Skip to main content
Sabrang

Rule of Law

Sabrang

Farmer Navreet Singh’s death not due to gun-shot injury: Police to Delhi HC

The 25-year-old deceased farmer’s grandfather petitioned the court alleging that Navreet was shot dead by the Delhi Police

27 Feb 2021

Image Courtesy:timesofindia.indiatimes.com

The Delhi High Court has been informed that the death of  Navreet Singh, a 25-year-old protesting farmer,  during the tractor rally on Republic Day was not due to a gun-shot injury, but on account of shock and hemorrhage as a result of ante-mortem head injury, reported Bar & Bench.

The Single-judge Bench of Justice Yogesh Khanna had issued a notice to the State to file a status report on Navreet’s death on February 11. The Delhi Police had submitted before the court that it had “no hesitation” in sharing information/documents/electronic evidence collected.

According to Bar & Bench, on February 26, an affidavit was filed by the SHO, Police Station Bilaspur, Rampur, Uttar Pradesh, under whose jurisdiction the postmortem was conducted. It read, “…as per the opinion of the Panel of doctors conducting post-mortem, the cause of death of Navreet Singh is shock and hemorrhage as a result of ante-mortem head injury. The death is not due to any gunshot injury.”

On the issue of CCTV cameras from the site of the accident, the Delhi Police contended that the footage did not show any incriminating evidence against any police officer. The affidavit stated, “All the police as well as public witnesses have unequivocally stated that the death of Navreet was caused by the accident due to his dangerous driving as his tractor hit the barricade”, as per a B&B report.

Bar & Bench also said that the Delhi police blamed the fellow protesters who failed to assist in taking the injured to the hospital after his tractor overturned. “Two ambulances also reached the spot of accident but, the unruly and violent mob did not even allow them to take the injured to the hospital due to which timely medical aid was not provided”, the police’s report added.

The protesters, instead, started spreading rumours that the deceased was killed by the police in firing, alleged the Police. In the previous hearing on February 11, the petitioner, apprised the court that “injuries number 1 to 4 as stated in the post mortem report could only be caused by a bullet and not by an accident”.

The grandfather, through Advocate Vrinda Grover had also argued that there were many CCTV cameras installed near or at the spot of the incident, especially at Andhra Education Society and though the DVRs of such CCTV cameras have been seized by the Delhi Police, the footage had not been shared.

The matter will now be heard on March 4.

Related:

Farmer’s death on R Day: Delhi HC seeks status report from Police
Ensure safety of protesting farmers, stop propaganda against Sikhs: Plea in SC
Gov't will not compensate families of farmers who died during protests: MHA

Farmer Navreet Singh’s death not due to gun-shot injury: Police to Delhi HC

The 25-year-old deceased farmer’s grandfather petitioned the court alleging that Navreet was shot dead by the Delhi Police

Image Courtesy:timesofindia.indiatimes.com

The Delhi High Court has been informed that the death of  Navreet Singh, a 25-year-old protesting farmer,  during the tractor rally on Republic Day was not due to a gun-shot injury, but on account of shock and hemorrhage as a result of ante-mortem head injury, reported Bar & Bench.

The Single-judge Bench of Justice Yogesh Khanna had issued a notice to the State to file a status report on Navreet’s death on February 11. The Delhi Police had submitted before the court that it had “no hesitation” in sharing information/documents/electronic evidence collected.

According to Bar & Bench, on February 26, an affidavit was filed by the SHO, Police Station Bilaspur, Rampur, Uttar Pradesh, under whose jurisdiction the postmortem was conducted. It read, “…as per the opinion of the Panel of doctors conducting post-mortem, the cause of death of Navreet Singh is shock and hemorrhage as a result of ante-mortem head injury. The death is not due to any gunshot injury.”

On the issue of CCTV cameras from the site of the accident, the Delhi Police contended that the footage did not show any incriminating evidence against any police officer. The affidavit stated, “All the police as well as public witnesses have unequivocally stated that the death of Navreet was caused by the accident due to his dangerous driving as his tractor hit the barricade”, as per a B&B report.

Bar & Bench also said that the Delhi police blamed the fellow protesters who failed to assist in taking the injured to the hospital after his tractor overturned. “Two ambulances also reached the spot of accident but, the unruly and violent mob did not even allow them to take the injured to the hospital due to which timely medical aid was not provided”, the police’s report added.

The protesters, instead, started spreading rumours that the deceased was killed by the police in firing, alleged the Police. In the previous hearing on February 11, the petitioner, apprised the court that “injuries number 1 to 4 as stated in the post mortem report could only be caused by a bullet and not by an accident”.

The grandfather, through Advocate Vrinda Grover had also argued that there were many CCTV cameras installed near or at the spot of the incident, especially at Andhra Education Society and though the DVRs of such CCTV cameras have been seized by the Delhi Police, the footage had not been shared.

The matter will now be heard on March 4.

Related:

Farmer’s death on R Day: Delhi HC seeks status report from Police
Ensure safety of protesting farmers, stop propaganda against Sikhs: Plea in SC
Gov't will not compensate families of farmers who died during protests: MHA

Related Articles


Theme

Campaigns

Videos

Archives

IN FACT

Podcasts

Podcasts

Podcasts

Analysis

Archives

Podcasts

Sabrang

Attorney General denies consent for contempt case against former CJI Ranjan Gogoi

AG Venugopal observed that even though Justice Gogoi made some strong statements, it was for the good of the institution

27 Feb 2021

Image Courtesy:english.varthabharati.in

Attorney General KK Venugopal has refused to grant sanction to initiate contempt proceedings against former Chief Justice of India and Rajya Sabha member Ranjan Gogoi, for his statements against the judiciary, reported Bar & Bench.

The AG has said that it is true that the former CJI did make some strong statements about the judiciary and the Supreme Court of India, and “the statements apparently reflect his deep frustration with the ills that undoubtedly beset the judicial system”, tweeted Saket Gokhale who sought the initiation of contempt proceedings against Ranjan Gogoi.

AG Venugopal further said, “I had the occasion to watch the entirety of the interview. It is obvious that all that has been said was for the good of the institution and will not in any manner scandalise the court or lower its authority in the eyes of the public.”

On February 23, the RTI activist Gokhale had posted on his Twitter account that he had written to the Attorney General of India to bring to his notice the alleged insulting remarks made by the former CJI against the top court.

In a conclave event organised by India Today on February 12, Ranjan Gogoi had made the following statements, that were laid down by Gokhale in his letter to the Attorney General:

“You want a 5 trillion-dollar economy, but you have a ramshackled judiciary.”

“If you were to go to court, you'd only be washing your dirty linen in court. You won't get a verdict. I have no hesitation in saying it.”

“Only corporations willing to take chances with their millions of rupees go to the Supreme Court.”

“What is your opinion of the judiciary? Not very positive.”

“The judicial system has not worked for more reason than one.”

“Unfortunately, there are many judges succumbing to criticism made in the media.”

In the letter, Saket Gokhale also stated that the precedent established set by the office, against comedian Kunal Kamra and cartoonist Rachita Taneja is a “benchmark for what constitutes contempt of court in your (KK Venugopal) opinion.” Hence, he was requested to take into account Justice Gogoi’s statements that were “far more contemptuous in their degree and seriousness in scandalising the supreme court” than some innocuous tweets.

Related:

Public’s faith in judiciary is founded on its own actions, not criticism: Kunal Kamra to SC
SC issues contempt notices to Rachita Taneja and Kunal Kamra
Stand up comic Kunal Kamra faces contempt charges for tweets

Attorney General denies consent for contempt case against former CJI Ranjan Gogoi

AG Venugopal observed that even though Justice Gogoi made some strong statements, it was for the good of the institution

Image Courtesy:english.varthabharati.in

Attorney General KK Venugopal has refused to grant sanction to initiate contempt proceedings against former Chief Justice of India and Rajya Sabha member Ranjan Gogoi, for his statements against the judiciary, reported Bar & Bench.

The AG has said that it is true that the former CJI did make some strong statements about the judiciary and the Supreme Court of India, and “the statements apparently reflect his deep frustration with the ills that undoubtedly beset the judicial system”, tweeted Saket Gokhale who sought the initiation of contempt proceedings against Ranjan Gogoi.

AG Venugopal further said, “I had the occasion to watch the entirety of the interview. It is obvious that all that has been said was for the good of the institution and will not in any manner scandalise the court or lower its authority in the eyes of the public.”

On February 23, the RTI activist Gokhale had posted on his Twitter account that he had written to the Attorney General of India to bring to his notice the alleged insulting remarks made by the former CJI against the top court.

In a conclave event organised by India Today on February 12, Ranjan Gogoi had made the following statements, that were laid down by Gokhale in his letter to the Attorney General:

“You want a 5 trillion-dollar economy, but you have a ramshackled judiciary.”

“If you were to go to court, you'd only be washing your dirty linen in court. You won't get a verdict. I have no hesitation in saying it.”

“Only corporations willing to take chances with their millions of rupees go to the Supreme Court.”

“What is your opinion of the judiciary? Not very positive.”

“The judicial system has not worked for more reason than one.”

“Unfortunately, there are many judges succumbing to criticism made in the media.”

In the letter, Saket Gokhale also stated that the precedent established set by the office, against comedian Kunal Kamra and cartoonist Rachita Taneja is a “benchmark for what constitutes contempt of court in your (KK Venugopal) opinion.” Hence, he was requested to take into account Justice Gogoi’s statements that were “far more contemptuous in their degree and seriousness in scandalising the supreme court” than some innocuous tweets.

Related:

Public’s faith in judiciary is founded on its own actions, not criticism: Kunal Kamra to SC
SC issues contempt notices to Rachita Taneja and Kunal Kamra
Stand up comic Kunal Kamra faces contempt charges for tweets

Related Articles


Theme

Campaigns

Videos

Archives

IN FACT

Podcasts

Podcasts

Podcasts

Analysis

Archives

Podcasts

Sabrang

Madras HC refuses to quash case against DMK secretary for casteist remarks

RS Bharathi had insulted Scheduled Caste/Tribe judges by stating that they were appointed at the “alms” rendered by the DMK party

27 Feb 2021

madars HC

The Madras High Court has declined to quash criminal proceedings initiated against RS Bharathi, the organising secretary of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) for his speech made last year, in which he had allegedly made disrespectful comments against members of Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes (SC/ST) as well as SC/ST High Court Judges.

The prosecution had alleged that the petitioner had organised an event in which he and the other leaders of the party had addressed the audience of more than 100 numbers consisting of party members, the media and general public. The accused RS Bharati had made disrespectful remarks against the members of the oppressed class stating that the appointment of Justice A.Varadharajan, who belongs to a so-called "lower" caste, and other eight appointments of lower caste judges of High Court, were at “the alms rendered by the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.”

In the same event, he also drew parallels with Madhya Pradesh High Court which had no “harijan” judges whereas in Tamil Nadu, “7 or 8 members of the Schedule Caste were made as High Court Judges by the alms rendered by the Dravidian Progressive Federation.”

Court’s observations

Taking his comments on record, Justice N. Sathish Kumar said, “When the allegations put against the accused carefully perused, the remarks made by the accused prima facie show that he has remarked that the people, except in Tamil Nadu, are idiots.”

With regards to the statements made for Justice Varadharajan and eight other so-called "lower" caste judges who were appointed at the alms rendered by the DMK, the court held that, “The statements prima facie indicates the allegations targeted against Scheduled Caste. This Court restrains itself from expressing any views as to whether such utterance attracts the offence or not.”

Justice Kumar also observed that such a statement “leads inference as if except the alms rendered by the Dravidian Progressive Federation, the members from Scheduled Caste would not have become a Judge of the High Court. It is nothing but a humiliation and insult to the oppressed community. The entire statements made by the person are not in good taste. On the other hand, under the guise of freedom guaranteed under the Constitution, the persons claiming to be public leaders are spitting venom against opponents. It has become routine affairs. Such debate is not good for society or the younger generation. The leaders are required to engage with an intellectual debate and not on personal grudge.”

Hence, the court decided to not quash any criminal proceedings against Bharathi as his remarks have been made in public view and not only against the persons holding high posts but also some other retired Judges stating that they have become judges only at the alms rendered by the Dravidian Progressive Federation, “which prima facie insult and humiliate such people.”

The order may be read here:

Related:

SC issues notice in plea seeking caste-based census in 2021

Delhi court directs FIR against caste-abusive terms in DSSSB questions paper

Rajasthan Govt amends Prison rules to prohibit religion & caste-based discrimination

Caste-igated: How Indians use casteist slurs to dehumanise each other

 

Madras HC refuses to quash case against DMK secretary for casteist remarks

RS Bharathi had insulted Scheduled Caste/Tribe judges by stating that they were appointed at the “alms” rendered by the DMK party

madars HC

The Madras High Court has declined to quash criminal proceedings initiated against RS Bharathi, the organising secretary of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) for his speech made last year, in which he had allegedly made disrespectful comments against members of Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes (SC/ST) as well as SC/ST High Court Judges.

The prosecution had alleged that the petitioner had organised an event in which he and the other leaders of the party had addressed the audience of more than 100 numbers consisting of party members, the media and general public. The accused RS Bharati had made disrespectful remarks against the members of the oppressed class stating that the appointment of Justice A.Varadharajan, who belongs to a so-called "lower" caste, and other eight appointments of lower caste judges of High Court, were at “the alms rendered by the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.”

In the same event, he also drew parallels with Madhya Pradesh High Court which had no “harijan” judges whereas in Tamil Nadu, “7 or 8 members of the Schedule Caste were made as High Court Judges by the alms rendered by the Dravidian Progressive Federation.”

Court’s observations

Taking his comments on record, Justice N. Sathish Kumar said, “When the allegations put against the accused carefully perused, the remarks made by the accused prima facie show that he has remarked that the people, except in Tamil Nadu, are idiots.”

With regards to the statements made for Justice Varadharajan and eight other so-called "lower" caste judges who were appointed at the alms rendered by the DMK, the court held that, “The statements prima facie indicates the allegations targeted against Scheduled Caste. This Court restrains itself from expressing any views as to whether such utterance attracts the offence or not.”

Justice Kumar also observed that such a statement “leads inference as if except the alms rendered by the Dravidian Progressive Federation, the members from Scheduled Caste would not have become a Judge of the High Court. It is nothing but a humiliation and insult to the oppressed community. The entire statements made by the person are not in good taste. On the other hand, under the guise of freedom guaranteed under the Constitution, the persons claiming to be public leaders are spitting venom against opponents. It has become routine affairs. Such debate is not good for society or the younger generation. The leaders are required to engage with an intellectual debate and not on personal grudge.”

Hence, the court decided to not quash any criminal proceedings against Bharathi as his remarks have been made in public view and not only against the persons holding high posts but also some other retired Judges stating that they have become judges only at the alms rendered by the Dravidian Progressive Federation, “which prima facie insult and humiliate such people.”

The order may be read here:

Related:

SC issues notice in plea seeking caste-based census in 2021

Delhi court directs FIR against caste-abusive terms in DSSSB questions paper

Rajasthan Govt amends Prison rules to prohibit religion & caste-based discrimination

Caste-igated: How Indians use casteist slurs to dehumanise each other

 

Related Articles


Theme

Campaigns

Videos

Archives

IN FACT

Podcasts

Podcasts

Podcasts

Analysis

Archives

Podcasts

Sabrang

Government hospital to compensate for unforeseen death and injury: Madras HC  

The court directed a government hospital to compensate an aggrieved Dalit family, albeit it was not a case of medical negligence

27 Feb 2021

Madras High Court

Justice GR Swaminathan of the Madras High Court has held that the Government is obligated to offer ex gratia payment to an aggrieved party if an injury or death is caused, that is not anticipated in the normal course of nature.

The court directed the State of Tamil Nadu to pay rupees five lakhs to the family of a Dalit girl who died in 2016 after complications from the anesthesia admitted to her before a tonsil surgery.

The petitioner in this case had submitted that his daughter (the deceased) was suffering from tonsil related disease and was admitted in a government hospital for surgery. For preparing the child for surgery, anesthesia was administered but she developed some complications and was shifted to Rajaji Government Hospital, Madurai. Eventually, she went into a coma and passed away in July, 2016.

The petitioner alleged that the death of his child was purely due to medical negligence on part of the hospital and the anesthetist, and filed a writ petition demanding payment of compensation.

Court’s observations

The High Court noted that a drug by the name Propofol was administered to the child which “is not an intrinsically dangerous drug and it is very much administered to children above 3 years of age.”

There was also nothing on record to indicate that she had any mitochondrial disease which was omitted to be noticed by the doctors that could cause any complication. Justice Swaminathan reportedly said, “There are always instances when a drug does not accord with the body of the patient and that leads to unfortunate complications. The case on hand appears to be one such. Therefore, I do not find any ground to hold that the respondent anesthetists have committed any act of medical negligence.”

As the court established that there was no medical negligence, it said that there was no doubt or question about compensation. He narrated the ordeal of the petitioner’s child who “should have been discharged after successfully conducting surgery. But what the petitioner got was only the dead body of her child. Neither the petitioner nor her child was at fault.”

It further held, “When a patient is admitted in a government hospital for treatment and he/she suffers any injury or death which is not anticipated to occur in the normal course of events, even in the absence of medical negligence, the government is obliged to disburse ex gratia to the affected party. In the case on hand, liability has to be fastened on the government.”

The Court registered that Tamil Nadu has created a corpus fund toward which every Government doctor contributes a certain sum of money, and accordingly directed for the compensation of rupees 5 lakhs to be paid to the petitioner from this fund within a period of eight weeks from the date of receipt of copy of the instant order.

The judgment may be read here:

 

Related:

Jharkhand HC takes suo motu cognisance of burn victim's death

Shrey Hospital Fire: Four months on, no evidence yet!

Another fatal inferno in Gujarat Covid hospital!

Medical negligence, apathy and ostracisation kill more than Covid-19

Government hospital to compensate for unforeseen death and injury: Madras HC  

The court directed a government hospital to compensate an aggrieved Dalit family, albeit it was not a case of medical negligence

Madras High Court

Justice GR Swaminathan of the Madras High Court has held that the Government is obligated to offer ex gratia payment to an aggrieved party if an injury or death is caused, that is not anticipated in the normal course of nature.

The court directed the State of Tamil Nadu to pay rupees five lakhs to the family of a Dalit girl who died in 2016 after complications from the anesthesia admitted to her before a tonsil surgery.

The petitioner in this case had submitted that his daughter (the deceased) was suffering from tonsil related disease and was admitted in a government hospital for surgery. For preparing the child for surgery, anesthesia was administered but she developed some complications and was shifted to Rajaji Government Hospital, Madurai. Eventually, she went into a coma and passed away in July, 2016.

The petitioner alleged that the death of his child was purely due to medical negligence on part of the hospital and the anesthetist, and filed a writ petition demanding payment of compensation.

Court’s observations

The High Court noted that a drug by the name Propofol was administered to the child which “is not an intrinsically dangerous drug and it is very much administered to children above 3 years of age.”

There was also nothing on record to indicate that she had any mitochondrial disease which was omitted to be noticed by the doctors that could cause any complication. Justice Swaminathan reportedly said, “There are always instances when a drug does not accord with the body of the patient and that leads to unfortunate complications. The case on hand appears to be one such. Therefore, I do not find any ground to hold that the respondent anesthetists have committed any act of medical negligence.”

As the court established that there was no medical negligence, it said that there was no doubt or question about compensation. He narrated the ordeal of the petitioner’s child who “should have been discharged after successfully conducting surgery. But what the petitioner got was only the dead body of her child. Neither the petitioner nor her child was at fault.”

It further held, “When a patient is admitted in a government hospital for treatment and he/she suffers any injury or death which is not anticipated to occur in the normal course of events, even in the absence of medical negligence, the government is obliged to disburse ex gratia to the affected party. In the case on hand, liability has to be fastened on the government.”

The Court registered that Tamil Nadu has created a corpus fund toward which every Government doctor contributes a certain sum of money, and accordingly directed for the compensation of rupees 5 lakhs to be paid to the petitioner from this fund within a period of eight weeks from the date of receipt of copy of the instant order.

The judgment may be read here:

 

Related:

Jharkhand HC takes suo motu cognisance of burn victim's death

Shrey Hospital Fire: Four months on, no evidence yet!

Another fatal inferno in Gujarat Covid hospital!

Medical negligence, apathy and ostracisation kill more than Covid-19

Related Articles


Theme

Campaigns

Videos

Archives

IN FACT

Podcasts

Podcasts

Podcasts

Analysis

Archives

Podcasts

Sabrang

Munawar Faruqui case: Co accused Sadakat Khan and Nalin Yadav get bail

MP High Court grants interim bail in light of the top court’s bail order of comedian Munawar Faruqui

27 Feb 2021

Image Courtesy:barandbench.com

The Madhya Pradesh High Court granted interim bail to Nalin Yadav and Sadakat Khan, who were arrested with comedian Munawar Faruqui by Indore Police in connection with an FIR against them for allegedly hurting religious sentiments.

The Single-judge Bench of Justice Rohit Arya referred to the Supreme Court order that granted bail to Munawar Faruqui on February 5. The High Court order read, “The applicant is held entitled for temporary bail maintaining parity in the light of the order dated 05/02/2021 passed by the Hon'ble Supreme Court in Writ Petition (s) (criminal) No(s). 62/2021 and SLP (cri.) No. 1045 of 2021 (supra) and this court in M.Cr.C Nos. 4562/21 and 3345/2021.”

According to Bar & Bench, the District and Sessions court at Indore had rejected the bail application moved by Sadakat Khan, who has been in custody since January 1, 2021.

The case

Comedian Munawar Faruqui, along with Sadakat, Nalin, Edwin Anthony, Prakhar Vyas and Priyam Vyas were arrested by Indore Police in the middle of a stand-up show on the basis of an FIR filed by Eklavya Singh Gaur, son of a local BJP legislator Malini Laxman Singh Gaur for allegedly making indecent remarks against Hindu deities and against Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

All six were booked under sections 295A (deliberate act to outrage religious feelings of a group), 298 (deliberate intention of wounding the religious feelings of any person), 269 (unlawful and negligent act to spread an infectious disease), 188 (disobey order of a public servant) and 34 (act done in furtherance of a common intention) of the Indian Penal Code. 

Faruqui’s bail was rejected twice by district courts and once by the High Court. Finally, after over one month of incarceration, the Supreme court granted him bail and also stayed the Uttar Pradesh production warrant issued against him in an old case. The top court had observed that the arrest guidelines were also not followed in this case. The order read:

“The learned counsel has pointed out to us that quite apart from the fact that the allegations made in the FIR are vague that the procedure contained in Section 41 Cr.PC. as adumbrated by our Judgment in “Arnesh Kumar Vs. State of Bihar & Anr.”, reported in (2014) 8 SCC 273, has not been followed before arresting the petitioner. This being the case, we issue notice in both the petitions, and stay the Judgment of the High Court. The petitioner is released on ad-interim bail on conditions to the satisfaction of the trial court.”

Subsequently, in the light of this order, co-accused Prakhar Vyas and Edwin Anthony were granted bail by the Madhya Pradesh High Court on February 12 and Priyam Vyas has also been released by a juvenile court.

The order may be read here: 

Related:

Stand-up comic Faruqui Munawar’s custody extended by two weeks
Sessions court denies bail to stand-up comic held for 'insulting' Hindu deities
BREAKING: Madhya Pradesh HC rejects comedian Munawar Faruqui’s bail plea
Breaking: SC grants ad interim bail to comedian Munawar Faruqui
Two of Munawar Faruqui's co-accused get ad-interim bail, two more remain in jail

Munawar Faruqui case: Co accused Sadakat Khan and Nalin Yadav get bail

MP High Court grants interim bail in light of the top court’s bail order of comedian Munawar Faruqui

Image Courtesy:barandbench.com

The Madhya Pradesh High Court granted interim bail to Nalin Yadav and Sadakat Khan, who were arrested with comedian Munawar Faruqui by Indore Police in connection with an FIR against them for allegedly hurting religious sentiments.

The Single-judge Bench of Justice Rohit Arya referred to the Supreme Court order that granted bail to Munawar Faruqui on February 5. The High Court order read, “The applicant is held entitled for temporary bail maintaining parity in the light of the order dated 05/02/2021 passed by the Hon'ble Supreme Court in Writ Petition (s) (criminal) No(s). 62/2021 and SLP (cri.) No. 1045 of 2021 (supra) and this court in M.Cr.C Nos. 4562/21 and 3345/2021.”

According to Bar & Bench, the District and Sessions court at Indore had rejected the bail application moved by Sadakat Khan, who has been in custody since January 1, 2021.

The case

Comedian Munawar Faruqui, along with Sadakat, Nalin, Edwin Anthony, Prakhar Vyas and Priyam Vyas were arrested by Indore Police in the middle of a stand-up show on the basis of an FIR filed by Eklavya Singh Gaur, son of a local BJP legislator Malini Laxman Singh Gaur for allegedly making indecent remarks against Hindu deities and against Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

All six were booked under sections 295A (deliberate act to outrage religious feelings of a group), 298 (deliberate intention of wounding the religious feelings of any person), 269 (unlawful and negligent act to spread an infectious disease), 188 (disobey order of a public servant) and 34 (act done in furtherance of a common intention) of the Indian Penal Code. 

Faruqui’s bail was rejected twice by district courts and once by the High Court. Finally, after over one month of incarceration, the Supreme court granted him bail and also stayed the Uttar Pradesh production warrant issued against him in an old case. The top court had observed that the arrest guidelines were also not followed in this case. The order read:

“The learned counsel has pointed out to us that quite apart from the fact that the allegations made in the FIR are vague that the procedure contained in Section 41 Cr.PC. as adumbrated by our Judgment in “Arnesh Kumar Vs. State of Bihar & Anr.”, reported in (2014) 8 SCC 273, has not been followed before arresting the petitioner. This being the case, we issue notice in both the petitions, and stay the Judgment of the High Court. The petitioner is released on ad-interim bail on conditions to the satisfaction of the trial court.”

Subsequently, in the light of this order, co-accused Prakhar Vyas and Edwin Anthony were granted bail by the Madhya Pradesh High Court on February 12 and Priyam Vyas has also been released by a juvenile court.

The order may be read here: 

Related:

Stand-up comic Faruqui Munawar’s custody extended by two weeks
Sessions court denies bail to stand-up comic held for 'insulting' Hindu deities
BREAKING: Madhya Pradesh HC rejects comedian Munawar Faruqui’s bail plea
Breaking: SC grants ad interim bail to comedian Munawar Faruqui
Two of Munawar Faruqui's co-accused get ad-interim bail, two more remain in jail

Related Articles


Theme

Campaigns

Videos

Archives

IN FACT

Podcasts

Podcasts

Podcasts

Analysis

Archives

Podcasts

Sabrang

SC issues notice in plea seeking caste-based census in 2021

The last caste-based census was held in 1931, and the reservations for OBCs was decided on the data

27 Feb 2021

Caste
Representational Image.


The Supreme Court has issued notice to the government on a petition seeking caste-based census in 2021. The plea filed by one G Mallesh Yadav has sought directions to be issued to the Ministry of Home Affairs, Department of Social Justice and Empowerment, and the National Commission of Backward Classes (NCBC) for conducting a caste-wise census for backward classes in 2021.

As per LiveLaw, the petitioner has argued that the caste-wise census of backward classes has an imperative role in implementing reservations regarding education, employment sectors, panchayat raj elections and municipal elections and lack of such census creates problems in deciding the percentage of reservations for backward classes proportionate to their population. The plea states that a proforma of 2021 population census has columns for Scheduled castes and Scheduled Tribes but not for OBCs.

The plea refers to the Rohini Commission of 2017, which was set up to make recommendations for the benefit of marginalised communities in the existing OBCs but the Commission has sought extension nine times until now.

The caste census debate

The last caste-based census was held in 1931, and discontinued after independence. But a need for caste census was felt against and in 1961 a caste survey was conducted only including SC and STs, excluding the OBCs. In 2011 the Manmohan Singh government included caste in the census but the report has been withheld ever since.

The Rohini Commission has proposed to divide the 27% reservation for the castes on the Central list into four sub-categories.

Justice Vangala Eswaraiah, Former NCBC chairman whose tenure ended in 2016, has said that if the government wants to sub-categorise the OBCs in order to give them justice, it should either publicise the data of Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC)-2011 or it should conduct a caste census. He terms the sub-categorisation, proposed by the Rohini Commission as “un-scientific, atrocious and illegal”, Indian Express reported.

In December 2020, Tamil Nadu government appointed a Commission headed by former High Court judge A Kulasekaran to go into the modalities on the gathering of quantifiable data for a caste census.

Karnataka had conducted a Social and Education Survey in 2015 when Siddaramaiah was the Chief Minister but that report has also not been publicly released. As per a Deccan Herald report, the survey, which was partially leaked, but never officially released, reveals that SC/STs, Muslims and Kurubas now constitute close to 50% of the population and outnumber Lingayats and Vokkaligas, who have dominated the political scene in the state by the virtue of their perceived numbers. Recently, some BJP members in the state put pressure on the government to immediately release the survey report. “Powerful upper-caste communities carry out rallies demanding fulfilment of their demands. But some backward communities do not even know how many of them live in the State and where. I demand that the government release the report and come clean with its stand on the issue,” KP Nanjundi said.

Sociologist Satish Deshpande in an interview with IndiaSpend with was reported by Scroll Has emphasised the importance of caste-based census, “For example, [data about] the OBC category does not tell us about the population of the various, different castes that constitute this category in different regions/states. If we had this data, then meaningful aggregates could be put together in a region-specific manner, leading to more useful information. This is far more valuable than very large aggregations such as “OBC” that conceal many differences within a cluster without the opportunity to disaggregate.”

Hindustan Times report favouring caste-based census has justified the need for the same stating that only about 100 affluent communities among the more than 2,633 OBCs have gained most from the 27% OBC reservation. The reservation was implemented on the basis of the 1931 caste census, which found 52% of Indians were OBC and the government adopted the Mandal Commission recommendation to provide the 27% reservation, the report states.

Related:

Over 1.3 lakh illiterate, 1 lakh Dalit prisoners in India: Centre to RS

AIFRTE slams Centre for suggesting scrapping reservation in IIT faculty recruitment

Delhi court directs FIR against caste-abusive terms in DSSSB questions paper

SC issues notice in plea seeking caste-based census in 2021

The last caste-based census was held in 1931, and the reservations for OBCs was decided on the data

Caste
Representational Image.


The Supreme Court has issued notice to the government on a petition seeking caste-based census in 2021. The plea filed by one G Mallesh Yadav has sought directions to be issued to the Ministry of Home Affairs, Department of Social Justice and Empowerment, and the National Commission of Backward Classes (NCBC) for conducting a caste-wise census for backward classes in 2021.

As per LiveLaw, the petitioner has argued that the caste-wise census of backward classes has an imperative role in implementing reservations regarding education, employment sectors, panchayat raj elections and municipal elections and lack of such census creates problems in deciding the percentage of reservations for backward classes proportionate to their population. The plea states that a proforma of 2021 population census has columns for Scheduled castes and Scheduled Tribes but not for OBCs.

The plea refers to the Rohini Commission of 2017, which was set up to make recommendations for the benefit of marginalised communities in the existing OBCs but the Commission has sought extension nine times until now.

The caste census debate

The last caste-based census was held in 1931, and discontinued after independence. But a need for caste census was felt against and in 1961 a caste survey was conducted only including SC and STs, excluding the OBCs. In 2011 the Manmohan Singh government included caste in the census but the report has been withheld ever since.

The Rohini Commission has proposed to divide the 27% reservation for the castes on the Central list into four sub-categories.

Justice Vangala Eswaraiah, Former NCBC chairman whose tenure ended in 2016, has said that if the government wants to sub-categorise the OBCs in order to give them justice, it should either publicise the data of Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC)-2011 or it should conduct a caste census. He terms the sub-categorisation, proposed by the Rohini Commission as “un-scientific, atrocious and illegal”, Indian Express reported.

In December 2020, Tamil Nadu government appointed a Commission headed by former High Court judge A Kulasekaran to go into the modalities on the gathering of quantifiable data for a caste census.

Karnataka had conducted a Social and Education Survey in 2015 when Siddaramaiah was the Chief Minister but that report has also not been publicly released. As per a Deccan Herald report, the survey, which was partially leaked, but never officially released, reveals that SC/STs, Muslims and Kurubas now constitute close to 50% of the population and outnumber Lingayats and Vokkaligas, who have dominated the political scene in the state by the virtue of their perceived numbers. Recently, some BJP members in the state put pressure on the government to immediately release the survey report. “Powerful upper-caste communities carry out rallies demanding fulfilment of their demands. But some backward communities do not even know how many of them live in the State and where. I demand that the government release the report and come clean with its stand on the issue,” KP Nanjundi said.

Sociologist Satish Deshpande in an interview with IndiaSpend with was reported by Scroll Has emphasised the importance of caste-based census, “For example, [data about] the OBC category does not tell us about the population of the various, different castes that constitute this category in different regions/states. If we had this data, then meaningful aggregates could be put together in a region-specific manner, leading to more useful information. This is far more valuable than very large aggregations such as “OBC” that conceal many differences within a cluster without the opportunity to disaggregate.”

Hindustan Times report favouring caste-based census has justified the need for the same stating that only about 100 affluent communities among the more than 2,633 OBCs have gained most from the 27% OBC reservation. The reservation was implemented on the basis of the 1931 caste census, which found 52% of Indians were OBC and the government adopted the Mandal Commission recommendation to provide the 27% reservation, the report states.

Related:

Over 1.3 lakh illiterate, 1 lakh Dalit prisoners in India: Centre to RS

AIFRTE slams Centre for suggesting scrapping reservation in IIT faculty recruitment

Delhi court directs FIR against caste-abusive terms in DSSSB questions paper

Related Articles


Theme

Campaigns

Videos

Archives

IN FACT

Podcasts

Podcasts

Podcasts

Analysis

Archives

Podcasts

Sabrang

Bombay HC acquits death row POCSO convict due to shoddy investigation

The court also directed the Directorate of Prosecution, to initiate action against those responsible failure to get the forensics lab reports

26 Feb 2021

Image Courtesy:freepressjournal.in

The Aurangabad Bench of Bombay High Court recently acquitted a death row convict in a POCSO case taking exception to the “insensitive manner in which prosecution investigated the crime, collected evidence and conducted the trial.”

The High Court was hearing an appeal filed by a man accused of rape, murder under the Indian Penal Code along with aggravated penetrative sexual assault under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012. The Sessions Court had awarded him the death sentence in 2017.

A Bench of Justices Ravindra V Ghuge and BU Debadwar also issued directions to the Directorate of Prosecution, Maharashtra, to initiate action against those responsible for loss of material evidence and non-examination of material witnesses. 

Observing that the prosecution was irresponsible in collecting key evidence, the court said, “It is unfortunate that such amount of hard work is met with an order of acquittal at our unfortunate hands only because the prosecution has not collected evidence and has not even taken efforts to get a result from the Forensic Science Laboratory as regards the nylon string C-1 and E.”

The Additional Sessions Judge also drew some sharp criticism from the High Court Bench for sentencing the accused to death. The Bench said, “We are equally surprised by the manner in which the learned Additional Sessions Judge (Special Judge), Gangakhed, Dist. Parbhani has decided Special (POCSO) Case No. 2 of 2017. We find that the learned Judge has referred to portions of the examination-in-chief of prosecution witnesses and has overlooked their cross-examination, while drawing his conclusions. So also, the said Presiding Officer was under a duty to direct the prosecution to bring forth such witnesses or pieces of evidence which were necessary for reaching the correct conclusion. He should have paid attention to the fact that the nylon string “C-1” by which the victim was strangulated had also gone missing. Every case has to be dealt with by the Presiding Officer with sensitivity and such cases involving children of a tender age, should be dealt with, with utmost sensitivity.”

The prosecution had alleged that the 5-year-old minor’s (victim) grandfather had lodged an FIR after she went missing and during the course of the investigation, her dead body was found floating in a well. It was then revealed that the child was raped and strangled to death which led to his conviction and death sentence.

The prosecution had submitted before the court that the victim was found in a gunny bag with a nylon rope tied around her neck. The similar kind of rope was found in the accused person’s house. But the Court observed that they did not have the “necessary expertise” to compare the fibres on both ropes and that there was a missing piece of string which was absent in the evidence.

A lungi was also recovered which was allegedly used to wrap the body of the deceased. But regarding the Lungi as an important piece of evidence, the court said, “The issue is, as to whether the accused could be convicted on the basis of a lungi, as a solitary piece of evidence in the absence of corroboration.”

Finally, the High Court Bench held: “We do not find such evidence before us which would convince us that it was this accused and no other person who can be said to have committed the crime. The chain of circumstantial evidence is broken at the stages of (a) last seen alive together, (b) sniffer dog, (c) the lungi and (d) the nylon rope. Unless all these links could have held themselves together so as to complete the chain of circumstantial evidence, the accused could not have been held guilty of having committed the crime, it ruled.”

The judgment may be read here:

Related:

Mumbai court denies bail to POCSO accused, says 5 year old knows good and bad touch
Touching posterior of a minor amounts to sexual assault: Mumbai POCSO court
Kerala court sentences priest to life imprisonment for raping step daughter

Bombay HC acquits death row POCSO convict due to shoddy investigation

The court also directed the Directorate of Prosecution, to initiate action against those responsible failure to get the forensics lab reports

Image Courtesy:freepressjournal.in

The Aurangabad Bench of Bombay High Court recently acquitted a death row convict in a POCSO case taking exception to the “insensitive manner in which prosecution investigated the crime, collected evidence and conducted the trial.”

The High Court was hearing an appeal filed by a man accused of rape, murder under the Indian Penal Code along with aggravated penetrative sexual assault under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012. The Sessions Court had awarded him the death sentence in 2017.

A Bench of Justices Ravindra V Ghuge and BU Debadwar also issued directions to the Directorate of Prosecution, Maharashtra, to initiate action against those responsible for loss of material evidence and non-examination of material witnesses. 

Observing that the prosecution was irresponsible in collecting key evidence, the court said, “It is unfortunate that such amount of hard work is met with an order of acquittal at our unfortunate hands only because the prosecution has not collected evidence and has not even taken efforts to get a result from the Forensic Science Laboratory as regards the nylon string C-1 and E.”

The Additional Sessions Judge also drew some sharp criticism from the High Court Bench for sentencing the accused to death. The Bench said, “We are equally surprised by the manner in which the learned Additional Sessions Judge (Special Judge), Gangakhed, Dist. Parbhani has decided Special (POCSO) Case No. 2 of 2017. We find that the learned Judge has referred to portions of the examination-in-chief of prosecution witnesses and has overlooked their cross-examination, while drawing his conclusions. So also, the said Presiding Officer was under a duty to direct the prosecution to bring forth such witnesses or pieces of evidence which were necessary for reaching the correct conclusion. He should have paid attention to the fact that the nylon string “C-1” by which the victim was strangulated had also gone missing. Every case has to be dealt with by the Presiding Officer with sensitivity and such cases involving children of a tender age, should be dealt with, with utmost sensitivity.”

The prosecution had alleged that the 5-year-old minor’s (victim) grandfather had lodged an FIR after she went missing and during the course of the investigation, her dead body was found floating in a well. It was then revealed that the child was raped and strangled to death which led to his conviction and death sentence.

The prosecution had submitted before the court that the victim was found in a gunny bag with a nylon rope tied around her neck. The similar kind of rope was found in the accused person’s house. But the Court observed that they did not have the “necessary expertise” to compare the fibres on both ropes and that there was a missing piece of string which was absent in the evidence.

A lungi was also recovered which was allegedly used to wrap the body of the deceased. But regarding the Lungi as an important piece of evidence, the court said, “The issue is, as to whether the accused could be convicted on the basis of a lungi, as a solitary piece of evidence in the absence of corroboration.”

Finally, the High Court Bench held: “We do not find such evidence before us which would convince us that it was this accused and no other person who can be said to have committed the crime. The chain of circumstantial evidence is broken at the stages of (a) last seen alive together, (b) sniffer dog, (c) the lungi and (d) the nylon rope. Unless all these links could have held themselves together so as to complete the chain of circumstantial evidence, the accused could not have been held guilty of having committed the crime, it ruled.”

The judgment may be read here:

Related:

Mumbai court denies bail to POCSO accused, says 5 year old knows good and bad touch
Touching posterior of a minor amounts to sexual assault: Mumbai POCSO court
Kerala court sentences priest to life imprisonment for raping step daughter

Related Articles


Theme

Campaigns

Videos

Archives

IN FACT

Podcasts

Podcasts

Podcasts

Analysis

Archives

Podcasts

Sabrang

Sexual Harassment: SC refuses to dismiss disciplinary proceedings against retired judge

A sexual harassment complaint was lodged against a Madhya Pradesh district judge after he sent inappropriate messages to a junior judicial officer

26 Feb 2021

Image Courtesy:economictimes.indiatimes.com

The Supreme Court three-judge Bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian refused to quash disciplinary proceedings against a Madhya Pradesh Judge in a sexual harassment case filed by a junior judicial officer, reported Bar & Bench.

CJI SA Bobde noted that “sexual harassment allegations cannot be brushed aside under the carpet”, while refusing to quash the plea but granted him the liberty to appear before the inquiry.

Senior Advocate Balasubramaniam, who appeared for the petition was reportedly told by the Bench, “You are walking on a very thin ice, you can fall any time. You may have a chance that you may be acquitted. But as matters stand now, you are convicted.”

LiveLaw reported that after hearing the arguments, the Bench stated that it will write a short order dealing with the petitioner’s contention and dismiss the Special Leave Petition. However, on the Senior Counsel Balasubramaniam’s request for liberty to withdraw, the Court granted him permission to withdraw the case with liberty to participate in the inquiry.

During the previous hearing on this matter, Senior Advocate Ravindra Shrivastava, appearing for the Madhya Pradesh High Court, had read out some WhatsApp messages sent by the petitioner judge to the complainant/judicial officer who was harassed.

To this, LiveLaw had quoted the CJI saying, “To flirt with a junior official is not an acceptable conduct for a judge.” The WhatsApp messages were found to be “offensive and improper.”

The sexual harassment complaint against the Madhya Pradesh judge was registered in 2018. He had earlier approached the Supreme Court to quash the disciplinary proceedings initiated by the High Court, but the top court had declined to entertain it, asking him to approach the High Court instead.

As the High Court refused to entertain his plea, he once again approached the apex court, which stayed the disciplinary proceedings against the judge in September last year, according to a report in Bar & Bench.

In the previous hearing in the top court on February 16, the Bench had recorded that the High Court is proceeding with the matter even though the petitioner has retired from service as it wanted to “send a strong message”. The Bench was also told that a charge-sheet has been filed in the departmental proceedings, which the petitioner has not chosen to challenge.

“This matter before the Gender Sensitisation Committee has come to an end with the lady refusing to participate. Now the High Court wants to proceed. It is duty bound to proceed also, in a departmental enquiry. Is there any law which can prevent the High Court from proceeding with enquiry? Right to departmental enquiry is an inherent right of the employer even if there is no provision in the service law”, remarked the CJI.

Related:

Sexual harassment complaint against same gender may seem odd but it’s not improbable: Calcutta HC
Right of reputation can't be protected at the cost of Right to life: Delhi court acquits Priya Ramani

Sexual Harassment: SC refuses to dismiss disciplinary proceedings against retired judge

A sexual harassment complaint was lodged against a Madhya Pradesh district judge after he sent inappropriate messages to a junior judicial officer

Image Courtesy:economictimes.indiatimes.com

The Supreme Court three-judge Bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian refused to quash disciplinary proceedings against a Madhya Pradesh Judge in a sexual harassment case filed by a junior judicial officer, reported Bar & Bench.

CJI SA Bobde noted that “sexual harassment allegations cannot be brushed aside under the carpet”, while refusing to quash the plea but granted him the liberty to appear before the inquiry.

Senior Advocate Balasubramaniam, who appeared for the petition was reportedly told by the Bench, “You are walking on a very thin ice, you can fall any time. You may have a chance that you may be acquitted. But as matters stand now, you are convicted.”

LiveLaw reported that after hearing the arguments, the Bench stated that it will write a short order dealing with the petitioner’s contention and dismiss the Special Leave Petition. However, on the Senior Counsel Balasubramaniam’s request for liberty to withdraw, the Court granted him permission to withdraw the case with liberty to participate in the inquiry.

During the previous hearing on this matter, Senior Advocate Ravindra Shrivastava, appearing for the Madhya Pradesh High Court, had read out some WhatsApp messages sent by the petitioner judge to the complainant/judicial officer who was harassed.

To this, LiveLaw had quoted the CJI saying, “To flirt with a junior official is not an acceptable conduct for a judge.” The WhatsApp messages were found to be “offensive and improper.”

The sexual harassment complaint against the Madhya Pradesh judge was registered in 2018. He had earlier approached the Supreme Court to quash the disciplinary proceedings initiated by the High Court, but the top court had declined to entertain it, asking him to approach the High Court instead.

As the High Court refused to entertain his plea, he once again approached the apex court, which stayed the disciplinary proceedings against the judge in September last year, according to a report in Bar & Bench.

In the previous hearing in the top court on February 16, the Bench had recorded that the High Court is proceeding with the matter even though the petitioner has retired from service as it wanted to “send a strong message”. The Bench was also told that a charge-sheet has been filed in the departmental proceedings, which the petitioner has not chosen to challenge.

“This matter before the Gender Sensitisation Committee has come to an end with the lady refusing to participate. Now the High Court wants to proceed. It is duty bound to proceed also, in a departmental enquiry. Is there any law which can prevent the High Court from proceeding with enquiry? Right to departmental enquiry is an inherent right of the employer even if there is no provision in the service law”, remarked the CJI.

Related:

Sexual harassment complaint against same gender may seem odd but it’s not improbable: Calcutta HC
Right of reputation can't be protected at the cost of Right to life: Delhi court acquits Priya Ramani

Related Articles


Theme

Campaigns

Videos

Archives

IN FACT

Podcasts

Podcasts

Podcasts

Analysis

Archives

Podcasts

Sabrang

Punjab and Haryana HC grants bail to Nodeep Kaur

She had been lodged in Karnal Jail since January 12 for offences of attempt to murder, rioting, extortion and obstructing a public servant on duty

26 Feb 2021

Nodeep kaur

Dalit labour activist Nodeep Kaur has been granted bail by the Punjab and Haryana High Court in relation to the third FIR registered against her in January this year, reported Bar & Bench.

The Single-judge Bench of Justice Avneesh Jhingan granted her bail while hearing her application clubbed with the suo motu case registered in connection with her alleged illegal confinement. The High Court will continue to hear the matter about her illegal detention and alleged custodial torture.

Her bail plea was to be taken up by the court on February 24 but the Single-judge Bench had observed that the State failed to disclose her medical reports. The court recorded in the order: “In this case, vide order dated 18.1.2021, Duty Magistrate/ Judicial Magistrate Ist Class, Sonipat ordered that Nodeep Kaur be medically examined. She was medically examined but the said report has not been placed on record by the State, rather only a medico-legal report under Section 54 Cr.PC. is placed on record.”

The court had adjourned the matter to today, February 26 where it granted bail to Kaur on the charges under sections 307 (attempt to murder), 146 (rioting), and 353 (assault to deter a public servant from discharge of his duty) of the Indian Penal Code.

Bar & Bench reported that upon a prima facie observation, there was nothing to substantiate the allegations of attempt to murder levelled against Kaur, among other reasons, that compelled the court to grant her bail. According to a report in LiveLaw, Senior Advocate RS Cheema argued that she is not a flight risk and that ‘Bail is Rule, Jail is Exception’.

On February 15, Kaur was granted bail in connection with other charges of extortion, obstructing a public servant on work, use of force under the relevant Indian Penal Code sections by a Sessions Court but she continued to remain in jail for other serious offences of attempt to murder and rioting.

In her bail plea before the High Court, the 24-year-old Dalit activist claimed that she was “severely beaten up at a police station after her arrest by the Sonipat police last month.” Kaur was also taken to the police station allegedly in the absence of any woman police official and was beaten up by police officials.

On February 12, Justice Arun Kumar Tyagi of the Punjab and Haryana High Court had taken suo motu cognisance on the basis of emails received by him related to her alleged ‘illegal confinement’ and issued a notice to the State of Haryana over the matter.

On February 5, CJP had started an online petition to highlight the arbitrary arrest and assault of the young activist in Karnal jail. The petition demanded her immediate release and dropping of all trumped up charges against her. Further, CJP also urged those who signed the petition, to write to the Karnal jail authorities and protest the atrocities against her. The petition has since been shared by actor Sushant Singh and child rights activist Harish Iyer. Those who want to sign the petition may click here.

The order dated February 24, 2021 may be read here.

 The bail order may be read here:

Related:

Falsely implicated, as I was successful in generating support for farmers: Nodeep Kaur

Nodeep Kaur gets bail in second case, but remains in jail for now

Nodeep Kaur’s ‘illegal confinement’: Punjab and Haryana HC take suo motu cognisance

 

Punjab and Haryana HC grants bail to Nodeep Kaur

She had been lodged in Karnal Jail since January 12 for offences of attempt to murder, rioting, extortion and obstructing a public servant on duty

Nodeep kaur

Dalit labour activist Nodeep Kaur has been granted bail by the Punjab and Haryana High Court in relation to the third FIR registered against her in January this year, reported Bar & Bench.

The Single-judge Bench of Justice Avneesh Jhingan granted her bail while hearing her application clubbed with the suo motu case registered in connection with her alleged illegal confinement. The High Court will continue to hear the matter about her illegal detention and alleged custodial torture.

Her bail plea was to be taken up by the court on February 24 but the Single-judge Bench had observed that the State failed to disclose her medical reports. The court recorded in the order: “In this case, vide order dated 18.1.2021, Duty Magistrate/ Judicial Magistrate Ist Class, Sonipat ordered that Nodeep Kaur be medically examined. She was medically examined but the said report has not been placed on record by the State, rather only a medico-legal report under Section 54 Cr.PC. is placed on record.”

The court had adjourned the matter to today, February 26 where it granted bail to Kaur on the charges under sections 307 (attempt to murder), 146 (rioting), and 353 (assault to deter a public servant from discharge of his duty) of the Indian Penal Code.

Bar & Bench reported that upon a prima facie observation, there was nothing to substantiate the allegations of attempt to murder levelled against Kaur, among other reasons, that compelled the court to grant her bail. According to a report in LiveLaw, Senior Advocate RS Cheema argued that she is not a flight risk and that ‘Bail is Rule, Jail is Exception’.

On February 15, Kaur was granted bail in connection with other charges of extortion, obstructing a public servant on work, use of force under the relevant Indian Penal Code sections by a Sessions Court but she continued to remain in jail for other serious offences of attempt to murder and rioting.

In her bail plea before the High Court, the 24-year-old Dalit activist claimed that she was “severely beaten up at a police station after her arrest by the Sonipat police last month.” Kaur was also taken to the police station allegedly in the absence of any woman police official and was beaten up by police officials.

On February 12, Justice Arun Kumar Tyagi of the Punjab and Haryana High Court had taken suo motu cognisance on the basis of emails received by him related to her alleged ‘illegal confinement’ and issued a notice to the State of Haryana over the matter.

On February 5, CJP had started an online petition to highlight the arbitrary arrest and assault of the young activist in Karnal jail. The petition demanded her immediate release and dropping of all trumped up charges against her. Further, CJP also urged those who signed the petition, to write to the Karnal jail authorities and protest the atrocities against her. The petition has since been shared by actor Sushant Singh and child rights activist Harish Iyer. Those who want to sign the petition may click here.

The order dated February 24, 2021 may be read here.

 The bail order may be read here:

Related:

Falsely implicated, as I was successful in generating support for farmers: Nodeep Kaur

Nodeep Kaur gets bail in second case, but remains in jail for now

Nodeep Kaur’s ‘illegal confinement’: Punjab and Haryana HC take suo motu cognisance

 

Related Articles


Theme

Campaigns

Videos

Archives

IN FACT

Podcasts

Podcasts

Podcasts

Analysis

Archives

Podcasts

Sabrang

Tandav case: Allahabad HC denies pre-arrest bail to Amazon India Originals Head 

The court pointed towards the usage of names of Hindu gods as names of characters, and their depiction in an offensive manner, and held that sentiments of majority community were hurt

26 Feb 2021

Tandav

The Allahabad High Court refused to grant anticipatory bail to Aparna Purohit, Head of Amazon India Originals in an FIR lodged against her with respect to the series “Tandav”. The bench of Justice Siddharth held that apologising or withdrawing scenes from the series would not absolve the accused persons of the offence committed by them.

The case

Purohit has been charged under Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Information technology Act and the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act

It is stated in the FIR that in the “Tandav” series on Amazon Prime, the image of police has been adversely depicted, and that on account of the scenes and dialogues in the movie, the social harmony and public peace is being adversely affected. The FIR states that all this has been deliberately done to make the web series controversial and gain publicity for the purpose of commercial gain. The following allegations have been made:
 

  • In a Dial 100 police vehicle, two actors are shown travelling with open doors in a police uniform, consuming liquor and hurling abuses

  • Hindu Gods and Goddesses have been depicted in a bad light with the intention of inciting communal sentiments

  • post of Prime Minister has been depicted in a manner which will adversely affect the democratic system of the country

  • Caste and community related utterances have been made deliberately so that it may affect the public peace

  • utterances have been made against the State police, public administration and the constitutional posts so that the element of hate is developed between the communities

  • there are scenes which show disrespect for the scheduled castes

Submissions

Purohit’s counsel submitted that the series is a work of fiction and comes with a disclaimer to that regard. The cast and crew of the show issued an unconditional apology and removed the offensive scenes. She also submitted that the FIR is bad in law since there was no deliberate and malicious intention in the movie aimed at insulting religious beliefs of any class of citizen.

The AGA appearing for the State submitted that the number of persons across the country have felt that the web series is offensive and hence so many FIRs have been lodged against them. “Even if there is no regulatory body to grant certificate of fitness to the movies being streamed online, it was the duty of the applicant to see that the contents of disputed movie are not such which may be detrimental to the social, communal, religious and political peace of the country,” he added.

The depictions

The Court held that characters named Devakinandan and Kailash are part of the religious faith of the majority community of India, and their use by filmmakers in an offensive way is bound to hurt the sentiments of the majority community of the country. The court held that the esteemed and revered characters of the faith of the majority community of India have been lampooned and portrayed in a very cheap and objectionable way.

There was a scene in the series of a play on campus depicting Lord Shiva and Sage Narad, wherein Sage Narad is saying that the followers of Lord Ram are increasing day by day on social media and Lord Shiva wants suggestions from Sage Narad on how to increase his social media followers. Sage Narad replies that he should do something new, something blazing like flames, like all students on campus have become traitors, they are raising slogans of freedom. The court held thus, “The reference to Hindu Gods and Goddesses in the scenes in dispute in berating light cannot be justified. The advice of Sage Narad to Lord Shiva to make some inflammatory tweet on the Twitter like all the students of the campus becoming traitors and raising slogans of freedom clearly alludes to the incidents which took place in Jawaharlal Nehru University and therefore, it can be considered to be a message of hate advanced through the movie”.

The court also referred to a scene where one character says to another that “a lower caste man dates a woman belonging to a higher caste, just to get revenge for centuries of atrocities”. The court held that she has been depicted in a derogatory manner affecting her dignity since she has been made a symbol of revenge of a man of lower caste.

The court also held that use of the word ‘Tandav’ as the name of the movie can be offensive to the majority of the people of this country since this word is associated with a particular act assigned to Lord Shiva who is considered to be creator, conservator and destroyer of mankind all together.

The court held that apologising or withdrawing the scene would not absolve the accused persons of the offence committed by them.

Observations

The court observed that whenever “such crimes are committed” by citizens like the applicant inimical to the interest of this country become active and say that India has become intolerant. It further said that this then becomes a topic of debate in liberal democracies of the West and that Indian diplomacy has to face a tough time protecting the interest of the country.

Western filmmakers have refrained from ridiculing Lord Jesus or the Prophet, but hindi filmmakers have done this repeatedly and still doing this most unabashedly with the Hindu Gods and Goddesses, the court further added.

The court also referred to the Munawar Faruqui case and said that he made comments on Hindu God and Goddesses in a new year show at Indore, and gained undue publicity on being arrested. The court said, “Such people make the revered figures of religion of majority community source of earning money in most brazen manner taking benefit of the liberal and tolerant tradition of country”.

The court then referred to movies like Ram Teri Ganga Maili, Satyam Shivam Sundram, P.K., Oh My God, Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram Leela where Hindus gods have been shown in disrespectful manner and their names used to earn money; and Padmavati where image of historical and mythological personalities were subverted. “This tendency on the part of the Hindi film industry is growing and if not curbed in time, it may have disastrous consequences for the Indian social, religious and communal order,” observed the court.

The court said that there appears to be a design behind such acts where disclaimers are given and religiously, socially and communally offensive content is portrayed. The court said that the young generation starts believing what is shown in the movies by the people like the accused persons and it destroys the basic concept of the survival of this country having tremendous diversity as a united nation.

Court’s findings

The court held that the offences under section 295A, 153A, 505(1)(b) and 505(2) of the IPC were fully made out. “On the one hand, the sentiments of majority community have been hurt by display of the characters of their faith in disrespectful manner and on the other hand, an attempt has been made to widen the gap between the higher castes and the scheduled castes,” the court opined.

The court held that “the applicant had not been vigilant and has acted irresponsibly making her open to criminal prosecution in permitting streaming of a movie which is against the fundamental rights of the majority of citizens of this country and therefore, her fundamental right of life and liberty cannot be protected by grant of anticipatory bail”.

The court thus rejected Purohit’s anticipatory bail application.

The complete order may be read here

 

Related:

Tandav Controversy: Amazon content head gets protection from arrest by Allahabad HC

Allahabad High Court protects Mirzapur series makers from arrest

Tandav controversy: Convenient distraction from an on ground crisis?

Tandav case: Allahabad HC denies pre-arrest bail to Amazon India Originals Head 

The court pointed towards the usage of names of Hindu gods as names of characters, and their depiction in an offensive manner, and held that sentiments of majority community were hurt

Tandav

The Allahabad High Court refused to grant anticipatory bail to Aparna Purohit, Head of Amazon India Originals in an FIR lodged against her with respect to the series “Tandav”. The bench of Justice Siddharth held that apologising or withdrawing scenes from the series would not absolve the accused persons of the offence committed by them.

The case

Purohit has been charged under Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Information technology Act and the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act

It is stated in the FIR that in the “Tandav” series on Amazon Prime, the image of police has been adversely depicted, and that on account of the scenes and dialogues in the movie, the social harmony and public peace is being adversely affected. The FIR states that all this has been deliberately done to make the web series controversial and gain publicity for the purpose of commercial gain. The following allegations have been made:
 

  • In a Dial 100 police vehicle, two actors are shown travelling with open doors in a police uniform, consuming liquor and hurling abuses

  • Hindu Gods and Goddesses have been depicted in a bad light with the intention of inciting communal sentiments

  • post of Prime Minister has been depicted in a manner which will adversely affect the democratic system of the country

  • Caste and community related utterances have been made deliberately so that it may affect the public peace

  • utterances have been made against the State police, public administration and the constitutional posts so that the element of hate is developed between the communities

  • there are scenes which show disrespect for the scheduled castes

Submissions

Purohit’s counsel submitted that the series is a work of fiction and comes with a disclaimer to that regard. The cast and crew of the show issued an unconditional apology and removed the offensive scenes. She also submitted that the FIR is bad in law since there was no deliberate and malicious intention in the movie aimed at insulting religious beliefs of any class of citizen.

The AGA appearing for the State submitted that the number of persons across the country have felt that the web series is offensive and hence so many FIRs have been lodged against them. “Even if there is no regulatory body to grant certificate of fitness to the movies being streamed online, it was the duty of the applicant to see that the contents of disputed movie are not such which may be detrimental to the social, communal, religious and political peace of the country,” he added.

The depictions

The Court held that characters named Devakinandan and Kailash are part of the religious faith of the majority community of India, and their use by filmmakers in an offensive way is bound to hurt the sentiments of the majority community of the country. The court held that the esteemed and revered characters of the faith of the majority community of India have been lampooned and portrayed in a very cheap and objectionable way.

There was a scene in the series of a play on campus depicting Lord Shiva and Sage Narad, wherein Sage Narad is saying that the followers of Lord Ram are increasing day by day on social media and Lord Shiva wants suggestions from Sage Narad on how to increase his social media followers. Sage Narad replies that he should do something new, something blazing like flames, like all students on campus have become traitors, they are raising slogans of freedom. The court held thus, “The reference to Hindu Gods and Goddesses in the scenes in dispute in berating light cannot be justified. The advice of Sage Narad to Lord Shiva to make some inflammatory tweet on the Twitter like all the students of the campus becoming traitors and raising slogans of freedom clearly alludes to the incidents which took place in Jawaharlal Nehru University and therefore, it can be considered to be a message of hate advanced through the movie”.

The court also referred to a scene where one character says to another that “a lower caste man dates a woman belonging to a higher caste, just to get revenge for centuries of atrocities”. The court held that she has been depicted in a derogatory manner affecting her dignity since she has been made a symbol of revenge of a man of lower caste.

The court also held that use of the word ‘Tandav’ as the name of the movie can be offensive to the majority of the people of this country since this word is associated with a particular act assigned to Lord Shiva who is considered to be creator, conservator and destroyer of mankind all together.

The court held that apologising or withdrawing the scene would not absolve the accused persons of the offence committed by them.

Observations

The court observed that whenever “such crimes are committed” by citizens like the applicant inimical to the interest of this country become active and say that India has become intolerant. It further said that this then becomes a topic of debate in liberal democracies of the West and that Indian diplomacy has to face a tough time protecting the interest of the country.

Western filmmakers have refrained from ridiculing Lord Jesus or the Prophet, but hindi filmmakers have done this repeatedly and still doing this most unabashedly with the Hindu Gods and Goddesses, the court further added.

The court also referred to the Munawar Faruqui case and said that he made comments on Hindu God and Goddesses in a new year show at Indore, and gained undue publicity on being arrested. The court said, “Such people make the revered figures of religion of majority community source of earning money in most brazen manner taking benefit of the liberal and tolerant tradition of country”.

The court then referred to movies like Ram Teri Ganga Maili, Satyam Shivam Sundram, P.K., Oh My God, Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram Leela where Hindus gods have been shown in disrespectful manner and their names used to earn money; and Padmavati where image of historical and mythological personalities were subverted. “This tendency on the part of the Hindi film industry is growing and if not curbed in time, it may have disastrous consequences for the Indian social, religious and communal order,” observed the court.

The court said that there appears to be a design behind such acts where disclaimers are given and religiously, socially and communally offensive content is portrayed. The court said that the young generation starts believing what is shown in the movies by the people like the accused persons and it destroys the basic concept of the survival of this country having tremendous diversity as a united nation.

Court’s findings

The court held that the offences under section 295A, 153A, 505(1)(b) and 505(2) of the IPC were fully made out. “On the one hand, the sentiments of majority community have been hurt by display of the characters of their faith in disrespectful manner and on the other hand, an attempt has been made to widen the gap between the higher castes and the scheduled castes,” the court opined.

The court held that “the applicant had not been vigilant and has acted irresponsibly making her open to criminal prosecution in permitting streaming of a movie which is against the fundamental rights of the majority of citizens of this country and therefore, her fundamental right of life and liberty cannot be protected by grant of anticipatory bail”.

The court thus rejected Purohit’s anticipatory bail application.

The complete order may be read here

 

Related:

Tandav Controversy: Amazon content head gets protection from arrest by Allahabad HC

Allahabad High Court protects Mirzapur series makers from arrest

Tandav controversy: Convenient distraction from an on ground crisis?

Related Articles


Theme

Campaigns

Videos

Archives

IN FACT

Podcasts

Podcasts

Podcasts

Analysis

Archives

Podcasts

Subscribe to Rule of Law