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If those on bail are tracked 24/7, has their liberty really been (partially) restored?

If those on bail are tracked 24/7, has their liberty really been (partially) restored?

The Leaflet / by Gursimran Kaur Bakshi

How does pairing mobile phones and using GPS trackers on persons on bail sit with settled jurisprudence and what do experts have to say on the issue? 
Last month, the Supreme Court granted the former head of the department of English at Nagpur University, Professor Shoma Sen, bail in the Bhima Koregaon case under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (UAPA).
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Also read:
Share Gps live location with nia 24×7: Supreme Court bail conditions for Shoma Sen (Bar & Bench / April 2024)
Supreme Court grants bail to Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira, with tethers (The Leaflet / Jul 2023)

Side-effects of conscience: An account of prison medical care

Side-effects of conscience: An account of prison medical care

Vernon Gonsalves at jail. Drawing by Arun Ferreira.

The Leaflet / by Vernon Gonsalves

Accused in the Bhima Koregaon case and released on bail by the Supreme Court last year after having spent five years in prison without a trial, Vernon Gonsalves narrates a sordid tale of pathetic medicare in Indian jails. 

I have spent almost eleven years in detention, with considerable periods in the most populated prisons of Maharashtra. My first incarceration from 2007 to 2013 began shortly after I turned fifty. I had a second stint from 2018 to 2023, while I was in my sixties.
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Also read:
‘No Material’ to Demonstrate Terror Link, Yet Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferriera Spent 5 Years in Jail [Read judgment] (The Wire / Jul 2023)
Caged birds and prison songs: In chorus, Stan Swamy and the Bhima Koregaon accused kept hope alive (Scroll.in | by Vernon Gonsalves | Jul 2023)
Relatives of BK16 Flag Prison Authorities’ ‘Criminal Negligence’ and Deteriorating Health of Undertrials (Newsclick / Sep 2022)
Jailers’ apathy? Political prisoners’ right to life in India is ‘almost non-existent’ (Countercurrents / Sep 2022)
How the system broke Stan Swamy: A cell mate recalls the activist’s last days in prison (Scroll.in | by Arun Ferreira | Aug 2021)

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

NIA says it has already supplied copies of all electronic evidence to the accused

NIA says it has already supplied copies of all electronic evidence to the accused

The Leaflet / by Sarah Thanawala

Today, the National Investigation Agency informed the court that it has already supplied cloned copies of all electronic evidence it relies on in the Bhima Koregaon case with the accused.
It also sidestepped compliance with the previous Order of the court on providing a chart showing evidence shared and pending with the accused by stating that such a chart had already been furnished by the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL).
Read More


Also read:
Why Courts Are Ignoring Concerns Of Planted Evidence In The Bhima-Koregaon Prosecution (article14 / Jan 2023)
Incriminating document found in Fr. Stan Swamy’s computer ‘planted’; similar tampering found in other Bhima Koregaon accused: Reports American forensic firm (The Leaflet / Dec 2022)

Gonsalves and Ferreira application parses evidence supplied and not supplied per Section 207 CrPc

Gonsalves and Ferreira application parses evidence supplied and not supplied per Section 207 CrPc

Poster by #bakeryprasad

The Leaflet / by Sarah Thanawala

On May 23, 2022, a National Investigation Agency court had directed the agency to furnish a chart consisting of the details of electronic devices seized in the case to be supplied to accused persons, which has not been complied with.
On Wednesday, Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira filed an application containing a chart on the electronic evidence relied upon by the prosecution.
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Also Read:
What is Section 207 CrPC, an essential piece of the Bhima Koregaon case puzzle? (The Leaflet / Aug 2023)
Why Courts Are Ignoring Concerns Of Planted Evidence In The Bhima-Koregaon Prosecution (article14 / Jan 2023)
Prison-rights activist Rona Wilson’s hard disk contained malware that allowed remote access (The Caravan / March 2020)

Truth and dare in Bhima Koregaon

Truth and dare in Bhima Koregaon

poster by @/bakeryprasad

The Leaflet / by Susan Abraham

The Bhima Koregaon–Elgar Parishad ‘Maoist’ conspiracy case is a grand experiment with truth where the State is daring the people to stand up for justice.
‘TRUTH or dare’ is a mostly verbal party game requiring two or more players. Players are given the choice between answering a question truthfully, or performing a ‘dare’. The premise is simple: Players take turns asking one another ‘truth or dare?’ If they choose truth, they have to answer a question of the asker’s choosing. If they choose dare, the asker dares them to do something rather than make a confession.
Suppose the State were to subject its citizens to a macabre version of this game by cooking up a conspiracy case and locking up people behind bars. Then tell them that in order to win their freedom, they have to choose the ‘truth’ of the conspiracy or the ‘dare’ to dissent.
This is the absurd logic that plays out when you try to make sense of the Bhima Koregaon conspiracy case.
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Also read:
Five years of Bhima Koregaon arrests: CDRO marks ‘black day’ (The Leaflet / Jun 2023)

Tragedy that people remain in jail with little or no evidence in UAPA cases: Advocate Rebecca John

Tragedy that people remain in jail with little or no evidence in UAPA cases: Advocate Rebecca John


Tragedy that people remain in jail with little or no evidence in UAPA cases: Advocate Rebecca John

17/09/2023

Scroll.in / by Scroll Staff

The senior advocate said that the law has strict bail conditions and allows extension of custody of an accused from 90 to 180 days before chargesheet is filed.
It is tragic that people booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act continue to remain incarcerated on little or no evidence due to the stringent sections in the law, senior advocate Rebecca John said on Saturday, reported Live Law.
John, who has represented activists Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira in the Bhima Koregaon case, made the remarks during a panel discussion held for the launch of the book, Unsealed Covers: A Decade of the Constitution, the Courts and the State by author Gautam Bhatia.
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When UAPA Is Invoked, People Continue To Be Behind Bars Even With Little Or No Evidence, That’s The Real Tragedy: Rebecca John

17/09/2023

Live Law / by Gyanvi Khanna

During a panel discussion held to mark the launch of the book, authored by Gautam Bhatia, ‘Unsealed Covers: A Decade of the Constitution, the Courts, and the State, Senior Advocate Rebecca John made strong observations about the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (UAPA).
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Video: Discussion On Unsealed Covers By Gautan Bhatia – Justice Muralidahar, Rebecca John, Seema Chishti


en | 1:37:45 | 2023
Watch video


Also read/watch:
Rebecca John: Supreme Court judgment has far reaching consequences (Rediff.com / Aug 2023)
Video: Vernon v. State of Maharashtra: A Breakthrough in Bail Jurisprudence under the UAPA? (PUCL India / Aug 2023)

Bombay High Court reserves order on Mahesh Raut’s bail plea

Bombay High Court reserves order on Mahesh Raut’s bail plea

Mahesh Raut’s bail plea reserved for judgment on September 21

12/09/2023

The Leaflet / by Sarah Thanawala

Additional Solicitor General of India Devang Girish Vyas, representing the NIA, argued that as an active member of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist), Mahesh Raut recruited members and received funds to further its activities, and he was a participant in the Elgar Parishad event that had led to violence. 
… With the conclusion of arguments on both sides, the matter is reserved for judgment on September 21.
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Bombay High Court reserves order on Mahesh Raut’s bail plea

13/09/2023

India Today / by Vidya

Division bench of Bombay High Court has reserved its order on activist Mahesh Raut’s bail plea in the Elgar Parishad Maoist links case. The order will be issued on September 21.
The Bombay High Court, on Tuesday, reserved its verdict on the bail plea of activist Mahesh Raut, who stands accused in the Bhima Koregaon–Elgar Parishad Maoist links and criminal conspiracy case.
Advocate Mihir Desai, representing Raut, cited several high court and Supreme Court orders where Raut’s co-accused were granted bail and argued that his case is on par with theirs.
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HC reserves its order in Elgar accused’s bail plea

13/09/2023

The Times of India / by Swati Deshpande

Bombay high court on Tuesday reserved for orders a bail plea filed by Mahesh Raut, a 34 year old researcher from Chandrapur, accused in the January 2018 Elgar Parishad case. The HC bench of Justices Ajay Gadkari and Sharmila Deshmukh said it would pass orders on September 21 or by September 26.
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Mahesh Raut bail plea seeks parity with Dr Anand Teltumbde’s

11/09/2023

The Leaflet / by Sarah Thanawala

Senior advocate Mihir Desai, appearing on behalf of Mahesh Raut, took the court through material cited by the National Investigation Agency, claiming lack of evidence against Raut. Desai sought parity with judgments granting bail to other co-accused persons— Dr Anand Teltumbde, Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira. 
On Monday, a division Bench of the Bombay High Court comprising Justices A.S. Gadkari and Sharmila U. Deshmukh heard the bail plea of forest rights activist Mahesh Raut.
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Also read:
Gonsalves and Ferreira bail judgment: A step in the right direction but where will we go from here? (The Leaflet / Aug 2023)
Why the Bombay High Court granted regular bail to Dr. Anand Teltumbde: An explainer (The Leaflet / Dec 2022)
● Gadchiroli’s 300 Gram Sabhas Pass Resolution in Support of Activist Mahesh Raut (The Wire / Oct 2018)
Mining In Gadchiroli – Building A Castle Of Injustices (Countercurrents / by Neema Pathak Broome and Mahesh Raut / June 2017)

The remedy of bail: From securing liberty to ‘digital jail’

The remedy of bail: From securing liberty to ‘digital jail’

The Leaflet / by Ibad Mushtaq and Akansksha Bishtibad

In the pursuit of justice, the delicate balance between individual rights and societal interests often comes under scrutiny. In the case of Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira, their bail conditions, including the demanding round-the-clock location monitoring, have ignited a crucial debate that such stringent surveillance not only infringes upon their fundamental rights to life, liberty and dignity, but also undermines the essence of bail itself— to restore freedom.
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Also read:
NIA in a quandary as bail condition for mobile phone tethering turns out to be a tug (The Leaflet / Aug 2023)
PUDR welcomes the release on bail of Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira today, but protests onerous bail conditions (PUDR / Aug 5, 2023)

Can Fr Stan Swamy’s PIL be the blueprint for justice to thousands of undertrials lodged under UAPA?

Can Fr Stan Swamy’s PIL be the blueprint for justice to thousands of undertrials lodged under UAPA?

The Leaflet / by Sarah Thanawala

Can the judgment which granted bail to Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira form the basis for implementation of the same principles for granting bail to other accused in the Bhima Koregaon–Elgar Parishad case as well as to the other 500 detenues in Jharkhand who are still at the pre- or post-trial stage?
… A public interest litigation (PIL) filed by the late Father Stan Swamy in 2017 in the Jharkhand High Court may serve as a path in the direction of ending incarceration of the disturbingly large number of those held in custody without a trial.
Read more


Also watch/read:
Video: Vernon v. State of Maharashtra: A Breakthrough in Bail Jurisprudence under the UAPA? (PUCL India / Aug 2023)
Even after Stan Swamy’s death, the fight to get justice for Jharkhand undertrials is still alive (Scroll.in / Dec 2021)
In Jharkhand, Scheduled Tribes Still Battle Flimsy Criminal Cases Filed With Little Evidence (IndiaSpend / Oct 2021)
Public interest litigation filed by Stan Swamy and Xavier Soreng in 2017 (CJP / 2017)
A study of Undertrials in Jharkhand (Sanhati / by Bagaicha Research Team / Feb 2016)