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Bhima Koregaon: NIA Court rejects medical bail to Shoma Sen

She was arrested in June 2018, and has been in jail since then, with no relief

22 Sep 2021

NIAImage Courtesy:livelaw.in

The Special NIA court’s Judge DE Kothalikar has dismissed the bail plea of former Professor and women’s rights activist Shoma Sen. In a plea filed through her lawyers, Sen submitted that she suffers from hypertension, blood pressure and other ailments that makes her vulnerable to Covid-19.

However, the court rejected this argument and said that the prison authorities can provide medical care if necessary. LiveLaw quoted the court saying, “The prison authority shall observe medical protocol and provide appropriate medical aid to the applicant (Sen) if required.”

The Special Public Prosecutor, Prakash Shetty, argued that similar pleas filed by other accused persons have been rejected and that Covid-19 cannot be used as a ground for release anymore. In August, the court had rejected the pleas filed by Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha for bail citing old age and the possibility of contracting Covid-19.

Further, as per media reports, the court has also rejected the applications filed by co-accused Sudha Bharadwaj, Hany Babu and Gautam Navlakha for a copy of the draft charges filed by National Investigation Agency (NIA) that has reportedly submitted a list of seventeen draft (proposed) charges against the 15 accused, including the serious charge of waging a war against the country, which is punishable with death or imprisonment for life (section 121 of the Indian Penal Code).

Sen and co-accused Rona Wilson had moved the Bombay high court alleging tampering and planting of evidence in light of the reports published by the American cyber forensic firm Arsenal Consulting, and seeking that the charges against them be quashed. They have urged the court to consider their prayer of an inquiry by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) into the possible planting of evidence.

Their pleas were admitted by the high court and have not been listed for hearing since July this year.

Status of other co-accused in the case

Rona Wilson is currently out on interim bail following his father’s demise and will surrender on September 30. According to an IE report, the court allowed his application seeking an extension of his temporary bail by three days since he was released late from Taloja jail.

On August 4, the Bombay high court reserved its judgment on the plea filed by lawyer-activist Sudha Bharadwaj seeking default bail. She had argued before the high court that in November 2018, the order authorising the charge sheet and her extension was illegal, as the judge who signed the orders exceeded his jurisdiction. She had submitted that only a special judge under the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act could have heard the same as she was booked under a scheduled offence under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

Gautam Navlakha has moved high court for house arrest after developing a lump in his chest that needs medical attention. On September 2, the court was informed by the government that he would be taken to the Tata Cancer Hospital, Kharghar on September 3. His matter will now come up for hearing on September 27, where the court will examine the affidavit filed by the NIA and the Maharashtra government.

Professor Anand Teltumbde, whose bail plea was dismissed in July this year, has moved the high court for reportedly quashing the terminology “and all its formations and front organizations”, attached to the banned CPI (Maoist) organisation in the first schedule of UAPA. In a significant move, he has also asked the court to examine section 43D (5) of the act that makes it impossible for an accused to get bail.

Related:

Bhima Koregaon: Gautam Navlakha moves Bombay HC for house arrest citing lump in chest
Mumbai court rejects bail pleas of Anand Teltumbde, Gautam Navlakha
Bhima Koregaon case: NIA files draft charges under UAPA, sedition & conspiracy against 15 accused
Why was Dr. Anand Teltumbde denied bail by the NIA court?

Bhima Koregaon: NIA Court rejects medical bail to Shoma Sen

She was arrested in June 2018, and has been in jail since then, with no relief

NIAImage Courtesy:livelaw.in

The Special NIA court’s Judge DE Kothalikar has dismissed the bail plea of former Professor and women’s rights activist Shoma Sen. In a plea filed through her lawyers, Sen submitted that she suffers from hypertension, blood pressure and other ailments that makes her vulnerable to Covid-19.

However, the court rejected this argument and said that the prison authorities can provide medical care if necessary. LiveLaw quoted the court saying, “The prison authority shall observe medical protocol and provide appropriate medical aid to the applicant (Sen) if required.”

The Special Public Prosecutor, Prakash Shetty, argued that similar pleas filed by other accused persons have been rejected and that Covid-19 cannot be used as a ground for release anymore. In August, the court had rejected the pleas filed by Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha for bail citing old age and the possibility of contracting Covid-19.

Further, as per media reports, the court has also rejected the applications filed by co-accused Sudha Bharadwaj, Hany Babu and Gautam Navlakha for a copy of the draft charges filed by National Investigation Agency (NIA) that has reportedly submitted a list of seventeen draft (proposed) charges against the 15 accused, including the serious charge of waging a war against the country, which is punishable with death or imprisonment for life (section 121 of the Indian Penal Code).

Sen and co-accused Rona Wilson had moved the Bombay high court alleging tampering and planting of evidence in light of the reports published by the American cyber forensic firm Arsenal Consulting, and seeking that the charges against them be quashed. They have urged the court to consider their prayer of an inquiry by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) into the possible planting of evidence.

Their pleas were admitted by the high court and have not been listed for hearing since July this year.

Status of other co-accused in the case

Rona Wilson is currently out on interim bail following his father’s demise and will surrender on September 30. According to an IE report, the court allowed his application seeking an extension of his temporary bail by three days since he was released late from Taloja jail.

On August 4, the Bombay high court reserved its judgment on the plea filed by lawyer-activist Sudha Bharadwaj seeking default bail. She had argued before the high court that in November 2018, the order authorising the charge sheet and her extension was illegal, as the judge who signed the orders exceeded his jurisdiction. She had submitted that only a special judge under the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act could have heard the same as she was booked under a scheduled offence under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

Gautam Navlakha has moved high court for house arrest after developing a lump in his chest that needs medical attention. On September 2, the court was informed by the government that he would be taken to the Tata Cancer Hospital, Kharghar on September 3. His matter will now come up for hearing on September 27, where the court will examine the affidavit filed by the NIA and the Maharashtra government.

Professor Anand Teltumbde, whose bail plea was dismissed in July this year, has moved the high court for reportedly quashing the terminology “and all its formations and front organizations”, attached to the banned CPI (Maoist) organisation in the first schedule of UAPA. In a significant move, he has also asked the court to examine section 43D (5) of the act that makes it impossible for an accused to get bail.

Related:

Bhima Koregaon: Gautam Navlakha moves Bombay HC for house arrest citing lump in chest
Mumbai court rejects bail pleas of Anand Teltumbde, Gautam Navlakha
Bhima Koregaon case: NIA files draft charges under UAPA, sedition & conspiracy against 15 accused
Why was Dr. Anand Teltumbde denied bail by the NIA court?

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SC reserves order on Kavitha Lankesh's plea opposing dropping KCOCA charges against accused

21 Sep 2021

Supreme CourtImage Courtesy:gaurilankeshnews.com

On August 16, the Supreme Court Bench of Justices A.M Khanwilkar and Sanjiv Khanna adjourned the matter of Kavitha Lankesh, the sister of slain journalist Gauri Lankesh, challenging an order by the Karnataka High Court dropping charges under Karnataka Control of Organised Crime Act (KCOCA) against Mohan Nayak, one of the accused in the case.

Kavitha Lankesh’s special leave petition before the apex court with CJP’s assistance, was heard today, on September 21 before Justices A.M Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and C.T. Ravikumar.

Background of the appeal

Accused Mohan Nayak is a close associate of Amol Kale and Rajesh Bangera, two men who are key accused in planning and committing the assassination of the slain journalist, Gauri Lankesh. Nayak had approached the Karnataka high court for bail on grounds of the ruling dropping the KCOCA charges against him. He had contended that on April 2, 2021, the court had quashed the FIR in relation to offence under KCOCA and therefore he could not be charged for the offence under KCOCA. For this reason, he argued that the chargesheet against him should have been filed before expiry of 90 days from the date of his arrest and remand to judicial custody. Admittedly there was no chargesheet and hence he contended that he should be entitled to statutory bail under Section 167(2) of Cr.PC.

But on July 13, the High Court’s Single-judge Bench of Justice Sreenivas Harish Kumar ruled that Nayak cannot seek bail on the grounds that the Special Investigation Team (SIT) filed a chargesheet against him, only on November 23, 2018, more than 90 days following his arrest on July 19, 2018, since the bail application was moved only after the chargesheet was filed.

Lankesh’s SLP, filed with CJP’s assistance, details the nature and extent of Mohan’s involvement saying that investigations had found that he had been “actively involved in providing shelter to the killers prior to and after committing the offence and has participated in a series of conspiracies, abetting, planning, providing logistics.”

The SLP further reiterated what the investigation agency has revealed, that they have collected sufficient evidence “to connect him with the case and establish his intimate nexus with the mastermind behind the entire event i.e., Accused No.1 Amol Kale and master arms trainer Accused No. 8 Rajesh D. Bangera who are part and parcel of an “organised crime syndicate” from its inception.”

Latest developments

In today’s hearing, Senior counsel Huzefa Ahmadi assisted by advocate Aparna Bhat, appearing for Lankesh, argued that the Karnataka high court erred via its order dated April 22, 2021 dropping charges against Mohan Nayak. He said, “The high court was in error to come to the conclusion that KCOCA was not applicable.” He highlighted the role of the accused Nayak, that on the basis of main accused Amol Kale’s instructions, he took a house on rent in Kumbalgodu under the guise of running an acupuncture clinic, but in reality, the house was meant to accommodate the members of the syndicate. “Even after the commission of the murder of Gauri Lankesh, he (Mohan Nayak) harboured the actual assailants,” said senior counsel Ahmadi.

Ahmadi said that the Karnataka high court has taken the view that even if the syndicate, that includes accused Amol Kale, has committed other offences, unless there are more than two cases pending against each of the accused in the syndicate, the provisions of KCOCA cannot be invoked against them. “I submit that this view is not correct because emphasis is laid upon the syndicate. So, the fact that all person’s part of the syndicate may or may not be involved in other offences earlier is immaterial,” Ahmadi argued. He asserted, “What is important is the involvement of the syndicate in the earlier murder offences of Gauri Lankesh, leftist activist Govind Pansare and Social activist Dr Narendra Dabholkar.”

He referred to section 3(2), 3(3) and 3(4) of the KCOCA that lays down punishment for conspiring or attempting to commit or advocates, abets or knowingly facilitates the commission of an organised crime, or whoever harbours or conceals or attempts to harbour or conceal, any member of an organized crime syndicate.

As far as conspiring under section 3(2) and (3) is considered, senior counsel Ahmadi argued that the requirement of Mohan Nayak being a member of the syndicate or being a part of an organised crime syndicate, is not necessary, as per the provisions. “Anyone who is part of any conspiracy, if he (Mohan) conspired with any member of the syndicate, KCOCA sections will clearly be attracted,” he said.

“Mohan Nayak is specifically involved in harbouring the crime of murder of Gauri Lankesh under section 3(3) of KCOCA, that has been missed by the high court,” argued counsel Huzefa Ahmadi. The chargesheet allegations also indicate the existence of a syndicate and that the accused Mohan was involved in the crime as part of that syndicate.

He contended that the object and scheme of KCOCA make it clear that the purpose is to investigate and punish organised crime, rather than individual criminals associated with the crime.

The accused’s lawyer Advocate Basava Patil argued that the chargesheet does not mention that the accused is linked to the syndicate in any manner. To this, Justice Maheshwari said, “Mr. Patil, suppose there is a gang of some persons and only 4 persons have planned and others attacked on the forefront. Now just because the planners did not come ahead will they not be charged under the law as conspirators, abettors….They will still be seen as members.”

Justice Khanwilkar said, “Even if we uphold the finding of the high court, the fact remains that nothing prevents the investigating agency to find if you are a member of the syndicate and if you are, then you can be proceeded against by the chargesheet. That is the essence.”

The court also opined that the chargesheet against an accused can only be quashed after the evidence is submitted by the investigation agency. In this matter, the Karnataka high court had quashed the additional charge sheet under the KCOCA sections without any material or evidence. Justice Khanwilkar said, “you (accused’s lawyer) can argue lack of evidence. The High court has quashed the chargesheet itself. This is incorrect and this is in excess of the jurisdiction.”

The Bench after hearing the arguments, directed the parties to file written submission within a week, and reserved orders on the matter.

The order may be read here:

Related:

Gauri Lankesh case: SC to decide on keeping KCOCA charges against accused
Gauri Lankesh case: CJP assists sister Kavitha move SC
Gauri Lankesh: A martyr to the cause of fearless journalism
UAPA must go – lock, stock and barrel: Senior Counsel Mihir Desai 

SC reserves order on Kavitha Lankesh's plea opposing dropping KCOCA charges against accused

Supreme CourtImage Courtesy:gaurilankeshnews.com

On August 16, the Supreme Court Bench of Justices A.M Khanwilkar and Sanjiv Khanna adjourned the matter of Kavitha Lankesh, the sister of slain journalist Gauri Lankesh, challenging an order by the Karnataka High Court dropping charges under Karnataka Control of Organised Crime Act (KCOCA) against Mohan Nayak, one of the accused in the case.

Kavitha Lankesh’s special leave petition before the apex court with CJP’s assistance, was heard today, on September 21 before Justices A.M Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and C.T. Ravikumar.

Background of the appeal

Accused Mohan Nayak is a close associate of Amol Kale and Rajesh Bangera, two men who are key accused in planning and committing the assassination of the slain journalist, Gauri Lankesh. Nayak had approached the Karnataka high court for bail on grounds of the ruling dropping the KCOCA charges against him. He had contended that on April 2, 2021, the court had quashed the FIR in relation to offence under KCOCA and therefore he could not be charged for the offence under KCOCA. For this reason, he argued that the chargesheet against him should have been filed before expiry of 90 days from the date of his arrest and remand to judicial custody. Admittedly there was no chargesheet and hence he contended that he should be entitled to statutory bail under Section 167(2) of Cr.PC.

But on July 13, the High Court’s Single-judge Bench of Justice Sreenivas Harish Kumar ruled that Nayak cannot seek bail on the grounds that the Special Investigation Team (SIT) filed a chargesheet against him, only on November 23, 2018, more than 90 days following his arrest on July 19, 2018, since the bail application was moved only after the chargesheet was filed.

Lankesh’s SLP, filed with CJP’s assistance, details the nature and extent of Mohan’s involvement saying that investigations had found that he had been “actively involved in providing shelter to the killers prior to and after committing the offence and has participated in a series of conspiracies, abetting, planning, providing logistics.”

The SLP further reiterated what the investigation agency has revealed, that they have collected sufficient evidence “to connect him with the case and establish his intimate nexus with the mastermind behind the entire event i.e., Accused No.1 Amol Kale and master arms trainer Accused No. 8 Rajesh D. Bangera who are part and parcel of an “organised crime syndicate” from its inception.”

Latest developments

In today’s hearing, Senior counsel Huzefa Ahmadi assisted by advocate Aparna Bhat, appearing for Lankesh, argued that the Karnataka high court erred via its order dated April 22, 2021 dropping charges against Mohan Nayak. He said, “The high court was in error to come to the conclusion that KCOCA was not applicable.” He highlighted the role of the accused Nayak, that on the basis of main accused Amol Kale’s instructions, he took a house on rent in Kumbalgodu under the guise of running an acupuncture clinic, but in reality, the house was meant to accommodate the members of the syndicate. “Even after the commission of the murder of Gauri Lankesh, he (Mohan Nayak) harboured the actual assailants,” said senior counsel Ahmadi.

Ahmadi said that the Karnataka high court has taken the view that even if the syndicate, that includes accused Amol Kale, has committed other offences, unless there are more than two cases pending against each of the accused in the syndicate, the provisions of KCOCA cannot be invoked against them. “I submit that this view is not correct because emphasis is laid upon the syndicate. So, the fact that all person’s part of the syndicate may or may not be involved in other offences earlier is immaterial,” Ahmadi argued. He asserted, “What is important is the involvement of the syndicate in the earlier murder offences of Gauri Lankesh, leftist activist Govind Pansare and Social activist Dr Narendra Dabholkar.”

He referred to section 3(2), 3(3) and 3(4) of the KCOCA that lays down punishment for conspiring or attempting to commit or advocates, abets or knowingly facilitates the commission of an organised crime, or whoever harbours or conceals or attempts to harbour or conceal, any member of an organized crime syndicate.

As far as conspiring under section 3(2) and (3) is considered, senior counsel Ahmadi argued that the requirement of Mohan Nayak being a member of the syndicate or being a part of an organised crime syndicate, is not necessary, as per the provisions. “Anyone who is part of any conspiracy, if he (Mohan) conspired with any member of the syndicate, KCOCA sections will clearly be attracted,” he said.

“Mohan Nayak is specifically involved in harbouring the crime of murder of Gauri Lankesh under section 3(3) of KCOCA, that has been missed by the high court,” argued counsel Huzefa Ahmadi. The chargesheet allegations also indicate the existence of a syndicate and that the accused Mohan was involved in the crime as part of that syndicate.

He contended that the object and scheme of KCOCA make it clear that the purpose is to investigate and punish organised crime, rather than individual criminals associated with the crime.

The accused’s lawyer Advocate Basava Patil argued that the chargesheet does not mention that the accused is linked to the syndicate in any manner. To this, Justice Maheshwari said, “Mr. Patil, suppose there is a gang of some persons and only 4 persons have planned and others attacked on the forefront. Now just because the planners did not come ahead will they not be charged under the law as conspirators, abettors….They will still be seen as members.”

Justice Khanwilkar said, “Even if we uphold the finding of the high court, the fact remains that nothing prevents the investigating agency to find if you are a member of the syndicate and if you are, then you can be proceeded against by the chargesheet. That is the essence.”

The court also opined that the chargesheet against an accused can only be quashed after the evidence is submitted by the investigation agency. In this matter, the Karnataka high court had quashed the additional charge sheet under the KCOCA sections without any material or evidence. Justice Khanwilkar said, “you (accused’s lawyer) can argue lack of evidence. The High court has quashed the chargesheet itself. This is incorrect and this is in excess of the jurisdiction.”

The Bench after hearing the arguments, directed the parties to file written submission within a week, and reserved orders on the matter.

The order may be read here:

Related:

Gauri Lankesh case: SC to decide on keeping KCOCA charges against accused
Gauri Lankesh case: CJP assists sister Kavitha move SC
Gauri Lankesh: A martyr to the cause of fearless journalism
UAPA must go – lock, stock and barrel: Senior Counsel Mihir Desai 

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A year on, Hathras victim’s family awaits a house, pension and employment

The victim’s family has urged the court to provide them with immediate relief as laid down in the SC/ST rules, 1995

21 Sep 2021

hathras gang rape

The Allahabad High Court has been hearing the suo motu Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in connection with the hasty cremation of the 19-year-old Dalit girl, who was allegedly gang raped and murdered in September last year in Hathras.

In the previous hearing on September 16, the Lucknow bench of Justices Jaspreet Singh and Rajan Roy, has asked the government and victim’s counsels, along with the amicus curiae to apprise it of the various benefits the victim’s family is entitled to under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 and Rules made thereunder.

Advocate Seema Kushwaha, representing the victim’s family, submitted to the court that even though a compensation of Rs. 25 lakhs have been provided to the family, other benefits and relief under Rule 12 of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Rules, 1995, specifically sub-Rule (4) have not been extended to them.

According to Rule 12 (4), “District Magistrate or the Sub-Divisional Magistrate or any other Executive Magistrate shall make arrangements for providing immediate relief in cash or in kind or both to the victims of atrocity, their family members and dependents and such immediate relief shall also include food, water, clothing, shelter, medical aid, transport facilities and other essential items necessary for human beings.”

Kushwaha also brought to the court’s attention that the 1995 Rules lays down that a Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe victim of gang rape and the family in case of murder, is eligible for pension of Rs. 1,000 per month, or employment to one member of the family of the deceased, or provision of agricultural land, a house, if necessary, by outright purchase.

The rules further allow the provision of utensils, rice, wheat, dals, pulses, etc., for a period of three months. In this regard, the counsel told the court, “a house and employment as envisaged under the aforesaid provisions have not been provided, as is mandatory, nor has the pension been provided.”

The court finally ordered, “Let the learned Amicus Curiae as also other counsels appearing for the victim's family and for the State etc. address the Court on these aspects relating to the benefits to which the victim’s family is entitled under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 and Rules made thereunder as also the benefits which have already been made available to them.”

Two cases were registered after the girl’s death on September 30, 2020. The Allahabad High Court has been hearing the suo motu case into the alleged forcible cremation of the girl in the middle of the night and the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe court in Hathras is adjudicating on the criminal proceedings of the alleged gang rape and murder.

The proceedings in the trial court were interrupted in March this year, after the family and the lawyer were threatened in open court by an intoxicated advocate named Tarun Hari Sharma. The family had urged the court to shift the trial outside Hathras but the High Court refused to transfer the trial.

The matter will be heard on September 24, where the high court is set to decide the various reliefs the family is entitled to. 

The order may be read here:

 

Related:

Hathras case: Allahabad HC refuses to stay or transfer ongoing trial outside Hathras

Hathras case: Victim’s family and lawyers threatened inside court premises

State Counsel appears to justify the hasty cremation of Hathras Victim: HC

A year on, Hathras victim’s family awaits a house, pension and employment

The victim’s family has urged the court to provide them with immediate relief as laid down in the SC/ST rules, 1995

hathras gang rape

The Allahabad High Court has been hearing the suo motu Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in connection with the hasty cremation of the 19-year-old Dalit girl, who was allegedly gang raped and murdered in September last year in Hathras.

In the previous hearing on September 16, the Lucknow bench of Justices Jaspreet Singh and Rajan Roy, has asked the government and victim’s counsels, along with the amicus curiae to apprise it of the various benefits the victim’s family is entitled to under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 and Rules made thereunder.

Advocate Seema Kushwaha, representing the victim’s family, submitted to the court that even though a compensation of Rs. 25 lakhs have been provided to the family, other benefits and relief under Rule 12 of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Rules, 1995, specifically sub-Rule (4) have not been extended to them.

According to Rule 12 (4), “District Magistrate or the Sub-Divisional Magistrate or any other Executive Magistrate shall make arrangements for providing immediate relief in cash or in kind or both to the victims of atrocity, their family members and dependents and such immediate relief shall also include food, water, clothing, shelter, medical aid, transport facilities and other essential items necessary for human beings.”

Kushwaha also brought to the court’s attention that the 1995 Rules lays down that a Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe victim of gang rape and the family in case of murder, is eligible for pension of Rs. 1,000 per month, or employment to one member of the family of the deceased, or provision of agricultural land, a house, if necessary, by outright purchase.

The rules further allow the provision of utensils, rice, wheat, dals, pulses, etc., for a period of three months. In this regard, the counsel told the court, “a house and employment as envisaged under the aforesaid provisions have not been provided, as is mandatory, nor has the pension been provided.”

The court finally ordered, “Let the learned Amicus Curiae as also other counsels appearing for the victim's family and for the State etc. address the Court on these aspects relating to the benefits to which the victim’s family is entitled under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 and Rules made thereunder as also the benefits which have already been made available to them.”

Two cases were registered after the girl’s death on September 30, 2020. The Allahabad High Court has been hearing the suo motu case into the alleged forcible cremation of the girl in the middle of the night and the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe court in Hathras is adjudicating on the criminal proceedings of the alleged gang rape and murder.

The proceedings in the trial court were interrupted in March this year, after the family and the lawyer were threatened in open court by an intoxicated advocate named Tarun Hari Sharma. The family had urged the court to shift the trial outside Hathras but the High Court refused to transfer the trial.

The matter will be heard on September 24, where the high court is set to decide the various reliefs the family is entitled to. 

The order may be read here:

 

Related:

Hathras case: Allahabad HC refuses to stay or transfer ongoing trial outside Hathras

Hathras case: Victim’s family and lawyers threatened inside court premises

State Counsel appears to justify the hasty cremation of Hathras Victim: HC

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TN govt to quash over 5,000 cases against protestors, journalists, farmers

The government sought information about cases filed against peaceful protesters, and cases that go against or stand to violate right to freedom of press, and has decided to withdraw them

17 Sep 2021

TN CM

The Tamil Nadu government has decided to withdraw cases against journalists, protesting farmers as well as other peaceful protestors who raised their voices against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) or the Kudankulam atomic plant.

The Director General of Police informed the Chief Minister about the cases thus registered, to be considered for withdrawal. The break-up of these cases is as follows:

table

The Public prosecutor, Madras High Court perused these cases and opined that in cases where the investigation is still pending, or chargesheet not taken on file, further action may be dropped by the concerned Police. With respect to cases which are pending trial, he opined that the the Assistant Public Prosecutor in charge of the respective cases may be directed to move an application under Section 321 of the Code of Criminal Procedure for withdrawal of prosecution.

The government, thus made a decision to order withdrawal of 5,570 cases as mentioned in the table, which were filed against freedom of press between 2011-2021 and peaceful protesters against Farm laws, CAA as well as the Eight Lane, methane, Neutrino and Kudankulam atomic plant. The cases against MPs/MLAs require consultation with the High Court, and the same will be followed, if any of these cases are against MPs/MLAs.

A similar move was made by the Kerala government in February when it had decided to withdraw cases related to the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests and the Sabarimala agitation. Although the same was seen as a political move in the run up to the Assembly elections. The anti CAA protests had led to the registration of 530 cases and the SC order in the Sabarimala issue had triggered 17,000 cases in 2018.

Related:

Karnal lathi-charge: Major win for farmers, as judicial inquiry ordered against Ayush Sinha

Haryana: Lakhs of farmers gherao Karnal Mini Secretariat

Lakhs of farmers flood Muzaffarnagar mahapanchayat!

TN govt to quash over 5,000 cases against protestors, journalists, farmers

The government sought information about cases filed against peaceful protesters, and cases that go against or stand to violate right to freedom of press, and has decided to withdraw them

TN CM

The Tamil Nadu government has decided to withdraw cases against journalists, protesting farmers as well as other peaceful protestors who raised their voices against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) or the Kudankulam atomic plant.

The Director General of Police informed the Chief Minister about the cases thus registered, to be considered for withdrawal. The break-up of these cases is as follows:

table

The Public prosecutor, Madras High Court perused these cases and opined that in cases where the investigation is still pending, or chargesheet not taken on file, further action may be dropped by the concerned Police. With respect to cases which are pending trial, he opined that the the Assistant Public Prosecutor in charge of the respective cases may be directed to move an application under Section 321 of the Code of Criminal Procedure for withdrawal of prosecution.

The government, thus made a decision to order withdrawal of 5,570 cases as mentioned in the table, which were filed against freedom of press between 2011-2021 and peaceful protesters against Farm laws, CAA as well as the Eight Lane, methane, Neutrino and Kudankulam atomic plant. The cases against MPs/MLAs require consultation with the High Court, and the same will be followed, if any of these cases are against MPs/MLAs.

A similar move was made by the Kerala government in February when it had decided to withdraw cases related to the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests and the Sabarimala agitation. Although the same was seen as a political move in the run up to the Assembly elections. The anti CAA protests had led to the registration of 530 cases and the SC order in the Sabarimala issue had triggered 17,000 cases in 2018.

Related:

Karnal lathi-charge: Major win for farmers, as judicial inquiry ordered against Ayush Sinha

Haryana: Lakhs of farmers gherao Karnal Mini Secretariat

Lakhs of farmers flood Muzaffarnagar mahapanchayat!

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Delhi Violence: Court frames charges against 5 men for shooting a Muslim man dead, setting body on fire

The Judge took notice of the blow-by-blow account by the deceased’s brother to prosecute the 5 accused men

17 Sep 2021

Frame ChargesImage Courtesy:millenniumpost.in

North East Delhi court’s Additional Sessions Judge, Vinod Yadav, has framed murder charges against five men- Lakhpat Rajora, Yogesh, Lalit, and two men both named Kuldeep for gunning down a Muslim man and burning his body during the Delhi violence in February last year.

The 5 accused men have been directed to be charged under Indian Penal Code sections for murder, dacoity, rioting, mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy a house, and relevant sections of the Arms Act. He noted that prima facie, there was enough material on record to frame charges against the five accused persons under requisite sections.

Background

The complainant, Saleem Kassar had alleged that on February 25 last year, a riotous mob had fatally shot his elder brother Mohd. Anwar and burnt his body. He further stated that his car was destroyed and burnt too.

He further added that the said riotous mob had taken away 17 goats of his now deceased brother, Mohd. Anwar, and also set his household articles on fire. Kassar had told the police, “a riotous mob after breaking open the doors of his house with sarias and dandas, had looted the same and thereafter set it on fire.”

The court recorded that the Delhi Police delayed in recording the statements of the public witnesses but justified the same by observing, “It was very difficult for the investigating agency to trace the eye/public witnesses promptly, because the people were so shocked and traumatized that it took several days for them to muster courage to come out and report the matter to the police.”

Material relied on by the court

ASJ Yadav noted, “Complainant Saleem Kassar had seen his elder brother being shot dead and his house being burnt by the riotous mob, so it was natural for him to get shattered and shocked; however, by the passage of time, after gaining some composure and confidence, he has not only given blow-by blow account of the incident, but has also categorically identified accused Lakhpat Rajora.”

The court also observed that Kassar’s statements were corroborated by his son and a protected witness. It also perused the call data records of all accused persons and said, “The CDR locations of all the accused persons have been found at or around the spot/SOC on the date of incident, which prima facie appears to be out of their routine location(s).”

The court also took note of the fact that one country-made pistol was recovered from accused Yogesh and the “ballistic report confirmed that it was in working condition”. Even though no CCTV cameras caught the accused persons, Judge Vinod Yadav recorded in his order that it was possible that the rioters had broken down virtually every CCTV camera in the vicinity.

The order may be read here: 

Related:

After 17 months in jail, two accused get bail in the Delhi violence 2020 case
Delhi violence: HC denies bail to two accused based on CCTV camera footage
Delhi violence: What is happening in case involving the conspiracy FIR under UAPA?
Delhi Violence: Courts call Delhi Police’s investigation ‘callous, inefficient, indolent and lackadaisical’

Delhi Violence: Court frames charges against 5 men for shooting a Muslim man dead, setting body on fire

The Judge took notice of the blow-by-blow account by the deceased’s brother to prosecute the 5 accused men

Frame ChargesImage Courtesy:millenniumpost.in

North East Delhi court’s Additional Sessions Judge, Vinod Yadav, has framed murder charges against five men- Lakhpat Rajora, Yogesh, Lalit, and two men both named Kuldeep for gunning down a Muslim man and burning his body during the Delhi violence in February last year.

The 5 accused men have been directed to be charged under Indian Penal Code sections for murder, dacoity, rioting, mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy a house, and relevant sections of the Arms Act. He noted that prima facie, there was enough material on record to frame charges against the five accused persons under requisite sections.

Background

The complainant, Saleem Kassar had alleged that on February 25 last year, a riotous mob had fatally shot his elder brother Mohd. Anwar and burnt his body. He further stated that his car was destroyed and burnt too.

He further added that the said riotous mob had taken away 17 goats of his now deceased brother, Mohd. Anwar, and also set his household articles on fire. Kassar had told the police, “a riotous mob after breaking open the doors of his house with sarias and dandas, had looted the same and thereafter set it on fire.”

The court recorded that the Delhi Police delayed in recording the statements of the public witnesses but justified the same by observing, “It was very difficult for the investigating agency to trace the eye/public witnesses promptly, because the people were so shocked and traumatized that it took several days for them to muster courage to come out and report the matter to the police.”

Material relied on by the court

ASJ Yadav noted, “Complainant Saleem Kassar had seen his elder brother being shot dead and his house being burnt by the riotous mob, so it was natural for him to get shattered and shocked; however, by the passage of time, after gaining some composure and confidence, he has not only given blow-by blow account of the incident, but has also categorically identified accused Lakhpat Rajora.”

The court also observed that Kassar’s statements were corroborated by his son and a protected witness. It also perused the call data records of all accused persons and said, “The CDR locations of all the accused persons have been found at or around the spot/SOC on the date of incident, which prima facie appears to be out of their routine location(s).”

The court also took note of the fact that one country-made pistol was recovered from accused Yogesh and the “ballistic report confirmed that it was in working condition”. Even though no CCTV cameras caught the accused persons, Judge Vinod Yadav recorded in his order that it was possible that the rioters had broken down virtually every CCTV camera in the vicinity.

The order may be read here: 

Related:

After 17 months in jail, two accused get bail in the Delhi violence 2020 case
Delhi violence: HC denies bail to two accused based on CCTV camera footage
Delhi violence: What is happening in case involving the conspiracy FIR under UAPA?
Delhi Violence: Courts call Delhi Police’s investigation ‘callous, inefficient, indolent and lackadaisical’

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“My Ganga, my son… is back!”

CJP reunites Gangadhar Pramanik, a West Bengal man dubbed “foreigner” and thrown into a detention centre in Assam, with his mother

17 Sep 2021

Gangadhar Pramanik

Gangadhar Pramanik, a man from west Bengal who was declared foreigner by a Foreigners’ Tribunal in Assam and thrown behind bars at the Goalpara detention centre, was finally reunited with his family in Bankura. His mother Bharati, could not believe her eyes as she saw her son for the first time in nearly 10 years.

“This is my son… My Ganga is back,” she kept saying as she hugged and held him. “I didn’t know what had happened to you,” she said, asking, “Couldn’t you have called me? Did they not let you call me?”

Gangadhar Pramanik

We had previously told you how CJP had found out about him from Dipak Deb and Fazar Ali, two other detainees we had helped get released on conditional bail. The men had been so demoralized, that they had contemplated everything from prisonbreak to suicide!

Gangadhar tells his story

33-year-old Gangadhar, had left his home in search of work all those years ago. “We lived amidst abject poverty, and my father’s income was not enough to sustain our four-member family. So, I decided to board a train and look for work wherever it took me,” says Gangadhar, finally sitting amidst friends and family at his sister Champa’s home. Gangadhar’s father Mantu used to work in local shops while Gangadhar who had received an education till 5th standard, supplemented the family’s income by working in a saloon.

The young man, who had until then been a resident of Radhanagar village, that under the jurisdiction of the Bishnupur police station of Bankura district in West Bengal, boarded a train from Bishnupur to Howrah and then another train and eventually found himself in Guwahati!

Gangadhar PramanikGangadhar Pramanik On The Train

“I felt lost and I had no money. I spent a day at the station. A gentleman asked me some questions in Assamese, but I couldn’t understand a word,” recalls Gangadhar. “Another man asked me to come with him saying he would offer me a job, food and shelter. So, I went with him,” he says.

Gangadhar worked for this man at a restaurant, washing dishes fetching water and earning about Rs 40 a day. “But I had planned to save money and send it home and this meagre income was not allowing me to do that. So, I quit that job and took another one in a chocolate factory,” he says. But one day, a drunk coworker assaulted him and left him with a head injury! Gangadhar quit and went back to his old job, where his former employer agreed to pay him his full wages when he went home. “To that end, I lived and worked. But it was not to be. One day the police came and took me away. At the police station, they asked me my name and address,” he says recalling his fresh bout of misfortune. “They kept me there overnight and then took me to another jail. I found out that they thought I was Bangladeshi,” says a perplexed Gangadhar.

After Gangadhar went incommunicado on account of being arrested by the Border Police and being incarcerated in the detention centre, his father Mantu passed away, and his mother suffered from a bout of paralysis. Her mental health also deteriorated from the anxiety, and she moved in with Champa.

CJP swings into action

As we have shared previously, though we found out about Gangadhar in July, we faced an unprecedented challenge in helping him get bail as he did not have an address or family in Assam. “When we found his address in West Bengal, we discovered that nobody lived there anymore. Moreover, there was no way to contact them as they had left behind no forwarding address or phone numbers,” says CJP Assam state team in-charge Nanda Ghosh. But we did not give up, and based on information provided by their former neighbours, we traced his mother Bharati to his sister Champa’s house. That was also when we learnt that Gangadhar’s father Mantu had passed away. But what was perhaps most heartbreaking was that Gangadhar found out about his father’s passing from the CJP team, as he had not been able to establish contact with anyone from his family until then. “The case of Gngadhar raises once again the utter and complete unaccountability with which the entire process is unleashed on working Indians,” says Teesta Setalvad, secretary, CJP. “Behind bars for over four years and the family has no idea where or why their son is. Is this the way a police in a democracy should be functioning?”

“When we contacted the Border Police to start release formalities, we were told one of the conditions was that the released detainee should remain in Assam. But this is not possible for Pramanik. He has no one here, he doesn’t want to stay here. He is scared,” says Ghosh who is now also conferring with West Bengal authorities about a possible solution. Our next challenge was finding a bailor. This is because Gangadhar has no family or even an address in Assam. “When we did find bailor, there was a hiccup as there was a small mistake in his documents. So, we had to get another bailor, and again faced the same problem. Then we found a third bailor and started the process afresh,” says Ghosh explaining why it has taken this long to secure Pramanik’s release.

Luckily this time, all documents were in order, but since Pramanik did not have an address in Assam, CJP team incharge Nada Ghosh and Advocate Abhijeet Chaudhury had to give written undertakings that they would take him home to West Bengal and take responsibility for him. They were also made to submit copies of their own documents such as voter IDs and passports. Additionally, the CJP team helped establish contact between police officials from both states via telephone, so that the entire process could be completed smoothly.

We were coordinating between the office of the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Border), the Additional Superintendent of Police (Bankura), and police officials from the Bishnupur police station under whose jurisdiction Pramanik’s village falls. “Now Pramanik will have to go and sign his attendance at the Radhanagar outpost of the Bishnupur Police Station every week. The officials from West Bengal Police will then send a copy of this via email to the Assam Border Police,” says Ghosh explaining the complex arrangement.

Gangadhar Pramanik
Gangadhar Pramanik’s Release Order

And it wasn’t just the tedious process of arranging bailors and paperwork for bail, there were long distances covered each day by the CJP team as we virtually moved heaven and earth to help Gangadhar Pramanik. “On just September 13, we worked from 6 A.M to midnight travelling 345 kilometers with CJP driver Ashiqul Ali behind the wheel. On September 14, when we finally got the greenlight from all relevant authorities to secure Pramanik’s release from the Goalpara Detention Centre, we (Nanda Ghosh, advocates Abhijeet Chaudhury and Ashim Mubarak) travelled 150 kilometers from the Detention Centre to New Bongaigaon railway station,” says Ghosh. There, CJP Assam office in-charge Papiya Das brought packed food for everyone as we were about to set off on an interstate journey. Nanda Ghosh and Abhijeet Chaudhury boarded the Saraighat Express to Bardhaman with Gangadhar Pramanik.

Gangadhar Pramanik

“On the train, during dinner, Pramanik told us that this was the first time in 1,373 days that he had eaten dinner after dark. At the detention centre, dinner is served at 4 PM and no other food items are made available to inmates after that,” says Ghosh. We reached Bardhaman at 3:50 A.M and boarded a taxi to take us to Pramanik’s village at about 5 A.M.

Some images of the team at the Goalpara Detention Centre, the railway station and on the train may be viewed here:

Gangadhar Pramanik

Gangadhar Pramanik

Gangadhar Pramanik

Gangadhar Pramanik

Finally, home safe

On our way to his village, Gangadhar watched with wonder as to how much his home state had changed. He couldn’t recognise any roads and was at a loss to figure out the road that led towards his home when we reached the bridge over Damodar River.

We reached Radhanagar on September 15, and there his entire village came out to greet the son they thought they had lost. As more and more people gathered, Swapan Ghosh, a local former MLA from CPI (M), came forward and arranged for all of us to sit in front of their party office nearby. He sent someone to call Gangadhar's mother.

He said, “I came to know from you that you are bringing him back to his home. It's a very commendable job. I really appreciate your organisation’s efforts.” Shedding light on the plight of people without documents, he further said, “It is observed that especially the backward class, the weaker section people are in danger because of NRC and CAB. 70 years ago, people didn't have birth certificate, land documents and had very less opportunity to study. It's very hard to collect these documents which are required to prove if a person is a citizen or not.”

Upon hearing the news, Gangadhar’s mother, his cousin, and even the owner of the saloon where he once worked and many people in the area came. And then, a victory celebration broke out. The people brought sweets, puri etc.

Gangadhar PramanikVillagers Gather To Welcome Gangadhar Pramanik And Cjp Team

Friends and family gathered around him, and his mother Bharati remained in shock for a while, her eyes wide in wonder at the sight of her son. A peculiar scream escaped her lips once as she grabbed her son, before she fell silent again, almost stone like. The neighbours pointed to the CJP and told her that we had brought Gangadhar back. She turned to us and said, “Baba (term of endearment), stay well. God bless you!” Then she looked at her son and said, “This is my son, this is my son, this is my Ganga.”

He finally got to feed her son a home-cooked meal. The heavy downpour outside made it difficult to hear what was being said, so she asked loudly, “Why did you leave without telling me?” She went on to tell her son about how she had searched high and low for him. “I cried a lot. I asked many people where my Ganga is? I begged many people, no, no one brought you to me. I wandering around like a mad woman. I looked everywhere, but I couldn't find you son. Your father wanted to see you just once. He died thinking you were lost, you never saw his face again,” she said, her voice filled with anguish. Then she fell silent again. But once again wide-eyed she announced to all present, “This is my son, this is my son, my Ganga.”

Gangadhar PramanikGangadhar And Bharati Pramanik With Nanda Ghosh And Adv Abhijeet Chaudhury

Then we went to Gangadhar’s sister Champa’s home. Here, as with his mother by his side, her eyes never leaving Gangadhar’s face, he told us, “I had lost hope. But I got it back when I met you. I got back home. I got my mother. But I didn't get my father.” Emotionally scarred by his experience, he says, “I will never go out again. I will never ever go to Assam. I will do any work from home and will take care of my mother.”

Sushanta Jharemunia, who is the Radhanagar Vice President of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and local TMC Panchayat Member Mrs. Bijuli Bagdi including many people met us, had refreshments and discussed various issues including Gangadhar Pramanik’s employment, safe place for them to stay, food arrangements, weekly local police presence, etc.

“We will try to make his arrangements for food and shelter and also try to appoint him at some work so that he can live a healthy life,” said Jharemunja. “His mother used to cry every day. As we cooked served the food, she cried and hoped that her son will come,” recalled Bagdi.

Then Team CJP took Gangadhar to the local Radhanagar Police out post, where he is required to sign his weekly attendance. We were accompanied by Ashish Dey neighbour of Gangadhar, a conscious local young man. We carefully informed the officials of all formalities and procedures. Then our team made our way to Kolkata before making the journey back to Assam.

Some images of Pramanik and CJP back in his village may be viewed here:

Gangadhar Pramanik

Gangadhar Pramanik

Gangadhar Pramanik

Gangadhar Pramanik

Related:

CJP helps yet another man from West Bengal declared “foreigner” in Assam
CJP helps secure release of Bihari man dubbed Bangladeshi in Assam!
CJP helps Tripura man reunite with ailing mother
CJP comes to the rescue of West Bengal man dubbed “foreigner” in Assam!

“My Ganga, my son… is back!”

CJP reunites Gangadhar Pramanik, a West Bengal man dubbed “foreigner” and thrown into a detention centre in Assam, with his mother

Gangadhar Pramanik

Gangadhar Pramanik, a man from west Bengal who was declared foreigner by a Foreigners’ Tribunal in Assam and thrown behind bars at the Goalpara detention centre, was finally reunited with his family in Bankura. His mother Bharati, could not believe her eyes as she saw her son for the first time in nearly 10 years.

“This is my son… My Ganga is back,” she kept saying as she hugged and held him. “I didn’t know what had happened to you,” she said, asking, “Couldn’t you have called me? Did they not let you call me?”

Gangadhar Pramanik

We had previously told you how CJP had found out about him from Dipak Deb and Fazar Ali, two other detainees we had helped get released on conditional bail. The men had been so demoralized, that they had contemplated everything from prisonbreak to suicide!

Gangadhar tells his story

33-year-old Gangadhar, had left his home in search of work all those years ago. “We lived amidst abject poverty, and my father’s income was not enough to sustain our four-member family. So, I decided to board a train and look for work wherever it took me,” says Gangadhar, finally sitting amidst friends and family at his sister Champa’s home. Gangadhar’s father Mantu used to work in local shops while Gangadhar who had received an education till 5th standard, supplemented the family’s income by working in a saloon.

The young man, who had until then been a resident of Radhanagar village, that under the jurisdiction of the Bishnupur police station of Bankura district in West Bengal, boarded a train from Bishnupur to Howrah and then another train and eventually found himself in Guwahati!

Gangadhar PramanikGangadhar Pramanik On The Train

“I felt lost and I had no money. I spent a day at the station. A gentleman asked me some questions in Assamese, but I couldn’t understand a word,” recalls Gangadhar. “Another man asked me to come with him saying he would offer me a job, food and shelter. So, I went with him,” he says.

Gangadhar worked for this man at a restaurant, washing dishes fetching water and earning about Rs 40 a day. “But I had planned to save money and send it home and this meagre income was not allowing me to do that. So, I quit that job and took another one in a chocolate factory,” he says. But one day, a drunk coworker assaulted him and left him with a head injury! Gangadhar quit and went back to his old job, where his former employer agreed to pay him his full wages when he went home. “To that end, I lived and worked. But it was not to be. One day the police came and took me away. At the police station, they asked me my name and address,” he says recalling his fresh bout of misfortune. “They kept me there overnight and then took me to another jail. I found out that they thought I was Bangladeshi,” says a perplexed Gangadhar.

After Gangadhar went incommunicado on account of being arrested by the Border Police and being incarcerated in the detention centre, his father Mantu passed away, and his mother suffered from a bout of paralysis. Her mental health also deteriorated from the anxiety, and she moved in with Champa.

CJP swings into action

As we have shared previously, though we found out about Gangadhar in July, we faced an unprecedented challenge in helping him get bail as he did not have an address or family in Assam. “When we found his address in West Bengal, we discovered that nobody lived there anymore. Moreover, there was no way to contact them as they had left behind no forwarding address or phone numbers,” says CJP Assam state team in-charge Nanda Ghosh. But we did not give up, and based on information provided by their former neighbours, we traced his mother Bharati to his sister Champa’s house. That was also when we learnt that Gangadhar’s father Mantu had passed away. But what was perhaps most heartbreaking was that Gangadhar found out about his father’s passing from the CJP team, as he had not been able to establish contact with anyone from his family until then. “The case of Gngadhar raises once again the utter and complete unaccountability with which the entire process is unleashed on working Indians,” says Teesta Setalvad, secretary, CJP. “Behind bars for over four years and the family has no idea where or why their son is. Is this the way a police in a democracy should be functioning?”

“When we contacted the Border Police to start release formalities, we were told one of the conditions was that the released detainee should remain in Assam. But this is not possible for Pramanik. He has no one here, he doesn’t want to stay here. He is scared,” says Ghosh who is now also conferring with West Bengal authorities about a possible solution. Our next challenge was finding a bailor. This is because Gangadhar has no family or even an address in Assam. “When we did find bailor, there was a hiccup as there was a small mistake in his documents. So, we had to get another bailor, and again faced the same problem. Then we found a third bailor and started the process afresh,” says Ghosh explaining why it has taken this long to secure Pramanik’s release.

Luckily this time, all documents were in order, but since Pramanik did not have an address in Assam, CJP team incharge Nada Ghosh and Advocate Abhijeet Chaudhury had to give written undertakings that they would take him home to West Bengal and take responsibility for him. They were also made to submit copies of their own documents such as voter IDs and passports. Additionally, the CJP team helped establish contact between police officials from both states via telephone, so that the entire process could be completed smoothly.

We were coordinating between the office of the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Border), the Additional Superintendent of Police (Bankura), and police officials from the Bishnupur police station under whose jurisdiction Pramanik’s village falls. “Now Pramanik will have to go and sign his attendance at the Radhanagar outpost of the Bishnupur Police Station every week. The officials from West Bengal Police will then send a copy of this via email to the Assam Border Police,” says Ghosh explaining the complex arrangement.

Gangadhar Pramanik
Gangadhar Pramanik’s Release Order

And it wasn’t just the tedious process of arranging bailors and paperwork for bail, there were long distances covered each day by the CJP team as we virtually moved heaven and earth to help Gangadhar Pramanik. “On just September 13, we worked from 6 A.M to midnight travelling 345 kilometers with CJP driver Ashiqul Ali behind the wheel. On September 14, when we finally got the greenlight from all relevant authorities to secure Pramanik’s release from the Goalpara Detention Centre, we (Nanda Ghosh, advocates Abhijeet Chaudhury and Ashim Mubarak) travelled 150 kilometers from the Detention Centre to New Bongaigaon railway station,” says Ghosh. There, CJP Assam office in-charge Papiya Das brought packed food for everyone as we were about to set off on an interstate journey. Nanda Ghosh and Abhijeet Chaudhury boarded the Saraighat Express to Bardhaman with Gangadhar Pramanik.

Gangadhar Pramanik

“On the train, during dinner, Pramanik told us that this was the first time in 1,373 days that he had eaten dinner after dark. At the detention centre, dinner is served at 4 PM and no other food items are made available to inmates after that,” says Ghosh. We reached Bardhaman at 3:50 A.M and boarded a taxi to take us to Pramanik’s village at about 5 A.M.

Some images of the team at the Goalpara Detention Centre, the railway station and on the train may be viewed here:

Gangadhar Pramanik

Gangadhar Pramanik

Gangadhar Pramanik

Gangadhar Pramanik

Finally, home safe

On our way to his village, Gangadhar watched with wonder as to how much his home state had changed. He couldn’t recognise any roads and was at a loss to figure out the road that led towards his home when we reached the bridge over Damodar River.

We reached Radhanagar on September 15, and there his entire village came out to greet the son they thought they had lost. As more and more people gathered, Swapan Ghosh, a local former MLA from CPI (M), came forward and arranged for all of us to sit in front of their party office nearby. He sent someone to call Gangadhar's mother.

He said, “I came to know from you that you are bringing him back to his home. It's a very commendable job. I really appreciate your organisation’s efforts.” Shedding light on the plight of people without documents, he further said, “It is observed that especially the backward class, the weaker section people are in danger because of NRC and CAB. 70 years ago, people didn't have birth certificate, land documents and had very less opportunity to study. It's very hard to collect these documents which are required to prove if a person is a citizen or not.”

Upon hearing the news, Gangadhar’s mother, his cousin, and even the owner of the saloon where he once worked and many people in the area came. And then, a victory celebration broke out. The people brought sweets, puri etc.

Gangadhar PramanikVillagers Gather To Welcome Gangadhar Pramanik And Cjp Team

Friends and family gathered around him, and his mother Bharati remained in shock for a while, her eyes wide in wonder at the sight of her son. A peculiar scream escaped her lips once as she grabbed her son, before she fell silent again, almost stone like. The neighbours pointed to the CJP and told her that we had brought Gangadhar back. She turned to us and said, “Baba (term of endearment), stay well. God bless you!” Then she looked at her son and said, “This is my son, this is my son, this is my Ganga.”

He finally got to feed her son a home-cooked meal. The heavy downpour outside made it difficult to hear what was being said, so she asked loudly, “Why did you leave without telling me?” She went on to tell her son about how she had searched high and low for him. “I cried a lot. I asked many people where my Ganga is? I begged many people, no, no one brought you to me. I wandering around like a mad woman. I looked everywhere, but I couldn't find you son. Your father wanted to see you just once. He died thinking you were lost, you never saw his face again,” she said, her voice filled with anguish. Then she fell silent again. But once again wide-eyed she announced to all present, “This is my son, this is my son, my Ganga.”

Gangadhar PramanikGangadhar And Bharati Pramanik With Nanda Ghosh And Adv Abhijeet Chaudhury

Then we went to Gangadhar’s sister Champa’s home. Here, as with his mother by his side, her eyes never leaving Gangadhar’s face, he told us, “I had lost hope. But I got it back when I met you. I got back home. I got my mother. But I didn't get my father.” Emotionally scarred by his experience, he says, “I will never go out again. I will never ever go to Assam. I will do any work from home and will take care of my mother.”

Sushanta Jharemunia, who is the Radhanagar Vice President of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and local TMC Panchayat Member Mrs. Bijuli Bagdi including many people met us, had refreshments and discussed various issues including Gangadhar Pramanik’s employment, safe place for them to stay, food arrangements, weekly local police presence, etc.

“We will try to make his arrangements for food and shelter and also try to appoint him at some work so that he can live a healthy life,” said Jharemunja. “His mother used to cry every day. As we cooked served the food, she cried and hoped that her son will come,” recalled Bagdi.

Then Team CJP took Gangadhar to the local Radhanagar Police out post, where he is required to sign his weekly attendance. We were accompanied by Ashish Dey neighbour of Gangadhar, a conscious local young man. We carefully informed the officials of all formalities and procedures. Then our team made our way to Kolkata before making the journey back to Assam.

Some images of Pramanik and CJP back in his village may be viewed here:

Gangadhar Pramanik

Gangadhar Pramanik

Gangadhar Pramanik

Gangadhar Pramanik

Related:

CJP helps yet another man from West Bengal declared “foreigner” in Assam
CJP helps secure release of Bihari man dubbed Bangladeshi in Assam!
CJP helps Tripura man reunite with ailing mother
CJP comes to the rescue of West Bengal man dubbed “foreigner” in Assam!

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Civil society stands in solidarity with Harsh Mander, CES

Leading activists, writers, lawyers, economists, teachers, filmmakers and intellectuals condemned the Enforcement Directorate raids on Harsh Mander

16 Sep 2021

harsh

Leading activists, writers, lawyers, economists, teachers, filmmakers and intellectuals have strongly condemned the Enforcement Directorate (ED) raids on well known human rights activist and former IAS officer Harsh Mander’s home and offices on September 16. Their statement, which continues to gather scores of endorsements, has condemned the rains and stated it was done “to harass and intimidate a leading human rights and peace activist who has done nothing but work for peace and harmony, consistently upholding the highest moral standards of honesty and probity.” 

The raids are reportedly on-going, but the public statement confirmed that the “Income Tax (IT) department has simultaneously raided one of the children’s shelter homes run by an allied institution – Ummeed Aman Ghar in Mehrauli.” The raids were conducted just hours after Mander left for Berlin, Germany at the invitation of the Robert Bosch Academy to join them for the prestigious Richard Von Weizsacker Fellowship. The Robert Bosch Academy, founded in 2014 as an institution of the Robert Bosch Stiftung, offers international decision-makers, opinion leaders, and experts the opportunity for solution-oriented cooperation on issues of global relevance, added the statement.  

Civil society recalled in their statement that “over the past year, Harsh Mander and the CES have been subjected to continued harassment by multiple state agencies. The false and malicious allegations by the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) were definitively countered by the Delhi Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR), a statutory body, which has filed a strong affidavit in the Delhi High Court, putting an end to the false allegations against CES.” They added that the “CES has also been subjected to harassment by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW), and the IT department. All these vindictive efforts combined, have showed neither diversion of money nor any violation of the law. The current raids by the ED and IT department are to be viewed in this context, as part of a continuing chain of abuse of state institutions to threaten, intimidate and try to silence every critic of the present government.”  

The signatories have reiterated that they “stand with Harsh Mander and with each person associated with the Centre for Equity Studies. The Constitution of India and the law of the land shall prevail, exposing these intimidatory tactics exactly for what they are – an abuse of state institutions to try and curtail all our rights.” 

The statement that has so far been signed by Aruna Roy, MKSS, Dr. Syeda Hameed, former member, Planning Commission of India,  Prof Jean Dreze, Economist, Prof. Apoorvanand, Teacher,  Indira Jaising, Senior Advocate, Dr. V Suresh, PUCL, General Secretary, Henri Tiphagne, People’s Watch, Kavita Krishnan, AIPWA General Secretary, Mihir Desai, Senior Advocate and PUCL, Teesta Setalvad, CJP, Shabnam Hashmi, Anhad, Annie Raja, General Secretary, NFIW, Farah Naqvi, Writer,  Nikhil Dey, MKSS, Gauhar Raza, Film Maker, Kavita Srivastava, PUCL, National Secretary,Lara Jesani, PUCL, Maharashtra,Mohammed Nadeem, UAH,  Brinelle D’Souza, Teacher, Father Cedric Prakash, Human Rights Worker, Anand Grover, Senior Advocate and many others.

Centre for Equity Studies issues statement

The Centre for Equity Studies (CES), called the ongoing Enforcement Directorate (ED) raids at its office as well as of the Children's Home named Umeed Ghar, and at Harsh Mander's residence a “continuation of harassment and coercion of CES and Harsh Mander for being an outspoken and passionate defender of human rights.”

The CES board released a press statement saying that “over the last several months, the organization has been subjected to raids, investigations, and inquiries by different government agencies including Delhi police, and NCPCR.” The CES stated that it has cooperated with every government agency and provided “all organisational details requested by the agencies including balance sheets and other financial and programmatic documents” adding that the “organisational documents and records have been submitted more than once to the government agencies.”  The CES stated that it is “committed to cooperating with the ongoing raid and will provide any information needed by the ED” but noted that it was “deeply distressing for the entire team of CES and this continued harassment has created hurdles in the path of our organisational vision of working for the poorest of the poor and most marginalized sections of society.”

 

Related:

2020 List of Honour: 10 Anti-CAA-NPR-NRC protesters vilified in Delhi

What is behind the synchronised Income Tax "survey" at NewsClick, Newslaundry? 

Tax raids unleashed on Dainik Bhaskar, Bharat Samachar media groups

Civil society stands in solidarity with Harsh Mander, CES

Leading activists, writers, lawyers, economists, teachers, filmmakers and intellectuals condemned the Enforcement Directorate raids on Harsh Mander

harsh

Leading activists, writers, lawyers, economists, teachers, filmmakers and intellectuals have strongly condemned the Enforcement Directorate (ED) raids on well known human rights activist and former IAS officer Harsh Mander’s home and offices on September 16. Their statement, which continues to gather scores of endorsements, has condemned the rains and stated it was done “to harass and intimidate a leading human rights and peace activist who has done nothing but work for peace and harmony, consistently upholding the highest moral standards of honesty and probity.” 

The raids are reportedly on-going, but the public statement confirmed that the “Income Tax (IT) department has simultaneously raided one of the children’s shelter homes run by an allied institution – Ummeed Aman Ghar in Mehrauli.” The raids were conducted just hours after Mander left for Berlin, Germany at the invitation of the Robert Bosch Academy to join them for the prestigious Richard Von Weizsacker Fellowship. The Robert Bosch Academy, founded in 2014 as an institution of the Robert Bosch Stiftung, offers international decision-makers, opinion leaders, and experts the opportunity for solution-oriented cooperation on issues of global relevance, added the statement.  

Civil society recalled in their statement that “over the past year, Harsh Mander and the CES have been subjected to continued harassment by multiple state agencies. The false and malicious allegations by the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) were definitively countered by the Delhi Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR), a statutory body, which has filed a strong affidavit in the Delhi High Court, putting an end to the false allegations against CES.” They added that the “CES has also been subjected to harassment by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW), and the IT department. All these vindictive efforts combined, have showed neither diversion of money nor any violation of the law. The current raids by the ED and IT department are to be viewed in this context, as part of a continuing chain of abuse of state institutions to threaten, intimidate and try to silence every critic of the present government.”  

The signatories have reiterated that they “stand with Harsh Mander and with each person associated with the Centre for Equity Studies. The Constitution of India and the law of the land shall prevail, exposing these intimidatory tactics exactly for what they are – an abuse of state institutions to try and curtail all our rights.” 

The statement that has so far been signed by Aruna Roy, MKSS, Dr. Syeda Hameed, former member, Planning Commission of India,  Prof Jean Dreze, Economist, Prof. Apoorvanand, Teacher,  Indira Jaising, Senior Advocate, Dr. V Suresh, PUCL, General Secretary, Henri Tiphagne, People’s Watch, Kavita Krishnan, AIPWA General Secretary, Mihir Desai, Senior Advocate and PUCL, Teesta Setalvad, CJP, Shabnam Hashmi, Anhad, Annie Raja, General Secretary, NFIW, Farah Naqvi, Writer,  Nikhil Dey, MKSS, Gauhar Raza, Film Maker, Kavita Srivastava, PUCL, National Secretary,Lara Jesani, PUCL, Maharashtra,Mohammed Nadeem, UAH,  Brinelle D’Souza, Teacher, Father Cedric Prakash, Human Rights Worker, Anand Grover, Senior Advocate and many others.

Centre for Equity Studies issues statement

The Centre for Equity Studies (CES), called the ongoing Enforcement Directorate (ED) raids at its office as well as of the Children's Home named Umeed Ghar, and at Harsh Mander's residence a “continuation of harassment and coercion of CES and Harsh Mander for being an outspoken and passionate defender of human rights.”

The CES board released a press statement saying that “over the last several months, the organization has been subjected to raids, investigations, and inquiries by different government agencies including Delhi police, and NCPCR.” The CES stated that it has cooperated with every government agency and provided “all organisational details requested by the agencies including balance sheets and other financial and programmatic documents” adding that the “organisational documents and records have been submitted more than once to the government agencies.”  The CES stated that it is “committed to cooperating with the ongoing raid and will provide any information needed by the ED” but noted that it was “deeply distressing for the entire team of CES and this continued harassment has created hurdles in the path of our organisational vision of working for the poorest of the poor and most marginalized sections of society.”

 

Related:

2020 List of Honour: 10 Anti-CAA-NPR-NRC protesters vilified in Delhi

What is behind the synchronised Income Tax "survey" at NewsClick, Newslaundry? 

Tax raids unleashed on Dainik Bhaskar, Bharat Samachar media groups

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Delhi violence: Jailed activist Gulfisha Fatima accuses Delhi Police of diversionary tactics

This comes in the backdrop of the prosecution raising the issue of maintainability of bail plea filed by co-accused Ishrat Jahan in the same case

16 Sep 2021

UAPAImage Courtesy:livelaw.in

Gulfisha Fatima, the student-activist booked under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, for her alleged role in the February 2020 violence has applied for regular bail before the district court in Delhi.

During her hearing today, on September 16, the Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat informed Fatima’s counsel Mehmood Pracha that the Delhi Police has challenged lawyer-activist and co-accused Ishrat Jahan’s bail application. Additional Public Prosecutor, Amit Prasad (appearing for Delhi Police) has argued before the court that Jahan’s bail application was not maintainable because it was filed under section 439 (Special powers of High Court or Court of Session regarding bail) of the Criminal Procedure Code whereas, the special court can only hear cases filed under section 437, which deals with the provisions of when bail matters may be taken up in case of a non-bailable offence.

Following this, co-accused Umar Khalid and Khalid Saifi, withdrew their bail pleas and filed fresh applications under section 437. Other accused persons, Meeran Haider and Shifa-ur-Rehman, have raised similar concerns before the court, whether they are expected to withdraw their pleas and file fresh ones.

In this backdrop, today the Indian Express reported that when the court informed Pracha about the developments, he argued, “When personal liberty is involved nomenclature is not important!” He accused the prosecution of indulging in diversionary tactics and said, “This Court has the power to take cognisance as a special court as well as the powers of a sessions court. Section 16(3) of NIA Act has the power under section 439 CrPC as well as other powers under CrPC.”

He added, “You [ASJ Amitabh Rawat] should take this seriously. Are you a session judge or a special judge for them now? How are they approaching you then? If they go into technicalities they will land in a big soup. How are they remembering now that you are a special judge?” He reportedly argued that the chargesheet in the case was filed before the court while exercising power as a sessions judge and not a special judge, and therefore, the Delhi Police was not in a position to approach the court by challenging maintainability at this the stage of regular bail.

In the last hearing of the UAPA case in FIR 59 of 2020, Judge Amitabh Rawat had said that he might have to adjudicate on this issue and rule whether a bail plea under UAPA can be filed under section 439 of CrPC or not. As we have previously reported in SabrangIndia, he had said, “I think they (prosecution) are going to take it. Whether or not it is written, since they have taken it in one case. The difficulty is that some co- accused have withdrawn 439 and filed fresh 437 [applications]….and some are agitating under section 439, so I will have to give a finding to avoid confusion, and this will keep angering the accused because what to do…”

Besides Mehmood Pracha, Umar Khalid and Ishrat Jahan’s lawyers have also accused the Delhi Police of delaying the trial without any basis. Advocate Pradeep Teotia, representing Jahan had argued that the Prosecution was deriving sadistic pleasure to keep her incarcerated in the case. Senior counsel Trideep Pais, on behalf of Umar Khalid had also said that the Police was using dilatory tactics against him.

Gulfisha’s bail application will now be taken up on September 18.

Related:

Delhi violence: What is happening in case involving the conspiracy FIR under UAPA?
Umar Khalid files fresh bail plea, opposes State’s “dilatory tactics”
State is deriving sadistic pleasure by extending custody period, its torture: Ishrat Jahan

Delhi violence: Jailed activist Gulfisha Fatima accuses Delhi Police of diversionary tactics

This comes in the backdrop of the prosecution raising the issue of maintainability of bail plea filed by co-accused Ishrat Jahan in the same case

UAPAImage Courtesy:livelaw.in

Gulfisha Fatima, the student-activist booked under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, for her alleged role in the February 2020 violence has applied for regular bail before the district court in Delhi.

During her hearing today, on September 16, the Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat informed Fatima’s counsel Mehmood Pracha that the Delhi Police has challenged lawyer-activist and co-accused Ishrat Jahan’s bail application. Additional Public Prosecutor, Amit Prasad (appearing for Delhi Police) has argued before the court that Jahan’s bail application was not maintainable because it was filed under section 439 (Special powers of High Court or Court of Session regarding bail) of the Criminal Procedure Code whereas, the special court can only hear cases filed under section 437, which deals with the provisions of when bail matters may be taken up in case of a non-bailable offence.

Following this, co-accused Umar Khalid and Khalid Saifi, withdrew their bail pleas and filed fresh applications under section 437. Other accused persons, Meeran Haider and Shifa-ur-Rehman, have raised similar concerns before the court, whether they are expected to withdraw their pleas and file fresh ones.

In this backdrop, today the Indian Express reported that when the court informed Pracha about the developments, he argued, “When personal liberty is involved nomenclature is not important!” He accused the prosecution of indulging in diversionary tactics and said, “This Court has the power to take cognisance as a special court as well as the powers of a sessions court. Section 16(3) of NIA Act has the power under section 439 CrPC as well as other powers under CrPC.”

He added, “You [ASJ Amitabh Rawat] should take this seriously. Are you a session judge or a special judge for them now? How are they approaching you then? If they go into technicalities they will land in a big soup. How are they remembering now that you are a special judge?” He reportedly argued that the chargesheet in the case was filed before the court while exercising power as a sessions judge and not a special judge, and therefore, the Delhi Police was not in a position to approach the court by challenging maintainability at this the stage of regular bail.

In the last hearing of the UAPA case in FIR 59 of 2020, Judge Amitabh Rawat had said that he might have to adjudicate on this issue and rule whether a bail plea under UAPA can be filed under section 439 of CrPC or not. As we have previously reported in SabrangIndia, he had said, “I think they (prosecution) are going to take it. Whether or not it is written, since they have taken it in one case. The difficulty is that some co- accused have withdrawn 439 and filed fresh 437 [applications]….and some are agitating under section 439, so I will have to give a finding to avoid confusion, and this will keep angering the accused because what to do…”

Besides Mehmood Pracha, Umar Khalid and Ishrat Jahan’s lawyers have also accused the Delhi Police of delaying the trial without any basis. Advocate Pradeep Teotia, representing Jahan had argued that the Prosecution was deriving sadistic pleasure to keep her incarcerated in the case. Senior counsel Trideep Pais, on behalf of Umar Khalid had also said that the Police was using dilatory tactics against him.

Gulfisha’s bail application will now be taken up on September 18.

Related:

Delhi violence: What is happening in case involving the conspiracy FIR under UAPA?
Umar Khalid files fresh bail plea, opposes State’s “dilatory tactics”
State is deriving sadistic pleasure by extending custody period, its torture: Ishrat Jahan

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Enforcement Directorate raids activist Harsh Mander’s home, orphanage, offices

Human Rights Activist and former IAS officer, Harsh Mander found himself in the regime’s crosshairs yet again with these raids early on Wednesday

16 Sep 2021

 Harsh Mander’s home and offices were raided b

Human Rights Activist and former IAS officer, Harsh Mander’s home and offices were raided by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday, September 16. The raids reportedly took place, just hours after Mander left for Germany along with his wife, for a fellowship at the Robert Bosch Academy in Berlin. He is the director of the Centre for Equity Studies (CES) whose offices in Adhchini are being raided along with the Manders’ Vasant Kunj residence and a Mehrauli based Children’s Home that he is associated with. 

According to a report in The Tribune, the ED has “registered a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) based on an FIR registered by the Delhi Police against Mander and an NGO, Equity Studies”. It was reported that when the raids began early in the morning, no one was at Mander’s house. 

Last year, Harsh Mander, had also been put under the scanner by the Delhi Police, as they suspected he was a part of the ‘conspiracy’, they believe was birthed during the anti-CAA protests, and this incited North East Delhi’s communal violence. Mander has often said this was the Police’s attempt to “criminalise, punish and crush '' one of the largest non-violent movements in Independent India, that the anti-CAA protests became. Clips of Mander’s speech outside the Jamia Millia Islamia University (JMIU) were used to accuse him of ‘denigrating the Supreme Court of India and inciting violence’. A case was filed against him with the Solicitor General of India, Tushar Mehta, presenting clipped versions of his speech to the SC.

 

 

Robert Bosch Academy website describes Mander as “a human rights and peace activist, writer, and lecturer.” He is well known as a human rights defender, and has worked extensively on campaigns for the displaced, labourers, and traveled across the country as a peace activist initiating dialogues on “secularism, peace, reconciliation and legal justice.” He an author, who received multiple accolades for his human rights work, describes himself simply as a :Human rights and peace worker, writer, columnist, researcher and teacher, works with survivors of mass violence, hunger, homeless persons and street children” 

This is a developing story and will be updated when more details are available. 

 

Related:

2020 List of Honour: 10 Anti-CAA-NPR-NRC protesters vilified in Delhi

What is behind the synchronised Income Tax "survey" at NewsClick, Newslaundry? 

Tax raids unleashed on Dainik Bhaskar, Bharat Samachar media groups

 

 

Enforcement Directorate raids activist Harsh Mander’s home, orphanage, offices

Human Rights Activist and former IAS officer, Harsh Mander found himself in the regime’s crosshairs yet again with these raids early on Wednesday

 Harsh Mander’s home and offices were raided b

Human Rights Activist and former IAS officer, Harsh Mander’s home and offices were raided by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday, September 16. The raids reportedly took place, just hours after Mander left for Germany along with his wife, for a fellowship at the Robert Bosch Academy in Berlin. He is the director of the Centre for Equity Studies (CES) whose offices in Adhchini are being raided along with the Manders’ Vasant Kunj residence and a Mehrauli based Children’s Home that he is associated with. 

According to a report in The Tribune, the ED has “registered a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) based on an FIR registered by the Delhi Police against Mander and an NGO, Equity Studies”. It was reported that when the raids began early in the morning, no one was at Mander’s house. 

Last year, Harsh Mander, had also been put under the scanner by the Delhi Police, as they suspected he was a part of the ‘conspiracy’, they believe was birthed during the anti-CAA protests, and this incited North East Delhi’s communal violence. Mander has often said this was the Police’s attempt to “criminalise, punish and crush '' one of the largest non-violent movements in Independent India, that the anti-CAA protests became. Clips of Mander’s speech outside the Jamia Millia Islamia University (JMIU) were used to accuse him of ‘denigrating the Supreme Court of India and inciting violence’. A case was filed against him with the Solicitor General of India, Tushar Mehta, presenting clipped versions of his speech to the SC.

 

 

Robert Bosch Academy website describes Mander as “a human rights and peace activist, writer, and lecturer.” He is well known as a human rights defender, and has worked extensively on campaigns for the displaced, labourers, and traveled across the country as a peace activist initiating dialogues on “secularism, peace, reconciliation and legal justice.” He an author, who received multiple accolades for his human rights work, describes himself simply as a :Human rights and peace worker, writer, columnist, researcher and teacher, works with survivors of mass violence, hunger, homeless persons and street children” 

This is a developing story and will be updated when more details are available. 

 

Related:

2020 List of Honour: 10 Anti-CAA-NPR-NRC protesters vilified in Delhi

What is behind the synchronised Income Tax "survey" at NewsClick, Newslaundry? 

Tax raids unleashed on Dainik Bhaskar, Bharat Samachar media groups

 

 

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Allahabad HC stays second suspension order against Dr. Kafeel Khan

In 2019, Khan was suspended for the second time while he was already under suspension following his arrest in 2017, after several children died due to oxygen disruption at the BRD Medical College Hospital

16 Sep 2021

Kafeel Khan

The Allahabad high court has stayed the Uttar Pradesh government’s decision of suspending Dr. Kafeel Khan for the second time in 2019 for allegedly misbehaving with the staff at Bahraich District Hospital.

In 2017, he was suspended for the first time and was accused of being responsible for the death of several children on the intervening night of August 10 and 11, 2017. This incident was apparently caused because the state-run BRD Medical College Hospital ran out of oxygen on the fateful night which led to the death of children being treated in the encephalitis ward, within a span of 48 hours. 

Khan approached the Allahabad high court in which he had assailed his suspension order on the ground that sufficient time had lapsed and the inquiry had not been concluded against him even after more than two years. He had also submitted that since he is already a suspended employee, there is no purpose of passing a second suspension order. There is no rule which permits the State Government to issue a fresh suspension order when the employee is already under suspension, he contended.

On September 9, Justice Saral Srivastava directed the government to conclude the probe related to the 2019 suspension within a month. The order read, “Until further orders of this Court, the operation of order dated 31.07.2019 passed by respondent no.2 shall remain stayed. However, it is directed the respondent no.2 to conclude enquiry against the petitioner within a period of one month.”

However, the Additional Chief Standing Counsel AK Goel, appearing for the government, told the court that the inquiry report against Khan was submitted on August 27, 2021, and a copy was sent to him a day later, on August 28. He also submitted that the disciplinary authority has inherent power to pass a second suspension order and, therefore, the order was in accordance with the law.

He was booked for criminal conspiracy, attempt to commit culpable homicide and criminal breach of trust by a public servant, and the UP police filed a chargesheet in November 2017. While in jail, Dr. Kafeel Khan wrote a letter alleging that he and others were being made “scapegoats” for an “administrative failure” at a higher level.

Khan was absolved of all charges by the departmental inquiry after spending seven months in jail. He was eventually granted bail by the Allahabad high court on April 25, 2018. The court observed that there was no material on record to establish medical negligence and neither was he involved in getting on board the supplier of medical oxygen to the hospital.

In 2020, he was arrested for delivering a provocative speech at the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) on December 12, 2019, against the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019. He was granted bail by the Allahabad high court on February 10, 2020, and he was to be released on February 13, 2020. But soon after, charges under the NSA were slapped against him and he continued to remain under detention.

On September 1, 2020, the high court granted his release while setting aside his detention order and observing that his speech was a call for unity and integrity and did not threaten peace and tranquillity in the city of Aligarh. The government challenged this order, appealing to the Supreme Court but in December last year, the top court refused to interfere with the high court’s decision calling it a “good order”.

In the present matter before the high court, Justice Saral has posted the matter for hearing on November 11.

The order may be read here: 

 

Related:

How the regime is hounding Human Rights Defender Dr. Kafeel Khan

Kafeel Khan’s speech does not disclose any effort to promote hatred or violence: Allahabad HC

Supreme Court upholds Allahabad HC’s order quashing Dr. Kafeel Khan’s detention

Allahabad HC quashes case against Dr Kafeel Khan for anti-CAA speech

Dr. Kafeel Khan arrested in Mumbai for remarks at anti-CAA rally in AMU

The Tragic Hero Of Gorakhpur Hopital Tragedy: Full Text Of Dr Kafeel Khan’s Letter

Allahabad HC stays second suspension order against Dr. Kafeel Khan

In 2019, Khan was suspended for the second time while he was already under suspension following his arrest in 2017, after several children died due to oxygen disruption at the BRD Medical College Hospital

Kafeel Khan

The Allahabad high court has stayed the Uttar Pradesh government’s decision of suspending Dr. Kafeel Khan for the second time in 2019 for allegedly misbehaving with the staff at Bahraich District Hospital.

In 2017, he was suspended for the first time and was accused of being responsible for the death of several children on the intervening night of August 10 and 11, 2017. This incident was apparently caused because the state-run BRD Medical College Hospital ran out of oxygen on the fateful night which led to the death of children being treated in the encephalitis ward, within a span of 48 hours. 

Khan approached the Allahabad high court in which he had assailed his suspension order on the ground that sufficient time had lapsed and the inquiry had not been concluded against him even after more than two years. He had also submitted that since he is already a suspended employee, there is no purpose of passing a second suspension order. There is no rule which permits the State Government to issue a fresh suspension order when the employee is already under suspension, he contended.

On September 9, Justice Saral Srivastava directed the government to conclude the probe related to the 2019 suspension within a month. The order read, “Until further orders of this Court, the operation of order dated 31.07.2019 passed by respondent no.2 shall remain stayed. However, it is directed the respondent no.2 to conclude enquiry against the petitioner within a period of one month.”

However, the Additional Chief Standing Counsel AK Goel, appearing for the government, told the court that the inquiry report against Khan was submitted on August 27, 2021, and a copy was sent to him a day later, on August 28. He also submitted that the disciplinary authority has inherent power to pass a second suspension order and, therefore, the order was in accordance with the law.

He was booked for criminal conspiracy, attempt to commit culpable homicide and criminal breach of trust by a public servant, and the UP police filed a chargesheet in November 2017. While in jail, Dr. Kafeel Khan wrote a letter alleging that he and others were being made “scapegoats” for an “administrative failure” at a higher level.

Khan was absolved of all charges by the departmental inquiry after spending seven months in jail. He was eventually granted bail by the Allahabad high court on April 25, 2018. The court observed that there was no material on record to establish medical negligence and neither was he involved in getting on board the supplier of medical oxygen to the hospital.

In 2020, he was arrested for delivering a provocative speech at the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) on December 12, 2019, against the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019. He was granted bail by the Allahabad high court on February 10, 2020, and he was to be released on February 13, 2020. But soon after, charges under the NSA were slapped against him and he continued to remain under detention.

On September 1, 2020, the high court granted his release while setting aside his detention order and observing that his speech was a call for unity and integrity and did not threaten peace and tranquillity in the city of Aligarh. The government challenged this order, appealing to the Supreme Court but in December last year, the top court refused to interfere with the high court’s decision calling it a “good order”.

In the present matter before the high court, Justice Saral has posted the matter for hearing on November 11.

The order may be read here: 

 

Related:

How the regime is hounding Human Rights Defender Dr. Kafeel Khan

Kafeel Khan’s speech does not disclose any effort to promote hatred or violence: Allahabad HC

Supreme Court upholds Allahabad HC’s order quashing Dr. Kafeel Khan’s detention

Allahabad HC quashes case against Dr Kafeel Khan for anti-CAA speech

Dr. Kafeel Khan arrested in Mumbai for remarks at anti-CAA rally in AMU

The Tragic Hero Of Gorakhpur Hopital Tragedy: Full Text Of Dr Kafeel Khan’s Letter

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