Review order and withdraw observations against Teesta Setalvad and whistleblowers: CCG to SC

Group of former civil servants asks if constitutional right to approach courts can be treated in so cavalier and revengeful a fashion that the persons seeking justice are put behind bars?

CCGImage Courtesy:

The Constitutional Conduct Group (CCG), a group of former civil servants, has made an open statement on the Supreme Court order in the Zakia Jafri case, saying that they “are deeply anguished by some of the contents of that judgement and the arrests that have followed in its wake.”

As many as 92 people including former Mumbai top cop Julio Ribeiro, activist Aruna Roy, former secretary of the National Human Right Commission (NHRC) PSS Thomas, former Home Secretary GK Pillai, former Joint Commissioner of Police (Delhi) Maxwell Pereira have signed the statement.  

The CCG says, “It is not just the dismissal of the appeal that has surprised people – an appeal may, after all, be allowed or dismissed by an appellate court; it is the gratuitous comments that the bench has pronounced on the appellants and the counsel and the supporters of the appellants.”

The group also minced no words in describing the shocking aftermath of the judgment, saying, “The immediate action of the state in arresting human rights lawyer Teesta Setalvad and former DGP, RB Sreekumar, as well as filing a fresh case against Sanjiv Bhatt, who is already in prison, clearly occurred because the Supreme Court told the State government authorities to put those who ‘kept the pot boiling’ ‘in the dock’, though these persons were neither the appellants nor the accused in the case.”

The CCG asked two important questions regarding the very fundamentals of natural justice, “Can the constitutional right to approach courts be treated in so cavalier and revengeful a fashion that the persons seeking justice are put behind bars? Shall we henceforth presume that natural justice can be given the go-by as a cardinal principle of our jurisprudence and people condemned without being heard?”

The group expressed distress at the Courts observations and said, “We would urge the Supreme Court Justices to suo motu review their order and withdraw the observations contained in Para 88.” Refering to remarks made by Justice Madan Lokur, the CCG said, “We would also request them (the Supreme Court) to adopt the course of action advocated by a distinguished former member of their fraternity, Justice Madan Lokur. He has said that the court would do well to issue a clarification to the effect that it was not their intention that Teesta Setalvad should face arrest and at the same time order her unconditional release.”

The entire statement will the full list of signatories may be viewed here:


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