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Should anyone be jailed for shouting ‘murdabad’?/ Video: Personal Liberty and the Indian Courts

Should anyone be jailed for shouting ‘murdabad’?/ Video: Personal Liberty and the Indian Courts

posters by @/bakeryprasad

Supreme Court’s suspension of Dr. G.N. Saibaba’s acquittal: ‘Technical grounds are also substantive’, says senior advocate, Mihir Desai

26/10/2022

The Leaflet / by Gursimran Kaur Bakshi

Three recent judgments, controversial for their adverse impact on civil liberties, came in for critical review at an online event, organised by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties.
On October 25, the human rights body, People’s Union for Civil Liberties (‘PUCL’) hosted a webinar on the effect of three recent judgments: Jyoti Japtap versus NIA (in which the Bombay High Court denied bail to activist and performer Jyoti Japtap, detained as an accused in the Bhima Koregaon case), State of Maharashtra versus Mahesh Kariman Tirki & Ors. (in which the Supreme Court stayed the acquittal by the Bombay high court of scholar, writer and activist Dr. G.N Saibaba’s conviction in a Maoist links case), and Umar Khalid versus State of NCT of Delhi (in which the Delhi High Court denied bail to activist Umar Khalid, detained as an accused in the Delhi riots case).
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Should anyone be jailed for shouting ‘murdabad,’ says senior advocate Mihir Desai

26/10/2022

Scroll.in / by Scroll Staff

He made the statement during a discussion on three judgements that denied bail to activists Jyoti Jagtap and Umar Khalid.
Should a person be jailed if he shouts murdabad (death to) slogans, asked senior advocate Mihir Desai during an event organised by People’s Union for Civil Liberties on Tuesday, reported Live Law.
He made the statement during a discussion on three judgements that denied bail to activists Jyoti Jagtap and Umar Khalid and stay on the acquittal of former Delhi University professor GN Saibaba.
Read more


Conspiracy Allegation Used To Fill Gaps, Speeches Given A Criminal Colour: Gautam Bhatia On Umar Khalid, Jyoti Jagtap Bail Orders

26/10/2022

Live Law / by Padmakshi Sharma

People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) hosted an online event to discuss three recent judgements pertaining to civil liberties. The judgements included Bombay High Court’s denial of bail to Jyoti Jagtap (Jyoti Jagtap v. National Investigating Agency and Anr.), Supreme Court’s stay on the acquittal of Dr G.N. Saibaba (State of Maharashtra v. Mahesh Kariman Tirki And Ors.) and Delhi High Court’s denial of bail to Umar Khalid (Umar Khalid v. State of NCT of Delhi).
Read more


Video: Personal Liberty and the Indian Courts

25/10/2022


en | 1h 42min | 2022

The discussion examines the recent three judgements relating to
► The denial of bail of Jyoti Jagtap by the Bombay High Court in the Bhima Koregaon Conspiracy case.
► The stay on the Bombay High Court judgement of acquittal/discharge of Dr. GN Saibaba and others by the Supreme Court
► The denial of bail by the Delhi High Court of Umar Khalid in the Conspiracy case of the Delhi Riots of 2020.
Senior Advocate Mihir Desai and Advocate Gautam Bhatia spoke at the meeting and responded to these judgements.
An update on the delay in the release of Siddique Kappan was shared by Advocate Mohammed Danish from Kappan’s legal team
The discussion moderated by PUCL General Secretary, V Suresh, Arvind Narrain, VP Karnataka State PUCL and Kavita Srivastava, National Secretary PUCL
Watch video (PUCL fb page)


by Live Law (Oct 25, 2022)
People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) hosts an online discussion on 3 recent judgements- denial of bail of #JyotiJagtap; Supreme Court’s stay on the acquittal of #DrGNSaibaba and; the denial of bail of #UmarKhalid

The judgments will be discussed by Senior Advocate Mihir Desai (@mihirde19079979) Advocate Tara Naruala (@taranarula1) and Advocate Gautam Bhatia (@gautambhatia88)

Advocate Gautam Bhatia: We often hear that the trial courts and the High courts, when they are dealing with UAPA, have their hand tied owing to the text of the UAPA and the Watali judgement. I believe that there is space for the courts to work around.

Desai: Jyoti’s name was there in FIR from Day 1 as having shouted slogans at Elgar Parishad and being part of a play which dealt with issues such as demonitisation and dalit rights, which is now considered by the court as serious.
Desai: Most important aspect is the question of frontal organization. Jyoti was a part of Kabir Kala Manch, which is a frontal organisation but no-one knew that it was a frontal organisation.
Desai: You can’t throw names that this is a frontal organisation unless you come with a clear government notification. What is the basis of holding Kabir Kala Manch as a frontal organisation? Nothing.
Desai: Just the other day the prime minister called narmada bachao andolan as an urban naxal movement – anything can be called…which is okay for politicians but for courts to hold such organisations as frontal organisation is wrong.
Desai: In Jyoti Jagtap’s case, even prosecution admitted that there were around 150 organisations…even retired HC and SC judges included in Elgar Parishad…how are you picking one or two members like that? There is no link.

Read full thread


Also read:
Inconsistencies in Bail Orders Mean Individual Liberty Is Now the Outcome of Judicial Lottery (The Wire / Oct 2022)
Kabir Kala Manch Incited Hatred By Ridiculing Phrases Acche Din, Demonetization In Plays: Bombay HC [read order] (Live Law / Oct 2022)
Supreme Court Stays Release Of Prof GN Saibaba & Others In UAPA Case, Suspends Bombay HC’s Acquittal Order (Live Law / Oct 15, 2022)
Report: UAPA – CRIMINALISING DISSENT AND STATE TERROR (PUCL / Sep 2022)

Download report

“Let there be Light”! India today, is enveloped in darkness

“Let there be Light”! India today, is enveloped in darkness

Countercurrents / by Cedrik Prakash

India today, is enveloped in darkness! As the nation embroils itself from one issue to another, the burden is felt by the ordinary citizen, as never before and in more ways than one. Fascism throttles the country; at this juncture, one cannot help, but reminded of that immortal epigram composed by Bertolt Brecht in 1939. Brecht, a playwright and poet, who was vehemently anti-Nazi wrote, “In the dark times / will there also be singing? / Yes, there will also be singing. / About the dark times.”. In these dark times, the people of India cry out in one voice, from the depths of their being “Let there be Light”!
… At the same time, human rights defenders, those who have taken a visible and vocal stand for justice and peace, those who have taken up cudgels for the excluded and exploited, the marginalised and the minorities are at the receiving end of a brutal vengeful system. Many, as those in the Bhima Koregaon conspiracy case are still languishing in jail without trial.
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Inconsistencies in Bail Orders Mean Individual Liberty Is the Outcome of Judicial Lottery

Inconsistencies in Bail Orders Mean Individual Liberty Is the Outcome of Judicial Lottery

posters by @/bakeryprasad

The Wire / by Gautam Bhatia

The judgments denying bail to Jyoti Jagtap and Umar Khalid – from the Bombay and Delhi high courts respectively – reveal that UAPA adjudication continues to be inconsistent and judge-centric.
In June and October 2021, the Delhi and Bombay high courts had passed two important judgments on bail under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). The Delhi high court’s judgment(s) granted bail to Asif Iqbal Tanha, Devangana Kalita, and Natasha Narwal, who were accused of various UAPA offences arising out of the February 2020 Delhi riots. The Bombay high court granted bail to Iqbal Ahmed Kabir Ahmed, who was accused of criminal conspiracy involving members of the banned ISIS group.
The significance of these judgments – I had written at the time – lay in how they articulated a “jurisprudence of liberty” within the stringent confines of the UAPA.
Read more


Also read/watch:
As Bhima Koregaon case completes its fourth anniversary, State reprisal is writ large in its twists and turns (The Leaflet / June 2022)
Video: Dafachya Talavar (Songs of Defiance) – A short documentary on Kabir Kala Manch | Hindi, Marthi (subtitles: English) | 24:01min | 2022

Statement by CASR: Release Saibaba and Others / Mining in Gadchiroli

Statement by CASR: Release Saibaba and Others / Mining in Gadchiroli

Countercurrents.org / by Campaign Against State Repression

Campaign Against State Repression (CASR) Strongly condemns the Supreme Court’s order to suspend the Acquittal of Saibaba and Others in Gadchiroli case pertaining to alleged ‘Maoist link’.
… They want to keep in jail, every voice that foisted the state’s attempt to militarily loot the people of their resources and livelihood through Operation Green-Hunt, which Saibaba and other’s jailed in Gadchiroli case and Bhima Koregaon case have strongly resisted. They want to do so to continue the exploitation of people and their resources in far off Central Indian Regions, in North Eastern states, Kashmir and everywhere. This is not just an attack on Saibaba and others, but a clear sign of continuing and ever sharpening attack on all involved in the struggle for a democratic society.
Read full statement


Also read:
● Appeal to Supreme Court of India to review and reconsider Saibaba’s and Others Case (Countercurrents.org / by Defense Committee for the Release of Saibaba / Oct 18, 2022)
● Gadchiroli’s 300 Gram Sabhas Pass Resolution in Support of Activist Mahesh Raut (The Wire / Oct 2018)
DISINHERITING ADIVASIS – THE GADCHIROLI GAME PLAN (KAFILA / June 2018)
Mining In Gadchiroli – Building A Castle Of Injustices (Countercurrents / June 2017)

The End: Lessons from UAPA series

The End: Lessons from UAPA series


Drawing by Arun Ferreira

Midday / by Ajaz Ashraf

This draconian law is rarely invoked against the upper caste Hindus who are not communists or Ambedkarites or atheists, which is a commentary on the nature of the Indian state.
This column has featured, over the past five months, stories of those families whose members have been booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act—and persistently denied bail. They continue to languish in jail. With the exception of Fahad Shah, editor of The Kashmir Walla, the column focussed on the accused in the 2018 Bhima Koregaon violence and the 2020 Delhi riot cases. Their tragedy is compounded as the charges against them are widely believed to be imaginary.
Read more


Also read:
And the future of Stan Swamy (Midday.com / Oct 2022)
And a place Sudhir Dhawale calls home (Midday.com / Aug 2022)
And Ramesh Gaichor’s patriotic songs (Midday.com / Aug 2022)
And prayers to Lord for Arun Ferreira (Midday.com / Aug 2022)
And Vernon’s letters to his son (Midday.com / July 2022)
And comrades admire Jyoti Jagtap (Midday.com / July 2022)
And they wait for Mahesh Raut (Midday.com / Jun 2022)
And the letters of Rona Wilson (Midday.com / June 2022)
And Allah’s call to Hany Babu (Midday.com / June 2022)
And Ma died waiting for Surendra (Midday.com / Jun 2022)
And Ma can’t sing with Sagar (Midday.com / June 2022)
And he waits for Shoma Sen (Midday.com / May 2022)
And she waits for Gautam Navlakha (Midday.com / May 2022)

Fr. Stan Swamy’s human rights were violated, says Shashi Tharoor

Fr. Stan Swamy’s human rights were violated, says Shashi Tharoor

The Hindu / Sonam Saigal

Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor says the late tribal activist’s death had brought the world’s attention to his work and commitment
“The tragedy of Father Stan Swamy is his human rights were violated while all he was attempting to do was protect the human rights of Adivasis suffering from poverty and neglect,” senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said on Saturday.
Read more

The plight of jailed activists in ‘police state’

The plight of jailed activists in ‘police state’

Delhi. Oct 8, 2022

The Telegraph / by Pheroze L. Vincent

Try hugging your child with one arm
Political leaders on Saturday shared the stage with relatives and friends of activists imprisoned in terror cases, listening to how bail remained a mirage for years and police prevented the accused even from hugging their children in court.
Besides the release of their loved ones, most of the speakers demanded a repeal of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) which made bail difficult to obtain, and alleged that an “undeclared emergency” had turned the country into a “police state”.
Read more


Also read:

Report: UAPA – CRIMINALISING DISSENT AND STATE TERROR (PUCL / Sep 2022)
Download report

Press Release: India Behind Bars – The Cost Of Free Speech

Press Release: India Behind Bars – The Cost Of Free Speech

by AILAJ (Oct 8, 2022):
AILAJ co-organised ‘India Behind Bars’ press conference in the Press Club of India with
@AISA_tweets and @ryaindia. Hundreds of students, teachers, activists and concerned citizens of Delhi joined us.


By AISA (Oct 8, 2022):
Despite heavy rains, students, citizens of Delhi flooded the Press Club of India in solidarity with different political prisoners incarcerated under acts like UAPA, PSA, NIA etc. #FreeAllPoliticalPrisoners #IndiaBehindBars


Recording by Millat Times: India Behind Bars: The Cost Of Free Speech (Excerpt)


En/Hindi/Urdu | 30min | 2022
Watch video


click to enlarge posters

by Akash (Oct 6, 2022):
To quote Com. Ravi Rai @ravirai2015: “Those behind bars spoke up for us, it’s time for us to speak up for them.” #DelhiPogrom #bhimakoregaon
Join the Press Conference on 8 October at the Press Club.
#FreeAllPoliticalPrisoners #RepealUAPA


by AILAJ_HQ (Oct 5, 2022)
Join us on 8th Oct at 4 p.m. at the Press Club of India, New Delhi for a press conference on India Behind Bars: The Cost of Free Speech where we demand the scrapping of draconian laws and release of political prisoners.

click to enlarge poster

#ReleaseAllPoliticalPrisoners

click to enlarge posters

Also read:

Report: UAPA – CRIMINALISING DISSENT AND STATE TERROR (PUCL / Sep 2022)
Download report

NCHRO calls for solidarity to Lawyers and Human Rights Defenders who are arbitrarily detained

NCHRO calls for solidarity to Lawyers and Human Rights Defenders who are arbitrarily detained

Poster campaign, 2020

By National Confederation of Human Rights Organizations (NCHRO)

27/09/2022

This letter elaborates our concerns about the unlawful detention of lawyers and other human rights defenders who were arrested on September 22nd, 2022 in an early morning raid along with over 100 others across the country by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the principal counter-terrorist task force of India and Enforcement Directorate. The activists have been arbitrary detained under repressive laws including the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). Such detentions have become a regular practice of the present government…

The Bhima Koregaon case is just one emblematic example of the Indian authorities’ increasing use of anti-terror legislation, particularly the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) to punish those who ask questions about the illegitimate anti-minority and anti-poor stances.
Read full statement


The National Confederation of Human Rights Organisations (NCHRO) halts its work in the country

28/09/2022

By National Confederation of Human Rights Organizations (NCHRO)

The National Confederation of Human Rights Organisations (NCHRO) halted its work in the country as the news came that the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had banned the organisation. This is a reprisal for the organization’s human rights work. The NCHRO is very proud of the vital human rights work carried out by the confederation.
As a result, we are suspending all our activities. Effective immediately, NCHRO halted all its programmes and we are not engaged and responsible for any posts on social media.
We will pursue legal remedies against this injustice.

Sincerely,
Prof A Marx