Tag Archives: India


February 27, 2018


On 23 February, the bail application of senior counsel and human rights lawyer Upendra Nayak was rejected by the Junior Magistrate First Class (JMFC), Mohana in Gajapati district in Odisha state. He was arrested on 20 February by Paralakhemundi Police. His next bail application will be filed before the District Judge.

On 21 February 2018, Upendra Nayak appeared before Gajapati Judicial Magistrate and was sent to R. Udaygiri Jail.

On 20 February, Upendra Nayak was arrested in relation to ten criminal cases where he himself was the defense lawyer and has been charged under sections 121, 121-A, 124-A of the Indian Penal Code which are related to sedition, waging war against the State, and various sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. These cases were registered between 2009 and 2010 wherein he successfully defended adivasi individuals who were arrested under anti-Maoist operations. All the trials ended in acquittals.

This is not the first case where a lawyer representing or working with adivasi people has been subjected to judicial harassment in India. Most recently, Advocate A. Murugan was arrested in 2017 in relation to  criminal cases in which he had been defending the accused.

Front Line Defenders condemns the arrest of of human rights defender Upendra Nayak, as it strongly believes that it is directly linked to hispeaceful and legitimate work as a human rights lawyer in Odisha state in India.




India: Nalapad Assault Case: Victim’s lawyer seeks protection, cites threat to life

February 22, 2018

Karnataka MLA NA Haris

Special prosecutor in the Nalapad assault case, Shyamsunder has written to the Bengaluru police commissioner seeking protection for himself and his family. After Shyamsundar’s request, the police immediately began patrolling around his home.

Mohammed Haris Nalapad, also Bengaluru District Youth Congress General Secretary, was sent to judicial custody till March 7 after he attacked an individual over putting up banners during Rahul Gandhi’s Bengaluru visit.

On Wednesday, Judge of the 8th ACMM Court remanded Mohammed Nalapad and his six associates to Judicial Custody till March 7 for brutally assaulting a person.

Commenting on the matter, senior BJP leader R Ashoka said he was shocked that a lawyer could not argue a case in court without fear. “Is there democracy in Karnataka?” Ashoka asked.

Mohammed Nalapad and his six associates are lodged at the Parappana Agrahara Central prison in the city. Nalapad had gone absconding after the assault and was untraceable for almost 36 hours after the incident took place on Saturday night. He surrendered before the Cubbon Park police on Monday morning.




February 23, 2018

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The Paralakhemundi police have arrested lawyer Upendra Nayak on capacity of a non-bailable warrant issued by the R Udayagri JMFC Court.

A team led by ASI SN Purohit arrested Nayak from his residence at Badagouda Sahi in the city.  After arrest, he was forwarded to the JMFC Court at R Udayagiri, according to information.

Meanwhile, the Campaign against Fabricated Cases and the PUCL have approached the Odisha Human Rights Commission against arrest of Nayak. “We are deeply concerned that advocate Upendra Nayak was arrested on charges seditions, waging war against State, unlawful activities prevention charges etc.  65-year-old Nayak is a regular legal practitioner and ventured to defend the defenceless tribes who are languishing in jails in Gajapati district. His arrest violates rights of lawyers. Therefore, we request that the matter be inquired by the own agency of the OHRC and the State Government be directed to take necessary steps for withdrawal of prosecutions against Nayak,” demanded a memorandum sent to the OHRC.

Biswapriya Kanungo of the Campaign Agaisnt Fabricated Cases and Promodini Pradhan of the PUCL undersigned the memorandum, among others.







23rd February 2018

The Indian Association of People’s Lawyers condemns the arrest of peoples’ advocate Upendra Nayak by the Paralakhemundi police, Odisha on the night of 20th February 2018. He was produced before the Mohana, Gajapati Judicial Magistrate on 21st February and subsequently sent to R. Udaygiri Jail. Shockingly, he has been arrested in ten criminal cases under serious charges like sedition, waging war against the State and provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, wherein he himself was the advocate defending the accused.

Advocate Nayak is more that 65 years of age and a regular legal practitioner in the courts of Gajapati. One of the southern districts in Orissa, Gajapati is where Adivasis constitute 51 percent of the population in the district. Advocate Nayak has been defending innocent tribals of Gajapati who have been arrested in fabricated and false cases under the name of anti-Maoists operations. Apparently he has been sent to jail for his alleged involvement in the ten cases. All registered way back in 2009 and 2010 in which he successfully defended number of innocents including Arati Majhi, Pasanti Patamijhi, Munita Lakshmi and the trial ended in acquittals. The case of Arati Majhi is well documented by the Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS) (https://wssnet.files.wordpress.com/…/arati-majhi-case-from-…

).However this type of arrest wherein the State has identified a lawyer with the cause of his client, is becoming a common practice in so-called terrorist cases or Maoist trials. IAPL had observed in earlier fact findings to Chhattisgarh and Madurai how Advocates Rekha Praganiya and A. Murugan had been arrested in criminal cases in which they themself had been defending other accused. Special ant-terror laws such as UA(P)A with broad and vague definitions of conspiracy, association and culpability often help the State to do so.

This practice is in violation of the “Basic Principles of the Role of Lawyers, 1990” (Eighth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders) which clearly states that “Lawyers shall not be identified with their clients or their clients’ causes as a result of discharging their functions”. By hindering Advocate Nayak to fearlessly practice his profession and defend his client, the State has also violated Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution, a fundamental right, that guarantees a person the right to practice any profession.
IAPL demands:

1. RELEASE Adv Upendra Nayak immediately and unconditionally.
2. STOP identifying lawyers with the causes of their clients.
3. REPEAL the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act

Adv. Surendra Gadling, General Secretary, IAPL
Adv. Sudha Bharadwaj, Vice-President, IAPL

(IAPL – Indian Association of People’s Lawyers 23/02/18 Facebook)



Kashmir/India: Lawyers booked for comparing Afzal Guru, Maqbool Bhat with Baghat Singh

February 21, 2018

Lawyers booked for comparing Afzal Guru, Maqbool Bhat with Baghat Singh

Jammu and Kashmir Police have registered an FIR against lawyers and their agents for pasting posters in the Saddar Court Complex here on February 9 wherein a comparison were drawn between Muhammad Maqbool Bhat, Muhammad Afzal Guru and Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Chander Shekhar Azad.

According to police “the posters had message: Maqbool and Bhat are heroes of Kashmir, while Bhaghat, Sukhdev and Azad were the heroes of India.”


Taking strong note of the posters, police station Batamaloo registered a case against some lawyers and their agents under section 13 of Unlawful Activities Act. “Police station received information from credible sources that some lawyers and their agents had pasted posters of Bhat and Guru wherein they were termed as heroes of Kashmir; Singh, Sukhdev and Azad were declared heroes of India,” reads the FIR.

The FIR, a copy of which is with Greater Kashmir, further states that pasting the posters of Guru, Bhat and militants on the walls of court complex amounts to challenging the sovereignty of India and hence those involved need to be booked under section 13 of the UAA.

A police source said the issue has been taken very seriously by the top brass of police and investigations are afoot to identity the “lawyers involved in the act.” “Police team from Batamaloo is probing the matter seriously,” he said.

He said the posters were removed and seized by the police and it is being investigated wherefrom they were printed. “We are sure to find out who was behind the act,” he said.

Talking to Greater Kashmir, general secretary of Kashmir High Court Bar Association (KHCBA), advocate G N Shaheeen, said that registering an FIR is nothing new for the Bar. “We believe almost every citizen of Kashmir has been booked under this Act for raising voice against the forcible control of New Delhi,” he said. “First of all, on February 9 there was complete strike and no lawyer was present in the court. We don’t know who pasted these posters. Lodging FIR against lawyers is a non-issue.”

President Lawyers Club Kashmir, advocate Babar Qadri, said, “Open FIR is always like a sword that hangs on the heads of lawyers. My appeal to the HCBA president is not to remain silent on the police FIR and instead fight it out.”








India: Attack on lawyers: HC pulls up FSL dir for failure to give report

February 15, 2018

The Delhi High Court today pulled up the director of Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) here over its failure to place before it a scientific report in connection with the recent arson attacks on the properties of some lawyers in the national capital.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said that the evidence was collected by three different police stations for three different incidents in the city, but the forensic reports were still awaited.

“Why can’t we say that it is deliberately delayed and in connivance with the accused,” the bench said and asked Deepa Verma, Director CFSL, “if it had been a case of terrorists, what would have they done”.

“This is happening in the capital of India. It is an emergency situation. A leader of the Delhi High Court Bar Association, its executive member and a lawyer have been attacked,” it said, adding that the forensic laboratory has not yet begun their work.

The court had sought reports from the FSL on the attacks that took place on January 4, 9 and 22 on the lawyers representing a woman advocate, who was allegedly assaulted by policemen and dragged out of her house, after a stalking case was lodged against her by a woman purportedly over a property dispute.

It noted that the FSL had received the samples on January 30.

“Both the delay and the manner in which the samples have been sent to the FSL have to be scrutinised by the Delhi Police Commissioner. The Commissioner will take action for the delay and file a status report,” the bench observed and asked the FSL to file their report on or before the next hearing on February 21.




Delhi High Court voices concern over safety of people, says arsonist on the loose



India: Man Wanted For Allahabad Law Student’s Murder Has Political Links: Police

February 13, 2018

What led to the assault was a minor argument that started when Vijay Shankar Singh, entering the Kalika restaurant in Uttar Pradesh’s Allahabad with his friends, brushed against the law student Dilip Saroj, who was sitting on the stairs outside.

Man Wanted For Allahabad Law Student's Murder Has Political Links: Police

Three days after a 26-year-old man was beaten to death at a restaurant in Uttar Pradesh’s Allahabad, a horrific assault caught on mobile phone camera by a witness, the main accused is yet to be arrested. Vijay Shankar Singh, an Indian Railways employee missing since the killing, is linked to a politician and strongman, according to the police.

Chief Minister Adityanath has announced Rs. 20 lakh compensation for the family of Dilip Saroj, the law student who died after being beaten with a hockey stick, an iron road and bricks on Friday night. The mobile phone video taken by a passerby outside the restaurant has captured a part of the assault, after which Dilip is seen lying on the road, unconscious.

Vijay Shankar Singh, seen in a red jacket, keeps hitting the lifeless Dilip.












Maldives: Concerns over ‘fragile democracy’ in Maldives

February 11, 2018


Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has said that democracy, progress and public security in the crisis-hit Maldives are in a fragile state and called on the government to revert back to the law.
In a statement last week, Annan raised concerns over the actions of President Abdulla Yameen’s regime regarding independent institutions, which he claimed were in violation of the spirit of democracy.
Annan also expressed alarm over the government’s refusal to comply with the Supreme Court’s shock ruling on February 1, in which the five justices had unanimously ordered the release of nine prominent political leaders including former exiled president Mohamed Nasheed, en.mihaaru.com reported.
Annan urged the Maldivian government to stop intimidating judges and to execute the top court’s verdict to free the politicians and lift the ongoing state of emergency.
He further said that the presidential elections slated for this year “must be held with the participation of independent institutions”.
“The world must not remain complacent in this issue,” the former UN chief said.



Patience is key