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Public meeting ‘Thoughts Criminalised’ in Delhi

Public meeting ‘Thoughts Criminalised’ in Delhi

By Campaign Against State Repression

Press Release

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Also read/watch:
Supreme Court’s suspension of Dr. G.N. Saibaba’s acquittal: ‘Technical grounds are also substantive’, says senior advocate, Mihir Desai (The Leaflet / Oct 2022)
Inconsistencies in Bail Orders Mean Individual Liberty Is Now the Outcome of Judicial Lottery (The Wire / Oct 2022)
Pandu Narote’s Death: A Reminder of Stan Swamy’s Demise, GN Saibaba’s Struggles (The Quint / Sep 2022)

● 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)

Anand Teltumbde’s SC Bail Hearing Is A Bellwether Case For Govt’s Use of India’s Anti-Terror Law

Anand Teltumbde’s SC Bail Hearing Is A Bellwether Case For Govt’s Use of India’s Anti-Terror Law

A Professor’s Supreme Court Bail Hearing Is A Bellwether Case For Govt’s Use of India’s Anti-Terror Law

23/11/2022

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

23/11/2022

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


Also read:
The Security Playbook Used To Erode Democracy In Modi’s India & How The Tide Might Turn (article 14 / March 2022)
Report: UAPA – CRIMINALISING DISSENT AND STATE TERROR (PUCL / Sep 2022)

Download report

New generation freedom fighters, GN Saibaba, others are victims of ‘state terrorism’

New generation freedom fighters, GN Saibaba, others are victims of ‘state terrorism’

Counterview / by Counterview Desk

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


Also read:
Inconsistencies in Bail Orders Mean Individual Liberty Is Now the Outcome of Judicial Lottery (The Wire / Oct 2022)

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).
Read more


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

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

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)

Will rely on ‘historic’ verdict to secure release of Elgar Parishad case accused: Lawyer

Will rely on ‘historic’ verdict to secure release of Elgar Parishad case accused: Lawyer

Pic credits: Committee for the Defence and Release of GN Saibaba

Supreme Court Stays Release Of Prof GN Saibaba & Others In UAPA Case, Suspends Bombay HC’s Acquittal Order (Live Law / Oct 15, 2022)


Will rely on ‘historic’ verdict to secure release of Elgar Parishad case accused: Lawyer

15/10/2022

The Times of India / by Vaibhav Ganjapure

After securing acquittal for Prof GN Saibaba and four others primarily based on absence of sanction under UAPA’s Section 45 (1), his lawyers now have plan to rely on the Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court’s verdict for securing the release of several accused who are also behind bars in the Elgar Elgar Parishad case.
Read more


As GN Saibaba gets bail in Maoist link case, let’s recall the Elgar Parishad–Bhima Koregaon case

15/10/2022

Free Press Journal / by Urvi Mahajan

More than eight years after his arrest, the Bombay High Court on Friday acquitted former Delhi University professor G N Saibaba in an alleged Maoist links case for want of valid sanction for prosecution under the stringent anti-terror law UAPA…
With GN Saibaba getting acquitted by the Bombay High Court’s Nagpur bench on Friday, here’s a look at the other Maoist-link case which is the Elgar Parishad-Bhima Koregaon case.
In the Bhima-Koregaon case, the investigation was taken over by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in 2020, the initial probe being done by the Pune police. Most of the accused have spent years in custody, being arrested in August 2018.
Read more



Bombay HC Frees Saibaba, Others in ‘Maoist Link’ Case

14/10/2022

The Wire / by The Wire Staff

The Nagpur bench of the high court allowed the appeal of all six convicted persons, including Pandu Narote who died in August this year.
Former Delhi University professor G.N. Saibaba and five others were acquitted in the Maoist links case by the Bombay high court, allowing their appeal against conviction and life sentence…
After Saibaba’s conviction, his lawyer in the lower court, Surendra Gadling; his colleague Hany Babu; and his close friend Rona Wilson were also arrested in years to come under the UAPA charges. While Gadling fought his case in court, Babu and Wilson had run a campaign for his release. All three are named as prime accused in the Elgar Parishad case of 2018.
Read more


Also read:

● Report: UAPA – CRIMINALISING DISSENT AND STATE TERROR (PUCL / Sep 2022)
Download report
Silencing critics: Apex Court view ‘brain is more dangerous’ revoking Saibaba acquittal (Counterview / Oct 16, 2022)
“Urban Naxals” Are Making Frequent Requests For House Arrest: Solicitor General Tushar Mehta Tells Supreme Court [read order] (Live Law / Oct 15, 2022)

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

PUCL Report: UAPA – CRIMINALISING DISSENT AND STATE TERROR (#RepealUAPA campaign)

PUCL Report: UAPA – CRIMINALISING DISSENT AND STATE TERROR (#RepealUAPA campaign)

PUCL Report: UAPA – CRIMINALISING DISSENT AND STATE TERROR (#RepealUAPA campaign)

28/09/2022

By V. Suresh, Madhura SB and Lekshmi Sujatha (PUCL)

Study of UAPA Abuse in India, 2009 – 2022
Published: Sep 28, 2022
41 pages
PUCL’s study on the use and abuse of UAPA covering the period between 2009 and 2022, with special emphasis on the NIA. A first in the series of a larger collaborative work as part of #RepealUAPA campaign.
Download report


PUCL report alleges abuse of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act

02/10/2022

The Hindu / by The Hindu Bureau

Report by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties says ‘suo motu power’ by Centre to transfer investigation from the State police was a ‘serious threat to federalism’
The People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) has released a report titled ‘UAPA: Criminalising Dissent and State Terror’ on the alleged abuse of the legislation during 2009-22, and demanding the law be repealed.
Read more


97.2% of UAPA accused jailed for long periods and eventually acquitted, study finds

02/10/2022

The News Minute / by Jahnavi Reddy

The PUCL study found that 8,371 persons were arrested under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act between 2015 and 2020, while only 235 were convicted under the draconian anti-terror law in the same period.
A total of 8,371 persons were arrested in 5,924 cases under the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) across India between 2015 and 2020, according to a report by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), which sheds light on the Union government’s alleged abuse of the anti-terror law and calls to repeal it. In the same period, however, only 235 persons were convicted under the UAPA.
Read more