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January 13, 2018
The Indian Association of People’s Lawyers (IAPL) has now stepped forward to laud the four sitting Judges of the Supreme Court- Justice J. Chelameswar, Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice M.B. Lokur and Justice Kurian Joseph- who held an unprecedented pres…
December 19, 2017
The Hindi edition of the Indian Association of People’s Lawyers booklet on “Attacks on Lawyers in Chhattisgarh” being released on Human Rights Day in Raipur at the Award ceremony of the KG KANNABIRAN MEMORIAL AWARD. The Chhattisgarh PUCL had set up these awards to carry on the brave and bold tradition of K G Kannabiran in challenging the combined might of an authoritarian State, global Corporations, and religious fanatics, who are out-and-out to demolish the secular-socialist-democratic fabric of the Indian Constitution.
AN EXPERIENCE OF Advocate Anubha Rastogi IN COURT
“A female, a lawyer, practicing for the past 14 years, have had all kinds of stuff thrown at me because I am a female lawyer, sometimes it was because of the people I represented sometimes because I did good job, shockingly, inspite of being said female lawyer.
There have been umpteen attempts at intimidation in court, infact there was a trial where the job of around 10-15 male lawyers was to only sit and intimidate me while in court by constantly and continuously staring at me.
What had never happened before was the ‘accidental’ touch. It happened today in full court, while I was arguing. I say accidental in quotes because to me it did not appear to be accidental and was purposely done only to distract me from my case.
The ‘accidental’ touch by the lawyers for the accused, the apology and my response by asking the lawyers for the accused to move aside and let me have the space I am entitled to while arguing my case and then my continuation of arguments. This is what happened.
I intend to speak up as the message needs to be loud and clear that there is no tolerance for this behaviour, and at the same time I will not let the purpose behind this harassment be fulfilled.
I say this here because I want it to be known that this happens day in and day out, and that its not ok to keep quite about it and its also not so simple to talk about it.”
CONDEMN SEXUAL HARASSMENT AT THE WORKPLACE, INCLUDING THE COURTS!!
November 12, 2017
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_
October 4, 2017
The Indian Association of People’s Lawyers (IAPL) condemns the continuing attack, harassment, witch-hunting and false implication of Adv. Rajat Kalsan, people’s lawyer and Dalit rights crusader in its true sense, by the Haryana Police and goonda elements belonging to the dominant caste.
Adv. Kalsan is a practicing Lawyer in Hisar district of Haryana and has been for the past 16 years working for the exploited and toiling masses, both inside and outside the court. Adv. Kalsan has been instrumental in getting justice for victims of more than 150 infamous cases of Dalit atrocities in state of Haryana, including Mirchpur carnage of 2010 (18 Dalit homes were torched and the duo of father and daughter burnt alive); the Gohana carnage of 2005 (60 Balmiki houses were set on fire); Dabra gang-rape case of 2012 (16-year-old Dalit girl was gang-raped and father was forced to commit suicide); and Daulatpur hand chopping case of 2012 (Dalit man’s hand chopped off for drinking water from dominant-caste field). While fighting these cases Adv. Kalsan has been attacked by dominant caste goons on more than 6 occasions and has been under police protection for past 6 years. This police protection has been arbitrarily withdrawn after the political intervention at higher level.
The FIR in which Adv. Kalsan has been recently implicated, is in the background of another case of Dalit atrocity and social boycott/. In June, 2017 in village Bhatla amid dispute on water, dominant castes villagers assaulted 6-7 Dalit boys, and FIR No. 190/2017 was registered at Police Station Sadar Hansi under SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, in which the police and District Administration pressurized the complainant/victim, clients of Adv. Kalsan, to arrive at a compromise. When the complainants chose not to compromise, the dominant caste members of the village openly announced social and economic boycott of the Dalits in the village. Apart from the social boycott, the family members of the complainant Ajay Kumar were attacked twice and Adv. Kalsan was also attacked and chased out of the village, when he had gone to the village to assist the fact-finding team constituted vide the order of the Hon’ble Punjab and Haryana High Court. In the meantime, the people from dominant caste of village staged a protest against Adv. Kalsan, demanding cancellation of License of Practice of Adv. Rajat Kalsan and a registration of case against him. On this, two FIRs. No 328/2015 & 725/2016 which were cancelled, were re-opened without seeking any permission from the Court and raids were conducted at his house and chambers to arrest Adv. Kalsan, and when Adv. Kalsan obtained anticipatory bail in both the FIRs, another fresh, false and fabricated FIR No. 302/2017 under section 389 (extortion), 153A (Promoting enmity between different groups), 153B (Imputations, assertions prejudicial to national-integration), 211 (False Charges), 193 (False Evidence), 505 (Statements Conducting Public Mischief), 506 (criminal intimidation), 120B (Criminal Conspiracy), 109 of IPC, leveling false allegations of spreading hatred amongst Dalit masses. The whole FIR is based on a recording of conversation between Adv. Kalsan and his client, done illegally infringing the privacy of Adv. Kalsan. It ought to be noted that communication between an advocate and his/her client is deemed as a privileged communication under the Indian Evidence Act, 1972. Interim bail has been granted by the Hon’ble Punjab and Haryana High Court in this case as well.
Adv. Kalsan has been embroiled in false and motivated cases owing to his professional work as an advocate, he has been repeatedly targeted because of his diligence towards the cause of his clients and his uncompromising politics against caste discrimination. It is pertinent to mention here that, Adv. Kalsan has been forced to abandon his law practice and home town since the last one month. Continuous harassment, surveillance and intimidation of Adv. Kalsan is a clear violation of the Article 19 and UN Basic Principles of the Role of Lawyers, amongst other constitutional and international standards. Further, here the role of District Bar Association also needs to be condemned and the casteist face of the District Bar Association needs to be exposed. The District Bar Association, under the influence of the police administration and Jat leaders, has sent a recommendation to Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana to get the license of Adv. Kalsan cancelled. Such attempts of intimidation of lawyers by the state and statutory authorities amounts to obstruction of the administration of justice as it is an attempt to deter lawyers from performing their duties.
The Indian Association of People’s Lawyers calls upon all to stand in solidarity and support of Adv. Rajat Kalsan and condemn the witch hunt and persecution of a true People’s Lawyer. Further, the IAPL demands that the State of Haryana and Haryana Police withdraw/cancel all false and frivolous cases against Adv. Kalsan, expeditiously and take steps to protect the life, liberty and constitutional rights of Adv. Rajat Kalsan, given the gravity of the situation.
Advocate Surendra Gadling,
Indian Association of People’s Lawyers (IAPL)
4th October 2017
Declaração da IAPL contra a perseguição ao Advogado Kalsan, em Haryana, Índia
4 de outubro de 2017
A Associação Indiana de Advogados do Povo/IAPL condena o ataque contínuo, a perseguição, a caça às bruxas e as falsas acusações contra o advogado Rajat Kalsan – que é um advogado do povo e um ativista dos direitos dos Dalits, um cruzado no seu verdadeiro sentido – feitas pela polícia de Haryana e por elementos ‘goonda’ pertencentes à casta dominante.
Kalsan é um advogado em exercício no distrito de Hisar, Haryana, onde tem trabalhado nos últimos 16 anos para as massas trabalhadoras e exploradas, tanto dentro como fora do tribunal. Kalsan tem sido fundamental na busca de justiça para as vítimas de mais de 150 casos infames de atrocidades cometidas contra os Dalits no estado de Haryana, incluindo: 1) a carnificina de Mirchpur, de 2010 (quando 18 casas Dalits foram incendiadas e pai e filha foram queimados vivos); 2) a carnificina de Gohana, de 2005 (quando 60 casas de Balmiki foram incendiadas); 3) o Caso Dabra, de estupros promovidos por gangues, de 2012 (quando, entre outros, uma menina Dalit, de 16 anos, foi estuprada por uma gangue e o pai foi forçado a suicidar-se); e 4) o caso de Daulatpur, em 2012 (quando a mão de um homem Dalit foi cortada apenas pelo fato dele estar bebendo água no campo de castas dominantes). Ao lutar contra estes casos, o advogado Kalsan foi atacado pelas castas dominantes em mais de seis ocasiões e estava sob proteção policial nos últimos 6 anos. Esta proteção policial foi, arbitrariamente, retirada após uma intervenção política de nível superior.
A FIR (NT: First Information Report/Primeiro Relatório de Informações, quando a polícia registra uma queixa) em que Kalsan foi recentemente envolvido, está na base de outro caso de atrocidade contra os Dalits e boicote social imposto a eles. Em junho de 2017, na aldeia de Bhatla, em uma disputa sobre água, aldeões de castas dominantes agrediram sete meninos Dalits e a FIR No. 190/2017 foi registrada na delegacia de polícia Sadar Hansi, sob a lei SC / ST (Prevenção de Atrocidades), 1989, mas a polícia e a Administração Distrital pressionaram os queixosos/vítimas, clientes do advogado Kalsan, para chegarem a um acordo. Quando os queixosos optaram por não se comprometer, os membros das castas dominantes da aldeia anunciaram abertamente o boicote social e econômico aos Dalits na aldeia. Além do boicote social, os membros da família dos queixosos Ajay Kumar foram atacados duas vezes e Kalsan também foi atacado e expulso da aldeia, quando ele lá estava para ajudar a equipe de pesquisa constituída por ordem do Honorável Punjab e do Supremo Tribunal de Haryana. Enquanto isso, as pessoas da casta dominante da aldeia fizeram um protesto contra Kalsan, exigindo o cancelamento da sua licença de prática como advogado e ainda fizeram um registro de caso contra ele. Com isso, duas FIRs. No 328/2015 e 725/2016 que foram canceladas, foram reabertas sem solicitar qualquer permissão ao Tribunal e foram realizadas incursões tanto em sua casa como nas câmaras do tribunal, para prendê-lo. Quando Kalsan obteve fiança antecipada sobre estas FIRs, outra FIR, nova, falsa e fabricada, N ° 302/2017, sob a seção 389 (extorsão), 153A (Promoção de inimizade entre diferentes grupos), 153B (Imputações, afirmações prejudiciais à integração nacional), 211 (Falsos Encargos), 193 (Falso Evidência), 505 (Declarações de Transtorno Público), 506 (intimidação criminal), 120B (Conspiração Criminal), 109 do IPC, nivelando alegações falsas de propagação de ódio entre massas Dalits. Esta FIR é baseada em uma gravação de conversa entre Kalsan e seu cliente, feita ilegalmente contra a privacidade do advogado. Importante lembrar que a comunicação entre um advogado e seu cliente é considerada como uma comunicação privilegiada nos termos da Lei de Evidência Indiana, 1972. A caução provisória foi concedida pelo Honorável Punjab e Tribunal Superior de Haryana também neste caso.
Kalsan esteve envolvido em vários casos forjados devido ao seu trabalho profissional como defensor, e ele tem sido, repetidamente, alvo de ataques por causa de sua diligência em relação à causa de seus clientes e sua posição intransigente contra a discriminação de castas. É pertinente mencionar aqui que Kalsan foi forçado a abandonar sua prática legal em sua cidade natal desde o último mês. Perseguições contínuas, vigilância e intimidação de Kalsan constituem violações do Artigo 19 e dos Princípios Básicos das Nações Unidas sobre o papel dos advogados, entre outros padrões constitucionais e internacionais. Além disso, aqui o papel da Associação Distrital de Advogados também precisa ser condenado e o caráter de casta da Associação Distrital de Advogados precisa também ser exposto. A Associação Distrital de Advogados, sob a influência da administração da polícia e dos líderes do Jat (NT: grupo étnico tradicionalmente rural do norte da Índia e do Paquistão; no início do século 21, os Jats constituíam cerca de um quarto das populações de Punjab e Haryana), enviou uma recomendação ao Conselho de Advogados de Punjab e Haryana para obter a cassação da licença do advogado Kalsan. Tais tentativas de intimidação dos advogados pelas autoridades estatais e estatutárias equivale a obstruir a administração da justiça, pois é uma tentativa de dissuadir os advogados de exercerem suas funções.
A Associação Indiana de Advogados do Povo/IAPL apela a todos para que se solidarizem com advogado Rajat Kalsan e o apoiem condenando a caça às bruxas e a perseguição que vem sendo feita contra um verdadeiro advogado do povo. Além disso, a IAPL exige que o Estado de Haryana e a Polícia de Haryanaretirem e cancelem todos os casos falsos e frívolos contra o advogado Kalsan, rapidamente, e tomem medidas para proteger a sua vida, a sua liberdade e os seus direitos constitucionais dada a gravidade da situação.
Advogado Surendra Gadling,
Associação Indiana de Advogados do Povo (IAPL)
(Mensagens de advogados de todos os países podem ser enviadas para IAPL India: email@example.com)
October 3, 2017
IAPL EXTENDS SOLIDARITY TO KARNATAKA ADVOCATES WHO ARE ABSTAINING FROM WORK ON OCTOBER 4TH AS A MARK OF PROTEST!
IAPL CONDEMNS THE TREATMENT METED OUT TO JUSTICE JAYANT PATEL, IT SYMBOLIZES AN ATTACK ON THE INDEPENDENCE OF THE JUDICIARY!
3rd October 2017
The Karnataka Bar Council has called on all advocates to abstain from work on October 4 as a mark of protest against the transfer of Justice Jayant Patel, which prevented his elevation to the seat of Chief Justice of the High Court. In its protest letter to the CJI, the Council has held that the transfer exposed lack of transparency and accountability in the working of Collegium system. The Gujarat High Court Advocates’ Association too had given a call to abstain from Court and had questioned the transfer of Justice Patel in their letter to the Registrar.
As the acting Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court, Justice Patel had directed a CBI investigation into the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case. This CBI probe led to the arrest and chargesheeting of a large number of senior Gujarat police officers for the cold-blooded killing and was a major embarrassment for Narendra Modi, who was chief minister of Gujarat at the time. As the current Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court is due to retire on October 9th, Justice Patel would ordinarily have become acting Chief Justice of the Court. Hence it will not be incorrect to assume that the timing and nature of this transfer was intended to deny him becoming Chief Justice and punish him for his orders that have embarrassed the State. The Collegium themselves by such an arbitrary act, lacking transparency have cast serious apprehensions whether they can and will safeguard the ‘Independence of the Judiciary’.
August 17, 2017
A. Murrugan, a young lawyer practicing at the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court was arrested from his residence on 8th January 2017. The police had gone to his house in the early morning 4 o’clock, and after arresting him seized his case papers, files, preparations for final arguments for some cases and books, Homeopathy medicines & a medical book, all easily available in the market. Ayyanan Murugan is also the Secretary of the Centre for Protection of Civil Liberties (CPCL), Tamilnadu. What makes his case rather surprising is that this Human Rights Lawyer was arrested in the same criminal trial wherein he was defending two accused and has been incarcerated since then.
It was based on these preliminary facts that the Indian Association of People’s Lawyers (IAPL) decided to send a team of lawyers from across the country to look into the absurdity of his case. D. Sureshkumar (Hyderabad), Arun Ferreira (Mumbai), Jagdish Meshram (Gadchiroli) and Gurunathan (Tamilnadu) from IAPL arrived in Madurai on 3rd August 2017. The team was able to meet Murugan who was in Trichy prison and collect the chargesheets filed against him. The team also met his wife, who too is a lawyer, some of his colleagues in court and the two counsels who defending him in applications before the High Court namely Adv. Jayaramachandran and Adv. Lajapathi Roy of Madurai.