en | 13:04min | 2020
Newslaundry / by Newslaundry Team
You may lately have come across stories of activists and journalists being charged under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, or UAPA. The UAPA is an anti-terrorism law which has been used against activists associated with the Bhima-Koregaon movement, the citizenship law protesters, and even a journalist on his way to cover the Hathras rape and murder…
Meghnad S takes you through the history of the UAPA, its evolution from an anti-secession legislation to being an anti-terrorism law, and how it has been misused by successive governments.
Campaign poster, June 2020
Stories Asia / by Tarini Mehta
Koel Sen, the daughter of Prof. Shoma Sen, accused in the Bhima Koregaon case, tells their story.
s a kid, I was always around her. She would take me along for much of the women’s rights work she did in the bastis (slums) of Nagpur (city). I would come back from school and she’d be back from work, so after lunch, we would set off for her social work. She was very dedicated to her work in extremely poor and marginalised communities. I’m really close to her and I’ve seen her work up close. She’s naturally a very sharing and giving human being.”
People’s organisations demand release of Bhima Koregaon case accused
The Times of India / by Siva G
Andhra Pradesh: Various people’s organisations demanded the police to release the arrested people’s organisations leaders including adivasis, women, dalits and minorities unconditionally along with the 16 persons detained illegally in the Bhima Koregaon case.
Tribal Rights Activist Among 67 Slapped With UAPA Over ‘Maoist Link’ Suspicion
The Wire / by Gali Nagaraja
Driven to a frenzy over purported statements given by Maoist sympathisers, Andhra police have arrested several human rights activists from Andhra Pradesh and Haryana.
Hyderabad: Athram Suguna, a 38-year old school teacher of the Gond tribe from Telangana’s Fakrigutta in Adilabad district, has been caught in a cat-and-mouse game with no end in sight.
Suguna works as a school assistant in a zilla parishad high school at Utnoor. After a group of suspected Maoist sympathisers supposedly spilled the beans on a network of Maoists to the police, the latter have framed her in a case under the draconian and stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
Is India governed by the principles and norms laid down in the Constitution of India
The Leaflet / by Jacob Peenikaparambil
The Constitution of India was adopted more than two years after independence from British rule. It provided a common vision and set goals towards which both the government and people of India could strive as well as the foundational principles of governance of a nation.
Along with celebrations, this day is also for introspection for Indians. How far has the vision and goals of the constitution been realised? …
Dissent is demonised as anti-national by the government and the ruling party. The judiciary that is entrusted with the task of protecting the fundamental rights of the citizens is often shirking from its responsibilities.
Save Our Constitution
The Leaflet / by Cedric Prakash
In times when the Supreme Court is selectively granting relief for wide-scale violation of constitutional rights, it is important to save the constitution by saving the Article which embodied the heart and soul of the Constitution according to Dr Ambedkar i.e Art 32…
Fr Stan Swamy and fifteen others who are ‘allegedly’ involved in the Bhima-Koregaon conspiracy case are in jail- some of them languishing for more than two years now. Besides these, there are several others imprisoned under the UAPA, and were also charged and arrested on the archaic ‘sedition’ law and even on ‘contempt of court’.
The Leaflet / by Mihir Desai
Preventive detention laws and anti-terrorism laws, that deviate from regular principles of criminal law, have a history of misuse. In his speech delivered at the KG Kannabiran Lecture 2020, Senior Advocate MIHIR DESAI argues that the time has come to sideline the dreadful UAPA due to the increased and ever more dangerous misuse of anti-terror laws. People are being arrested just for dissenting with the government and denied bail.
Live Law / by Prof M Sridhar Acharyulu
We celebrate 70 years of Constitutional Governance in India, i.e., Bharath on 26th November 2020 with Damocles sword on free speech that could deprive personal liberty. None is bothered about those innocent, not very popular, common journalists and protestors who were arrested for talking against the establishment or protesting against Government policies like the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). In recent times, several Journalists have been charged under the sedition law, the Official Secrets Act, for incitement to riots and under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). Left wing thinkers, poets and academicians are arrested without any convincing evidence or or charge, and are denied bail by the Courts.
The Wire / by The Wire Staff
The SAR urged authorities to repeal the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act “to ensure compliance with obligations under its constitution and international human rights law”.
Scholars at Risk (SAR), an international network of higher education institutions that aims to defend academic freedom, in its Free to Think 2020 report, has called on authorities in India to “ensure the autonomy and functioning of higher education institutions”… In India, the Free to Think 2020 report, the arrest of activists, including students and scholars, amidst nationwide lockdowns raised concerns that the government was “taking advantage of the crisis in order to crack down on dissent”.
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.
Arnab Goswami & India’s Era Of Unequal Liberties
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
Protect our Republic, my lords
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.
Five cases on personal liberty decided by Justice DY Chandrachud
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
A List of Activists, Scholars and Scribes Whose Personal Liberty Remains at Judiciary’s Mercy
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.
Stan Swamy vs Arnab Goswami: Are activists fighting a losing battle? Whither justice?
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.