Immediate Release–Denial of SIT report to Complainant Smt Zakia Jafri Makes a Sham of Fair Hearing and Due Process


March 15, 2012

Press Release

Following the submissions of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) Report and all documents on he complaint dated 8.6.2006. Advocates for Smt. Zakia Ahsan Jafri argued that denial her a copy of the Report/Chargesheet and all documents collected in evidence now itself would be a violation of both the Supreme Court Order and also a right for fair hearing, a right given under various Statutes and under various judgements of Indian Courts. The SIT had, after a delay of five months filed a partial; report on 8-2-2012 and then on 13-3-2012 filed all relevant documents including Amicus Curiae Raju Ramachandran’s Report. On 9-2-2012 itself the complainant had moved an application stating that the filing of a partial report by the SIT was a non compliance of Paras 8 and 9 of the Supreme Court order dated 12-9-2011.
Submitting an application under Sections 173(2) and others of the CRPC and Sections 72 and 74 of the Evidence Act the Compliant also submitted three letters sent by her and co petitioner Teesta Setalvad of Citizens for Justice and Peace asking for notice and information on the action(s) being taken by SIT. Detailed written arguments were also submitted. (Both Documents attached). The five month delay, the filing of a partial Report as also the deliberate attempts to feed sections of the media with their conclusions made the actions of the Supreme Court appointed SIT suspect and bad in law. (reports in some daily newspapers speculated extensively on the “closure” report of the SIT.

Advocate Mihir Desai argued for Smt Zakia Ahsan Jafri in Metropolitan Magistrate Court No.11 today.

Released BY – Citizens for Peace and Justice

How long will the 6000 Jharkhandi Adivasis languish in jail?


Dr. Binayak Sen delivering his keynote address...

Image via Wikipedia

By- Stan Swamy

Most of the arrests are in violation of SC decisions
“Mere membership of a banned organisation will not make a person a criminal … Supreme Court on 3rd February 2011 (CRIMINAL APPEAL NOs. 889 OF 2007)
“Mere possession of Maoist literature does not make a person a Maoist” Supreme Court , while granting bail to Dr. Binayak Sen on 15th April 2011

Context: in Jharkhand, during the past ten years, 550 young men & women were killed by the police & para-military forces as being Naxalites (Hindustan Times, Ranchi edition, 18.4. 2011.)

There are now about 6000 Adivasis in jail (Ajay Sharma in Hindustan, 08.02.2012) . The charge against the majority of them is that “maoist literature” was found in their possession and that they are “helpers of Maoists”

1. Mere possession of Maoist literature is not an offence

Observing that mere possession of maoist literature would not be considered an offence of sedition, the Supreme Court granted bail to Dr.Binayak Sen.

The sad fact in Jharkhand is that in very many cases the police have arrested young men and women precisely because they had some “naxalite literature” in their possession. What exactly constitutes ‘naxalite literature’ has not been defined. The question is: Is any written material that is critical of the Government and its functioning forbidden in our democratic society? Is putting out pamphlets calling on people to resist displacement an offence? Is announcing rallies and public meetings to protest indiscriminate arrests of young people improper? Is calling on people to assert their rights on their jal, jangal, jamin not allowed?

What the police usually do is arrest a person on the alleged reason of having naxal literature and then add on other clauses of the penal code on the hapless victim. Very sad to say, hundreds of young men and women are languishing in the different jails of Jharkhand under this accusation.

It is the urgent need of the hour that an independent commission is appointed to examine all the cases under this accusation and free them.

2. Mere membership of a banned organisation will not make a person a criminal unless he resorts to violence or incites people to violence or creates public disorder by violence or incitement to violence. (3 February 2011)

The court rejected the doctrine of ‘guilt by association’. Mere membership of a banned organisation will not incriminate a person unless he resorts to violence or incites people to violence or does an act intended to create disorder or disturbance of public peace by resort to violence

It is common knowledge that very many young men & women are held in prison on the suspicion of being “helpers of naxalites”. After arresting them other penal clauses are added on. It is an easy label that can be put on any one whom the police want to catch. It does not require any proof or witness. Let us keep in mind that they are not even members of any naxalite outfit. Supreme Court says even membership in a banned organisation does not make a person a criminal. How far removed are the law and order forces from the judiciary!

Even if there is a modicum of humanity left in the govt and the police, these young men and women should be set free.

3. Supreme Court’s directives for arresting persons are ignored by police

The SC has issued very clear directives to the police in the process of arresting a person and has spelt out the rights of the arrestee / prisoner. In a judgment known as ‘D.K.Basu judgment’ passed on 8 March 2005, [D.K.Basu vs. State of West Bengal (1997) 1 SCC 216] the SC gives the following guidelines: In view of the increasing incidence of violence and torture in custody, the Supreme Court of India has laid down 11 specific requirements and procedures that the police and other agencies have to follow for the arrest, detention and interrogation of any person. These are: – Police arresting and interrogating suspects should wear “accurate, visible and clear” identification and name tags, and details of interrogating police officers should be recorded in a register. – A memo of arrest must be prepared at the time of arrest. This should: – have the time and date of arrest. – be attested byµ at least one witness who may either be a family member of the person arrested or a respectable person of the locality where the arrest was made.

– be counter-signed by the person arrested. – The person arrested, detained or being interrogated has a right to have a relative, friend or well-wisher informed as soon as practicable, of the arrest and the place of detention or custody. If the person to be informed has signed the arrest memo as a witness this is not required. – Where the friend or relative of the person arrested lives outside the district, the time and place of arrest and venue of custody must be notified by police within 8 to 12 hours after arrest. This should be done by a telegram through the District Legal Aid Authority and the concerned police station. – The person arrested should be told of the right to have someone informed of the arrest, as soon as the arrest or detention is made. – An entry must be made in the diary at the place of detention about the arrest, the name of the person informed and the name and particulars of the police officers in whose custody the person arrested is. – The person being arrested can request a physical examination at the time of arrest. Minor and major injuries if any should be recorded. The “Inspection Memo” should be signed by the person arrested as well as the arresting police officer. A copy of this memo must be given to the person arrested. – The person arrested must have a medical examination by a qualified doctor every 48 hours during detention. This should be done by a doctor who is on the panel, which must be constituted by the Director of Health Services of every State. – Copies of all documents including the arrest memo have to be sent to the Area Magistrate (laqa Magistrate) for his record. – The person arrested has a right to meet a lawyer during the interrogation, although not for the whole time. – There should be a police control room in every District and State headquarters where information regarding the arrest and the place of custody of the person arrested must be sent by the arresting officer. This must be done within 12 hours of the arrest. The control room should prominently display the information on a notice board. These requirements were issued to the Director General of Police and the Home Secretary of every State. They were obliged to circulate the requirements to every police station under their charge. Every police station in the country had to display these guidelines prominently. The

judgment also encouraged that the requirements be broadcast through radio and television and pamphlets in local languages be distributed to spread awareness. Failure to comply with these requirements would make the concerned official liable for departmental action. Not following these directions constitutes a contempt of the Supreme Court, which is a serious offence, punishable by Imprisonment and fine. This contempt of court petition can be filed in any High Court. These requirements are in addition to other rights and rules, such as: – The right to be informed at the time of arrest of the offence for which the person is being arrested. – The right to be presented before a magistrate within 24 hours of the arrest. – The right not to be ill-treated or tortured during arrest or in custody. – Confessions made in police custody cannot be used as evidence against the accused.

-A boy under 15 years of age and women cannot be called to the police station only for questioning.

The important question is: under which law or penal code the police & para-military forces are arresting young men & women as part of their anti-naxal operations? It is very clear they are not abiding by the SC ruling. As such they should be sued for contempt of court.

4. ‘To get Bail is a right of the prisoner’. . .but who will bail them out?

Getting bail is not within the reach of most ‘under trial prisoners’. For one thing, the lower courts consistently refuse to grant bails even for the simplest of cases. That means the prisoner has to approach the High Court, and some times the Supreme Court to get bail. The second factor is the expense involved. An average expense at the level of the High Court is between ten to twenty thousand rupees. Now how many Adivasi families can afford this expense is a big question. In fact most of them are not even in a position to come to the jail and meet their dear ones. At the same time, the govt does not reach out to them by providing free legal aid. In short, the 6000 and more Adivasi under trial prisoners are just condemned to languish in jail for years to come. It is important to remember that of those who have been arrested under UAPA and CL-17 as part of Operation Green Hunt, there has not been even a single conviction. We can be sure that when the trial will take place, most of them will be acquitted. Regrettably there is no time limit within which the trial has to take place. Justice delayed is justice denied.

To conclude, it is no use taking this issue to the govt because it is itself doing this injustice. The only other possibilities, in my opinion, are that we make this the agenda of the Jharkhandi People’s Movements and explore ways of making a legal case and access the judiciary at the High Court / Supreme Court level and demand that an independent committee of legal & human rights activists examine all the cases and place their findings in public domain.

Read original article at Newswing

Irish man missing in India- Pl share widely


CHARLIE TAYLOR

The family of an Irish man who has been missing for more than a month while backpacking in India, have appealed for assistance in tracing him.

Jonathan Spollen (28), a freelance writer and journalist from Ranelagh, has not been seen or heard from since February 3rd.

Mr Spollen, who has been based in Hong Kong working for the International Herald Tribune until recently, was last known to be in Rishikesh, in the state of Uttarakhand in northern India.

It is thought he may have been planning on going a trek at the time of his disappearance having changed his mind about a trip to Delhi to meet up with a friend.

Mr Spollen had arrived in India from Nepal in late November and was planning to leave the country by February 21st, when his visa was due to expire.

His father David Green has travelled to India to join in the search for him.

Mr Spollen’s mother, who last spoke to him on the day he went missing, said it was completely out of character for Jonathan to be out of contact with her for so long.

“Jonathan has lived overseas for a number of years and has always been good at keeping in touch,” said Lynda Spollen.

“We are 75 per cent confident that he may still be in the Rishikesh area and we don’t think he has left the country.”

Ms Spollen said that friends who had seen Jonathan shortly before he went missing had commented on the fact that he had lost weight.

“Jonathan was planning to come to Ireland before his visa expired and when I was last speaking to him had said he might take a trek before he left. Our concern is that he may have picked up a virus of some kind while trekking because he maybe wasn’t as fit as he thought he was. We are worried that something may have befallen him.”

Ms Spollen said her son would have been determined to leave India before his visa expired.

“Originally, Jonathan wanted to stay in the country for a while and travel from the south to the north but was only able to obtain a three-month visa. However, as a journalist the last thing he would have wanted to do was to overstay in the country because he wouldn’t have wanted blots on his copybook. His intention would always have been to try and get out in time rather than overstay,” she said.

“Jonathan hadn’t been home since April last and so the idea was to head home and be here in Ireland for a while and then see what he would do next,” she added.

The Department of Foreign Affairs is providing consular assistance to the family.

Anyone with possible information regarding Jonathan is asked to contact Ms Spollen at lyndaspollen@eircom.net

Immediate Release- Fact Finding into Suicide of 24- year- old Md Akhil in Hyderabad


PUCL, AP FACT FINDING COMMITTEE’S REPORT DATED: 24-02-2012/28-02-2012/12-03-2012 ON THE SUICIDE OF MR. Md. AKHIL ON 20-02-2012 IN BHAVANI NAGAR POLICE STATION LIMITS HYDERABAD, AP, INDIA

We P.U.C.L. members have formed a team of 7 members as Fact Finding Committee and visited Bhavani Nagar Police Station , Mogalpura Police Station, A.C.P – Santosh Nagar Division and D.C.P-C.C.S, Hyderabad regarding the suicide of Md.Akhil S/O Md.Ayaaz, Age 24 Years, Occ: Worker in Chappal Shop, R/O Nasheymaan Nagar, Bhavani Nagar, Hyderabad. Our team members are as follows:

1) Jaya Vindhayala (State President)

2) Md.Iqbal Khan ( State Vice-President)

3) Feroz Khan ( Twin Cities E C Member)

4) Saleem (Twin-Cities Vice-President)

5) Omer Uddin (PUCL Member)

6) B.Kranthi Kiran (PUCL Activist)

7) Nagaraju (PUCL Activist)

We visited the Bhavani Nagar police station on 24-02-2012 and took the permission in the reception to meet the Station house Officer i.e. Circle Inspector of Police (C.I), the constable told us that he is not in the station and told us to call (C.I)him once, among one of our team member called C.I and he told that he is not feeling well and told that it will take some time to come to the police station and immediately we called the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Santosh Nagar Division and he said that he is in meeting with the Commissioner of Police and for him also it will take time to come to his Office, and, we waited in the office room of the Sub-Inspector of Police, our team members have observed in the police station that the Lock-up Cell was full of Guthka Spit on the walls and there was foul smell in the station, we waited for 20 minutes in the station and we went to the Moghal Pura Police Station.

We proceeded to the Moghal Pura Police station, at 17:00 hrs, we took the permission in the reception and the constable told us, that the farewell party of one of the inspector of police, is going on, in the chamber of the inspector of police. We waited in the hall of the police station and we observed that the Lock-up cell was full of Miscellaneous items that belongs to the police personnels like lathi sticks, Jackets etc and there were guthka spits on the walls of the lock-up cell. As the farewell function of the outgoing C.I was over we went into the chamber of the C.I and introduced ourselves that we are from P.U.C.L and told that we came to as a Fact Finding Committee about the suicide of Md.Akhil S/o Md.Ayaaz, Age:24 years where this police station booked the case against him while he was involved in Communal Riots in the Year 2010 and the same officials opened Rowdy sheet against him, he told us that he himself opened the case but it has been transferred to the Bhavani Nagar Police Station where he was residing and his residence is of Nashemeeyan Nagar, Bhavani Nagar, Hyderabad.

As he further stated that the Nashemeeyan Nagar is very sensitive area and it comes under the Police Station limits of Bhavani Nagar and it is the border of Moghalpura Police Station, when ever there will be communal riots both the Communities(Muslims and Hindus) throws stones on each other and in other areas in this police station limits, for small incidents they will fight each other and if it is serious they will kill each other and in this police station there are 10 communal riots pending (All those who are involved in Communal Riots the police officials will open Rowdy Sheets), Valmiki Nagar is another sensitive area in the Moghalpura Police Station limits and we spoke to the leader of the Valmiki Nagar regarding the hygienic atmosphere between both the communities with the help of COVA (A NGO). He told us that we told those who are involved in the communal riots to be away from the riots if not Rowdy Sheets will be opened against them, and he further stated that he would think over the closure of the Rowdy Sheets against those persons who are involved in the communal riots and at present 13 Rowdy Sheets are pending in this Police Station and the population in the Moghalpura Police Station Area is around 2 lakhs and he further stated that there are Standing orders given by The Director General of Police regarding the closure of Rowdy Sheets (Communal Riots) and till now we have closed 6 to 7 cases.

On 28-02-2012, We met the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Santosh Nagar Division at 18:45, introduced ourselves as we are from P.U.C.L and told that we came to as Fact Finding Committee about the suicide of Md.Akhil S/O Md.Ayaaz, 24 years in Bhavani Nagar Police Station limits on 20-02-2012 which comes under your jurisdiction and asked him about the suicide of Md.Akhil and he said that the case was transferred to The Special Investigation team, Central Crime Station, Nampally, Hyderabad.

The A C P stated that in the Communal Riots most of the localities will throwing stones on each other by seeing other localities few with intention and few with instigation by others. Particularly in this case, Suspect Sheet has also been booked against his elder brother Khaleel who is 31 years old AND HE FURTHER STATED THAT AKHIL’S SUICIDE CASE IS UNDER INVESTIGATION AND STILL PENDING.

He further gave us a report of status of the pending cases in his jurisdiction consisting of Madannapet, Bhavani Nagar, Kanchanbagh and Santhosh Nagar Police Stations. As per records, cases booked like, number of Suspect Sheets in Communal (19), Non-Communal (60), Number of Sheets Booked in a Single case like Rowdy Sheets (11) and Suspects Sheets (16) and Number of Rowdy Sheets in Communal ( 29) and in Non –Communal(66).

He further stated that if any doubt arises we called the Leaders of the area as well as MIM and BJP leaders and told them that if there are any UNCONTROLLABLE communal riots OCCURRED in THEIR RESPECTIVE localities, the whole responsibility will be against the leaders only and the cases will be booked against the leaders ALSO under section146, 147,148,324 and 427 of IPC. He stated that if a criminal CASE is PENDING AGAINST THE PERSON, IF THEY ARE not involved in a case continuously for five years than all the criminal cases will be closed which are pending against that criminal and for those who are aged above 50 years also cases of communal riots will be closed.

Then, We visited the Bhavani Nagar Police Station at 20:00 HRS and we met the Station House Officer and introduced ourselves as we are from P.U.C.L and told that we came as a Fact Finding Committee about the suicide of Md.Akhil S/o Md.Ayaaz, 24 years. where the case of Communal Riots was pending against him before he committed suicide and he said that no official in his Police Station will harass the criminals and he stated regarding the Suicide of Md.Akhil that he was having financial problem and was involved in Cricket betting and Sub-Inspector of Police has been appointed as the investigation officer regarding his Suicide and he is conducting the investigation, but his family members are not co-operating the investigation as they are not providing proper evidence, he further stated that Md.Akhil is a very nice person and he was also sensitive. Md.Akhil would speak to him regularly, before he committed suicide he told him that he is going to Mumbai to bring the Chappal material for the shop where he was working and he told that he might have committed suicide as a suspected sheet has been booked against his elder brother Khallel and the Suicide note is also sent to the Forensic Laboratory and he further stated that he would be friendly with all the Rowdy Sheeters.

On 12-03-2012, We, P.U.C.L team met the D.C.P, C.C.S, Hyderabad. He told us that the issues related to the communal riots were investigated by the Special Investigation Team (S.I.T) under his supervision. He directed the S.I.T Circle Inspector to give us the details related to Md.Akhil.

The Circle Inspector told us, in 2010 three cases were registered against communal riots, Crime No 34/2010(this was registered on 29-03-2010) were Registered by the Bhavani nagar Police Station and Crime No 44/2010 concerned for Late Md Akhil, he was arrested using PT Warrants. Another case Registered by the Moghalpura Police Station as Crime No. 41/2010 (this was registered on 31-03-2010) and the same was transferred to Bhavani Nagar Police Station. No charge sheet was filed till today and still investigation is going on.

OBSERVATIONS:

1) There would not be a National Leader’s photos or the photo of the leaders who fought against corruption or the photos of the police officials who sacrificed their life for the Nation in majority of the Police Stations in the same way we weren’t surprised to observe that there was not even a single National Leaders photo in the Bhavani Nagar Police Station, Moghal Pura Police Station and Office of the Assistant Commissioner of Police, But there were Photos of the God or Goddess in every Police Station like Sai Baba/Venkateshwara Swamy/ etc.

2) We couldn’t understand that, they said that the Communal Case on Md.Akhil was being investigated by the C.C.S ( Crime Nos: 34/2010, 41/2010 and 44/2010 ) and they said that the case of suicide (FIR No 30/2012, U/S 174 Cr.P.C, dated: 20-02-2012, Bhavani Nagar Police Station, Hyderabad ) was being investigated by the S.I. of Bhavani Nagar Police Station, Hyderabad ???

3) Md.Akhil is a resident in the limits of the Bhavani Nagar Police Station and if the communal riots take place in the limits of the Bhavani Nagar Police Station. Why was the case filed against him in the Moghal Pura Police Station?? Why was a Rowdy Sheet opened in the Moghal Pura Police Station itself??Why was it then transferred to the Bhavani Nagar Police Station?? .

4) Communal Riots always takes place under the supervision of a political leader or his instigation in the communal riots. This is told by the past and it is clear that it is present through the paper media throughout the Old City. Why wasn’t a single case filed against these Political leaders??

5) It was known through the paper media that a political leader who came to consolidate on Md.Akhil’s death was attacked by Leaders /activists of another political party and why didn’t the government respond in a proper way on this??

6) The death of Md.Akhil who was involved (as per police officials) in the Communal Riots, why didn’t the Home Ministry, Law and Order Ministry couldn’t give a proper review on this?? The Government itself tells that the communal riots matter is a very sensitive, why didn’t the government take proper initiative on this??

7) The Police are not taking independent actions so the Communal Riots are increasing Day-by-Day. Some of the Police Personnels are working as pets for some Political Party’s; this is also a reason for the Communal Riots.

8) There is a lot of influence and threats on the Police Officials by Some Of the Political Leaders who are fanatic religion based fundamentalists especially in the Old City.

9) The Police harassed Md.Akhil regularly.

10) We got the credible information that the A.S.I (Mr.Basheer?), Moghalpura Police Station and Constable (Mr. Rahamaan?) of Bhavani Nagar Police Station have harassed him.

11) The Police would call this Md.Akhil regularly to both the Police Stations Bhavani Nagar and Moghalpura as constables and other officials would have demanded money for closing the Rowdy Sheet.

12) The Police are behaving like Licensed Human Slaughters.

DEMANDS:

1) The Government should appoint an enquiry commission not less than The Sitting District judge on the enquiry of the total incident of the suicide of Md. Akhil, then only whatever the facts in the incident will come out and Justice will happen to general public than only we can control (some of ) the police officials illegal acts.

2) The Government should take action by prosecution on the Police officials who harassed Md.Akhil and became a reason for his suicide.

3) The Government should revive all the cases of the Communal Riots till now and should close the Rowdy Sheets immediately.

4) An Intellectual committee having independent powers consisting of members of Civil Rights, Human Rights, Social Organisations and Concerned Government Officials should be formed immediately, to control the Communal Riots. The Government should take guidelines from this Committee only, for the prevention of these. Then only the Communal Riots can be controlled.

5) The government should give Compensation to the family of Md.Akhil and the Suspect Case filed on his brother Md.Khaleel should be removed immediately.

6) The Government should guide the Police Officials to register the cases against the Political Leaders who are responsible to the Communal Riots instead of innocent persons like Md.Akhil.

With Regards

JAYA VINDHYALA
ADVOCATE
PRESIDENT, PUCL-AP
16-8-908/7, MALAKPET “X” ROADS
HYDERABAD-500 024.

PHONE: 094404-30263.
FAX: 040-24414736

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