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Tag: UAPA

Why the Life and Times of Fr Stan Swami Matter Even More Today

Why the Life and Times of Fr Stan Swami Matter Even More Today

Indian Catholic Matters / by Verghese V Joseph

Fr Stan Swamy, a Jesuit priest and tribal rights activist, dedicated his life to fighting for the rights of the marginalised and oppressed in India. His unwavering commitment to social justice and human rights earned him the title of the country’s oldest prisoner charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for his alleged role in a Maoist conspiracy. Swamy’s death on July 5, 2021, while still in custody, has sparked outrage and calls for justice from human rights organisations and individuals around the world.
Read more


Also read:
Jharkhand police to probe into Maoist links with Stan Swamy’s ‘Bagaicha’, 63 other frontal organisations (The New Indian Express / Sep 2023)
Can Father Stan Swamy’s PIL be the blueprint for justice to thousands of undertrials lodged under UAPA? (The Leaflet / Aug 2023)

▪ An Autobiographical Fragment, Memory and Reflection


Indian Social Institute, Bangalore | by Stan Swamy | August 2021
Edition: Aug 2021
Publisher: Indian Social Institute, Bangalore
Language: English
Paperback: 149 pages
Access a free PDF copy of the book here

▪ Framed to Die – The Case of Stan Swamy

By Peoples Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR)
Edition: Aug 2021
Publisher: Peoples Union for Democratic Rights, Delhi
Language: English
Paperback: 45 pages
Access a free PDF copy of the book here

A Mango Republic – The arrest and incarceration of the multitude of people …

A Mango Republic – The arrest and incarceration of the multitude of people …

Campaign, 2020

The Wire / by Natasha Narwal

The arrest and incarceration of the multitude of people languishing in our prisons is as political as that of Kejriwal. How many mangoes will it take to get them out?
With the heat waves and rising mercury, the season of mango is here. But this season, mango is not just a fruit, it also seems to be a key conspirator in the plot to get Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal out of Tihar Jail. The chargesheet is still awaited in the case, but its good name has been dragged through the mud. What’s a mango supposed to do?
Behind this comedy of errors lies the horror of dismantling of Indian democracy.
Kejriwal’s arrest and incarceration is a watershed moment marking the crisis of democracy and free and fair elections in the country. But this moment has long been in the making and all those who want to fight for a democratic future must confront this history.
Read more


Also read:
India – Fundamental Freedoms Deteriorate Further in Modi’s Second Term (CIVICUS / April 2024)
Five Questions on the Shameful Proceedings Against Natasha Narwal, Devangana Kalita, Asif Iqbal (The Wire / Jun 2023)
The Uses (and Abuses) of Investigative Agencies (The Wire / Nov 2022)
Maharashtra is adding activists to a secret list of the enemies of state (Newslaundry / July 2021)
How Governments Avoid Due Process by Declaring Groups as ‘Front Organisations’ of Banned Entities (The Wire / Sep 2020)

‘Pattern’ of UAPA Being Abused / You spent 10 years in jail for nothing. Who should pay for it?

‘Pattern’ of UAPA Being Abused / You spent 10 years in jail for nothing. Who should pay for it?

Elgar Parishad Case: Bail Orders Show ‘Pattern’ of UAPA Being Abused

14/04/2024

The Quint / by Rohit Khannna

The SC recently granted bail to activist Shoma Sen, stating the allegations against her were prima facie not true.
On 5 April 2024, the Supreme Court granted bail to former Nagpur University professor and activist Shoma Sen, stating that the allegations against her – of indulging in terrorist activities or working for a terror group – were prima facie “not true”, and that no case was made out against her for offences under the extremely stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act or UAPA.
Shoma Sen is among the 16 accused in the Elgar Parishad case, all of whom were arrested under the UAPA.
Read more

Video: Elgar Parishad Case: Bail Orders Show ‘Pattern’ of UAPA Being Abused

By The Quint

en | 5:12min | 2024
Watch video


The Reichstag Fire & Prof Shoma Sen

14/04/2024

Newsclick / by Prabhat Patnaik

There’s a striking contrast between German judiciary stance during Hitler’s time and Indian judiciary’s on the executive’s trampling upon the Constitution.
… Professor Shoma Sen of Nagpur University was granted bail on Friday, April 5, by the Supreme Court, after she had spent six years in jail as an accused in the Bhima-Koregaon case. While granting her bail, the Supreme Court said in no uncertain terms that there was no prima facie case of her being associated with any acts of terrorism or being linked to any terrorist organisation. And yet she had to spend six years of her life in jail, which raises two fundamental questions: first, shouldn’t the government be held responsible, and hence be penalised in some way, for her extremely long incarceration without any trial, and that too on non-existent grounds according to the Supreme Court itself?
And, second, what were the various courts doing all these six years, letting her languish in jail, when they were duty-bound under the Constitution to protect her fundamental rights?
Read more


You spent 10 years in jail for nothing. Who should pay for it?

12/04/2024

Times of India / by Sunil Baghel

What connects three professors — from Delhi, Kolhapur and Nagpur — to 17 residents of a village in Madhya Pradesh? All of them spent time in jail as undertrials or convicts before they were either acquitted or granted bail due to lack of evidence, with the courts questioning the cases against them.
… Under the stringent UAPA — where getting bail is even harder than other criminal cases — more than 24,000 people were accused in 5,027 cases registered between 2016 and 2020.
The data revealed in response to a question in the Rajya Sabha showed that just 212 people had been convicted in these cases, and 386 were acquitted. As per the data, nearly 98% of those arrested under the law had been imprisoned for multiple years just awaiting trial or to get bail.
Read more


Also watch/read:

▪ Spotlight | How UAPA is Crushing Dissent in India

The Wire’s new show, ‘Spotlight’ / by Zeeshan Kaskar

en | 15:16min | 2024
In Episode 4 of The Wire’s new show, ‘Spotlight’, we understand the UAPA, its history and how the 2019 amendment of the law has pushed India’s legal justice system on the brink.
Watch video

Explained: The Shoma Sen bail judgment (The Leaflet / April 2024)
Can Father Stan Swamy’s PIL be the blueprint for justice to thousands of undertrials lodged under UAPA? (The Leaflet / Aug 2023)
▪ Report: UAPA – CRIMINALISING DISSENT AND STATE TERROR (PUCL / Sep 2022)

Download report
Punished without trial: How India’s political prisoners are being denied basic rights in jail (Scroll.in / Aug 2022)
A study of Undertrials in Jharkhand (Sanhati / by Bagaicha Research Team / Feb 2016)

Delhi Police files chargesheet in UAPA case against NewsClick founder Prabir Puryakayastha

Delhi Police files chargesheet in UAPA case against NewsClick founder Prabir Puryakayastha

NewsClick UAPA case: Delhi Police Special Cell files chargesheet against founder-editor Prabir Purkayastha, portal

30/03/2024

The Indian Express / by Nirbhay Thakur

Among allegations detailed by the Special Cell in its FIR against Prabir Purkayastha were attempts to show Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh as “not parts of India”.
… The Special Cell had registered an FIR in this regard in August under sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and the Indian Penal Code (IPC). In November, the two were sent to a month’s judicial custody. The FIR also mentioned Purkayastha’s “friendship since 1991” with rights activist Gautam Navlakha who is under house arrest in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist link case.
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Delhi Police files chargesheet in UAPA case against NewsClick founder Prabir Puryakayastha

30/03/2024

Scroll.in / by Scroll Staff

Purkayastha and PPK NewsClick Studio were named as accused parties for allegedly taking Chinese funds to ‘undermine India’s sovereignty, territorial integrity’.
The Delhi Police Special Cell on Saturday filed an 8,000-page chargesheet in the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act case against NewsClick founder and editor Prabir Puryakayastha, who has been in judicial custody since November.
Read more


Newsclick Rejects Allegations Published in Media; Latest Claims No Different

Newsclick.in | Newsclick Team | March 29, 2024
Statement on allegations published in the media about the case under UAPA being investigated by the Special Cell of Delhi Police.
Read full statement


Also read:
‘NewsClick’ case: Gautam Navlakha questioned by Delhi Police (Scroll.in / Dec 2023)
This Is the Biggest Crackdown on the Indian Press by the Indian State (The Wire / Oct 2023)

Top Global Academics Flay Recent Pattern in India of Jailing Critics Without Trial

Top Global Academics Flay Recent Pattern in India of Jailing Critics Without Trial

Campaign poster, 2020

The Wire / by The Wire Staff

Nobel laureate Amartya Sen has voiced his support for the statement – among whose authors is Amitav Ghosh – saying such imprisonment without trial was “certainly among the worst injustices that the country has made into a regular arrangement”.
Sixteen prominent academics released a statement expressing concern over the prolonged detention without trial of writers, journalists and activists who were critical of the Union government.
Read more / read the full text of the two statements

Was the trial judge who convicted GN Saibaba biased? We will never know, and that is part of the injustice

Was the trial judge who convicted GN Saibaba biased? We will never know, and that is part of the injustice

Was the trial judge who convicted G.N. Saibaba biased? We will never know, and that is part of the injustice

24/03/2024

The Leaflet / by Nihalsing Rathod

The injustice of a trial judge filling the gaps in the prosecution’s case (which relied on ‘evidence’ in the form of bananas, umbrellas and newspaper cuttings) with judicial overreach to chop ten years off Professor G.N. Saibaba’s life.
The Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court heard the appeal against the conviction of Prof. G.N. Saibaba and five others, twice. In both the judgments, it set aside the conviction.
Read more


Branded Maoist, ex-political prisoners narrate how they were wrongfully incarcerated

21/03/2023

Counterview.net / by Our Representative

Celebrating the International Day of Solidarity with Political Prisoners, which fell on March 18, the Campaign Against State Repression (CASR), a joint platform of 35+ organizations, held a public gathering in Delhi titled “Life in Anda Cell: Political Prisoners and Wrongful Incarcerations” at the Press Club of India, Delhi, in order to mark the acquittal and prison experience of cultural activist Hem Mishra and his family. 
… Hem Mishra added, “it is not about just the 6 of us in my case. It is about all political prisoners. As long as the fight for jal-jangal-jameen remains, as long as the fight of Dalits, Adivasis, workers, peasants, oppressed nationalities remains, as long as the question of creating a better world for all people and a better state for all people remains, the fight of all political prisoners will rage on. At the end of the day, I am a bard who sings the songs of the people and I will continue to echo their cries. I am out of prison, but as long as all other political prisoners like Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, Sudhir Dhawale are inside prison, I feel I am only out from a smaller cage into a bigger one.”
Read more


By Adv Surendra Gadling Defence Committee (Jan 2021):
With due credit to anonymous artist and to the jailed, to be jailed lawyers

IO Whose Role Bombay HC Questioned in Saibaba Case Was Also Part of Elgar Parishad Probe

13/03/2024

The Wire / by Sukanya Shantha

The Pune police, at multiple places in the Elgar Parishad chargesheet, claimed that some of those arrested in the Elgar Parishad case had a “direct association” with Saibaba.
At the end of 2018, when the Pune police first filed a chargesheet in the Elgar Parishad case, they claimed to be “heavily relying” on the investigation conducted in the case involving former Delhi University professor G.N. Saibaba. By then, Saibaba and five others had already been convicted by the Gadchiroli sessions court.
Read more


Also watch:

▪ Video: INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY MEETING

en | 1:07 min | 2024

By INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY FOR ACADEMIC FREEDOM IN INDIA (InSAF)
Celebrating the Second Acquittal of Professor GN Saibaba, Prashant Rahi, Mahesh Tirki, Hem Mishra and Vijay Tirki and the late Pandu Narote
Years in solitary confinement Years of shuttling from one bail plea to another Endless health ordeals, systematic discrimination The custodial death of 32-year old co-accused Pandu Narote The shocking overnight reversal of an acquittal order The life and trials of GN Saibaba and his co-accused remind us of the extent the repressive Indian state will go to in order to silence voices of dissent But on 7 March 2024, they finally walked free, after being acquitted for the second time on 5 March 2024, exonerated of all charges On 10 March 2024, we came together to celebrate this overdue step
We will not be silenced

Co-sponsored by
International Solidarity for Academic Freedom in India (InSAF India) South Asian Diaspora Action Collective (SADAC) Indian Workers Association (Great Britain) (IWA-GB) India Labour Solidarity (UK) Foundation The London Story The Humanism Project, Australia Hindus for Human Rights Free Saibaba Coalition (USA) Boston South Asian Coalition (BSAC) India Civil Watch International (ICWI) South Asia Solidarity Group, London

Watch video

‘UAPA must be scrapped’: Indira Jaising / How These Lawyers Worked To Free Saibaba

‘UAPA must be scrapped’: Indira Jaising / How These Lawyers Worked To Free Saibaba

by Indira Jaising / @Ijaising (March 7):
Finally free Saibaba outside the gates of prison , with his lawyers by his side


Supreme Court Refuses To Stay Acquittal Of GN Saibaba & 5 Others, Says HC Judgment Prima Facie Well Reasoned (Live Law / by Awstika Das, March 11, 2024)


GN Saibaba’s acquittal: Rights activists seeks compensation and reinstatement in DU

11/03/2024

The News Minute / by TNM Staff

The Committee for Defence and Release of GN Saibaba appealed to the Supreme Court to reject the appeal filed by the Maharashtra government against his release.
… They also asked the government to repeal the draconian UAPA law. “All charges against intellectuals and activists who have been similarly falsely detained under the UAPA in particular, such as those charged in the Bhima-Koregaon case, or those arrested during the anti-CAA/NRC struggle, should be dropped and they should be immediately released.
Read more


How These Lawyers Worked Tirelessly To Free Saibaba

08/03/2024

Rediff.com / by Jyoti Punwani

‘We were sure our appeal would succeed. We knew we could break down the evidence and show it was hollow.’
It took an army of lawyers.
Behind the successful battle to prove the innocence of Professor G N Saibaba and his co-accused, went years of preparation. The backbone of that preparation was the work put in by a group of lawyers, all of whom had been juniors to Advocate Surendra Gadling.
Read more


‘UAPA must be scrapped’: Indira Jaising

07/03/2024

Frontline / by Jyoti Punwani

Senior lawyer discusses what the acquittal of Prof. G.N. Saibaba and his fellow accused means for the country.

The judgment quotes the Supreme Court’s order granting bail to Vernon Gonsalves, an accused in the Bhima Koregaon case. Will this judgment in turn be helpful in the Bhima Koregaon case, especially with regard to the way police collect and present electronic evidence?
Yes, on electronic evidence, this judgment is a precedent. It lays down that not taking the hash value renders the evidence of no real value. This is also what happened in the Bhima Koregaon case.
Read more


Also read:
GN Saibaba’s long struggle for justice: Why the Bombay HC had to overturn his conviction – twice (Scroll.in / March 9, 2024)

‘It Is Only by Chance That I Came Out of Prison Alive’ / GN Saibaba’s long struggle for justice / Video

‘It Is Only by Chance That I Came Out of Prison Alive’ / GN Saibaba’s long struggle for justice / Video

by Nihalsing / @Nihalsingrathod (March 7, 2024):
#GNSaibaba and #prashantrahi released

#hemmishra also released from Kolhapur jail

#prashantrahi with his daughter @shikharahi

And finally #maheshtirki also walks out


Injustice And Impunity: How The Justice System Failed G.N. Saibaba

19/03/2024

Feminism India / by Hajara Najeeb

A professor of the Department of English at Ram Lal College in New Delhi, G.N. Saibaba was incarcerated under the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act 1967, accusing him of having Maoist links
On March 8th, a frail G.N. Saibaba made his first public statement in ten years after a decade of torture and a lifetime of injustice. A professor of the Department of English at Ram Lal College in New Delhi, he was incarcerated under the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act 1967, accusing him of having Maoist links.
Read more


“I Don’t Know How I Survived” Professor G. N. Saibaba says the reality of being free is yet to sink in

09/03/2024

The Citizen / by Nikita Jain

There was excitement and anticipation as former Delhi University Professor G. N. Saibaba entered the room in his wheelchair. Accompanied by his wife Vasantha Kumari, daughter, Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D. Raja amongst others, Prof. Saibaba smiled and waved at a few friends he recognised in the audience.
… Speaking about one his lawyers, Surendra Gadling, who himself is in jail for another case related to Elgar Parishad, Prof. Saibaba said that it was because of him that his case became stronger and it breaks his heart to see him behind bars. “Surendra Gadling is languishing behind the bars only for one reason, he stood for me and he argued most effectively in the sessions court during the trial.
Read more


It’s by chance I came out of prison alive: G N Saibaba after release from Nagpur jail

08/03/2024

Indian Express / by Express News Service

Saibaba also said he was “sad” that Surendra Gadling, his lawyer during the trial in the case, was behind bars in the Elgaar Parishad case.
Former Delhi University professor G N Saibaba, who had been sentenced to life imprisonment over his alleged Maoist links, was released from Nagpur Central Jail on Thursday morning, two days after his acquittal by the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court.
Read more


‘It Is Only by Chance That I Came Out of Prison Alive’: G.N. Saibaba

07/03/2024

The Wire / by Sukanya Shantha

“It is only by chance that I came out of prison alive,” 56-year-old former Delhi University professor S.N. Saibaba said in his first press briefing since his release from Nagpur Central jail on Thursday (March 7).
The Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court on March 5 acquitted him and five others on “terrorism” charges.

The trial in the lower court was handled by Nagpur-based human rights lawyer Surendra Gadling. Soon after the trial was completed in the Gadchiroli sessions court, Gadling was arrested in the Elgar Parishad case. Saibaba, on Thursday, said that his lawyer Gadling was targeted only for handling his case.
Read more


GN Saibaba’s long struggle for justice: Why the Bombay HC had to overturn his conviction – twice

09/03/2024

Scroll.in / by Vineet Bhalla

The former DU professor was arrested in 2014 and sentenced to life imprisonment in 2017. The High Court has now acquitted him, finding no evidence against him.
Human rights activist and former Delhi University professor GN Saibaba’s acquittal by the Bombay High Court for terror-related offences under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act on Tuesday and release from the Nagpur Central Jail on Thursday was the culmination of an arduous legal struggle.
Read more


Saibaba Acquittal: From Lack of Sanction to Dodgy Evidence, HC Judgment Tears Into State’s Case

06/03/2024

The Wire / by Sukanya Shantha

‘The prosecution has failed to establish the seizure of incriminating material from the house search of G.N. Saibaba,” the judges said. “The prosecution has also failed to prove the electronic evidence in terms of the provisions of the Indian Evidence Act, and the Information Technology Act.”
In its detailed judgment acquitting former Delhi University professor G.N. Saibaba and five others of ‘terrorism’ charges, the Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court has virtually shredded the state’s case against the six to pieces.

Saibaba’s lawyer jailed in Bhima Koregaon case
Incidentally, Saibaba’s defence in the trial court was handled by the Nagpur-based human rights lawyer Surendra Gadling, who, soon after the completion of trial, was himself arrested in the Elgar Parishad case.
Read more


Video: INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY MEETING

en | 1:07 min | 2024

By INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY FOR ACADEMIC FREEDOM IN INDIA (InSAF)
Celebrating the Second Acquittal of Professor GN Saibaba, Prashant Rahi, Mahesh Tirki, Hem Mishra and Vijay Tirki and the late Pandu Narote
Years in solitary confinement Years of shuttling from one bail plea to another Endless health ordeals, systematic discrimination The custodial death of 32-year old co-accused Pandu Narote The shocking overnight reversal of an acquittal order The life and trials of GN Saibaba and his co-accused remind us of the extent the repressive Indian state will go to in order to silence voices of dissent But on 7 March 2024, they finally walked free, after being acquitted for the second time on 5 March 2024, exonerated of all charges On 10 March 2024, we came together to celebrate this overdue step
We will not be silenced

Co-sponsored by
International Solidarity for Academic Freedom in India (InSAF India) South Asian Diaspora Action Collective (SADAC) Indian Workers Association (Great Britain) (IWA-GB) India Labour Solidarity (UK) Foundation The London Story The Humanism Project, Australia Hindus for Human Rights Free Saibaba Coalition (USA) Boston South Asian Coalition (BSAC) India Civil Watch International (ICWI) South Asia Solidarity Group, London

Watch video


Also read/watch:
Wives of Khalid Saifi, Hany Babu, GN Saibaba demand release of ‘political prisoners’ (Maktoob / Jan 2023)

▪ Bombay High Court Refuses Bail To DU Professor Hany Babu

(Live Law / Sep 2022)
Delhi University Professor Hany Babu mobilising rallies and co-ordinating the defence of convicted professor GN Saibaba was not just helping a fellow academic, but prima facie following a leftist handbook, the Bombay High Court said in its order refusing him bail.
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.
Watch video (PUCL fb page)

▪ Rona Wilson’s iPhone Infected With Pegasus Spyware, Says New Forensic Report

(The Wire / Dec 2021)
Arsenal Consulting was engaged by Wilson’s defence lawyers to study the electronic evidence submitted against him in the Elgar Parishad case.
… Wilson, who was a core part of the 17- member Committee for Defence and Release of G. N. Saibaba, also received a message which said “Free Dr Saibaba and Oppose the suppression of Dissent in India. Please sign the petition here clicking [link]” on October 8, 2017.
Read more

Surendra Gadling’s Computer Was Attacked, Incriminating Documents Planted: Arsenal Consulting (The Wire / July 2021)

UAPA should be scrapped as 97 percent accused are aquitted, says Prof. Haragopal

UAPA should be scrapped as 97 percent accused are aquitted, says Prof. Haragopal

The Hindu / by Rajulapudi Srinivas

Calling UAPA ‘undemocratic’, the human rights activist says the State is leaning towards implementing more oppressive and repressive laws
“A person suffers in jail for three to four years and then gets acquitted after the prosecution fails to prove his guilt. This is happening in many cases now. About 97 percent of the arrests were made without any evidence, under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (UAPA) cases,” said G. Haragopal, human rights activists and retired professor from the University of Hyderabad.
Read more


Also read:
The Govt is out to silence Dissenters through Arrests: Justice Hosbet Suresh (Sabrangindia / Oct 2018)

Staying a bail order in a UAPA matter where getting bail is already difficult is a travesty of justice

Staying a bail order in a UAPA matter where getting bail is already difficult is a travesty of justice

The Leaflet / by Deeksha Dwivedi

The stay on the bail Orders of Gautam Navlakha and Mahesh Raut, incarcerated under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, creates an unconstitutional and unjust barrier for the fulfillment of their fundamental rights, laments the author.
Read more


Also read:
The first week in the new year repeats the same old story of procedural grind (The Leaflet / Jan 2024)
‘Ominous portents’: Why High Court staying its own bail orders in Bhima Koregaon case is troubling (Scroll.in / Dec 2023)
Bombay High Court grants, stays bail to Gautam Navlakha (The Leaflet / Dec 2023)
Bhima Koregaon: Bombay High Court grants regular bail to Mahesh Raut (The Leaflet / Sep 2023)