A Professor’s Supreme Court Bail Hearing Is A Bellwether Case For Govt’s Use of India’s Anti-Terror Law
article 14 / by Chitrangada Choudhury
When the Supreme Court considers the case for bail to management professor and writer Anand Teltumbde this week, it will be one of a handful since 2018 to evaluate the merit of a government allegation of terrorism in a case against 15 academics, intellectuals and artistes. The hectoring of judges and attempts by government lawyers to stop bail, even though the trial has not begun after more than four years, appears to indicate how important the Bhima-Koregaon case is to the State’s model of arrest and incarceration without trial using the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Read more
Material does not inspire confidence that Teltumbde indulged in terrorist acts
Citizens for Justice & Peace / by CJP Team
He has spent more than 2.5 years in prison under the stringent UAPA.
… CJP stands in solidarity with the human rights defenders targeted by a vindictive state. A healthy democracy needs voices of dissent. We also need human rights defenders and social activists to work tirelessly to uphold our shared values of equality, peace and justice. The Case
The case against Teltumbde is that he was the convener of Elgar Parishad conference held on December 31, 2017 which led to clashes in Bhima Koregaon resulting in one person’s death. When the police probed further and the NIA took over the case, it was alleged that there was a conspiracy to assassinate the Prime Minister. The NIA also alleges that Teltumbde is an active member of CPI (Maoists) and also linked him to his late brother, Milind, who was the Secretary of the (Maharashtra-Madhya Pradesh-Chhattisgarh) unit of the banned CPI(M). Read more
Is it just their relentless opposition to State policies that gets the NIA’s goat, or is it also their privileged background?
Stone walls do not a prison make, nor iron bars a cage. Sometimes they do, even for the most creative minds.
Take Maharashtra’s Taloja Jail, on the outskirts of Mumbai. For the last almost three years, it’s been home to some of the country’s most valuable public intellectuals, and also the site of their steady deterioration. The Bhima Koregaon trial is yet to begin, but the 16 accused have already been punished, by the NIA that’s handling their case and the jail authorities. Read more
Court directs top cop to look into the mosquito menace in Taloja prison
Free Press Journal / by Staff Reporter
In his plea made on Tuesday, he said that there is no reply from the jail’s superintendent despite the court’s direction to the authority to file one.
Following an application by civil rights activist and accused in Bhima-Koregaon case, Anand Teltumbde, on Tuesday, a special court has directed the Deputy Inspector General of police (DIG, Prisons) to look into the mosquito menace in Taloja prison as the jail superintendent has not complied with previous orders to take precautions to control the situation despite repeated directions. Read more
‘Disproportionate and Politically Motivated’: Diasporic Outfits Condemn Police Raids on ‘The Wire’
The Wire / by The Wire Staff
As many as 21 Indian diasporic organisations from across the globe saw the raids on ‘The Wire’ as part of an “ongoing deterioration of journalistic and press freedoms in India”.
We Stand with The Wire
We are writing as diasporic Indian organizations and allies to express our solidarity with The Wire. We strongly condemn the witch hunt to which they are being subjected by the state.
… Egregiously, the phones and laptops of the four Wire editors, the accountant, and the business officer were seized without being sealed and without provision of the hashtag value by the authorities for the seized devices at the time of the seizures. The hash value is the single most important forensic evidence that captures the total state of the electronic devices at the time of seizure. It allows for forensic experts to determine whether any tampering of the device took place after seizure. In short, the hashtag ensures the integrity of the stored data. Given the emerging evidence around electronic surveillance and the reports of planted and ‘fabricated’ evidence used to implicate political prisoners such as the Bhima Koregaon 16, we are highly concerned about any claims by authorities based on the data on the above devices. Read full statement
A Govt of India move to ‘force’ journos to join cacophony of state propaganda: CASR
Counterview / by CASR
The Campaign Against State Repression (CASR) condemns the raids carried out by Delhi Police at mid night on the house of the various editors of The Wire and its office based in Delhi, on the complaint of BJP Spokesperson Amit Malviya pertaining to series of articles about Amit Malviya enjoying special censorship on the contents being published on social media company named ‘Meta’.
… Be it in the arrest of academics, activists, lawyers, journalists and poets in the Elgaar Parishad-Bhima Koregaon case or the incarceration of journalist Rupesh Kumar Singh, Siddiqui Kappan, Fahad Shah of ‘Kasmir Walla’, Asif Sultan and now several more, it is evident that the State is becoming more and more intolerant of any critical voice or dissent. At such times, it is imperative that democratic and progressive voices speak out, else risk being silenced forever. Read full statement
Varavara Rao: The Conscience of Our Time / Red roses to the People’s Poet
Two districts of Gujarat have begun to grant citizenship to minorities (Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis and Christians) from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. More than hundreds drowned in Morbi, Gujarat in the moribund madness we call celebration. We are at the pedestal in the Global Hunger Index. Everyday capitalism is devouring our air, water, and land. And the big giant 56 is roaring at the Naxals both with a gun and pen. He consciously or unconsciously acknowledges that the pen has the same power as the gun!
It’s this fear that has put brilliant minds behind bars. But are we not also within bars too? Invisible wires have enslaved us. Read more
India Trains Its Sights on Dissent in Chhattisgarh – Snooping on Civil Society
Voelkerrechtsblog / by Allison West
Development in the form of profit-driven resource exploitation ventures in India’s central state of Chhattisgarh, led by corporations and facilitated by the state, have wreaked havoc on the lives and livelihoods of the region’s indigenous Adivasi peoples. In the face of widespread dispossession, corporate land grabs, environmental degradation and militarized policing in Chhattisgarh, Adivasi activists and organized civil society play a vital role in monitoring, documenting and challenging ongoing human rights violations on the ground…
In 2020, Amnesty International and Citizen Lab uncovered a coordinated spyware campaign targeting nine human rights defenders in India, including several active in Chhattisgarh. Between January and October 2019, the targets received spearphishing emails with malicious links that, if opened, would have installed NetWire, a commercially manufactured Windows spyware that monitors a user’s actions and communications..
The common link between the human rights defenders targeted in the NetWire attack seemed to be a record of speaking out on behalf of those imprisoned in the 2018 Bhima Koregaon Case. Read more
Report Release: In the Name of Development – Indigenous Rights Violations and Shrinking Space in Chhattisgarh
By India Justice Project & ECCHR
The report presents insights into the ongoing assault by the Indian state and powerful corporations on the indigenous peoples of the country through a case study of Chhattisgarh. In particular, the report highlights the legal and institutional means through which powerful state, military and corporate actors appropriate land and shrink space for Adivasi rights and resistance in Chhattisgarh. Read full report (PDF, 72 pages)
I wish they’d recognise the arrests of political prisoners as a systemic pro-establishment political act, and then tell the state – and not the defendants – to not bring politics to the courts.
‘Submissions should be limited to law and not be political.’
This is a common refrain in the courts.
Yet the prosecuting state’s behaviour towards its prisoners has been rather erratic. On the one hand, it is seen to oppose, tooth and nail, the grant of bail to political activists such as Jyoti Jagtap, or Umar Khalid, alleged to have ‘ignited passions’ and provoked violence (in others). Read more
A Campaign Against State Repression (CASR) meeting on 28th October at the Gandhi Peace foundation on, ‘Dangerous Brain: Saibaba and Others’, held to scrutinise the Supreme Court judgement suspending Bombay High Court’s acquittal order of Prof GN Saibaba, Hem Mishra, Prashant Rahi, Vijay Tirki and Mahesh Tikri, has demanded that the Apex Court should uphold the Bombay High Court’s order granting acquittal to Saibaba and others…
Citing the case of Jyoti Jagtap, Apoorvanand said that she has been denied bail because she criticized the government through their songs, means that there is no space in this democracy for criticism of the government. Read more
A special meeting of pro-people and democratic public organisations of Amritsar was held at Company Bagh in which it was decided to hold a convention on November 6 to demand the immediate release of intellectuals and social activists detained in Bhima Koregoan case. Read more
Should anyone be jailed for shouting ‘murdabad’?/ Video: Personal Liberty and the Indian Courts
Supreme Court’s suspension of Dr. G.N. Saibaba’s acquittal: ‘Technical grounds are also substantive’, says senior advocate, Mihir Desai
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). Read more
Should anyone be jailed for shouting ‘murdabad,’ says senior advocate Mihir Desai
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
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
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.
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. Read more