Tag Archives: India

India: Advocates abstain from court work to protest rising attacks

December 13, 2017

ON THE call of State Bar Council of Madhya Pradesh, advocates abstained from work on Tuesday and staged demonstration and dharna to press for their demand to bring Advocate Protection Act. In the State-wide strike, advocates abstained from work right from Tehsil level court to High Court. On the call of State Bar Council, advocates observed ‘Prativad Diwas’. Advocates staged demonstration in MPHC premises and submitted a memorandum addressed to the Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court and Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
Lawyers protesting on Tuesday said that in Adhivakta Mahapanchayat called by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan five years ago various declerations were made by him for welfare of advocates fraternity including enactment of Advocates Protection Act. But even after passing long time, the Government has initiated period of five years no concrete step has been taken as a result number of incidents of attack on lawyers are on the rise in the State.
In past years in various incidents of attacks on lawyers many advocates lost their lives. Recently, in a brutal attack, an Advocate was killed in Bhopal, while another Advocate was attacked in Rewa recently. An eminent office-bearer of Madhya Pradesh State Bar Council R K Singh Saini while talking to ‘The Hitavada’ said that advocates are aggrieved with rising attacks on advocates in the State and continuous ignorance towards enactment of Advocates Protection Act in the State have observed Prativad Diwas on Tuesday. Across the State, around 87,000 advocates abstained from work right from Tehsil courts to High Court. Advocate Saini added that recently during visit of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan at Madhya Pradesh High Court in a programme of High Court Senior Advocates Bar Association the issue was discussed with the Chief Minister.





December 12, 2017

Demanding to submit challan and medical examination of minors to verify age, scores of lawyers gathered at SP North office in connection with a case in which a lawyer was assaulted by three youths on Sunday near Nanke petrol pump under TT Nagar police station area.

Police said that the victim advocate Ashok Vishwakarma was hit in his head with a hard object by the three accused including two minors. Suraj was sent to jail while one of the minors was sent to juvenile home and after the verification of the documents the other minor would be produced in the juvenile justice court.

SP (South) Rahul Kumar Lodha said that the lawyers were demanding that one of the accused who was minor and produced in the Juvenile Justice Court should undergo medical examination for confirmation of his minor age.

“Their other demand was to submit challan at the earliest and we are investigating the case and the further investigations have been started,” he added

In the incident three persons including two minor boys attacked the victim in his head but the victim braved and nabbed one of the accused while the other two were nabbed later in the investigation.


India: Pradyuman murder: Victim’s lawyer claims he was attacked by Delhi police officer; senior official says lawyer was ‘restrained’

December 3, 2017

Sushil Thekriwal, the counsel of murdered Gurguram schoolboy Pradyuman Thakur, was on Saturday evening attacked by a Delhi Police official, his wife said. Police however denied it.

Thekriwal’s wife Mamta Thekriwal told IANS,  “We were attacked by a Delhi Police officer outside Ashoka Hotel in Delhi.”

Representational image. AFP

She also said that the couple and their son had gone to Ashoka hotel for dinner and the incident happened around 8.30 pm when the family came out.

She also alleged that the Delhi Police officer who assaulted her husband also threatened him to leave the Pradyuman Thakur case.

“The Delhi Police officer also mishabehaved with me when I tried to make the video of the incident,” she alleged.

Thekriwal identified the Delhi Police cop as Sanjeev Singh Yadav, through his name plate on his uniform.




India: A year on, bitter memories haunt slain lawyer’s family

December 2, 2017

Image result for lawyer Ruchita Jain

A year after the brutal murder of 32-year-old lawyer Ruchita Jain in Udaipur, life is yet to return to normalcy for her husband and two kids. Though they have shifted to a new house, but bitter memories continues to haunt them.
Jain was murdered in her flat on December 1, 2016 by her neighbour, a 22-year-old CA aspirant, Divya Kothari. He was arrested and had also confessed to have committed the crime because Ruchita resisted his sexual advances.
Ruchita’s children Arnav and Avishi are still under deep shock and cannot sleep properly. Door bells frighten them and they are scared to be left alone in home. Ruchita’s husband K B Gupta has been making frantic efforts to give the kids a congenial atmosphere but fear seems to have set deep inside the young minds, he said.



Turkey/India/AI: Taner Kilic ‘terrorism’ trial: Indian government must help tackle Turkey’s suppression of human rights activists

November 26, 2017

File image of Taner Kilic. Image courtesy: Amnesty International

I am writing this from Istanbul, where I am attending a terrorism trial in court as an observer. The trial is that of the chair and director of Amnesty International Turkey. Some readers may know that I am also part the global movement, and am the executive director of Amnesty India. My colleagues Idil Aser and Taner Kilic are part of a group of people standing trial on charges of being members of a terrorist organisation.

Idil was given bail a few weeks earlier and I met her outside the court, but Taner is still in prison in Izmir, which is around 500 kilometres from Istanbul. He joined the trial by video link. He has been in jail since June.

The activists were charged after a workshop on digital security that was held in a hotel. The government claims, absurdly, that this was a secret meeting that was organised to spy and participate in a coup. Two foreign nationals, a German and a Swede, are also on trial in the matter but out on bail. The case is thin on substance and the main accusation against Taner is that he had downloaded an app on his phone.

This app, called Bylock, is used for encrypted communication, like WhatsApp. The Turkish government claims that Bylock was used by supporters to communicate secretly before a coup attempt last year. The claim about Taner is without foundation. Amnesty conducted two forensic examinations of Taner’s phone, including one by the international technology firm SecureWorks, and found zero trace of the ByLock app on the phone. This was confirmed by an expert in the court hearing at which I was present at and I’ll give some more details about that.



India: Men who shot Mohali lawyer jailed, but family’s life has a gaping hole

November 24, 2017

Amarpreet was shot dead by group of men in 2013.

Loss of a loved one is difficult anyway, but losing your life partner to a brutal shooting just when you have entered a new phase in life brings its own kind of heartache. Surinder Kaur, wife of the advocate Amarpreet Singh who was shot dead by nine men in 2013, was a practising lawyer with him at the district courts in Chandigarh and Mohali. Married in 2009, they would get ready and leave for the courts together on most days.

Four years after his murder, for which the nine men got life imprisonment on Wednesday, her vow to have justice prevail has been realised. Amarpreet, 32, was murdered by the men staying as paying guests in the Phase-3A neighbourhood after repeated fights related to parking of cars. The couple’s only son, Gursifatjeet Singh, 8, often asks about his father, but no one in the family gives him a clear answer.

“From the day Amarpreet died, she and the rest of the family took a vow that the culprits will have to pay for it,” said Amarpreet’s uncle Manjit Singh Sethi, deputy mayor of Mohali. While she was not in a state to talk, Sethi recalled, “Surinder had gone numb after receiving the news of the murder, and eventually broke down in the hospital.” She now works as a clerk in the Punjab and Haryana high court.

Sethi also talked about his own bond with Amarpreet, who was a son of his brother Amarjeet Singh. “Something that stood out in my relation with Amarpreet was that, as he was growing up, we became best of friends. We would discuss even personal problems. Every evening, we would sit over a cup of tea and end up discussing life in general and various issues pertaining to our area. I miss his advice.”

While the father, who retired as a private secretary in the Punjab secretariat, was not in a state to talk on Thursday, he had reacted to the verdict on Wednesday: “Nothing can compensate for the loss of my son’s presence in our life. It is a vacuum.”

Amarpreet did his law degree from Panjab University, Chandigarh, in 2006 and, after making a name for himself in the district courts, was planning to start practice at the HC.

About Amarpreet’s son, Sethi added, “We haven’t told him much about the incident. He says his father is with waheguru-ji. He wants to be a judge.”




Punjab & Haryana HC advocate murder case: All nine convicts sentenced for life

http://www.amarujala.com/punjab/mohali/crime/advocate-murder-case-advocate-amarpreet-singh-sethi-murder-distt-court-fortis-hospital (PUNJABI)

http://www.amarujala.com/chandigarh/life-imprisonment-to-advocate-amarpreet-singh-sethi-murder-case (PUNJABI)


November 12, 2017

Image may contain: 1 person

On 19th September 2017, the CBI registered an FIR to the effect that a criminal conspiracy was hatched by several people including one retired Judge of the Orissa High Court and officers of an Education Trust, to bribe and influence judges of the High Court and Supreme Court and secure favourable orders in the cases of the education trust pertaining to a recognition of a medical college run by them, whose recognition had been denied by the MCI citing many deficiencies. Immediately after registration of the FIR, raids were conducted and reports suggested that about 2 crores in cash were recovered from the conspirators. Some of them, including the retired High Court Justice came to be arrested. However after these persons secured bail, no further effort was made by the CBI to challenge their bail and nothing was known about the progress of the investigation.

In these circumstances that Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms (CJAR), filed a writ petition, seeking an impartial court monitored investigation in this case of alleged bribery of the Judiciary. The petitioners held that as investigation involves direct allegations of corruption at the highest levels of the judiciary, any investigation by an agency like the CBI controlled by the government, could compromise the independence of the judiciary. In fact the present CJI was presiding over the bench which was handling the medical educational institution cases in the Supreme Court when the alleged bribery took place.

The petition was mentioned on 9th November before the court where such mentionings are taken up for urgent listing and also because it would not be appropriate for the Chief Justice to deal with this matter in his judicial and administrative capacity, although in ordinary routine matters the listing of cases is done by the CJI. On mentioning, the J. Chelameswar’s bench ordered it to be listed before him on 10th November. However during lunch the petitioners counsel Advocate Prashant Bhushan was informed by the Registry that by an order of the CJI the petition case was assigned to another bench.

Meanwhile another petition on this matter represented by Advocate Ms. Kamini Jaiswal was mentioned and ordered to be taken up. The bench of Justice Chelameswar and Justice Nazeer passed an order on 9th November directing that in view of the importance and sensitivity of the matter, this matter to be listed for hearing before a bench of the 5 senior most judges of the Supreme Court and the material collected by the CBI be sealed and placed before a Constitution Bench on 13th November when the matter comes up for hearing. Once again an administrative note issued by the CJI was handed over to Justice Chelameswar’s bench, across the bar, by a registrar in the course of hearing.

*Clear violation of nemo judex causa sua*
In both the matters, the CJI acted in a manner that violated the basic principle of any decision-making authority- nemo judex causa sua (no one shall be a judge in his or her own case). If the CJI had simply allowed the order passed by his collegue Justice to continue the minor procedural irregularity of having directly referred the matter to a Constitution Bench could have been condoned. However, by acting in such a manner, he has seems to have undermined the credibility of the Supreme Court and the office of the CJI. It has increased the doubts about his culpability in the offence in the eyes of a neutral and impartial observer.

Further to make matters worse, on 10th November at 2:45pm, Advocate Prashant Bhushan received a call from the registry that a seven judge bench is being constituted to sit 3pm and that he should come to court. A list setting out the constitution of the 7 judges bench was posted on the notice board but when Mr. Prashant Bhushan entered the court, to his surprise there was a bench of 5 hand picked junior judges, presided by the Chief Justice, as opposed to the order dated 9th November 2017 by the Division Bench of Justice Chelameswar and Justice Nazeer. The hearing began to a full court where the Additional Solicitor General, office bearers of the Supreme Court Bar Association and other lawyers who were not parties were allowed to say things against the order of the division Bench and as the hearing progressed, the atmosphere became chaotic with sloganeering. The Counsels for the petitioners Prashant Bhushan and Dushyant Dave were neither called upon nor permitted to put forward their case and there was a constant cry for hauling them, along with the others who have taken up this issue, for contempt. Ultimately Prashant Bhushan was forced to leave the court with the marshalls escorting him. The Constitution bench then proceeded to annul the order of the division bench.

The Indian Association of People’s Lawyers (IAPL) expresses its utmost displeasure at the way at which the CJI has addressed the issue of allegations of bribery of the judiciary. The events in the hearing of the abovementioned proceedings and especially on 10th November show a clear violation of basic principle of jurisprudence by the Higher Judiciary especially in dealing with sensitive matters where the credibility of the Higher Judiciary is involved. On the other hand, IAPL also condemns the way in which the lawyers raising the issue of corruption of the judiciary were booed, ridiculed, humiliated and threatened with contempt. This is similar to the silencing of whistleblowers that the judiciary in other matters is so keen to act on. IAPL extends its solidarity with such lawyers and urges all to be ever vigilant regarding cases of alleged corruption of the Judiciary and strive for the independence of the judiciary especially from the influence of money and political power.

_Adv. Surendra Gadling,_
_General Secretary, IAPL_

(IAPL – Indian Association of People’s Lawyers Facebook)