Tag Archives: Indian Association of People’s Lawyers

India: Gadling in jail. Reason? As lawyer-activist he has been ‘unpleasant’ to India’s topcops


Surendra Gadling, now in jail in the Bhima-Koregoan violence case, is a human rights lawyer and Dalit rights activist based in Nagpur. He is known for taking up cases of extra-judicial killings, police excesses and atrocities against Dalits and Adivasis in Gadchiroli and Gondia districts of Maharashtra. 

All his life he fought valiantly to defend the rights of the people belonging to marginalized sections of society who were persecuted by the State or people who would stand up for their rights and consequently were targeted by the ruling elite but in the end he paid a price for his magnanimity. 

He is considered to be an expert in special laws like Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act and the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, laws under which rampant violation of rights of tribals goes on in this country.

 He represented Arun Ferreira, also in jail in the Bhima-Koregaon case, between 2007 and 2012. Until his own arrest, he was also handling the case of a wheelchair-bound Delhi University Professor G.N. Saibaba, now convicted for his Naxal links. Surendra Gandling is known to take up most of his cases pro bono.

While working as an apprentice in the railways, Surendra started the Awhan Natya Manch, which would organise cultural evenings in the bastis of Nagpur and engage in conversations around rights and oppression. He has also been a member of the Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights, the Committee for Release of Political Prisoners and served as General Secretary of the Indian Association of Peoples’ Lawyers. The IAPL describes him as ‘..an iconic example to many dalit lawyers defending their oppressed communities.’

Gadling was part of an independent fact-finding team that probed the encounter killing of 40 alleged Maoists by the police in Gadhchiroli in April 2018. He has also been a voice against persecution of the lawyers by the police machinery. In this context he also visited Kashmir as part of a team. He conducted a fact-finding mission in Chhattisgarh and brought out a report about persecution and harassment of lawyers who take up cases pertaining to tribals trapped in UAPA cases.

He was also part of the Bhima Koregaon fact-finding team. Gadling has been deeply involved with issues related to backward communities, in defense of reservation and in defense of the independence of the judiciary. He has been instrumental in spreading awareness and organising public meetings on various human rights issues.

Among the persons Gadling defended, many were charged with UAPA/Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act and labeled as terrorists or Naxalites. Some of these names will definitely be part of history for their contribution towards society. In the close to 25 years of legal career he was able to get acquittal for all his clients, except in three cases, who were charged under these draconian laws, no mean achievement considering the powerful state paraphernalia that he was arrayed against.

Among the persons Gadling defended, many were charged with UAPA/Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act and labeled as terrorists or NaxalitesBy deploying the heaviest of police bandobast, cordoning off the court premises, issuing alerts on the court hearing days, the police would often throw its weight to intimidate him and his clients in many of the cases he was involved with.

Despite all this, Gadling has been successful in convincing the courts of law about the innocence of his clients and in the discarding of many ridiculous allegations. He has fearlessly defended many even when there was strong objection from bar associations, negative publicity in media and open threats from investigating bodies.





News: Advocate Surendra Gadling remanded to judicial custody until July 4th  - Human Rights Law Network (HRLN)
India Must Put An End To The Unjust Cruel And Continued Incarceration Of  Bhima Koregaon Activists - Amnesty International India
End crackdown on Dalits and activists in India

India: Bhima Koregaon case: Bombay HC denies bail to Sudha Bharadwaj, Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves

October 15, 2019

THE Bombay High Court on Tuesday dismissed bail applications filed by rights activists Sudha Bharadwaj, Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves in Bhima Koregoan case.

All three activists are currently lodged at Yerwada Central Jail over 14 months now.

A single judge bench of Justice Sarang VKotwal after hearing pleas of the three civil liberties activists for almost two months reserved the order on October 7.

The court rejected all three applications filed by activists who were implicated for alleged links with banned Maoist group and for provoking violence at the Koregaon Bhima after an Elgar Parishad meeting held on December 31, 2017.

In October 2018, a special judge in Pune had rejected the bail application filed by the three activists after which they moved to the Bombay High Court.

Sudha Bharadwaj, Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves have been booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and provisions of Indian Penal Code by the Pune police.

Earlier, on September 13 the Bombay High court had turned down Gautam Navlakha plea seeking to quash the FIR filed against him by the Pune Police in the Bhima Koregoan case. However, on October 4 the Supreme Court had extended the interim protection granted to Navlakha in the Bhima Koregona case till October 15.

Bhima Koregaon case: Bombay HC denies bail to Sudha Bharadwaj, Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves




Bhima Koregaon: Bombay High Court rejects bail plea of Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj and Arun Ferreira





https://www.amarujala.com/india-news/bhima-koregaon-bombay-hc-denies-bail-to-activists-sudha-bharadwaj-arun-ferreira-vernon-gonsalves (HINDI)

https://bengali.indianexpress.com/general-news/elgaar-parishad-cpi-maoist-sudha-bhardwaj-arun-ferreira-vernon-gonsalves-bail-application-rejected-bombay-high-court-150320/ (BANGLA)

India: Bhima Koregaon: Bombay HC reserves order on bail pleas of accused Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj, Arun Ferreira

October 8, 2019

Bhima Koregaon

After hearing the arguments for over a month, the Bombay High Court on Monday reserved its orders on the bail applications of activists Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj, and Arun Ferreira, who have been accused in the Bhima-Koregaon case.

A Single Judge Bench of Justice Sarang Kotwal has been hearing bail applications of the three accused on a regular basis since August 27.

On Monday, Additional Public Prosecutor (APP) Aruna Pai concluded her arguments on behalf of the Pune police. She submitted that the Call Detail Records (CDRs) of all three accused show that they were in constant touch with the other accused persons, Surendra Gadling and Rona Wilson. It is sufficient to keep them incarcerated in jail, Pai argued.

Earlier, on October 1, Pai had claimed that accused Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira were involved in recruiting cadre for banned Naxal group Communist Party of India (Maoist). On October 3, it was further submitted that all three activists were members of organizations that were allegedly acting as frontal groups for the CPI (M).

These organizations include the Indian Association of People’s Lawyers (IAPL), Committee for Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP), Persecuted Prisoners Solidarity Committee (PPSC) and Anuradha Gandhi Memorial (AGM).

Arguments on behalf of the bail applicants had concluded on September 24. Appearing for Arun Ferreira, Advocate Sudeep Pasbola had submitted that though his client may have been inspired by Marxist or Leftist ideology, it was not a ground to incriminate him in connection with the alleged conspiracies of the banned Naxal group CPI (M).

It was also submitted that there is no incriminating evidence against Ferreira produced by the prosecution. Pasbola had argued that the Police had booked Arun Ferreira for assisting co-accused Surendra Gadling, who had represented Delhi University professor, GN Saibaba. Saibaba had been convicted to life imprisonment for having Maoist links in 2017.

Bhima Koregaon: Bombay HC reserves order on bail pleas of accused Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj, Arun Ferreira

Elgaar Parishad case: HC reserves order on bail pleas of activists

Bhima Koregaon 9




Bhima Koregaon: No incriminating evidence against me, Arun Ferreira tells Bombay HC

https://www.amnesty.ie/demand-the-release-of-the-bhima-koregaon-9-now/ (SIGN THE PETITION!)



India: Bhima Koregaon: No incriminating evidence against me, Arun Ferreira tells Bombay HC

September 21, 2019

Arun Ferreira

Counsel for accused civil rights activist Arun Ferreira, who has been in custody for a year in the Bhima Koregaon case, asserted before the Bombay High Court that there is no incriminating evidence produced against his client by the Pune Police.

Advocate Sudeep Pasbola submitted that the Pune Police had booked Arun Ferreira for assisting co-accused Surendra Gadling, who was representing activist and Delhi University professor G N Saibaba, booked for having Maoist links.

Merely because Ferreira had an acquaintance with Gadling is not a ground to implicate him,” argued Pasbola.

Moreover, Pasbola said that Ferreira was in Nagpur Central Jail for five years under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act after which he was acquitted of all the charges and released in 2012.

The counsel went on to submit before the Court that another ground for Ferreira’s arrest was his pronounced stand on human rights violations, reflected in his articles published last year. This will not suffice to incriminate Ferreira, Pasbola submitted.

Pasbola noted that the Pune Police had not named him in the first charge sheet filed last year. Police inserted his name in the supplementary charge sheet filed on February 21 this year as an afterthought, Pasbola claimed.

Bhima Koregaon: No incriminating evidence against me, Arun Ferreira tells Bombay HC








Surendra Gadling



https://maharashtratimes.indiatimes.com/maharashtra/mumbai-news/no-link-to-bhima-koregaon-violence-activist-arun-ferreira-tells-court/articleshow/71224541.cms (HINDI)

India: Govt opposes bail pleas of Rao, Gadling

July 24, 2019

Image result for Surendra Gadling

Justifying detention of Naxal sympathizers Vara Vara Rao and lawyer Surendra Gadling for their alleged role in a case of arson wherein 80 vehicles were torched at Surjagarh mining site in Gadchiroli in 2016, Maharashtra government on Tuesday informed that more names of Maoists and their sympathisers could be revealed as the probe progresses.




Speak against Modi govt’s revenge on activists before there is no one left to speak for us



India: One year of Bhima-Koregaon case: Part III | One FIR, many arrests and politics of a State at war with the people

January 9, 2019

This is the third of a three-part series on the anniversary of the Bhima Koregaon case. Links to Part I and Part II








India: Bhima-Koregaon case put off to December 3

November 16, 2018

Surendra Gadling. File

Maharashtra has challenged a Bombay High Court order against more time to complete probe against Surendra Gadling, others

The Supreme Court adjourned to December 3 the hearing of the Maharashtra government’s petition against a Bombay High Court order denying the police a 90-day extension to complete their investigation and file a charge sheet against lawyer Surendra Gadling and others accused of Maoist links in the aftermath of the Bhima-Koregaon violence.

On October 29, a Bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S.K. Kaul and K.M. Joseph stayed the High Court’s order. A chargesheet had been filed by the police in a Pune special court against Mr. Gadling and four other co-accused on November 15.

The High Court passed its order on October 24, opening a window for Mr. Gadling, Nagpur University professor Shoma Sen and activists Sudhir Dhawale, Mahesh Raut and Rona Wilson to seek default bail. They were arrested on June 6 by the Pune police, and a case was registered against them under various provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, and the Indian Penal Code.


On September 2, the trial court allowed an extension of 90 days. Thereafter, Mr. Gadling and the others moved the High Court, which set aside the trial court’s order. However, the High Court stayed its order till November 1 to give the State time to appeal in the Supreme Court.




Elgaar meet: Five activists among 10 named in chargesheet, police claim plot to kill PM






India: Elgaar Parishad case: Pune court rejects bail pleas of activists Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bhardwaj

October 26, 2018

Activists Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira and Sudha Bhardwaj were accused of having Maoist links and were arrested in June in connection with the probe into Elgar Parishad and Bhima Koregaon violence.

A special court in Pune Friday rejected bail applications filed by activists Sudha Bharadwaj, Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves, who were arrested by the Pune city police on August 28 in connection with the Elgaar Parishad case, for their alleged links with the banned CPI-Maoist.

The trio was arrested along with P Vara Vara Rao and Gautam Navlakha, but all five were then put under house arrest as per the order issued by the Supreme Court. The house period of four weeks for the trio ends today. Defence lawyers of Bharadwaj, Ferreira and Gonsalves said they would be filing application before the court seeking time of one week in applying before a higher court for challenging the lower court’s order.

ALSO READ | Koregaon Bhima violence case — Among the five picked for ‘Maoist links’: an editor, a lawyer, a professor

The FIR in the case, lodged by Pune resident Tushar Damgude on January 8, initially named Harshali Potdar, Sudhir Dhawale of Republican Panthers, Sagar Gorkhe, and Ramesh Gaichor, Jyoti Jagtap, Deepak Dhengle of the Pune-based Kabir Kala Manch. It claimed that the accused, as per the strategy of the CPI- Maoist, “mislead the Dalits and spread thoughts of violence” in their minds.

On June 6, police had arrested activist Rona Wilson, Nagpur-based lawyer Surendra Gadling, Nagpur University professor Shoma Sen, former Prime Minister Rural Development fellow Mahesh Raut and Sudhir Dhawale in connection with the case.

Elgaar Parishad case: Pune court rejects bail pleas of activists Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bhardwaj












https://www.loksatta.com/maharashtra-news/pune-sessions-court-has-rejected-bail-plea-of-vernon-gonsalves-arun-ferreira-and-sudha-bhardwaj-accused-in-bhima-koregaon-violence-case-1778987/ (HINDI)

http://www.lokmat.com/crime/bhima-koregaon-violence-case-sudha-bhardwaj-vernon-gonsalves-arun-ferreira-may-be-arrested/ (HINDI)

https://teles-relay.com/inde-deux-militants-de-gauche-arretes-apres-que-le-tribunal-de-pune-ait-rejete-leur-demande-de-mise-en-liberte-sous-caution-inde-nouvelles/ (FRANCAIS)

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Coordination of Democratic Rights Organisation (CDRO)
Press Release
28th October,2018

Condemns the arrest of Adv. Sudha Bharadwaj, Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves
Coordination of Democratic Rights Organisation (CDRO) strongly condemns the arrest of activists and lawyers Sudha Bharadwaj, Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira by Maharashtra police on the rejection of their bail petition by the special court of Additional Sessions Judge K D Vadane in Pune on 26.10.18. In this latest episode of the sordid drama unfolding over the last one and half months, we see a completely unreasoned order by the Additional Sessions Judge which relies on the multiple unsigned and clearly fabricated letters produced by Pune police and released to the media over the last six months as evidence to find the activists prime facie guilty and reject their bail applications. The rejection order does not take into account that Sudha Bharadwaj, Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira, together with Gautam Navlakha and Varavara Rao, who are the other accused in the case, were never named in the FIR lodged regarding the Elgar Parishad held on 31.12.17 nor were they in any way involved with the organization of the Elgar Parishad. To our greater surprise, we find that the order states that based on the slogans and songs at the Elgar Parishad, the judge comes to the conclusion that war was declared at the Elgar Parishad! The order considers the record of social work and defence of human rights by all the accused but then comes to the conclusion, without any justification, that the social work is just a pretext for doing work for banned organizations and unlawful activities!
We find that unfortunately the rejection order parrots the position of the Maharashtra government, without any application of mind and helps in the process of crushing of dissent which is the ultimate objective of this entire chain of events. This started off with the violence by right wing elements against the dalit congregation on the occasion of commemorating the Bhima Koregaon war and then lead on to the arrests of activists, lawyers and academics who have been defending the rights of dalits, adivasis, minorities, peasants, workers and oppressed nationalities. On other hand, the rejection order refuses to take into cognizance that the persons who were accused in the original FIR lodged on the Bhima Koregaon violence, Hindutva leaders Milind Ekbote and Sambhaji Bhide, are roaming around scotfree, and Milind Ekbote was released on bail in the case by the same Pune court. While the Maharashtra government makes no effort to bring the actual perpetrators of the Bhima Koregaon violence to justice, on the other hand it has gone to the Supreme Court to challenge the Mumbai High Court order that cancelled the extension of imprisonment of Surendra Gadling, another accused in the case, under UAPA.
It is quite clear from the turn of events that it is the vindictiveness of the Maharashtra government, backed by the central government, which is trying to convey a lesson out of these accused activists, lawyers and academics to all people who express dissent and protest the undemocratic actions of the state, so that all dissent and resistance can be ultimately crushed. The bogey of “urban Maoists” which has been raised to persecute these activists is clearly aimed at camouflaging the continuous actions of the government to target and persecute dalits, adivasis, minorities and other weaker sections of society. CDRO strongly condemns these actions and demands the immediate release of Sudha Bharadwaj, Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira, and their co-accused who are already in jail for the last five months, Surendra Gadling, Shoma Sen, Mahesh Raut, Rona Wilson and Sudhir Dhawale, and the withdrawal of the false FIRs against them and all the other accused in the case.

On behalf of CDRO,
Asish Gupta,Coordinator.

Constituent Organisations: Association for Democratic Rights (AFDR, Punjab), Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR, West Bengal); Asansol Civil Rights Association, West Bengal; Bandi Mukti Committee (West Bengal); Civil Liberties Committee (CLC, Andhra Pradesh); Civil Liberties Committee (CLC, Telangana); Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights (CPDR, Maharashtra); Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights (CPDR,Tamil Nadu); Coordination for Human Rights (COHR, Manipur); Manab Adhikar Sangram Samiti (MASS, Assam); Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR); Peoples’ Committee for Human Rights (PCHR, Jammu and Kashmir); Peoples Democratic Forum (PDF, Karnataka); Jharkhand Council for Democratic Rights (JCDR, Jharkhand); Peoples Union For Democratic Rights (PUDR, Delhi); Peoples Union for Civil Rights (PUCR, Haryana), Campaign for Peace & Democracy in Manipur (CPDM), Delhi; Janhastakshep(Delhi).

(Facebook, 28/10/18)

On 26 October, a Pune Sessions Court rejected bail applications filed by three activists and human rights defenders. On the same day, the court also rejected Ferreira and Gonsalves’ application seeking a week’s extension of their house arrest.

The activists have a history of working to protect the rights of some of India’s most marginalized people. The Maharashtra Police’s subsequent arrest of these activists, despite failing to provide credible evidence against them, is concerning.

Keep reading 👉 bit.ly/2z8svmU

(Amnesty International India Facebook, 28/10/18)

India: Indian Association of People’s Lawyers condemns Maharashtra Police’s threat to arrest Justice Hosbet Suresh

October 22, 2018

IAPL condemns the threat issued by Shivaji Pawar, ACP, Maharashtra Police to arrest IAPL’s President Justice Hosbet Suresh (Retd.) and the most alarming portrayal by him of IAPL as a frontal organisation of CPI (Maoist). IAPL believes that such attacks on Judges and Human Right defenders which includes lawyers and organisations, require to be understood in the in the light of rising authoritarianism and fascist attacks in the country. It is the need of the hour for all organisations and individuals to come together and resist this onslaught collectively and to strongly condemn and resist this brazen attempt to intimidate Justice H. Suresh (Retd) and members of IAPL.

Justice H Suresh, now in his late 80s, is a former judge of the Hon’ble Bombay High Court and is leading figure in Human Rights activism in India. After his brief but glorious judicial service, he led a number of Commissions of Inquiry that investigated violations of human rights. Justice Suresh investigated the Kaveri Riots (1991) in Bangalore, post-Babri Bombay riots (1992/1993) publishing their findings in a 1993 report titled ‘The People’s Verdict’. In August 1995, Justice Suresh issued “Forced Evictions – An Indian People’s Tribunal Enquiry into the Brutal Demolitions of Pavement and Slum Dwellers’ Homes”, a report documenting the use of brutal and indiscriminate force against slum dwellers in Mumbai. In 2000, joined by former Supreme Court judge Justice V. R. Krishna Iyer, Justice Suresh held a two-day hearing into the slum clearances in which about 60,000 people had been evicted. The Inquiry covered both legal aspects of the clearances and the human impact.





India: Activists arrest: Supreme Court reserves order on plea for probe by Romila Thapar, others

September 20, 2018

Stating that there should be a clear distinction between opposition and a bid to overthrow the government, the bench had said that it would look at the Maharashtra Police’s material on the Bhima-Koregaon case with a “hawk’s eye” as liberty cannot be sacrificed at the altar of conjectures.

The Supreme Court Thursday reserved its order on the petition seeking an independent probe and the release of the five activists held for the alleged link with Maoists. A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud also ordered all the sides to submit their written notes by Monday.

The five activists — Varavara Rao, Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira, Sudha Bharadwaj and Gautam Navlakha — were arrested by Maharashtra Police on August 28 in connection with an FIR lodged following the Elgaar Parishad event held on December 31 last year that had later triggered violence at Bhima-Koregaonvillage.

Stating that there should be a clear distinction between opposition and a bid to overthrow the government, the bench had said it would look at the Maharashtra Police’s “material” on the Bhima-Koregaon case with a “hawk’s eye” as liberty cannot be sacrificed at the altar of conjectures.

According to the Maharashtra Police, material recovered from six alleged Maoist cadres arrested before the five were held had thrown up “concrete material requiring and justifying” the arrests. The apex court had earlier slammed the Maharashtra Police for making statements related to the arrests in the press, even as the court proceedings are underway.

Activists arrest: Supreme Court reserves order on plea for probe by Romila Thapar, others









https://www.agenzianova.com/a/0/2076260/2018-09-20/india-operazione-anti-naxaliti-corte-suprema-si-riserva-verdetto-su-arresti-attivisti (ITALIANO)