Rao’s struggles in the jail.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday, 11 November, granted interim bail to Republic editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami in connection with the 2018 abetment of suicide case against him.
Among other things, the top court judges, raised serious concerns about deprivation of personal liberty in Goswami’s case.
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Nikhil Wagle: Personal liberty is of utmost importance. But should it be selective? Was it not important for Kashmiri, anti-CAA or Bhima-Koregaon activists? Was it not for Rhea Chakraborty?

Rishi Majumder: To be fair, #JusticeChandrachud did take a similar line in his dissenting judgment the Bhima Koregaon case. But while his words in the #ArnabGoswami #SupremeCourt case have carried weight those in the #bhimakoregaon case served only the purpose of record.

Prashant Bhushan: It was fine for the SC to hear Goswami’s petition with lightning speed & release him. The SC struck a blow for liberty. What has anguished many people is why the SC does not display the same alacrity & concern for liberty when it deals with lesser mortals languishing in custody

People in jail
807 days – Sudha Bharadwaj
286 days – Sharjeel Imam
223 days – Meeran Haider
255 days – Ishrat Jahan & Khalid Saifi
178 days – Asif Tanha
171 days – Devangana Kalita & Natasha Narwal
58 days – Umar Khalid
30 days – Kishore Chandra Wangkhem
2 years – Aasif Sultan


Arnab’s plea listed urgently in SC, Dushyant Dave alleges preferential treatment [read full letter]

11/11/2020

Sabrang / by Sabrangindia

As Arnab Goswami lodged in Taloja Jail awaits the expedited hearing of his petition against denial of interim bail, the President of Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) has, in strong words, protested against the ‘extraordinary urgent listing’ of the matter at the apex court. Mr. Dushyant Dave, the President of SCBA wrote a letter to the Secretary General of the Supreme Court pointing out the selective listing of matters that the registry is indulging in “for last eight months during Covid pandemic”.
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Was Arnab Goswami entitled to be released on bail? Of course

11/11/2020

Kractivist / by kamayani

Advocate Mihir Desai: Bail not jail is the rule.
Are the 350000 yes three lakh fifty thousand undertrials (many of them for years and many for petty offences) who are as on 11th November 2020 in jails across India likely to get bail?
More than 1,20000 of them have been jail as undertrials for more than a year. At some stage in their long prison life may be but within four days of arrest. Not in your wildest dreams.
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