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”.
Video: SC Has Let People Down, Abdicated Duty to Defend Fundamental Rights, says Justice A.P. Shah
en | 51:32min | 2020
By Release the Poet Committee @ FB
Release the Poet Committee’s statement at Kolkata Press Club on 23rd Nov
“…If we look upon the flood of tweets and whatsapp texts, memes and mimics denouncing the highest seat of judiciary – the Supreme Court – in the last few months, we could clearly see that it was unprecedented in the history of India! People are openly getting judgmental and bitterly critical about the so called “temple of justice” discounting the risk that is ‘contempt of court’. The state should lend an ear to this alarm, which is, ACTUALLY, directed to them. …
Read More Read More
Scroll.in / by Scroll Staff
The signatories said they had noted with ‘alarm the deteriorating condition of poet Varavara Rao, imprisoned without trial in India’.
Nearly 60 Irish writers have sent a petition to the Irish Embassy in New Delhi and the Indian Embassy in Dublin protesting against the incarceration of Telugu poet Varavara Rao.
Mid-day / Chetna Sadadekar
After a wait of four months, the family of Varavara Rao finally got to meet him at Nanavati Hospital. Rao’s wife and elder daughter met him on Friday and Saturday. While he is being treated for a urinary tract infection, his family said that he has contracted a fungal infection on his feet and knees. However, the family is unaware of the tests that have been conducted and the reports of the same as the hospital authorities told them that reports have to be submitted to the court.
N Venugopal writes after meeting VV Rao at Nanavati Hospital
Release the Poet @ fb
Akkaiah (Hemalatha, Poet’s partner), Sahaja (Poet’s daughter) and I met VV separately in Nanavati Hospital today morning. Akkaiah was allowed twice for 20 minutes and Sahaja and me each 15 minutes once. The first thing VV told Akkaiah was “they are going to discharge me today. They are just waiting for your visit and doctors wanted to speak to you before discharge and sending to hospital!”
It seems after the High Court order on Wednesday, he was hurriedly brought to the hospital and various tests were done till two in the night. “All normal” reports were made by Thursday and waiting for family so that he could be discharged and sent back to jail began.
All this is an attempt to refuse bail, said VV.
He looked weak and fragile. With huge weight loss, age is showing. Still he has not got control over urination. Nails of feet and hands are discoloured. Hands are shivering. But then the hospital thinks he is normal to be discharged!
Only good thing that happened in the hospital seems to removal of catheter and urine bag.
So we don’t know when he will be sent back to jail. Though keeping him in hospital for 15 days was mentioned by judges and reported in press, that did not come into the written order. The court’s direction of allowing family visit is being interpreted by police officials in the hospital as they like.
Amidst such ill-health and so many conspiracies, his spirits are high. He is mentally as strong as he was. He enquired about many friends and said he was quite alright. Tears welled up in his eyes hearing the death news of Seshaiah.
Except RELEASE, nothing is the needed relief.
Jesuits take stand for imprisoned Indian priest
Catholic register / by Michael Swan
Canada’s Jesuit provincial superior Fr. Erik Oland has asked the Canadian government to intervene in the case of Fr. Stan Swamy, an 83-year-old Jesuit priest with Parkinson’s imprisoned in an Indian prison where he faces bizarre and vague charges under a new national security law.
Stand with Stan: Catholics in Nagaland protest arrest of rights activist
Eastern Mirror / by Eastern Mirror Correspondent
Joining the countrywide protest, the Catholic community in Nagaland held a silent protest on the Theme, “Stand with Stan”, in Kohima on Tuesday to show their displeasure over the arrest of 83-year-old Fr. Stan Swamy.
‘Unfair To Target A Lawyer For Appearing For A Particular Client’: Justice Lokur
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.
Video: Justice (retd.) Madan Lokur speaks on „Defending Liberties“
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.
Read tweets/summaries by Live Law
Drawing by Arun Ferreira
Not Just NIA, Maharashtra Govt Too Is Responsible for Varavara Rao’s Failing Health
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.
Podcast: Why Varavara Rao’s Treatment Raises Questions on Civil Liberties
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?
Listen to podcast
Arnab Goswami and Varavara Rao, Unequal Citizens Before the Law
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.
Article 32: Rights for All or For a Favoured Few?
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.
By Fr. Stan Swamy SJ
Thank you so much for the solidarity support by so many, for me and my co-accused. I am really grateful.
The Prison administration provides breakfast, tea, milk, lunch and dinner. Any additional edibles are to be purchased from the prison canteen, twice a month. Also, newspapers, toiletries, stationary and other essentials can be purchased through the prison canteen.
My needs are limited. The Adivasis and the Society of Jesus have taught me to lead a simple life. bI had brought with me a “sipper-tumbler”, to drink tea and water. However, the same was disallowed at the prison gate, on entry on 9 October.
Now, I am using a baby-sipper mug, which I purchased through the prison hospital. I have communicated this need to our lawyers. I am still awaiting to receive the sipper-tumbler.
Varavara Rao is very sick. Kindly, pray for him. Listening to the life-narratives of the poor prisoners is my joy in Taloja. I see God in their pains and smiles.”
Fr. Stan Swamy SJ
Jailed Jesuit seeks prayers for seriously ill co-prisoner
Matters India / by Matters India Reporter
Mumbai: Father Stan Swamy, who is in a Mumbai jail for more than one month, has sought prayers for a fellow prisoner who has become seriously ill.
“Varavara Rao is very sick. Kindly, pray for him,” the octogenarian Jesuit told confrere over phone…
Jesuit Father Arockiasamy Santhanam, secretary of the National Lawyers Forum of Religious and Priests, says they expected the prison authorities would give Father Swamy the sipper tumbler after P Chidambaram, a senior politician tweeted about his need. “He not received the same, at least till yesterday,” he told Matters India November 19.
Also read: ‘Humanity is bubbling in Taloja prison,’ Stan Swamy says in letter to friends (Nov 15)
Countercurrents / by Countercurrents
The jailed scholar and activist, who is being incarcerated by the world’s so called largest democracy, has been recognized as this year’s person by a Vancouver-based online magazine that covers alternative politics.