January 11, 2017
Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights – Tamil Nadu, (CPDR-TN) strongly condemns the arrest of Advocate Murugan, Secretary Centre for Protection of Civil Liberties (CPCL), on 8th January by the Tamilnadu Q branch police. The police had gone to his house in the early morning 4 o’clock, in the pretext of search operations with the search warrant order from Karur district magistrate. And the Q branch police arrested him under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) sections 18(a), 18(b), 20 and 38 & IPC 120(b) for allegedly arranging shelter for two women Maoists who were arrested in Karur five months before. And they took with them all the case documents , files, preparations for final arguments for some cases, some common books and Homeopathy medicines & medical book.
Advocate Murugan has been in the civil rights activity for more than 10 years and has been in the forefront taking up the cause of political prisoners cases including that of maoists. He has also been representing the two women maoists arrested five months before in Karur. The court had issued search warrant of Advocate Murugan, in compliance with the Q branch, in the Karur case. The order issued by the district magistrate should have ordered restraint on the search, as he must know that advocates , who are regarded as officers of the court, are part and parcel of the court and play vital roles in the administration of justice, are bound to be in possession of all documents for reference and defence of their clients who are accused before court of law.
Section II of Bar Council of India 1975, in part VI chapter II provides for duties of advocates towards his clients. Rules 15 and rules 19 has relevance to the same.
(UPDATE June 13, 2017)
The State closes in! Targets human rights activists engaged in providing legal aid to political prisoners.
Janakeeya Manushyavakasha Prasthanam (People’s Human Rights Movement) Kerala State president comrade C. P. Rasheed and activist Hariharasharma were arrested yesterday in Tamil Nadu as they went to meet jailed Maoists Shyna and Anoop. This follows an earlier action a few months back, when Adv. Murugan, a human rights activist and lawyer appearing for Maoist accused, had been arrested alleging that he was aiding Maoists. He is still in jail. In December a fact finding team comprising Advocates and journalists, who went to Bastar region in Central India were arrested and the allegation was the same, aiding the Maoists. They too are still in jail.
Yesterday’s arrests were on the absurd charge that the human rights activists were trying to hand over a PEN-DRIVE to the prisoners. As pointed out by Adv Thushar Nirmal Sarathy, General Secretary of the Janakeeya Manushyavakasa Prasthanam, “Any one can understand that the case against Rasheed and Harihara is a false one. The accusation is that they tried to hand over a pen drive. That too to the prisoners, who do not even have access to books, let alone a computer. This is an attack to suppress the activists and advocates who are helping political prisoners including Maoists fight the legal battle,”