Posts Tagged ‘supreme court
COURT SAYS PARAMILITARY APPROACH IS A PROBLEM NOT THE SOLUTION
ALL SIDES AGREE ON NEED FOR HIGH LEVEL MONITORING COMMITTEE – DIFFER ON ITS COMPOSITION
PRESS RELEASE ON HEARING OF SALWA JUDUM MATTER
7th January 2011
The Salwa Judum matter was heard in Court 9 of the Supreme Court today by Justice Sudershan Reddy and Justice SS Nijjar. This time all the main parties to the court were present – the last few times, the Solicitor General had asked for adjournments. The petitioners were represented by Senior Counsel, Mr. Ashok Desai (who is arguing the case pro-bono), the Centre by the Solicitor General, Mr. Gopal Subramanium and the State of Chhattisgarh by Mr. Harish Salve and Mr. Manish Singhvi.
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We have been listening and reading about Dr Sen’s court decision since the day it has been pronounced. But since the original decision is in Hindi and is 92 pages long, hence many would be possibly have got the opportunity to read and understand it. I hope, u appreciate the fact that the judgement can be fully appreciated only when one has gone through it in its totality.
Here is my attempt at presenting the basic and more important facts of the Court judgement in the much-discussed Dr Binayak Sen case (translating the Hindi version to the best of my abilities)., without giving any cooments on my behalf. This being a highly sensitive matter, I extend my apologies for any unintended error or misrepresentation.
Currently at IIM Lucknow
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Kolkata: With support mounting for rights activist Binayak Sen, handed a life sentence by a Chattisgarh court for Maoist links, the doctor’s mother says she will ‘do whatever is needed’ to get her son out of prison.
‘The whole world is with my son. This is my biggest source of strength,’ said 84-year-old Anasua Sen, adding she was ready for a long-drawn battle to free her son, who has been charged with sedition.
She said she would knock the doors of the court soon.
‘I am waiting for the winter recess in courts to be over. I will move a higher court. If need be, I am prepared to go to the Supreme Court to seek justice for my son,’ Anasua Sen said.
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Post Box 3811 Andrews Ganj Post Office, New Delhi-110049
Shri P Chidambaram
Union Home Minister
28 Oct 2009
Subject: Suggestions for Urgent Action in Tribal Areas
Dear Sri P Chidambaram,
We are deeply concerned over the recent developments in the tribal region of central India. The unfolding para-military offensive in that area, we fear, is bound to worsen the prevailing situation there causing widespread killing of innocent adivasis besides increasing the hardships they are already facing. We are also concerned over the loss of lives of security personnel. It is well known that the adivasis have been subjected to deprivations for centuries and they are now confronted with new problems stemming from the manifold attacks on them from the side of the state in the wake of the recent industrialization drive and the resistance to it spearheaded in many areas by the Maoists.
We believe that the following initiatives should be urgently taken to address the situation which is fast developing into a crisis.
1. As a Gandhian activist working in one of the most affected areas of Chhatisgarh I am well aware that the civil administration was prevented from functioning by the Salwa Judum vigilantes and the security forces as a strategy to force the people to vacate the villages and come to the Salwa Judum Camps; that is why some of the major welfare programmes were abandoned and basic amenities denied to the people in the tribal villages. As a result of this a large proportion of the population became dependent on the naxalites for their survival and protection. Characterising the affected areas as a “liberated zone of the Maoists” was a part of that strategy.
Therefore, we suggest that the civil administration be allowed to resume its functions immediately. I believe that the Maoists have no reasons to deprive the tribal people from the basic amenities available through ration shops under the PDS for the BPL families, Anganwadi programme, schools, health services and National Rural Employment Guarentee Act ( NREGA) which must be resumed .
2. All offensive drives by the paramilitary forces,the SPOs and Salwa Judum vigilantes in the tribal areas should be immediately stopped. Police may function to assist the civil administration in carrying out the much-needed development measures.
3. The Supreme Court order to the Chhatisgarh Government to rehabilitate and compensate all tribal people displaced due to Salwa Judum be implemented forthwith.
4. State should create confidence in the minds of the adivasis by prosecuting all those involved in committing severe atrocities like rape, murder, looting their properties and burning houses. It should be noted that none of the criminals habe been brought to book and justice has been denied to the tribals till date despite the reports of the NHRC and orders of the Supreme court.
Doubtless as it is a victory for the human rights movement, civil society must salute the Supreme Court for its intervention that coincided with the assumption to power of a new national dispensation. The release on bail of Dr Binayak Sen (coram: Katju and Verma, JJ) carries a very timely and resounding message for the Chhattisgarh government and to an equal degree the Centre that for the past two years had ignored appeals from the world over for his release. Of particular interest must be what he has had to say after stepping out as a free man. He fears vindictive action by the Chhattisgarh government. To indulge in a fresh bout of repression will be as criminal as detaining him for the better part of two years without trial and without convincing evidence. Yes, he used to visit the jail, but as a doctor to treat the inmates many of whom were/are Maoists. The Chhattisgarh government has violated the law, doubtless encouraged by the imperviousness of the national government.
As a physician, Dr Sen has now ripped apart the grotesque abuse of human rights through the jail’s institutionalised bribery. The inmates have to bribe medical assistants for an injection, doctors do a favour by feeling the patient’s pulse and the medical fraternity has to be paid to be recommended for hospital admission. Dr Sen makes an understatement when he laments that “there is no human dignity in jail”. The subtext is a travesty of medical ethics, the Hippocratic oath and all that therein is. All this and more as part of the state’s counter-mobilisation against the Left radical. Dr Sen’s alleged offence of handing over one Maoist’s letter to another, while on a professional visit to the jail hospital, is small beer compared to the contrived and criminal indifference of the doctors. Despite successive victories in the elections to the state assembly, Dr Sen’s detention has been a blot on the BJP’s image, as damaging as its reckless handling of the Maoist movement. Quite the most suicidal option was the creation of Salwa Judum, a state-sponsored resistance oufit. For every Maoist killed, two are born. Just as for every Maoist freed, the administration probably makes sure that two are clapped up. Killing the Maoist as a form of public activity and arresting without proven charge do not add up to a policy. The Chhattisgarh BJP’s handling of the Maoists has been disastrous and morally-defeating. Dr Binayak Sen’s plight symbolises state repression.
in New Delhi
The Supreme Court directive to release Dr. Binayak Sen on bail raises the question of the illegality of his detention .
THE Supreme Court’s direction on May 25 to release Dr. Binayak Sen, vice-president of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), on bail from the Raipur Central Jail marks a milestone in the history of the civil liberties movement in India. Never before has the bail plea of an individual unjustly kept in prison been the subject of such an intense campaign by intellectuals and activists across the world.
The campaign seeking Sen’s freedom intensified after 22 Nobel Prize winners, including Amartya Sen, signed a public statement on May 9 last year describing him as a “professional colleague” and appealing to the President and the Prime Minister to ensure his release so that he could receive in person the prestigious Jonathan Mann Award for Global Health and Human Rights in Washington. The helplessness of the Centre, and the refusal of the Chhattisgarh government to oblige only indicated that the struggle for Sen’s freedom could be long and daunting.
Dr Binayak Sen was granted bail on the 25th of May, 2009. In the midst of our celebrations that the illegal detention of Dr. Sen is over, some clarification is needed. One question doing the rounds is whether
- Binayak was granted bail on medical grounds?
No it was a general BAIL without any conditions on furnishing personal bonds.
Please read below the piece I wrote initially as a reply to Antara Dev Sen’s article published in the Decan Chronicle, but then developed as an independent note.
From Tehelka Cover Story “Binayak & The Tragedy Beyond”
Activist Himanshu Kumar could not be swayed by the State’s wrath. SHOMA CHAUDHURY speaks to this Gandhian
|Unbent Himanshu kumar, daughters Alisha and Haripriya, wife Veena and father Prakash kumar|
You have two daughters. Does that not make you feel vulnerable?
My father was part of the freedom movement. My uncle was a senior colleague of Nehru’s. I knew men like the scientist Dayanidhi Patnaik, who came back with a PhD from America but gave up everything to join Vinobha Bhave’s Bhoomidan movement. I didn’t even notice when their values were stamped on me. From them, I came to believe that the material world is immaterial. Why should I compromise for my girls? What would I achieve? Two more girls — among lakhs of others — would be brought up to lead a cloistered life. Veena could have pulled me back, but she has never done that. She herself was terrified of wearing bangles and synthetic clothes and being trapped in a marriage that would shut her behind closed doors. She was a social worker before she married me.
What is at the heart of the State’s neglect and abuse of tribals?
I don’t think either the State or the police see them as human. How many officials have even bothered to learn their language? One day a CRPF officer was complaining to me about them. He said, “Oh, these ULFA-Nagas-adivasis — whatever they’re called…” That’s how faceless they were to him. There is such an arrogance in the way the State approaches them. They will not consult them, not communicate with them.
|We are not picking up the gun but are
asking for justice within the system.
Why does that rouse the State’s ire?
P Chidambaram has said he will militarily destroy the Naxals, then bring development in the region.
He can do that. He can kill thousands of his own countrymen attempting that. He has greater might, he is a superior race. And as one Naxal leader said in an interview to TEHELKA, “We do not control all areas. Why don’t they bring development to places we don’t control?”
By Dr. Mookhi Amir Ali
Dr. Binayak Sen will now be out on bail but not without celebrating the second anniversary of his needless detention. He was detained under Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. Under these laws a person can be detained for flimsy reasons with no provision of bail. This is not the only law in our book which can be used by the Government to harass a citizen who is inconvenient to them. Dr Binayak in addition to being a good and benevolent doctor is a conscientious human rights activist who was blowing whistles on Chhattisgarh government sponsored Salwa Judam’s illegal killings of innocent tribals. The incarceration which the doctor has suffered was the “reward” the government of Chhattisgarh was giving him for his aggressive activism. Salwa Judam, whose misdeeds Dr. Sen was fighting against, has received strong disapproval of the Supreme Court of India.
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The Hindu - Editorial
It is a symptom of the troubled times Indian democracy is passing through that the release on bail of an eminent human rights activist and medical practitioner, Dr. Binayak Sen — something that is routine for even individuals of questionable repute accused or convicted of heinous crimes — should be an occasion for relief and joy. Nobody is questioning the right of the State police to file a case and to have insisted on the custody of Dr. Sen when evidence first surfaced about his alleged involvement with the banned Maoist party. But the denial of bail was mean and vindictive and intended to serve no purpose other than to punish the accused by the sheer weight of process — he spent two years in a Chhattisgarh prison. Certainly there was no question of Dr. Sen fleeing, since he had voluntarily turned himself in for questioning when he first learned the police were looking for him. The fact remains that none of the witnesses the police produced before court were able to corroborate the official charges. No wonder it took just two minutes for the Supreme Court to set him free on bail.
Welcome though the release of Dr. Sen is, it is essential that public attention continue to remain focussed on the appalling state of affairs in Chhattisgarh. The State government’s vigilante anti-insurgency campaign known as Salwa Judum is currently under the scanner, thanks to a PIL pending before the Supreme Court. A specially commissioned report by the National Human Rights Commission has catalogued scores of gross human rights violations and the apex court, by way of interim instructions, has asked the State authorities to provide compensation to the victims of Salwa Judum and facilitate their rehabilitation. Not only has the Raman Singh government dragged its feet on this crucial matter, it has also targeted the activists and the NGOs that are trying to help the internally displaced tribals who want to return to their native villages. On May 16, for example, the State authorities demolished the premises of the Vanvasi Chetna Ashram in Dantewada run by the respected Gandhian, Himanshu. The pattern that is emerging from the State’s actions is very clear: Chhattisgarh does not intend to tolerate any criticism of its policies. It is imperative for the re-establishment of the rule of law and the protection of the basic rights of the people that Salwa Judum is abandoned so that the tens of thousands of people whose homes and livelihood have been destroyed by the cycle of vigilante and Maoist violence are given a chance to return home.